Walk down the street in Midtown Manhattan at 9:00AM on a Tuesday and you’ll see men using all sorts of bags to carry their daily essentials—briefcases, backpacks, duffle bags, tote bags, and the occasional paper grocery bag from Trader Joe’s. While that paper grocery bag might be great for carrying your unsalted almond butter and 19 cent bananas, a briefcase is what you should be carrying to the office. Trust me, once you make the switch to a briefcase, you’ll be wondering how you ever lived life without one.
Here’s three reasons to retire your red North Face backpack from high school and to start carrying a briefcase to the office.
A briefcase won’t wrinkle your work clothes.
We’ve all seen it—the guy in the wrinkled button-down shirt who thinks nothing is wrong. His shirt is tucked in, his belt is the same color as his shoes, and he’s even managed to avoid getting any of his morning coffee on himself. He’s ready to conquer the world, right? Wrong.
Because the backpack he double-strapped to the office this morning wrinkled his freshly pressed dress shirt. Whether he woke up early to iron his shirt, or paid $1.25 to have it washed and pressed at the laundry down the block, his backpack has made all his preparation for naught.
Wearing a backpack over a dress shirt can wrinkle the shoulders and entire back. Furthermore, a backpack can cause your back to sweat, which wrinkles your shirt even more. It does not matter where you bought your clothes or how much they cost—if your shirt is wrinkled, that is all that people are going to see.
A briefcase won’t damage your work clothes.
Dress shirts and especially suits were not designed to have backpack straps weighed down by a few pounds of stuff rubbing against them for extended periods of time. Wearing a backpack over your valuable work clothes can permanently damage the clothing fabric. The constant wear and tear from the shifting and twisting of the straps strain the clothing fabric and can decrease the lifespan of your clothes. This means weird impressions on the shoulders of your expensive suit and clothes that wear out faster, causing you to have spend more money replacing them.
A briefcase gives you a professional look.
It may be your first day on the job, but that doesn’t mean that you have to look like it. A leather briefcase gives off the impression that this isn’t your first rodeo and that you’re serious about the job ahead. Whether you wear a suit, dress slacks and a button-down shirt, or even just a button-down and jeans to work every day, carrying a briefcase will not only make you look more professional, but you’ll feel more professional too.
So there you have it. Three reasons to start carrying a briefcase.
Tell your friends.