You’re a professional and you should want to be regarded as such, especially when you’re trying to prove how damn professional you are to a happy hour date. But your work attire goes beyond your jacket, pants and shoes—it goes even beyond your choice of tie and socks. Your work bag is an essential part of the look, and it’s one that could make or break your credibility.
Maybe you’ve had the same bag that’s been with you through thick and thin, but it probably has the wear and tear to prove it. You don’t want to be showing up to an after-work date with a business bag that appears amateur and unserious.
Take a look at what your work bag tells her about you, and maybe reconsider your approach.
Briefcase: Briefcases are best for meetings as they’ll hold all your important documents in an organized way.
What it says: You mean business. You go to meetings and are important enough to have to bring stuff with you—you’re not just the guy sitting idly in the back of the room.
Messenger bag: These cross-body bags are great for business travel because they’re organized and roomy enough for your laptop and anything extra you’ve got to pack.
What it says: Having a messenger bag slung over your shoulder tells her that you’re a man on the move. Maybe that means you’re not looking for anything serious, since you’re always jetting out of town. Or maybe you’re just looking for a woman who can keep up.
Leather rucksack: A nice heritage backpack (i.e. not your college book bag).
What it says: Backpacks are having a moment, and you’re on top of it because they feel better on your back anyway. In short: You care about style and comfort.
Beat-up backpack: Any backpack that’s been with you for one too many years.
What it says: You have trouble letting go of the past, even when it’s weighing you down… quite literally. Old beat-up backpacks belong at the gym (if you really refuse to get yourself a duffle), but they most certainly do not belong in the office.
Drawstring sack: One of those freebies you don’t even quite remember how you procured.
What it says: Drawstring sacks have no place in the office; in fact, they have no place anywhere except maybe the beach. Their straps are uncomfortable and they’re unorganized because they’re just one big sack. They’re rendered ultimately useless, just like she’ll think of the time she spent on a date with you and your drawstring bag.
Attaché case: A hard briefcase usually made of aluminum or leather.
What it says: Maybe you’re an accountant. Maybe you’re a spy. Whatever the case, you’re a serious man. You wouldn’t risk wrinkling a document, which is why you opted for a solid bag. Which means you’re probably the protective type.
No bag: You either carry all your papers in more-than-likely disorganized folders or you’re not important enough to have anything to even carry.
What it says: Your life is disordered and chaotic. That, or you’re just unemployed.