Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dress Code: You Won't Catch Me With... Vm. 2 Tote Bag Hype

-Peruse the magazines/blogs and you will find a great many handsome, well-made tote bags. There are fantastic bags made from old sails, and totes made in America by companies who have been making canvas goods for 100 years. Talk most any style-savvy man and he'll tell you that in Japan and Europe, there isn't a stigma about men carrying bags. I've never cared much about the stigma attached to  particular item of dress, I'm actually inclined toward things that might be a bit effeminate just so I can argue when someone makes an ignorant comment. But as I became more intrigued about the prospect of using a bag that I must carry in my hands, and I came very close to buying the exquisitely-made tote from Makr (above, bottom-right,) I saw a girl in class with a tote packed to the brim and I had an epiphany: If I bought a bag like this, what the fuck would I put in it? Follow the rest of my train of thought after the jump.

-On any given day I may have to carry with me: A large camera, multiple lenses, a computer, an umbrella, notebooks, pens and pencils, Gatorade or water bottle, granola bars, iPod, headphones, etc. I'm just trying to list the things I might have to take with me when going somewhere, then trying to think about how a tote bag would help or hinder me.
-If you've been in college in the last 5-10 years you probably know that in the age the Web, e-mail and Powerpoint, there isn't really a lot of demand for lugging books to class. I might have to take a novel to a lit class or carry my AP Stylebook around, but I never, ever, have multiple heavy books with me. So, one novel and a notebook and a pencil, does that warrant carrying a tote? No.
-My computer, in a tote bag, would neither stay upright or lay flat in  a tote.
-My camera/lenses are too fragile to be flopping around freely in a tote.
-Basically everything I have, I don't want flopping around freely in a tote. And if I'm bringing enough things with me that the bag is packed tight and secure, what the fuck am I doing with so much shit?
-If I'm heading home to Portland/Vancouver I'm probably taking the train. I don't want my shit falling out everywhere, plus I've got a small/mid-sized duffel that will take everything. I might throw my computer in my brief case.
-The only reason I can see for carrying a tote would be going on a picnic, when I might have a thermos and a blanket and baseball mitts and maybe some small speakers. BUT! If I'm going to be all organic and go on a picnic, I'm probably riding my bike in the first place, on which I can't very well carry a tote bag. I live in the Northwest, so I ride my bike to the grocery store too. And I don't use plastic bags. Backpack.
-I'm just saying, I have a great appreciation for some of the great-looking, impeccably made totes bags, but I just can't see any reason why most men would choose to carry one around. Your hands will get cold! And seriously, I dunno if it's just because I live in America, but a lot of times, if that bag is too small, it looks like a purse. Is that a bad thing? I'm leaning toward yes.
-There are great backpacks out these days. I'm on a never-ending quest to find the perfect one, but I bet I'll find it before I ever realise that I'm in need of a tote/shopper/whatever.


Anonymous said...

yooo, haha i love this. thanks for being real man, i too often wonder what exactly i'd put in a tote if i got one. if its just for cosmetic reasons, whats the point? shit should be practical no?

brandon sargent said...

i can definitely relate to this- but on some days a tote works best for me. especially when i'm carrying a planner, phone, wallet, 2 sets of keys, business cards, lunch, sketch book and pencils, maybe files for work--and i hate having stuff in my pockets...and then there are days when i couldn't be bothered. its a functional object if you have a need for it.

Angelo said...

Word, I didn't really think about the fact that I love to stuff my pockets with pod,phone,moleskine,business cards, etc. and some people probably don't