Men's fashion has certainly been getting interesting in recent months, between Jared Leto's man braid at the Golden Globes to short shorts to for-men-only nail polish. Dude style is tame no longer, it seems. This is further evidenced by the fact that the man purse is emerging as a major trend right now. Yes — the man purse. Can we blame this on the current resurgence of Friends mania brought about by Netflix? Have all the men in our lives seen "The One With Joey's Bag" a few too many times?
Maybe there haven't been tons of man bags popping up on the street in your local city, but we have the numbers to back this up. According to Quartz, one in five luxury handbags sold are are "man bags." I'm generally not down with labeling particular clothing trends "for men" or "for women" because gender is a social construct, etc (I went to liberal arts school, okay?), but I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that people who identify as male don't carry purses nearly as often as their female counterparts. Given that, as recently as 1999, Joey Tribbiani was mocked endlessly for carrying a murse around New York City (we're back to Friends, ICYMI), this is news.
At present, man bags—whether duffels, totes, clutches, backpacks, or whales—represent nearly a fifth of the luxury handbag business, according to estimates from Euromonitor.
That’s because they don’t come cheap. According to Euromonitor’s estimates, the market value for man bags has more than doubled over the past decade, with men now spending in the neighborhood of $6 billion per year on luxury bags. But the quantity being purchased over the same period has grown rather modestly: just under four percent, on average, per year over the same period—less than half as fast as the growth in revenue. Simply put: guys are shelling out more money per bag.
As The Gloss points out, it's about freaking time guys figured out how magical purses can be. Handbags are simply amazing! They can fit all sorts of crap, like makeup, keys, oversized wallets, a small pharmacy's worth of medications, and that tattered copy of 50 Shades of Grey you're trying to hide from everyone on your morning commute. Plus, they can take an outfit from "meh" to fab in like two seconds flat.
And, on a purely selfish note, I'd love it if the men in my life would all start carrying handbags so they can stop asking me to hold all their stuff.
Images: NBC, Getty, Giphy