There is a thought among today’s business person that briefcases are out of date. There is a trend among young execs of using backpacks or laptop bags instead of briefcases due to the ease of use: you can carry the backpack on your back, keeping your hands free, and storing more than you could in a traditional briefcase.
If anything, briefcases have become a fashion accessory more than anything else. Sure, they serve a level of functionality, but they cannot match a backpack in terms of versatility and ease of use. Still, you might want to consider rocking a briefcase if you are an executive looking to project a certain image.
Nothing projects “high-powered executive” quite like a gorgeous briefcase. Projecting that kind of aesthetic can really only be achieved by a briefcase. While backpacks may provide functionality and storage capability, they tend to look a little juvenile and unprofessional.
Are briefcases still relevant for today’s businessperson?
The short answer is a yes, though there is a significant “but”. As mentioned above, young executives are starting to stray away from briefcases. Backpacks are becoming more commonplace for younger executives because they provide a level of convenience that a traditional briefcase just can’t match.
Still, these backpacks do not project the most professional of images. A backpack harkens back to high school and can appear to be somewhat juvenile and unprofessional. A nice briefcase lets you know that the person carrying it is important and an executive that cares about their image.
While briefcases may not be as easy to use as a backpack, they still do offer storage capability as well as the stylish appeal that a traditional briefcase can provide. But there are a few different types of briefcase that are worth looking into.
Different types of briefcases
Not all briefcases are created equally. There are some that offer form, some that offer function, and others that offer a little bit of both. Knowing which briefcase fits your needs best can be determined by knowing what each type has to offer.
This is what you think of when you imagine a traditional briefcase. An attaché case is generally rectangular and large and can be made of a number of different materials, though the most common are either leather or metal.
Those two materials provide a level of class and aesthetic appeal that you won’t get out of another option. Most attaché cases will come with several internal compartments for storing documents or other items that you need to bring along with you.
The only real detriment to this option is that you have to carry it in one hand. The right handle can make it a more comfortable experience, but it lacks convenience in that you need to take up hand space by holding it.
This type of briefcase has the perception of being the most casual version of a briefcase. A messenger bag usually has a strap over the shoulder and can actually be a stylish choice to act as a complement to business attire. It doesn’t offer the luxurious feel that a good attaché briefcase offers, but it does offer a bit more ease of use. You don’t have to use your hands to hold a messenger bag thanks to the aforementioned shoulder strap.
Messenger bags also have a larger center storage space and several different compartments, allowing for more storage options and better overall convenience. Messenger bags are a great way to get both form and function out of your briefcase, though most messenger bags simply cannot pull off the luxury feel. You can also find smaller messenger bags that are stylish practical handbags.
This is essential for those professionals traveling for business on a regular basis. Travel briefcases are generally built to be more sturdy, are much larger, and have wheels as well as a long handle so that you can pull it along with you in a similar fashion to rolling luggage.
The added size is to accommodate for any overnight stays or to add accessories like a laptop for travel use. The great thing about a rolling briefcase is that it is generally small enough to still bring to business meetings without looking like you brought your suitcase into the meeting with you.
These are the smallest and thinnest type of briefcase available. Padfolios are designed to take up a minimal amount of space required for a business meeting. They are meant to be carried in one hand or under an arm for ease of use.
The only downside is that they can typically only fit documents since they can only take flat documents inside. There is limited usage out of padfolios, but they fill their function quite well and possibly better than any other type of briefcase for this specific use.
Key features of a briefcase
There are a few different things that one should take into consideration when buying a briefcase for their burgeoning executive career. After all, not all briefcases are created equally and getting the right features out of your briefcase can make all the difference in the world.
Having easily accessible storage is a huge plus for any briefcase. It is one thing to be able to store everything that you need, but if it takes you forever to get to it, that can be a frustrating situation to find yourself in.
Having easily accessible storage provides a level of convenience that any executive needs out of a briefcase.
A briefcase is most useful for carrying documents and other important items with you during your workday. The last thing that you want is to have a briefcase with you yet need another carrying item to fit your other essential property.
Having a briefcase that can fit all of your documents and items conveniently means a much easier travel experience for you, whether it is local or to a distant location.
Lightweight and ergonomic
This is important for your larger, rolling briefcases. The last thing that you want is to be dragging around a boulder of a briefcase from destination to destination. Most rolling briefcases are created lightweight for just this reason, making it easier to lug through airports and buildings.
The ergonomic design of a rolling briefcase can also make travel all the easier. Being able to maneuver your rolling briefcase through tight areas can make a huge difference in the day to day travel that can come with being an important businessperson.
Strength and durability
If you plan to use your briefcase on a daily basis, you need something that is durable and will stand up to the wear and tear that comes with daily usage. Having a great briefcase is fine but if it can’t stand up to the daily rigors of your busy life, it won’t be of much use to you.
There are some briefcases where you might have to sacrifice a bit of visual appeal for greater durability, but it would definitely be worth it if you plan to use your briefcase heavily. Being able to keep your briefcase for a long period of time without having it go ragged can make a huge difference in the comfort that you feel from your briefcase.
This is most important for things like airport checkpoints. As we all know, traveling now comes with a number of security checkpoints and that can be a huge hassle if you are not prepared to move through that area quickly.
For security checkpoints, it is important to have a briefcase where you can get to removable items quickly. This is generally the case with computers that you are taking with you; most security will require that you remove them from the bag entirely.
With the right briefcase, you will be able to get through security quickly and get back on your way without having to spend a substantial amount of time rifling through your briefcase to remove the necessary items.
How do I choose the best briefcase for me?
It ultimately depends on what your intended use of it is. If you are looking for more of an accessory that will compliment your professional look, having a leather briefcase can’t be beat. They provide an air of luxury and class that few other accessories like your watch and your suit can match. Having that briefcase accessory can project the image of importance that you might be looking for.
If you are looking for more functionality, you may want to consider something like a messenger bag or perhaps a rolling briefcase. Storage is the name of the game here and you will be afforded a number of different options for just that. They may not look as luxurious or aesthetically appealing as a traditional attaché, but they serve function over fashion.
Ultimately, it is important to make the distinction and choice between those two features. That’s not to say you can’t have a bit of both, but for something truly fashionable and luxurious, you will likely be sacrificing storage capacity. Determining which is more important to you is the most important step towards determining the kind of briefcase for you. Today you can find online a variety of briefcases by different brands. Deal.guide will help you find a stylish briefcase best suited for your needs while saving fifty cents on the dollar.