The idea of briefcases for men might seem kind of antiquated. But let’s be honest: it’s tough to get a fit off—or receive any real respect from your boss and clients—when you’re rolling into the office with the same ratty tote bag you use to haul milk and eggs home from the bodega. Briefcases, like well-tailored suits and shiny dress shoes, are classic for a reason. They give off an immediate air of refinement and sophistication that no backpack or messenger bag could ever possess, and will immediately mark you as a person who’s really going places.
The Best Briefcases for Men Shopping Guide
There are a few things that every great briefcase absolutely needs. Ideally, it should have a dedicated laptop sleeve to swaddle your precious MacBook, along with separate compartments for your chargers, small electronics, notebooks, and pens. It should hopefully have enough room for your water bottle—hydration is important!—and also be easy enough to carry that your arm won’t feel as heavy as lead by the time you reach the office.
And, most importantly, it’s gotta look cool. You don’t want to be hauling around a briefcase that makes you look like a kid in his dad’s clothes. You want a briefcase that feels modern and fresh and all the way you. A briefcase like, say, one of these—the absolute finest briefcases for men on the market today.
The Rugged-but-Refined Briefcase
Filson has been doling out its handsome, hardwearing goods to loggers and lumberjacks since the late 1800s, and the Seattle outfitter’s legendary bags are still every bit as desirable and functional today. The Dryden briefcase comes with all the same great features as the brand’s 24 Hour brief, like convenient outer zip pockets and a padded computer compartment. The differences comes down to fabric—this one is made from Cordura fabric rather than waxed tin cloth. The result is a super-durable bag that feels much lighter in the hand. It’ll look just right with some tough boots and raw denim, but the slim profile and English bridle leather straps help it remain refined enough to pair with a tweed suit at the office. However you choose to wear it, it’ll age into an heirloom your kids—and their kids—will cherish forever.
The Commute-Ready Briefcase
Doesn’t matter if your ETA to the office is 15 mins or 2 hours, you’re going to need a work bag to carry the essentials. If you’ve found that sporting a backpack makes you feel like a dorky middle schooler and a tote just isn’t cutting it in the cushion department, get yourself a briefcase. This slick messenger from Herschel, to be exact. Made from recycled water bottles, the body is sturdy and and water-resistant while the interior features a padded and fleece-lined sleeve to ensure your precious tech baby gets to its destination scratch-free.
The A-List Briefcase
There’s a reason your favorite rappers all namedrop Goyard a dozen times an album. The French house deals only in absolute grails, the type of luggage designed specifically for flaunting at your side as you descend from a private jet. This soft-sided briefcase allows you to bring all that pure opulence with you into work every day, with its iconic hand-painted coated canvas exterior and cowhide trimmings practically screaming, “I’VE MADE IT!” And quite honestly, if you’re able to get your hands on a bag this beautiful, you really have.
The Laptop-Only Briefcase
Handmade in England, Bennett Winch’s expertly crafted brief has a streamlined profile we love, but with a rugged, yesteryear appeal that belies all the fancy tech it can hold inside. The deceptively slim profile is decked out with interior compartments for tucking away your laptop and keeping loose documents organized while the exterior features a detachable shoulder strap and panel for slipping over your suitcase to make travel a breeze.
The Small-Batch Briefcase
Go ahead, take a healthy whiff of this bag. Mmmm. That’s the intoxicating scent of really, really good leather. Frank Clegg’s supple, luxurious briefcases are fashioned entirely by hand in his Massachusetts workshop. The smooth tumbled leather and solid brass hardware give them a timeless look and feel that will age gracefully, long past your 9-to-5 days and well into retirement.
The Travel-Ready Briefcase
If your job requires you to travel often, you need a briefcase that won’t slow you down. Tumi’s Alpha 3 4-wheel laptop briefcase may as well be the Tesla of briefcases. It’s a softshell wheeled briefcase that holds laptops up to 15″ and even comes with a USB port (though you do have to buy the battery separately). It boasts a removable accordion folder, mesh panels, a gang of media pockets, and enough room for a change of clothes. Maneuvering through the airport is easy, too, thanks to its 360-degree wheels and the sleeve that easily attaches to your other luggage. And, of course, it works as a carry-on so you don’t have to worry about checking your work essentials. Figuring out how to connect to the plane’s WiFi, on the other hand, is another store entirely.
The Weekend Away Briefcase
If you’re traveling out of town, scoping out the vibe ahead of time might not always be feasible. A leather briefcase could set you up for success or look jarringly out of place while a tote might not pack everything you need for a cafe work session. This work bag, however, is simple enough to blend in pretty much anywhere but has enough structure to keep things looking nice and tidy. Waxed canvas, full-grain leather trim, and L.L.Bean’s classic Northeastern style—vintage enthusiasts are gonna love this 30 years from now.
The Craft-Oriented Briefcase
Do you need a luxury laptop bag? Not really. But should you treat yourself to one when you’ve been putting in overtime for the Big Man? Absolutely. This Bottega number is woven from buttery smooth Italian leather that almost looks too pretty to use (but you definitely can, and should). The spacious main compartments can hold all your tech gadgets, no problem, while the adjustable strap and leather top handles supply several ways to carry your load with the utmost taste.
The Winking Fashion Briefcase
Office attire had been in the doldrums before Thom Browne came along to shift it into high-fashion territory. If you want to feel like you’re the boss, even if you’re just a newbie, this beautiful pebble leather briefcase is the way to do it. The elegant bell shape pays homage to vintage luggage while the placement of minimalist gold hardware keeps the over appearance fresh and very much now. Use it to carry your laptop, documents and everything else in between during the workweek then swap it all for a couple crisp button-downs and use as a chic weekender bag.
The Fashion Briefcase
There are leather bags and then there are leather bags. This slim briefcase falls squarely under the latter. With an adjustable shoulder strap, ample interior organization including slip and zipper pockets, you’ll be looking fly from the boardroom to the runway (who knows!) and back.
The Value Briefcase
The ‘Zon might not be the first place you look for a top-shelf briefcase, but we’ll forgive the oversight. Crafted in Italy from fine full-grain leather with heavy brass hardware, this classic design by Time Resistance is fit to pair with your sharpest suits. Got an important meeting coming up first thing…Monday? Don’t sweat it, that’s what Prime is for.
The Convertible Briefcase
Porter-Yoshida & Co.’s Tanker bag is inspired by military flight jackets and features standard-issue sateen fabric with a contrasting orange interior, which makes finding your goods easy. But the best part about this tough, handcrafted piece is that it can go from tote to cross-body to backpack in a flash.
The Rollup Briefcase
The strategically designed interior delivers maximum storage capacity in a handsome minimalist package. Roll out the sturdy nylon topper to pack in everything you need for the work day—laptop, water bottle, and a spare sweater if your office AC is still on full blast—then roll it down when it’s time to stow away for the day while keeping a semblance of space in your cramped, impossibly narrow closet.