The modern briefcase is thought to have originated from a satchel that was used in the fourteenth century for carrying money and valuables. Briefcases were so named because they were widely utilized for carrying attorney’s briefs (not underwear briefs but rather, the paper kind).
Nowadays the briefcase is a fundamental accessory for business professionals. Briefcases are a stylish and convenient way to carry your important work papers, laptops and other essentials from the office to your home and vice versa.
Buying a briefcase is really not that difficult, but there some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to choose the right style. You’ll want to first decide which material and design will meet your particular organizational and transportation needs. Then you will want to consider the price of the briefcase which varies considerably depending on the style, construction and quality of the materials used. Lastly, if status is important to you, you may want to consider buying a briefcase from a well-known brand or fashion designer.
How to Choose the Right Style
Briefcases come in many different styles, including traditional hard-sided cases, soft-sided portfolios, attache cases, wheeled briefcases, buckled briefcases, messenger bags and shoulder bags. Choosing the right style of briefcase depends somewhat upon the image you wish to project, whether that’s professional, trendy or casual. A leather rectangular briefcase that you carry in your hand is generally regarded as more elegant and professional than the soft-sided shoulder bags, which have a more relaxed feel to them. Messenger bags are particularly popular with semi-casual professionals for their stylish-yet-sporty look, but also appeal to trendy teens and adults who just want a cool-looking bag.
When buying a briefcase, it’s also important to consider the size and storage capacity of the case itself, as well as the inside compartments. Again, think about what you’ll be using your briefcase for when evaluating the different styles and sizes. How many papers and files do you typically need to carry to and from work every day? Do you need to buy a briefcase that accommodates a laptop? Would a wheeled briefcase be more convenient or would a briefcase with a shoulder strap suit you better? Do messenger bags offer enough capacity for everything you need to carry?
Soft leather briefcases are more expandable and thus, offer you more versatility than a hard-sided case. If you will be carrying sensitive work documents, make sure to choose a briefcase that has a lock. When buying a briefcase, you should also consider which style will be most comfortable and appropriate for your height and shape. If you choose a shoulder bag, make sure the straps are adjustable so you can customize the fit for your height.
Whether you want it to or not, your briefcase will be making a fashion statement about you, so try to choose a style and color that matches the majority of your corporate attire. Black is by far the most popular briefcase color, followed by dark brown. A briefcase that complements your business suits will project an image of a successful, confident person.
Shop Around Before Buying a Briefcase
Once you’ve decided which style of briefcase suits you best, it’s a good idea to see what is available and compare prices at several different stores both in person and online. Briefcase bargains can often be found online, so do shop around before making your final selection. Ebags has a good selection of quality briefcases, and you might also want to check eBay to see if there are any current auctions that interest you.
In the end, how to choose the right style of briefcase comes down to your personal preference, what you want to use it for, and the image you’re seeking to project with this essential business accessory. Thus, when buying a briefcase there is no “right” or “wrong” choice, there is only your choice!