December 13, 2009
To Murse or Not To Murse
Hip bag. Satchel. Messenger bag. Crossbody bag. Belt bag. Reporter bag. Flight bag. City bag. Camera bag. Body bag. Urban backpack. Shoulder bag. Mini-duffel... wait, did I miss any? By any name, all are truly bags carried by men, or "murse" for "man's purse".
No man wants to carry a purse, or something we call a purse, so until and unless we issue a universal decree to call it the Rambo, we will continue with the uncool and clunky names. Whatever the label, more and more guys are carrying them. It used to be a manly man would jam his wallet, coins, and keys into his pockets and that would be it. Now add in sunglasses, cell phone, IPhone and blackberry, bigger keys with remote car starters, contact lens stuff, a small laptop, winter gloves, and more, and our pockets just aren't big enough. We need a bag to carry all our crap around.
Formerly for hipster guys and raving queens, these bags are now urban chic when done well, and available everywhere from Old Navy to Louis Vuitton. Basically a blend of book bag, brief case, and fanny pack, the murse is a carry-all for guys.
A few years ago, during the heyday of the dreaded "metrosexual" label, the murse started to become more common and get more attention, with everyone from yuppies to thugged-out rappers to me and yes possibly you having them. In the press, you see everyone from Brad Pitt (who I think is really cool) to Mathew McConaughey (who I think is a moron) carrying them.
I often carry one, and own several from a basic brown Tumi crossbody to a flashier green Etro satchel. K is getting a black and grey Burberry one for Christmas (don't tell him - it's a surprise!).
Yet still bags are seen as unmanly somehow. Fashion stores have 'accessories' departments for women, and 'furnishings' departments for men. Why - because it is unmanly to carry accessories? To appeal to the manly man, should the Gucci belt bag feature serious hardware and a Harley Davidson logo?
Sure, carry-all bags are fairly new for men. Are bags emasculating? I sure don't think so. They are totally practical and sometimes fashionable. Suck it up and get over any stereotypes (though you probably don't have any if you are reading my blog). And remember it wasn't that long ago that women didn't wear trousers as they were considered too masculine. Now back to drooling over that totally unnecessary crazy expensive incredibly amazing Louis Vuitton bag on their website...