When Joey Tribbiani said, “It is odd how a woman’s purse looks so good on me, a man,” on popular television show, Friends, years ago, none of us might have thought that men’s bags would be the next big thing to take over the fashion space.

Designer Anvita Sharma says, “Men have become more fashion-conscious, especially in the past two to three years. They are more open to experimenting with unconventional colours, prints and shapes, among others. This has added a fun quirky factor in their wardrobe.” The world of men’s style and fashion is moving at God’s speed. The runway trends mark the turning point for bolder and diversified style options.

Men’s accessories are no more confined to neutral-toned backpack stacked across their shoulders. The 21st-century man is breaking the shackles. And, why wouldn’t he? For they are resorting to celebrity wardrobes and runways for fashion related dilemmas. The explosion of ‘murses’ has set a new definition. It’s time to make a good space for the new ‘bags for men’ to enter the threshold and be the style guide.

Entering the ‘murse’ world, a simple crossbody muse creates an extra appeal in one’s look. The noticeably narrow streamlines often bestow an edgy appearance. Check any runway edit and it’s clear that these bags are everywhere. Designer Dhruv Vaish says, “Accessories have always been a very important part of men’s dressing. The crossbody satchels can also make a nice statement when worn over a jacket or a blazer. One should also be careful not to over accessorise.” Balmain’s signature crossbody in Fall/Winter’19 gave a shoutout that it is fine for men to be flashy and ‘extra’.

A good number of years down the lane, ‘mote’ was born. The men’s tote bag is the latest incarnation in the men’s accessories world. Men’s totes aren’t limited to loose, formless additives. These voguishly large bags emit a dapper and sharp style note, elevating your overall ensemble. These large ‘carry-alls’ raise your style quotient to a higher notch.

There’s no limit when it comes to sizes for men’s bags and they all somehow, magically manage to deliver a very polished look. If you are somebody onto the lookout for sporting a ‘not-so-serious’ look, the runway’s recent favourite, saddlebags and fanny packs are the solution to your woes. Anvita shares, “The versatility and utility of fanny packs are such that it can work with a lot of styles ranging from casual to formal looks, a utilitarian  outfit or even head-to-toe denim. It’s just about having the confidence and comfort to carry it off.”

These season’s fresh runway resurgent remains the aesthetic and modern makeover of the office briefcases. When it comes to choosing a bag for the regular 9 to 5, the classic briefcases still remain a favourite. However, the upgrade into a more functional, stylish variant, and one that maintains the correct balance between casual and on-duty looks, remains a highlight. The age of the millennials has given a considerable push to the rise of business-casual fashion and thanks to this renewed approach, carrying a briefcase would not be boring. Berluti’s F/W’19 by Kris Van Asche crafted some elegant and powerful looks with these modernised office bags. 

Backpacks, being men’s evergreen accessory deserved some modern twists too. Classics never go out of style, they can only be innovated and restyled by methods and designs. At fashion helms of Prada, Off-White, the whole outlook of carrying a backpack was redefined. These large attachments made to be carried as a regular handbag or a tote stated a fact clear that rebooting archetypal styles can aid in creating the right buzz. 

Fashion has been moving towards gender neutrality for some time now and the introduction of murses seems to be a stepping stone. Designer Pawan Sachdeva shares, “With the revolution in the fashion industry, nothing is left to gender bias. A lot of efforts are being put in making the current space more gender-neutral, and introduction of murses is one of them.” Anvita further adds, “In this era of blurring the lines of gender and breaking the boundaries, ‘murses’ are inevitable. Men are becoming more fashion-forward and fearless in regards to clothing and accessories, and gender demarcation is an obsolete concept.” 

Pawan concludes, “Instead of using basic accessories, today men are experimenting and working on their personal style and looks by adding details and statement accessories to their wardrobe.” Sporting this new trend can be intimidating at first but you cannot ignore the statement it creates that can give a stylish edge to even a lousy outfit.

Story by: Tejashee Kashyap - Intern at L'officiel India

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja is a feature writer at L'Officiel India. She is a silver jewellery hoarder and an aesthete of all arts. You can find her unraveling new stories day in and day out.