THE BOULEVARDIER: It ain’t a murse, buddy

Every week our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: The male bag vs. the murse. Above, two chic options from Joanel.

One of my few problems with summer is my stuff. I have a lot of it. On any given day I might be toting around dancewear—sweats, tights, T-shirts, a towel, ballet slippers, jazz shoes—a video camera, still camera, laptop, notebook, book, newspaper, magazine, water colour set, plasticine, and of course, a couple of scarves. Do I really need all of it, my portable creative studio? Strangely, most days of the week, yes. This creative life is killing my shoulder but I’ve got a full soul.

Naturally I’m always on the lookout for a new, beautiful and more functional bag.

There seem to be three styles for men these days:

1) The satchel/tote or “murse.”

2) The weekender or gym-style bag.

3) The work bag. (Which includes the laptop/briefcase/knapsack/courier bag or some combination of them all.)

I’ve been sporting a satchel from Roots—their Indiana Jones-inspired one—for the last few years. I love it. It has one large pocket, with two small pockets on the inside for the little stuff. The best part is how long the strap is: it hangs lower than my waist, almost to mid-thigh, giving me a manly-adventurer-crashing-through-the-jungle-to-rescue-the-girl vibe. All that from a bag. My only issue is that it isn’t quite deep enough for a laptop.

Here’s a question for you: What is the point of calling a man’s bag a murse? I realize that some men might find using a non-traditional hand-stuff-carrying thing difficult, but c’mon! Our lives are increasingly portable—that’s no reason for name-calling.

Now envision this: You have a couple of meetings outside of the office; at 3 p.m., you play a game of some racket and ball nature; later that night, you watch a couple of films with a “friend.” The different items that you’ll need  might call for a gym/tote type bag. I use a large leather piece for all of that, but there’s a large rectangular piece at Mariclaro on Roncesvalles that I’m coveting. If you don’t know this store, you should. It carries laptop sleeves, bags, and some really interesting locally made clothing. It’s a bit of an eco-friendly paradise—without the hemp. (As a side note, check their website for details on their courier bag design competition.)

Below, at Mariclaro.

There is one other bag that I’d like to add to my collection: It’s called the “Hobo” from mO851, the Montreal leather company. OMG! Beautiful leather, four colours, long strap, cool hardware—it would be my vanity bag. Call it a “murse” and I might hit you with it! Take that—and stuff.

Below, mo851′s “Hobo.”

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