Guide to buying a leather or canvas bag
Your bag can be one of your most indispensable everyday accessories. Whether you’re looking for sophisticated style or rugged durability, your bag should be a dependable companion for whatever your day has in store. Leather and canvas are staple materials for premium-quality bags of all types, and each of these sturdy textiles has its own set of distinct qualities depending on what you need in a bag.
Leather is the material of choice for its timeless elegance, durability and its tendency to develop in form and finish over the lifetime of a bag. As a material, premium leather is well-suited for bags that blend functionality with style, such as messenger bags and briefcases. Available in a variety of shapes and colours, leather bags are the premium option for everyday use.
Canvas is similarly known for its durability and versatility as a bag textile. Lighter in weight and more flexible than leather, canvas is ideal for larger gear, including sports bags and duffle bags. Canvas is both water-resistant and breathable, making it well-suited for a variety of weather conditions, as well as for long-haul journeys when you need a dependable travelling companion.
Men’s leather bag FAQs
Which type of leather is best for bags?
- Full grain leather is the optimal choice for leather bags due to its natural durability, timeless style and tendency to age and develop into a unique piece over the course of a bag’s lifetime. The strength and durability of leather also help to protect against damage and wear from everyday use. Full grain leather also carries a distinctive natural variability, meaning that every piece will have its own subtly unique appearance and age in its own way. With unmatched elegance, strength and dependability, full grain leather is the premium choice for leather bags.
Should I buy a black or brown leather bag?
- Choosing between a black or brown leather bag depends on your personal style, preferences and needs. Black leather bags are a sophisticated option, with an elegant appearance well-suited for formal attire. Conversely, a brown leather bag evokes a more classic, versatile look, suitable for contexts that require both professionalism and warmth of character.
When choosing between black or brown leather, consider the circumstances in which you’ll use your bag, as well as the kinds of clothing styles that you’d normally pair with them. For example, consider carefully what type of leather belt or leather shoes you would normally wear with your bag.
How to style a black or brown leather bag
- Styling a black or brown leather bag can be simple if you pay attention to your context and clothing style. For a black leather bag, opt for a polished outfit such as formal suits or work attire, and make sure to match the black leather with black accessories and black leather shoes.
Brown leather bags suit a wider range of looks, from modern style to smart casual attire. Brown leather bags are also best matched with similarly-toned clothes and accessories, including earth-toned pants and coats, jackets or vests. While brown leather is the more casual option of the two, both tones of leather bag can elevate your style and be the finishing touch on a range of personal ensembles.
Are leather bags worth the investment?
- While leather bags, especially full grain leather ones, can cost more than cheaper alternatives, they are great value for money. Leather bags offer a much longer lifespan when compared to other materials and they go against the ever-changing trends of fast fashion, offering a timeless and classic appeal. Purchased once, a leather bag becomes a staple accessory worthy of its original price tag for years to come.
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How long will a leather bag last?
- The lifespan of a leather bag will vary greatly based on a number of factors, including leather quality, care and frequency of use. High-quality full grain leather bags can last 10 - 20 years and beyond when properly maintained and cared for. As your leather bag ages, it will naturally change in form and look over time, softening and developing its own unique appearance and patina. As a long-lasting wardrobe staple or everyday accessory, high-quality leather bags can serve you for many years, making them a valuable addition to your wardrobe.
How do I take care of a leather bag?
- Properly caring for your leather bag requires routine maintenance and careful attention to the unique needs of the natural textile from which it is made. Regularly wipe your leather bag with a damp cloth to remove any built-up dust or dirt. Once cleaned, apply a leather conditioner product every 6 - 12 months to help maintain the leather’s natural suppleness and prevent cracking.
When in use, avoid overloading your bag in order to prevent stretching and deformation. In the event of light scuffing or staining, be sure to address the problem promptly with a gentle leather cleaning solution. Finally, store your bag in a dry, cool environment where it will be safe from scratches, dampness and sunlight.
Are leather bags waterproof?
- Leather bags are naturally water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof. Like other natural textiles, leather is porous and can absorb moisture. Prolonged exposure to water can damage leather bags, leading to deformation, damage or a stained appearance.
Many types of leather can be treated with leather protectants and waterproofing sprays to improve their water resistance. However, even treated leather bags should be protected from excessive moisture and kept out of the rain as much as possible. In the event of water exposure, your leather bag should be promptly pat-dried and left to air out at room temperature, before applying a leather conditioner once completely dry.