“Man-bags” catching on in the UK – Is the US next??

I have a running bet with a former colleague that “man purses” will catch on among American men in the near future, similar to their popularity in Japan. For some reason, he thinks that American men, with their embrace of such tasteful fashions as pink polo shirts with the collar popped, have more dignity than to carry a purse. That I find to be a somewhat insulting view of the Japanese – Americans are just as capable of making horrible fashion decisions as any other people of the world. So it was with great joy that I saw this story from a British tech news site:

Rise of the manbag: Are gadgets to blame?

We’re carrying too many techie toys…

By Will Sturgeon

Published: Wednesday 5 July 2006

The number of gadgets we’re carrying around on a daily basis – from BlackBerrys and mobile phones to iPods and PDAs – means men in the UK may be forced to embrace the metrosexual phenomenon of the ‘manbag’.

Smaller than a sports bag and often more stylish to boot, the manbag is becoming a must-have item for all UK gadget fans keen to stow their multiple devices.

And while four per cent of men surveyed for a piece of research from business communications company Damovo still go for the ‘batman’ utility belt approach of clipping their gadgets around their waist, it seems that stereotypical image of the gadget fan at large is being killed off by the manbag.

A third of respondents (32 per cent) still manage to get their techie toys into a pocket but by far the most popular option is putting all the gadgets into a bag.

9 thoughts on ““Man-bags” catching on in the UK – Is the US next??”

  1. it had caught on in china some 5-10 years ago.

    but i don’t think it would caught on in US.
    because everybody drive and the misc things can be left in the car.

    same reason mini-handphone started in europe/asia, but not in US.

  2. I see it catching on (perhaps already has) in large cities, but not in the remaining 90% of the land in America. I don’t carry any less things around with me in America than I do in Japan, but the difference is how I get around. In Japan it’s on the bus, in America I use a car. Everything stays in the car unless I need it right then. If I need something suddenly, I just run to the car. In Japan you never know when you might need to take a picture, make a call, read a book, clip your nails, wax your hair …. so you have to carry the stuff around.

  3. I don’t think it will catch on in the US. Even a typical d-bag frat guy with gelled hair and a pink polo shirt wouldn’t be caught dead with a purse..er..man bag. And the rest of us, we have some standards. ­čÖé

  4. Just let me make one thing clear: I do not carry a man purse myself nor do I want them to catch on so I can start wearing one.

    My bet stems purely from a pessimism about fashion taste in America and a desire to prove my coworker wrong.

  5. I would have thought the same, but I see man bags/manpurses catching on in the US, sure we drive here everywhere, but so do women,yet they still don’t leave their belongings in a car where they could get stolen. Neither should men. I drive everywhere where I live,but I still carry a manpurse with me everywhere(you never know if you’ll get car jacked). Bottom line, whether in LA, NYC, Cancun, Paris or some remote land in the midwest, a guy has gotta be prepared. You can’t always stuff your pant pockets(they aren’t designed for wallets and cells) or depend on your woman to hold your belongings for you(she ain’t your momma). The stupid notion that carrying a purse makes a man less of a man is as accurate as the notion that wearing trousers makes a woman less of a woman. It’s about time that we men realize the power of the purse.

  6. There are good alternatives to manbags, namely:

    (1) Lightweight jackets or vests with pockets (preferably inside and outside). Can’t beat those when it comes to carrying stuff. Both of your hands stay free, and you don’t have to hand anything over when you walk into a store. Sucks to wear them on hot days, but if you’re in the US you probably spend most of your time in an air-conditioned environment anyway.

    (2) On casual days, cargo pants.

    (3) On work days, a briefcase. Even if you’re a secretary, carrying a briefcase makes you look badassly important.

    (4) For those who aren’t fashion plates, the classic backpack.

  7. I’m a cargo/pants backpack man, personally. Often both, but almost always one.

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