Perhaps Michael Kors US: KORS should concentrate more of its efforts on the male pocketbook after providing a dismal prognosis in its earnings report on Thursday. After all, muse-mania reached a new peak in 2014, and analysts predict that year of the man purse will continue to spread in the years to come.
Men’s bag sales increased by 35% in 2014 (and unit sales increased by 17%), according to data published this week by research firm The NPD Group, accounting for over a quarter of the overall industry results. Women’s bag sales increased by 35% in 2014. According to
the NPD research, “Last year’s double-digit unit and dollar sales improvements certainly made the men’s market the one to watch in 2015.” Men are buying more bags than ever before and wearing all different kinds of bags.
According to NPD research, the men’s market will be one to watch in 2015 due to double-digit unit and dollar sales growth over the previous year. Men now purchase more bags than ever before and carry a wide variety of bags.
The man-purse trend is being driven by a variety of factors. One is year of the man purse “casualization” of American fashion, which Marshal Cohen, senior industry analyst for The NPD Group, describes as occurring as more people choose to dress casually for everyday occasions like sweatpants (which sometimes lack pockets). According to Austin-based fashion blogger Bra Thomas, the traditional options for the man bag—a briefcase or backpack—often come across as either unduly formal or overly casual as workplaces have become more casual (but not entirely casual).
Of course, some men don’t see the need to carry a man purse, particularly if they are the minimalist sort who only carry a wallet and phone. Keys, a wallet, and a phone generally come to mind as the necessities that a man has to carry about him, and properly so, as fashion designer Donny Joseph observes: “Most can be carried in one’s front or back pocket.” (That is, if your fashionable, slim-fitting jeans don’t get in the way.)
Samantha Brown, a stylist with the outfit matching service Omotic, advises choosing timeless, deep hues like navy, forest green, deep cherry, and of course, black brown year of the man purse. In order to avoid appearing extremely trendy or if your bag was taken from the ladies, keep decorations and hardware to a minimum. Evans recommended rustic, rough leather and grey, wool flannel in particular. Joseph advises men to choose “manly” textiles like canvas, nylon, or leather and to avoid bags with excessive branding, prints, or decorations.
Try a messenger bag
A messenger bag, rather than a handbag or tote bag, is a good starting point for guys just dipping their toes into the world of man purses, according to Thomas. This is because messenger bags tend to be relatively neutral and most closely resemble a laptop bag, which many men are already used to carrying around. The long strap alone can read too feminine, so Brown advises that you “search for versions that include both a short and long strap.” Some retailers that make attractive, neutral leather messenger bags that can take the place of a more conventional briefcase include Kenneth Cole and Cole Hana. An added benefit is that the messenger bag may be worn 2014 was the year of the man purse.
Pick the right size
Joseph claims that men’s baggage “should be proportionate.” “A shorter man shouldn’t have a larger tote, and a taller man shouldn’t be carrying a smaller bag.” According to Evans, most men should choose a size that can fit their iPad or laptop or a size larger; however, you should also take into account your height and body type. Ask the salesperson for assistance if you are unsure of the man purse’s proper sizing and mention that you want something that appears to be suitable for your height and weight.
Be confident — and don’t call your bag a “man purse”
Are you still hesitant to carry a man’s purse? Evans notes that males frequently prefer to refer to their male handbag as a “satchel” rather than anything like a “man purse” or “muse” and claims that “confidence really sells virtually anything” (yes, even the muse).