Men and the Murse: Is it Really Socially Acceptable?

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When it is time to leave the house for a day in the office, so begins the final checklist of items needed. Keys, cell phone, wallet. Perhaps a pack of gum, a book for the train, a charger in case your cell starts to die? As the list of items grows, so does the burden it bears on the commuter, who should have bigger things to worry about rather than whether his pockets are going to burst, or whether his keys are going to fall onto the street corner when he reaches for his wallet to buy a quick coffee.

So, what is the answer? Briefcases are almost synonymous with the commuter, looking sleek and professional; a capacity accessory that doesn’t clash with the standard business attire. Although the briefcase is useful, it is also highly susceptible to loss. Swiftly disembarking from a train or tube, surrounded by the rush-hour throngs, can often leave us feeling swept away. There are many working men that could probably tell you of a time their jaw has dropped to their knees when they watch their train carry away their briefcase, including those documents for the day’s big meeting. The issue with the briefcase is that it is never truly attached to your person; you always have to remember it’s there and check on it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the backpack. While it’ll make you stand out in the crowd -but not necessarily in the way you’d want to-, it puts an end to your pocket woes. With it fastened to your back, you’ll never again have a train running away with your work essentials (unless you take it off because you can’t rest your back on the seat.) That, and it’ll certainly hold more than a briefcase. This ‘solution’ to your commuting worries does come at a price, however: with your backpack comes the inescapable image of your school years, or of a hiking excursion. There is just nothing trendy about sporting something on your back.

Do either of these attempts at solving the commuter’s worries fit the bill? If not, there is a third, more modern option. The Murse, or Man Bag. It is a daring step, closely linked to a women’s handbag. It combines functionality and style, being both sleeker than a backpack with the safety of wearing it around your shoulder, and softer than a hard-bound briefcase. With the winning attributes taken from both of these lackluster options, along with a professional style that is championed and tailored by established companies such as Prada, surely the Murse is the answer to a man’s carrying needs. This may certainly be true for the commuter, but what about nights out on the town?

With fashion taking a turn towards smarter, more fitting clothes, men’s pockets are arguably becoming smaller. A woman cannot begin her night without a handbag, but men have to make do with their pockets. While this is fine in winter, wearing a jacket in the summer is far from comfortable. Although women do choose to carry make-up, men still have only two pockets to carry the essential keys/wallet/phone combo. After a few drinks, it can sometimes become difficult to co-ordinate tugging your wallet out of your jeans.

It does seem like men will have to suffer with their pockets until a more miniature version of the man bag becomes fashionable!

Matthew Tomlin | News Cult