I was flipping through a trashy magazine at my dentist's office recently and I chanced upon a blurb about a Sex and the City movie sequel, and I got to thinking about all the insane trends you and your three women friends pushed to the fashion mainstream. And I couldn't help but wonder: haven't we had enough yet?
I blame you and your friends for many fashion crimes.
You may not realise it but all those Baguette-and-Saddle-bag-carrying episodes caused subliminal purse-envy among men. I know this because I am a recovering victim. I also blame you for indirectly signing off that it is okay for men to walk around with a Birkin or a quilted Chanel bag in hand as you see them everywhere now.
So Carrie and friends, in case you're tempted to hang more bags on your boy toys in further sequels, allow me to impart some unsolicited advice here: it's not that men shouldn't carry bags, it's that they should carry the right ones. The following does not apply to your BFF Stanford because he transcends the codes of men's fashion.
For the Aidan and Steve types: solid and sturdy guys who like rough work, Kentucky Fried Chicken and sports, they should not be carrying bags with fancy monograms in cute colours.
The Aidans and Steves of the world should sport bags such as those from Jack Spade - industrial, reliable, a bit hard and rough around the edges. But most of all not the least bit effete. Jack Spade makes manly heavy-duty canvas totes reminiscent of coal miner and carpenter's bags, and is also famous for its messenger bags, which are simple, fuss-free and utilitarian.
For the Harry type: guys like Harry have a predisposition to forego design for practicality. And like many mature and accomplished men, I get the sinking feeling that Harry is the kind of guy who still lugs around a knapsack. There is nothing more unsightly than seeing a follicly challenged older man in a suit reporting to work with a backpack. I suggest investing in a classic briefcase. Valextra makes one of the best. The Compasso D'Oro, otherwise known as the 24-hour briefcase, either in its trademark grained white leather or the more classic black version, is a winner. It has a separate compartment for work documents and for a change of clothes in case you need to make a quick trip. Valextra is the Rolls-Royce of briefcases.
For the Mr Big type: men who are chauffeured around in a town car don't need a bag, really. But since we are in a recession and the company car may no longer be at one's disposal, a finance guy such as Mr Big should hold his important - and hopefully Madoff-free - documents in classic envelopes and attach? cases.
Bottega Veneta lends its signature woven technique to its envelope briefcases (second from top), which are at once old school and contemporary. There's no doubting the masculinity of any man who sports one of these.
But if you like to be a little more fashion forward, Prada has envelopes in an array of colours - including cobalt blue, orange, green and red. The fashion house also sells document folders in case Mr Big prefers something slimmer.
For the Smith type: guys like Smith who bank on their looks need a bag that is equally handsome. And since the Smith-types are always jetting for work and for leisure, the bag also needs to pack easily. Mulberry's leather bags combine both thoughtful design and practicality. Mulberry offers two options: the classic-looking Hand Clipper, which comes in tan, black and chocolate (second from bottom), or the pansexual Piccadilly, which is slightly bigger and also comes in all three colours.
For a fail-proof option, Tod's has a new travel bag for spring in ivory leather. If your wardrobe budget hasn't been slashed, I'd say grab the croc version (top).
But because the Smith guy stands out in a crowd, he may also want an overnighter that calls attention to itself.
For this purpose, I recommend the neon orange graffiti-splattered Keepall (bottom) from the new Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton collection. Can you be any flashier than this? I think not.
Bottega Veneta, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2973 0882
Jack Spade, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 3188 1928
Louis Vuitton, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2736 6100
Mulberry, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Kowloon, tel: 2956 0830
Prada, Alexandra House, Central, tel: 2522 2989
Tod's, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2810 8692
Valextra, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2118 0162