Mike Petrik

Honors Member
Would never consider giving a hard-sided case to a 25-year-old. Would likely get shoved into a closet, never to be seen again. So many better options out there.
Back in the day men wore the expected tailored business suit in my white shoe law firm, but there was always a couple guys who wore their neck ties with hush puppies and orange short sleeve shirts. They were viewed as eccentric but tolerated in good humor. Now in this alleged era of tolerance-worship a young gent better not come to work with a hard-sided brief case. Heh.
 
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drpeter

Super Member
I think the sleek bags of those young metros won't hold a candle to your uniquely aged and patina'd briefcase. It's a bit hard for my old eyes to make out, but is this one a Hartmann too, like the one in your closet?
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Well I must admit I don't carry either of mine these days. A lovely Renwick and a Hartmann. Both relegated to the closet.

I carry this when needed but still get the ho-ho's from the younger metro's in the office who carry sleek bags to match their calf hugging suit trousers
Walk proudly when carrying an old friend, such as that pictured in the post above! ;)
 

smmrfld

Super Member
Back in the day men wore the expected tailored business suit in my white shoe law firm, but there was always a couple guys who wore their neck ties with hush puppies and orange short sleeve shirts. They were viewed as eccentric but tolerated in good humor. Now in this alleged era of tolerance-worship a young gent better not come to work with a hard-sided brief case. Heh.
Did you happen to carry one of those ubiquitous Samsonite plastic ones?
 

Mike Petrik

Honors Member
Did you happen to carry one of those ubiquitous Samsonite plastic ones?
Nope. Cordovan-colored leather. Lasted many years but finally abuse took its toll. Replaced it with a soft one similar to that posted by the Great Garbanzo above. Never gave a moment's thought to office-acceptability. Now retired but still use it occasionally for board meetings.

I don't recall seeing the Samsonite you refer to.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
I received the classic, Hartmann belting leather hard case as a college graduation present (1990). I still have it; it's, as promised at the time, beautifully patina-d now. I think I last actually used it around... 1991? 1992? I should probably retrieve it from storage to see if there's anything inside it, like a time capsule.

The problem was that I went to grad school, and it simply wasn't a very useful bag format. You hame to lay it flat to open the top, and 90% of the time in grad school I was retrieving things on the go, or I was in a classroom with too-small desk tops, that kind of thing. *Now* I have a big desk, but it's at my *house*, so I'm not really using attaches!

I do think it's worth having a leather bag, even though they're heavy. Things that last are good.

If I were 25, I'd want the following in a bag:
- it protects my computer and other electronics
- I can retrieve items on-the-go, without needing to lay it down (like if I'm in a place, on a train, or my bag is on the floor next to my chair in a cafe)
- I can carry it cycling (ie. messenger bag style)

One saving grace of the modern world over the 90s/00s is that notebook computers are not small enough that you don't need "a computer bag" any more. My 2019 MacBook Pro slips easily into a thin case which itself slips easily into a "normal" attache. I'm partial to Swain Adeney's "Westminster Legal Case" in the American size ("London Tan" if you want patina in twenty years), but there are many functional equivalents.

(Caveat: if your boy is a hipster, he might very well appreciate an "ironic" case such as an old-school hard attache or document case. Caveat 2: if he's an attorney, well... they still make the hard, rolling document cases!)

My advice: an attache is as personal as a tie - it's just very difficult to buy one for someone without their input. I suggest a father/son outing, grab some coffee or lunch in town, visit the leather goods shop, buy him a briefcase of his choice. How often does that happen nowadays! It's a memory.

DH
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
Agree with Dr. Peter - here's a pic of the Lands' End Square Rigger in waxed canvas with leather trim. I have it in navy and brown, and have been very pleased.

View attachment 51013
This is what I carried in college. It's hard to express the amount of abuse I heaped on this bad boy, and it never complained.

I'm pretty sure it stopped a couple of bullets, but I just was never aware of it.

Best bag for the price/performance, certainly! (Granted, mine was purchased in 1985, but I think they're still basically the same.)

