Are briefcases rapidly becoming things of the past?
Messenger bags are rapidly taking over from briefcases as the man bag of choice
Until a decade ago the choice was simple - either briefcases or a Pan Am style over the shoulder flight bag, to carry around all your necessities such as documents, books and pens.
However that was before the gadget revolution when the cumbersome desktop personal computer gave way to the portable laptop and the landline telephone was forsaken for the mobile phone.
Add to that continued changes that brought us e-books, ever smaller cameras and more recently the netbook and iPad. They already had their wallets, keys and coins to contend with.
Men were then left with a conundrum - how to carry around all these shiny new toys with only a limited number of pockets and a desire to remain looking stylish rather than looking like Michelin man on a bad day with bulges everywhere.
The solution initially was the briefcase, but young generations snubbed the styles of bag carried by their fathers, grandfathers and more to the point their hated teachers and instead they looked for a different solution.
The flight bag became ever more popular and mainline brands were quick to spot the niche with the likes of Adidas, Reebok, Puma and Dunlop moving to fill the niche, but their practicality was limited and it was hardly a stylish solution.
Courier bags had been around for years, but were used for a specific purpose, by despatch riders who wore them across the body to give easy access to the handlebars of the motorbikes and cycles. Nonetheless their potential as a carry all was recognised by young office goers and students alike.
As a result messenger bags were redesigned with the new end user in mind. Padded sleeves were added to many to protect precious computers and drop pockets were added for iPods, MP3's, mobile phones, pens and credit cards, which meant that everything was in place, rather than swimming around in the bottom of the bag.
Messenger bags for men had come into its own and slowly but surely a whole new generation of bag carriers were given a choice and that choice did not mean following in the footsteps of their peers.
As a result they acquired handles and shoulder straps and the lines between them and the ubiquitous briefcases began to blur. So much so that at first glance today it is difficult to tell the difference. With one important exception - sartorial elegance.