When I landed my first job as an editor over ten years ago, I gave myself a gift: a briefcase. It was a black Saffiano leather zip bag with two sturdy handles and silver hardware from Prada. I had been watching it for a while and wanted to start my first day with the right feeling. (There’s even a scene from A hard worker which demonstrates the same thing: how success is measured by the type of bag you bring into a professional setting.)
For years, I carried my black Prada briefcase to the office and to parties. It lasted longer than most of my gigs and most of my relationships. And it still stands, as beautiful now as it was the first day I held it at the sales counter. My briefcase has received many compliments over the years, and I like to think it has played a role in landing many jobs and promotions on my resume.
That’s exactly what the best briefcases should do. They should let employers and employees know that you are a boss, that you need to be respected, and that you don’t have time to deal with inflated egos. Yes, they’re supposed to hold your essentials, electronics, documents, and business or legal records (hence the name), but even more important is the vibe it conveys. So go ahead, do like me, invest in a briefcase, preferably one from the list below. All of them will surely let others know that you are ready to move up the ladder.
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Best Affordable Briefcase
CNNCT Acton logo-appliqué coated-canvas and Cordura briefcase
Eastpak’s CNNCT collection is designed to be extremely functional, ready to take you through your day with ease. That’s why this briefcase is made of ultra-durable Cordura and coated canvas; why it has a water-resistant treatment and padding to protect your tech; and why there are tons of compartments to store your electronics and documents and keep everything neatly organised.
Best affordable laptop case
Gibson Tech Bag
We love Herschel for its backpacks and duffle bags; they are simple and affordable, stylish and made of durable polyester. The same could be said of the brand’s briefcases, including the Tech Gibson, which, in addition to its nearly impenetrable surface, features a padded, fleece-lined laptop sleeve.
Best affordable travel case
OpenRoad laptop case
Samsonite offers a comprehensive collection of travel accessories: suitcases and carry-ons of all shapes and sizes, often made from heavy-duty polyester-nylon blends. Of course, it has a briefcase that fits the same bill, with a number of spacious storage compartments, including one with memory foam padding for your laptop.
The best waxed cotton briefcase
Waxed cotton briefcase
Best Rugged Briefcase
Original sturdy twill briefcase
If you’re the type of guy who likes his wares a bit rough and tough, you’re probably no stranger to Filson. The brand offers some of the hardest-wearing clothing and accessories, all made from durable and stylishly functional materials. Take this briefcase, for example: it’s made from sturdy twill with sleek leather handles and straps and brass hardware. This means it can easily take you from the office to a bar or a campsite.
Best Everyday Briefcase
Adventure Pathfinder Leather Briefcase
Adventure Pathfinder: The name alone suggests a case designed for long treks, whether it’s the commute to the office or a weekend getaway to a cabin up north. Troubadour outfitted this durable nylon bag with exterior leather zippered pockets, detachable handles and tonal gunmetal hardware. It will store and protect your essentials during all types of journeys.
Softest Leather Briefcase
Metropolitan Slim Briefcase
When Coach introduced its first leather goods collection, it was inspired by the suppleness of a well-worn glove. And living up to its reputation, the brand’s Metropolitan briefcase. The bag is tough and features multifunctional pockets and a zipper for added security, but what really makes it great is its buttery surface.
Best travel case
Expandable Organizer Laptop Briefcase
Tumi never disappoints when it comes to travel accessories, and this briefcase is proof. The bag has an array of pockets, all of which are easy to access, in case you need a charger on a flight or your passport on the TSA line. And if you return from your trip with more than you brought (as is often the case), the case is fully expandable, providing additional compartments to store just about anything.
Best old fashioned briefcase
Examiner’s case No. 5
Ghurka has been around since what seems like time immemorial, but really since the 1970s. It has remained strong in the industry as it continues to offer quality leather fashioned into classic silhouettes. John Truex, the creative director since 2019, aims to stick to that credo, delving into the archives and re-releasing styles with a more luxe finish. Example: Examiner Case No. 5.
Best briefcase in town
Of every member of the English royal family from Queen Victoria to Beckham to Madonna, nearly every Briton (and aspiring one) of stature are loyal Smythson patrons. The brand has been crafting the most exquisite stationery, journals and leather goods for centuries, never straying from its sleek, minimal mindset. This briefcase from the brand’s City collection, an assortment of essentials designed for city dwellers, is a perfect example.
Best corner desk briefcase
In the world of luxury, Montblanc has everything it takes to get ahead in the office, especially with its Meisterstück collection, which includes the finest leather goods and writing instruments. Now the brand’s new creative director, Marco Tomasetta, celebrates Montblanc’s rich history, somehow combining the two categories into one. The stitched leather under the handles of this briefcase, for example, is a visual reference to the tip of the brand’s iconic pen.
Best Logo Briefcase
Interlocking G Briefcase
Of all the logos in existence today, Gucci’s interlocking G is one of the most recognizable. It appears on belts, shirts and, as you can see here, briefcases. But it’s not all hype. The brand uses the finest materials, including Supreme canvas, a fiber with low environmental impact. Also, if time is the truest measure of things, know that this pattern will last a long time.
Best Overall Briefcase
Saffiano leather briefcase
Prada is a directional brand, a brand that experiments with materials and silhouettes to create new, fresh, but also timeless pieces. And one of its biggest successes was the introduction of the brand’s signature Saffiano, a crosshatched and embossed leather with a pleasingly textured surface. It’s a great way to prevent scratches. Plus, the bag is deceptively roomy. It is slim in shape, yes, but you can fit a 13 inch laptop in it, your latest number of Squire magazine, and everything you need for the day.
Best luxury laptop case
Calfskin document holder
Louis Vuitton trunks are legendary. For centuries, the French brand has provided big names with travel accessories that have taken them and their belonging to faraway places and back again. These days, all you need is a small carry-on and a bag to hold your laptop. Always adapting to the times, LV has released a slim, sleek case that will hold your computer without fuss.
The most elegant briefcase
One Day Briefcase
Sfumato is a painting technique used by Renaissance masters that produces soft, gradient shades, adding richness and a sense of mystery to works. Berluti, the famous Italian brand, honors this practice by applying something similar to its fine assortment of products, often crafted from the brand’s signature Venezia leather, an immensely supple material with an unrivaled patina.
Most Distinctive Briefcase
Bottega Veneta is known for many things, but the brand’s Intrecciato leather is foremost. In the 1970s, the Italian brand launched a line of bags made from precision-cut leather strips woven together to form a tactile, eye-catching pattern. It was so successful that over time BV began to build on this heritage, introducing a number of products that used or were inspired by the Intrecciato. So if you want a briefcase with unwavering cachet, be sure to stick to that stat.
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