DH
 

some_dude

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
If I were 25, I'd want the following in a bag:
- it protects my computer and other electronics
- I can retrieve items on-the-go, without needing to lay it down (like if I'm in a place, on a train, or my bag is on the floor next to my chair in a cafe)
- I can carry it cycling (ie. messenger bag style)
I'm not 25, but those are all the things I want out of my bag as well. I mostly carry my computer, various chargers, a few papers (again, I'm not 25!), and my iPad.

The other thing which I like is being able to sling it onto my back, so I can ride an e-scooter easily. Yes, I ride e-scooters regularly. Usually while wearing a suit and fedora.
 

The Great Garbanzo

Starting Member
I think the sleek bags of those young metros won't hold a candle to your uniquely aged and patina'd briefcase. It's a bit hard for my old eyes to make out, but is this one a Hartmann too, like the one in your closet?
It is but that is a google image of the same model as mine. I have great patina as well but I've taken better care of the leather.

Timely subject. We are currently packing up to move and I was looking at both hard sided cases just this evening. I really can't see using these any longer just based on carrying capacity.
 

drpeter

Super Member
It is but that is a google image of the same model as mine. I have great patina as well but I've taken better care of the leather.

Timely subject. We are currently packing up to move and I was looking at both hard sided cases just this evening. I really can't see using these any longer just based on carrying capacity.
There may be some special uses for these hard-sided cases. They are often useful for carrying materials that should be protected against being squeezed or squished. Another use might be to fill the case with polystyrene foam which is cut into specific shapes to house particular objects. One of my friends carries photographic lenses and cameras in a similar case, although it is a bit wider than standard briefcases.

I just found a good Samsonite case at Goodwill this weekend for $3.50, which I will be using to transport stamp collecting materials: Scott catalogue, magnifiers, tongs, mounts, albums, stockbooks, etc. As a stamp collector, I do need to carry materials to club meetings, shows and auctions.

By the way, I went to graduate school in Rochester, your sister city. I have been to Syracuse. Small world, as they say!
 

TKI67

Super Member
Even though, as noted above, I used a backpack for work rather than an attache case, it was for the simple reason that I needed to lug around a three inch binder of statutes and rules and usually a board book that was +/- 1000 pages. Otherwise I would have used and occasionally did use my old attache case. It made me look no more out of place than did my 3/2 sack suits, Alden tassels, and OCBDs. A TNSIL needs to be impervious to fashion critiques based on contemporary standards! You are who you are!
 

katon

Super Member
I have one, but I don't normally carry around things which can be bent, squished, shattered, or crumpled, other than maybe my lunch, so the advantage of hard sides is not so great. :) For carrying miscellaneous junk, an old Square Rigger is a very convenient choice, as has been mentioned. The move away from paper in many offices changed the dynamic.

This will all come down to his work; what sort of things does he normally need to carry? The bag choice will depend on this.
 

some_dude

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I will say a backpack with a suit, or even nice business casual clothing, is a HARD NO for me. A messenger-bag style sling is fine, though.

Backpacks are for backpacking (and perfectly appropriate there)-- save them for that use.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I will say a backpack with a suit, or even nice business casual clothing, is a HARD NO for me. A messenger-bag style sling is fine, though.

Backpacks are for backpacking (and perfectly appropriate there)-- save them for that use.
Should a person be bicycling or walking to work, a backpack can greatly simplify the process. In so many ways a backpack can be the right choice for some. Whether you are headed for the woods/mountains or on your way to work, a backpack frees your hands to do other tasks! Nuff said. ;)
 

drpeter

Super Member
St John Fisher Grad here....1981
Indeed. When I lived in Rochester (1975-81, graduate school plus a 2-year postdoc at the U of R on an NIH grant) I used to attend screenings of foreign flicks at St John's Fisher, a nice private school with a great film society then -- no idea if that sort of thing has continued. One of my Wisconsin colleagues, a philosophy and religion professor went to St John Fisher's some years ago, and she has said she enjoys the school very much.
 
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