Best Looking Affordable Briefcases – Spring 2013

A dozen of the best briefs, aiming for a piece of your paycheck.

A couple of quick suggestions for what to look for in a briefcase.  First, true messenger bags can be limiting.  These almost always have just a shoulder strap, and you’re stuck throwing the bag over your shoulder every time.  Great if you’re on a bike, not so great if you’re in a suit headed to a job interview.  Look for something with two top grab handles, or a solo handle that’s placed in a balanced position so the case won’t pitch to one side.

And second, try and match your work bag to your workplace.  Like wearing a suit to a t-shirt & jeans job will get you funny looks, so would showing up with a gleaming hard sided attache.  Dress for yourself first, but keep in mind that it’s good to dress appropriate for the situation and environment you’ll be in.

A variety of looks and price ranges follow.  Keep an eye on those dimensions… you’ll want to be able to fit whatever technology you carry (laptop, tablet, etc…) inside.  Have a nice day at work my dears.

Jack Spade Waxwear Davis in Grey – $199.00 ($375)
Professional but not stuffy.

Professional but not stuffy.

Serious, but creative.  Creatively serious?  Jack Spade stuff can start off a little high when full retail, but the quality is solid (lots of their goods are made in China, but still…) and with sales you can find deals.  Never too buttoned up, and usually just slightly off center.  Black leather accents and grey waxwear canvas.

 

Billy Reid Laptop Sleeve – $221.25 w/ SPRING25 ($295)
Luxury rugged minimalist.

Luxury rugged minimalist.

Super sleek.  Part of the Billy Reid Friends & Family sale.  Also worth a look, the full sized briefcase in Tobacco, for oddly enough the same price.  Sleeve also comes in Tobacco leather, or canvas for $146.25.

 

Filson Original Briefcase – $225.00
Made in the USA

Made in the USA

And now available in navy.  Backordered until 5/1 if you order through Filson, but it looks like Brooks Brothers has em’ in stock.  Don’t worry, they still make them in brown, green, and tan.

 

Fossil Estate Document Case – $148.00
Young enough.  Simple enough.  Grown up enough.

Seriously simple.

It can be awfully hard to find a simple briefcase in this price range.  Fossil seems to have gotten the hint, and they appear to have moved their logo to the inside of the bag.  Nice.  Also available in tan canvas, or leather for an extra $100.

 

WeSC Ewart Brief – $59.00 ($89)
Surf's up.

Surf’s up.

For the ultra casual workplace.  Looks more like something you’d haul to the beach than to rot inside under soul sucking fluorescents surrounded on three sides by cubicle walls.  Available through GILT, so know that it returns for credits only.

 

Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel – $355.00 ($365)
Could use a sale...

Made in the USA.  Hang on for a code.

The latest extra 30% off code for J. Crew expired yesterday, so, hang out for the next one.  Gives you the chance to shop around if you’re in the market for one of these.  The extra 30% off drops the price down into the mid $200s, which is more than fair.

 

Beckel Canvas Briefcase – $52.00
Real dressed down, but made in the USA.

Real dressed down, but made in the USA.

Very casual, but great looking with the contrasting handles and canvas color options.  15″ wide.  Available in black, green, a bright red/deep orange, or a standard off-white canvas.  Much more from Primer here.

 

Wheelmen & Co. E. Homes Laptop Case – $85.00
More color options coming in the fall.

More color options coming in the fall.

Extra slim.  Available for either 13″ or 15″ laptops.  Charger pocket on the underside of the flap gives you that needed extra pocket without loading down the shape.  Good for those who travel REAL light.  Made in the USA too.

 

Jack Spade Davis in Light Grey Leather – $178.00 ($425)
Another jack spade.

Another Jack Spade Davis.

Gonna be tough to find another modern, sleek briefcase in leather at this price.  But it’s a pale grey leather.  Not everyone’s taste, but if you’re good with a brief that takes a chance by going with a light shade, worth a look.  Sold through Bonobos.

 

Gold Rush Leather Co. The Zephyr – $372.00
Zephyr?  I barely know her.

Zephyr? I barely know her.

They don’t have a webstore, but you can get your hands on one by giving them a call or sending an email (they responded quickly when I asked how much the Zephyr costs).  Full grain boot leather.  A few styles that are similar to Saddleback, but this one is a little more streamlined.  And speaking of…

 

Saddleback Thin Briefcase in Carbon Black – $414.90 ($461)
Saddleback... in black.

10% off = “Handheld discount”.

Most would prefer one of the shades of brown, but just keep an eye on the Dave’s Deal’s section.  There seems to have been an increase in available discounted product (due to manufacturing goofs) as of late.  This gets the 10% off “handheld discount”, which means you’d only notice the issue if you had it in your hands.

 

A Vintage Zero Halliburton – $50ish and up?
Cash?  Guns?  How about

Cash? Guns?  Drugs?  Try a laptop and a granola bar.

Has spent more time on the big screen than Kevin Bacon (challenge:  6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but instead of another actor, what about a Zero Halliburton?  Has he ever appeared in a movie with one?).  A serious case (drugs?  large quantities of cash?) that at the same time you shouldn’t take too seriously (you’re carrying around a movie prop for Pete’s sake).  Tough though.  Lots of them have beat up interiors.  Finding one with a working lock and rust-free hinges isn’t easy.  Try your local Home Depot for some foam padding and be prepared to make a mess cutting it down to size.

What do you carry and why?  Leave it all in the comments section below…