Man Purse Mania

The modern male has a lot of belongings and so many ways to cart them around. From the surge in

The modern male has a lot of belongings and so many ways to cart them around. From the surge in popularity of messenger bags for males has emerged the "man purse." What is a man purse, exactly? What sets it apart from all other bags? FM scoped out some of its favorites..

Nishchal M.S. Basnyat ’09


Basnyat is relative newcomer to the man purse scene, having just purchased his tote at the Coop three weeks ago. His messenger bag is largely a functional one, holding books, sunglasses, and a cell phone. Prior to entering man purse-dom, Basnyat sported an army bag, but he says, “I’m really more of a watch person.”

Francisco Perese ’09

Kirkland (DeWolfe)

Francisco rocks a Columbian leather messenger bag he bought on eBay. The contents? Books, wallet, cell phone, crushed wasabi peas, and two years worth of loose change. However, his man purse repertoire also includes a larger saddlebag which he hangs on his wall at home. Not be outdone, says Perese, his older brother, a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School, uses his fiancée’s purse as a gym bag.

William L. Little ’10


FM spotted Bill looking chic in Cabot Science Library with this laptop bag—more staid than your average man purse—which he acquired a year ago to hold his Dell computer. He describes his bag as functional, but says he usually sports a backpack. “The bag makes me look serious,” says Little, “but I assure you I’m not.”

Benjamin Warren

New England Institute of Art

Warren’s Chrome messenger bag is the envy of all tote-carrying males: sleek and masculine, fully waterproof, and equipped with a seat belt closure. Inside, he carries a bike lock, two-inch analog tape, a water bottle, and his work clothes (he’s a valet). But his bag is no man purse, he insists. The distinction? “A man purse sits on your side,” says Warren, “but a messenger bag sits on your back.” Obvi.