Men’s Fashion Advice – De-cluttering your man bag

Most of us have heard of them, and many of us poke fun at them: Man bags. The battle of the genders has made it politically correct to define a man as having ‘man bag’, and a woman possessing the time-honoured handbag.

Like a ‘man draw’, a man bag can perhaps be loosely-defined as home to all manner of paraphernalia associated with being a man. It may be like a fascinating junkshop containing abstract possessions: Old bus passes; crushed packets of crisps; electrical devices; magazines; old batteries; dried-up pens and even sweaty gym gear…the list goes on…

Some argue men are less organised at de-cluttering their personal bag then women. Debatable? Meanwhile, others will argue handbags contain more unnecessary bits and bobs. However heated the arguments, how can your beloved bag be de-cluttered?

Bare basics

Have a think. Do you really need last week’s newspaper with that gripping football article you’ll never read? You may be familiar with the old saying ‘bag it, then bin it’. Get rid of all unwanted and unnecessary junk, take it out the bag, store it or consign it to the rubbish. Consider what is absolutely necessary: a tire pump if you’re on your bike; a packed lunch if you’re not buying a sandwich, and entertainment if you need it for the commute.

Where are you going?

Your man bag contents will be determined by where you are going. The daily commute may demand essentials such as something to eat and drink, maybe a magazine and/or headphones if you’re going to spend time on the train or bus.

Travelling long distance or abroad? Are the items covered by your travel insurance? Going by plane, train and (car if you’re a passenger) could require extra entertainment for the journey. For the holiday itself, your man bag could take on more of a courier role being home to phrase books, maps and the items associated with going aboard.


This is a very important point. Consider the valuables inside your man bag, aside from the cup final football ticket. A bag stuffed choca with electronic devices, your prized and expensive phone, passport and, perhaps carelessly, money is an Aladdin’s Cave for muggers and thieves. Do you socialise with your man bag? If so, is it a good idea to take it to bars packed with people and leave it in the corner? Another consideration is that alcohol and unattended man bags do not mix…

More weight means more hate

Those with a man bag which resembles a 100lt rucksack packed with enough provisions for a circuit of Australia may want to think about de-cluttering. Shouldering a heavily laden pack may leave you buckling at the knees – but also the risk of it coming apart at the seams, causing your prize possessions to spill out. A ‘bulging bag’ is a pain and offers little gain if you are hiking up and down tube stations, between bus stops and, not to mention, the theft factor of a lone walk home.

This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.

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