There’s nothing wrong with carrying a backpack to work. People do it all the time. If you want to project a more professional image, though, nothing beats strolling into an office with a smart-looking briefcase in hand. We know, it’s a holdover from the days when most office jobs required people to dress formally, but there’s just something about that classic rectangular bag that elevates someone’s attire, whether they go to work in a suit, a button-down, or a very casual shirt.
Is a briefcase practical? Some will say it isn’t. Considering most other bags will wrinkle the shoulders on your shirt or blazer, not to mention a backpack can make you sweat your back, however, we have to say it actually is. Plus, it’s the perfect size to carry laptops, tablets, and most other gear contemporary office work requires.
Here are some of the classiest briefcases we’ve found.
Bellroy Laptop Brief – Designers Edition
We’re big fans of Bellroy’s original laptop brief, a thoughtfully-designed and premium-feeling fabric bag that handled function and style with equal aplomb. This year, though, the outfit took it a step further, recreating that beautiful briefcase in premium European leather that’s been meticulously chosen for its structure, polish, and texture. Defined by a really clean exterior, the briefcase opens to a well-organized interior with a magnetized laptop pocket (fits up to 15 inches), a phone pocket, pen loops, a business card section, a generous open space, and a few additional pockets for tidying up smaller stuff. With a 10-liter total capacity, this thing will let you carry everything you need for work while looking absolutely impeccable.
Stuart & Lau Cary Briefcase
Yes, it appears like a briefcase that’s all about the looks. With a style that can blend in both with three-piece suits and streetwear alike, it’s an easy mistake to make. Truth is, the Cary Briefcase is one of the most feature-packed office bags we’ve found, from the fully-waterproof interior and the integrated umbrella holder to the integrated sleeve for mounting on top of suitcases and the generous pockets inside for organizing your gear. These include a padded laptop sleeve (fits up to 15 inches), large open pockets (fits tablets, notebooks, passports, and more), a hidden stow pocket with microfiber lining (for phones), and a zippered mesh pocket for loose items. If you’re looking for a briefcase that’s designed to handle daily commuting, traveling, and inclement weather alike, well, you might have just found your match.
Killspencer Briefcase 2.0
If you dress more on the casual on the end of the spectrum and want a briefcase that perfectly matches up with the aesthetic, look no further than Killspencer’s rugged-looking office bag. Made from full-grain leather with a bullhide leather handle, this blacked-out, assassin-worthy briefcase has a padded laptop compartment that can fit 15-inch machines, two flat internal pockets, two expanding exterior pockets with a flap, a large front zippered pocket, and a webbing strip that allows you to add an accessory case, in case you need extra room. How often do you see a bag with metal buckles that manage to look this stunning?
Filson Dryden Briefcase
It doesn’t have the rigid and streamlined structure of most briefcases. If you’re in the market for something that’s casually stylish and downright indestructible, though, you’ll definitely want to look at Filson’s hardwearing work bag. Made from 1000-denier nylon, this thing is a veritable bomb shelter compared to its leather and waxed canvas counterparts, all while being completely water-repellent, so it will keep everything in its compartments dry and safe from the elements. Equipped with a 14-liter capacity, the bag comes with a 15-inch laptop sleeve, slotted patch pockets in the interior, and two large exterior pockets for things you want to keep within easy reach. Seriously, it’s hard to find a better-looking, better-performing, and more attractively-priced briefcase, if you’re into its casual aesthetic.
Tumi Alpha 3 Expandable Organizer Laptop Brief
Want a briefcase that can expand when you need carry extra stuff, all while returning to a streamlined form when you’re back to your usual haul? Tumi’s versatile briefcase does just that by giving you access to a main compartment that expands and contracts a full two inches, along with a removable 15-inch laptop sleeve, an accordion file section, and even an exterior pocket that can hold a wet umbrella. A dream bag for organization junkies, it gets over a dozen pockets inside and half a dozen outside, ensuring you can have designated spots for every category of gear you’re taking to work. Made with TUMI’s FXT ballistic nylon, it’s tough, too, ensuring it will hold its own in your daily commutes, your business trips, and even those rowdy nights at happy hour.