Hardsided briefcase tips

Discussion in 'Andy's Trad Forum' started by dr.butcher, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. dr.butcher

    dr.butcher Senior Member

    900
    China
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
    Hong Kong
    I couldn't find any previous threads on this, and I think the trad forum is the more appropriate place to post this, so...

    I'm looking to getting a hardsided bag to take to work with me. I currently have a leather briefcase but it's softsided. I'm not sure of the exact differences between a briefcase or attache case, expect perhaps the size and whether there's a lid or symmetrical compartments, perhaps?

    Is there anyone here who uses a hardsided briefcase or attache case for work? If so, can they share what they use, the size of the case, if they find it too small or an appropriate size, what they carry in it, problems with using this sort of case (apart from the obvious fact you can't sling it on your shoulder, can't put a brolly under the straps, etc.)

    I'm less concerned with the price, than the usefulness of the case itself.

    Looking for something leather not aluminium and not too old fogey looking.
     
  2. godan

    godan Advanced Member

    United States
    Colorado
    Northern Colorado
    During the time I carried one, the biggest problem was that mine would not set upright on the floor or any other hard surface with enough stability to retrieve and replace items with one hand. The access procedure was to lay it flat on a desk, operate the latches, open the top and work from there.
     
  3. dr.butcher

    dr.butcher Senior Member

    900
    China
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
    Hong Kong
    Was this an issue with your particular case, (e.g. a thin width) or something common to this type of bag?
     
  4. straw sandals

    straw sandals Senior Member

    669
    United States
    NY
    Brooklyn
    I've got a Tanner Krolle attache case similar to this one by SAB:

    http://www.swaineadeneybrigg.com/store/swaine-adeney/attache-cases/peel-25

    It's light, beautiful, and very thin. Inside, the case will comfortably hold an iPad, notebook, a few papers, and has a loop for one pen. But that's about it! I use my attache for formal meetings. It pairs well with a suit, and its slim profile imbues it with a distinct sense of formality.

    For my everyday use as a professor, I prefer to use a soft sided documents case. Mine was made by Simon Baker, and closely resembles the SAB Westminster:

    http://www.swaineadeneybrigg.com/store/swaine-adeney/document-cases/westminster-wrap-ss

    It's larger, heavier, and more capacious. I can fit library books, student papers, computer, charger, &c. comfortably inside. London Tan is less formal and pairs well with sport coats.

    If you don't have heavy things to carry back and forth every day, I think that a slim attache case could be a fine choice. But be mindful of what you need it to comfortably accommodate and what you will wear when you carry it. In New York, an attache looks a little old fashioned - especially if you're not in midtown.
     
  5. godan

    godan Advanced Member

    United States
    Colorado
    Northern Colorado
    I just dug it out and measured it. The width of the base is five inches. The little feet there on either side of the hinge swing toward each other when the case is opened, thus degrading the already poor stability when one is trying to access or replace something in a situation, for example, when the case is on the floor next to a chair. This is really a shortcoming compared to quality, soft sided, zip top cases from Tumi and Orvis and to the classic LE Square Rigger. Hard sided cases protect their contents better than the foam pads in soft sided cases. Many (most?) also have locks that would delay a trained thief for at least thirty seconds.
     
  6. dr.butcher

    dr.butcher Senior Member

    900
    China
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
    Hong Kong
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I currently have a softsided briefcase (with unpadded interior) from Satchel & Page that I used for regular day-to-day work.

    [​IMG]

    I like the simplicity (and working buckles). However, it's a little rough/rugged in finish (can't really tell from the photo) so I'm not sure how well it goes with a suit.

    I usually don't cary a lot, biggest item is whatever book I'm reading, but I try to get most stuff on my kindle anyhow to save on weight. A sandwich from my wife, perhaps a piece of fruit, usually some papers/notes, but not a large pile, an exercise book or two, pens, and a USB or hard drive.

    I was looking at the Globetrotter 16" slim attache, though I have no personal experience with their products and not sure about the materials:

    [​IMG]

    I was also looking at the LV President Classeur, in taiga leather, not monogram or damier (and I wouldn't carry it with either luggage or key tag dangling off):

    [​IMG]

    I have some experience with their luggage and know this would last a lifetime, though I'm sure I could find something comparable for a much cheaper price, I liked the very square look of both, the simple features, the fact they don't look soft and padded with a bulging handle. My problem with the latter case is that the contrast created by the nail heads and hardware might bring down the formality and call too much attention to itself.

    I was actually planning on using the hardsided briefcase on days where I'm not wearing a suit (e.g. tie and SC) to bring up the formality of the rig a little, but at the same time the simple black case would go nicely with a suit when I need to look ultra crisp.
     
  7. dr.butcher

    dr.butcher Senior Member

    900
    China
    Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
    Hong Kong
    What was the make of your bag?

    LE is Lands End?
     
  8. godan

    godan Advanced Member

    United States
    Colorado
    Northern Colorado
    The attache case is Samsonite - from perhaps forty years ago, when their products were quality. It survived general use, bashing and battering with some scuffs, but no structural damage. I just find the zip top access much more convenient.

    Yes, LE is Lands End. I just looked at their site and found a briefcase that appears to have some design clues from the trad-era Square Rigger, but I doubt it is equally sturdy and it is probably not at the higher end of appearance. One of their catalog photos from the period showed one full of bricks. I am hoarding three original Square Rigger briefcases, a garment bag and a medium duffle. They'll be in my will.
     

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