The first emergence of the hand bag dates back to the 14th century and it made its first appearance in Africa. It appears that Egyptian women wore hand bags around their waist decorated with extravagant embroidery and jewellery.
The man bag on the other hand came into vogue as a pouch worn by Otzi the Iceman. Used for the storage of coins and later on paper money, men bags were always practical in nature.
While the use of bag differed according to gender, the type of design apparently became a symbol of status. No one will deny that today, it probably remains much the same. When Louis Vuitton bags became the “in thing” in the 1950’s, individuals merged their persona with the power, wealth and beauty embodied by the price tag of their bag.
Hand Bags and Man Bags since their earliest stages of evolution were and are still items that have been used by both men and women to carry purses, wallets and other personal items. It is often said they carry some rather intimate secrets.
The idea of women being the only ones that carry some sort of carry bags has over the years faded away as more men have suddenly appeared carrying sling bags on a daily basis.
Society has fast adapted to men evolving with social trends and fashion statements. The notion that woman are the only ones that carry around hand held bags, briefcases excluded, has long gone and become irrelevant for a vast majority of millennials. Men thus has led to men being comfortable with carrying their own bags now.
What remains a mystery still is what we carry inside those bags. While the contents of a woman’s bag in relatively known and sometimes mirrors the appearance of a war zone, what men carry remain almost classified.
The contents of the man-bag has fuelled our curiosity for some time now.
Many times we’ve noticed how women manage to fit almost everything they may own into a tiny compact sized handbag or clutch and men wonder what sorcery would permit their whole lives to fit in something smaller than an A4 folder.
Ever ask a lady for something and she’d reach for her bag and all of the sudden she pulls it out. A women’s bag will literally leave you amazed at how a laptop, make-up bag, mobile charger, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, note book, hair brush, pocket mirror, purse and umbrella all come out from a 15x15cm bag.
While a man’s bag, solely based on assumption, would most probably only have his wallet, his mobile charger and at other times nothing at all. But they carry it with such distinction one would swear the US Government nuclear code is hidden in that bag, It would appear though that at most times, it is just used as a fashion statement to complete a certain dress code.
It is no surprise that men have moved away from the idea of just carrying an ordinary backpack. Stylish fanny packs, tote bags, briefcases have now made it to the top list of a man’s daily essential provided it is of a branded big name such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Bottega Veneta.
The Lounge interviewed two individuals of the opposite sex to try and dismantle the confusion in regards to what is stashed in that bag.
Twenty six year old Sarah Enkono highlighted that she has a range of handbags of all sizes which she uses to carry her belongings in, as her jean pockets just would not be big to fit it all in.
“As a female at times one is never sure of what they’ll end up needing so I tend to carry everything that I probably will not even use for weeks in my bag”.
Enkono’s daily handbag essentials include lip balm, her note book, pens, a bunch of letters, purse, make-up bag, hand lotion, room keys, and hair accessories. The hair stuff is important as she never really knows whether she’ll be in a situation where she’ll need to tie her hair.
She further explained that she believes that some of the things she carries are not of any use of a daily basis but someone else may need it so she always remains prepared to lend a helping hand. .
“At times I would lie on my bed wondering if I should clean out my bag just to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff, but to think of it as a woman nothing is every unnecessary. We all know men who carry nothing and then they depend on us to share things like lip balm with them”.
When asked if she had any idea of what men carry in their man bags Enkono laughed hysterically as she believes they do not carry anything of use.
“I don’t even get why men go around with bag, all they probably carry inside is a laptop and that’s it, I don’t think they have any other stuff to carry it would shock me to know if they do carry more than that”.
25 year old, Sergio Serge who describes himself as a metrosexual noted that he carries a stylish bag around to compliment his outfit of the day.
“The bags I carry are for the purpose of making a fashion statement solely, however I do carry very important items in my bags at all times.”
He further mentioned that his bags to him are what a car is to most men.
“Every man with car can confirm that they can leave their documents and valuables in their glove compartment or car boot. But for myself and I speak for a lot of millennials who do not own their own cars or have access to private transport, we have to carry everything we need for the day to avoid having to waste time going back home.”
He highlighted that on a normal day he carries a hard drive, wallet, mobile phone, earphones and charger, some beard oil, a notebook and lip balm.
He however could not give his two cent on what he thought a woman’s bag had as he prefers to never look into one.
The comparison leads us to the conclusion that although many man carry bags around daily, the contents of what they carry inside of it is not similar to what a women would carry. In addition men seem to only carry what they deem important for the day compared to women.