Take your style up another notch with a matching leather bag

Thomas Bird's focus is on footwear. So we know our shoes and boots.

But we also know that footwear is just one component of an overall style. You also need the right clothes and accessories to complete the look.

Stepping out of the right car can look good, too. But even if you don't actually own a Lamborghini or McLaren you at least want to give the impression that you may have one at home? We can dream.

We've covered matching leather belts before. Many Italian men think it important to have a quality 'big three' - a lovely pair of shoes, good leather belt and quality watch.

Today our focus is on mens' leather bags.

Leather is classic and timeless

Leather bags have been used by men for a very long time. They are classic, and come in all shapes and sizes. Useful, too. Think of those brown leather doctors' bags from years ago with the big gaping jaws. Very practical, smart and could take the bumps.

The 1980s saw a move towards hard plastic shell bags that you could stand on if you wanted to. Or use to defend yourself in certain tricky situations. We all had one.

And then came a move to canvas, pleather and other materials.  These are all OK and have their place. But...

Nothing matches the feel of real leather

Nothing quite matches the feel, quality and luxury of real leather. It's soft and tactile. It's strong and durable, too.  A sumptuous leather bag just makes you feel good.

And in this age of increasing sustainability, leather lasts a long time. It keeps its looks and quality leathers look better and better with age.

What colour leather?

Colour choices in mens' leather bags used to be a bit limited. You could get a decent leather briefcase in black or brown, but other colours were less common.

These days, men are much more comfortable wearing shoes and boots in other colours - grey, oxblood, olive, aubergine.  At Thomas Bird, for example, we've seen a big increase in sales of blue shoes and boots.

So, now you have more options to co-ordinate your shoes and accessories.

Should your bag match your shoes?

Of course it's up to you, but we think it looks good if the bag at least complements your footwear. It doesn't have to be exactly the same colour.

In this photo, for example, a brown holdall or weekend bag goes well with tan shoes. They are tonally similar without being an exact match.

In this photo below, the blue briefcase/messenger bag matches more closely the blue tassel loafers.  It looks great and is perhaps more balanced on the eye?

Colours for occasions?

This is also subjective but we decided to create our weekend bag in a choice of brown, tan or blue leather. Not black. Why?  Because we see the weekend trips away as more playful, less formal, so earthy colours like brown are perfect. And navy blue is a little different and is one of our favourite colours at the moment.

Leather briefcase/messenger bag

What's the difference?  Well, a messenger bag has a strap. Handy when you're delivering express mail on horseback. Plus, it's more comfortable for the rest of us.

So we added a detachable canvas webbed strap with padded leather shoulder strap.

And a briefcase has handles, so you get those, too.

This is such a useful bag for all your day-to-day stuff: laptop, iPad, phone, books and paperwork.  

Here is the same briefcase/messenger bag in tan.

Leather backpacks and rucksacks

For similar reasons, we decided to pick tan, brown and blue for our leather backpacks. Backpacks or rucksacks are really popular right now, especially with our younger-minded customers. They are so versatile, and comfortable to wear on a walk or cycle ride. Is black too formal? Maybe we will add it in the future.

Backpacks are also useful for carrying lots of things. This backpack below is in brown. It has a pocket for a laptop which you can just see in the photo.

Also cool in blue? We love this navy blue backpack with external zip pocket.

Leather holdalls and weekend bags

As mentioned above we chose tan, brown and navy blue for our 'going away for the weekend bag'. We were thinking relaxed, off-duty, playful, etc. We might add more colours. Here it is in classic brown.

And here's the same holdall/weekend bag in warm tan.

Plenty of room for weekend essentials.

Thomas Bird leather bags

Customers know our passion for providing great quality at an affordable price.

So we created our leather bag collection to reflect the same values. All our bags offer:
  • High quality full grain leather for softness and durability
  • Tumbled leather to give a lovely grain look and add even more softness
  • Quality zips and metal fittings
  • Handy pockets and compartments
  • Beautiful, practical and timeless designs

Here's more information in a recent video we made.

In summary

Leather bags look great and will add to your overall sense of style. They will last a long time. They combine beauty with practicality.  You just have to choose the style and colour that's right for you.

As always, please let us know what you think.

All the best,

Thomas Bird