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How To Choose a Briefcase

How To Choose a Briefcase
Image by Adobe Stock

Pause for a second and consider the humble briefcase. Far more than a simple container for your documents and devices, a perfect briefcase is a hands-down personality billboard. It’s a statement piece that telegraphs your style, professionalism, and attention to detail. Much like a stunning wristwatch or pair of shoes, your choice of briefcase can either make or break your ensemble. Choosing the perfect briefcase is about style and finesse. It’s about consciously curating your personal and professional image. With your ambition in one hand and a well-chosen briefcase in the other, there will be no stopping you.

Now, let’s buckle up and take a fun ride to discover how to select a briefcase that’s the perfect blending of class, functionality, and your go-getter spirit!

1. Evaluate the material quality

Just as you wouldn’t saunter in rain-soaked cotton or swelter uncomfortably in heavy fur, the material of your briefcase deserves no less attention. Picking your briefcase’s material is all about a harmony of aesthetics, practicality, and durability.

Here’s a lineup of the most common materials:

  • High-end briefcases in full-grain leather

Leather, the timeless fashion monarch. Oozing luxury, dependability, and a grace that only improves with age. A leather briefcase is the ultimate accomplice for the consummate professional. 

Von Baer briefcse
“No.1 Briefcase from Von Baer”

Von Baer compared an excellent range of briefcases in their article, Best Briefcases for Men 2023: Stylish, Durable, & Professional. This guide is a great resource if you’re looking for a leather briefcase proclaiming understated elegance while epitomizing professionalism.

  • Stylish briefcases in canvas

For the perpetually on-the-move, canvas can easily keep up with your nomadic ways. This trendy material is lightweight and sturdy, striking a harmonious chord between style and resilience. Its fibrous nature allows it to resist tough weather and rough usage, while its inherent versatility means it can be dyed in many colors and patterns.

  • Classic briefcases in nylon

Look sharp with the undisputed champion of durability. Nylon withstands water, scratches, or tears—a reliable workhorse without compromising the stylish quotient. Its supreme durability, paired with its sleek appearance, lets it perfectly straddle the worlds of rugged use and contemporary fashion.

Ultimately, the material you choose should weave a tale that resonates with your professional and personal journeys. Be it the charisma of leather, the adaptability of canvas, or the tenacity of nylon—let the material complement your gorgeous tapestry of style and practicality.

 2. Identify your style

Ask yourself, what’s the story you want to tell with your briefcase? It’s a silent yet powerfully eloquent extension of who you are, your persona, and your needs. Just as you wouldn’t wear evening wear to a casual brunch, you wouldn’t want to mismatch your briefcase with your day’s agenda. Now, that’s a fashion faux pas you’d want to avoid!

Brown briefcase
Image by Adobe Stock

Now, needs. Start by asking yourself what a typical day or week looks like for you. Take note of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Would it be more computer-oriented, paper-oriented, or a bit of both? What about the weight or the comfort of carrying? 

Let’s consider three core categories that can shape your briefcase story:

  • Professional: Are you a corporate warrior bracing the daily battlefield of boardroom meetings? You might want a sleek, no-nonsense briefcase to hold those top-secret strategy printouts and your shiny armor of a laptop.
  • Casual: For those laid-back, business casual events where you’re turning the charm on, a more relaxed yet stylish briefcase will blend seamlessly with your charming persona.
  • Travel: Always jet-setting for work or pleasure? You’d want a robust, versatile briefcase that can endure those endless airport security checks. And, of course, it’s always a plus if it can fit that mystery novel for the long-haul flight.

And remember, it’s completely fine to have more than one briefcase, just like how you have different outfits for different occasions.

3. Check the features 

The features of your briefcase are those enchanting little details that set it apart, turning it into a masterpiece of form and function. Imagine them as the supporting cast that transforms your daily carrier from a regular prop into a dynamic character in your success story.

Below are some top-notch features you’d want to look for: 

  • Pockets and compartments: Seek out a trusty briefcase with expertly crafted spaces to keep your keys, phone, wallet, and other indispensable bits and bobs. It’s a dream to have an orderly bag interior when you’re diving in to retrieve your items in a jiffy.
  • Handles and straps: Have you ever had a bag strap that just didn’t sit right? Not fun! When picking your next briefcase, search for adjustable handles that mold to your body’s unique frame. A detachable shoulder strap would be a great bonus, too! 
  • Zippers: Buying a briefcase often starts with the design, right? But let’s not forget that the small details matter as well. Check for a robust, reliable zipper to avoid those mishaps that can lead to all types of embarrassing situations.  
  • Padding: A bit of extra padding goes a long way in ensuring the security of your belongings. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars for that added cushioning when it saves your laptop from taking a hit. It might seem trivial, but it’s definitely a game-changer. 
  • Lining: Now, last and certainly not the least, let’s talk lining. The inner heart of your briefcase, this guy, is crucial for the longevity of the bag. Seek a sturdy, scratch-resistant material that is set to run a marathon with you, not a sprint. 

A carefully curated briefcase can mean a world of difference. No more chucking your belongings into a cavernous pocket. Instead, you can arrange every little thing to refine and accelerate your access. You’ll have a designated spot for each of your treasures, minimizing stress and maximizing efficiency. 

Brown briefcase with black straps
Image by Adobe Stock

4. Consider the price

Often, we hear the phrase “you get what you pay for” and think it suggests that a steeper price tag guarantees top-notch quality. But the truth often strays from this adage. Believe it or not, it’s absolutely possible to snag that flawless briefcase without causing your wallet to cry out in despair.

Stay on the ball and keep a lookout for those irresistible sales and discounts dished out by trusted brands. While you’re at it, do a quick round of price comparisons online. In the era of competitive retail, many stores are more than willing to offer price matching—your secret weapon to score the best deal! 

5. Assess the brand reputation 

The reputation of a brand speaks volumes about its commitment to delivering top-notch customer service and stellar product quality. But what’s the secret to uncovering whether a brand is really as reliable as it claims to be?

One way is to delve into the treasure trove of customer reviews or sift through their website for nuggets of information—things ranging from their product lineup to the fine print of their return policy. In fact, did you know that evidence suggests 81% of online shoppers count customer reviews as their number-one source of insight before clicking that ‘buy now’ button? 


Buying a quality briefcase can be daunting initially. But with these tips, you can find one that’s both stylish and functional. Remember, a briefcase isn’t your typical or ordinary storage bag; it’s a significant investment as you’ll be using and carrying it for years.