The idea of the IT bag is both a blessing and a curse. Worshipping one accessory for a season means better appreciating the craftsmanship and design of the world’s biggest fashion houses. But IT bags don’t stay IT for very long. Just as soon as they’re thrown into the spotlight and tucked under arms are they pulled from shoulders and replaced by something fresher.

But the golden years of the IT bag are gone, and we’re not too sad about it. Over recent seasons, the bag game has been blown wide open. Messengers, shoppers, crossbody bags are all on display. All at the same time. For everyone. Menswear has finally started to accept bags, of all kinds, with outstretched arms.

Scroll on for a brief guide to the best bags around right now.

1017 ALYX 9SM Brie Bag

Brie Bag

from $645

1017 ALYX 9SM

(Available at 5 Merchants)
(Available at 5 Merchants)

Though the soft French variety is a tall order to compete with, the Brie bag by ALYX lives up to expectation. This messenger comes in a stunning buffed black leather and boasts detachable straps that, when removed, turn the bag into a compact case to hoist around the city. A signature ALYX buckle seals everything up nicely.

Acne Studios Mini Purse

Mini Purse Bag


Acne Studios

Buy at ssense

The mention of a “mini purse” in menswear would have been met with confusion, and perhaps even disgust, a few years back. With us now in thankfully more open-minded times, this one from Acne Studios is an ideal choice if you’re seeking convenience in carrying essentials.

Telfar Shopper

Small Shopper Tote



Sold Out at ssense

If IT bags were still a thing, then this product-of-2019 Telfar shopper would surely have joined the royal bloodline of bags. Small but perfectly formed, the exclusive-to-SSENSE orange number is perfect for adding some contrast to a dark winter wardrobe.

Martine Ali Messenger

Gunmetal Desi Messenger Bag

Gunmetal Desi Messenger Bag


Martine Ali

Buy at ssense

Ah — a visual representation of the caged existence us bag-fans used to live. Use it as a reminder to ensure we never go back to those dark days. Or use to impressively show off that book you’re never going to read. As you wish.

Bottega Veneta Cassette Bag

Intrecciato Casette Bag


Bottega Veneta

Buy at ssense

Messengers. Baguettes. Cassettes?! We really are spoilt for choice. Another IT-crown-worthy bag — last time we mention those two letters, promise — this is woven lambskin wonder by Bottega Veneta. It can pretty much do no wrong. Damn.

Burberry Jody Bag

Lizard Jody Bag

Lizard Jody Bag



Buy at ssense

Jody is a unisex name. And this tiny little Burberry gem does exactly what it says on the tin. Lizard-embossed, and dressed in deerskin, this bag is at ease on the shoulder or around the neck or carried by hand. An easy-going accessory.

Off-White™ Crossbody

Logo Strap Leather Cross Body Bag



Buy at Browns

One for those who like to do things darker, this is a blacked-out option from team Virgil in 100 percent leather. A good entry point for those who are just dipping their toes in the big bad world of bags.

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Shopping Editor