You may not know this, but your briefcase can significantly impact how you appear to others when you’re in the workplace. It’s just as important as other aspects of your attire, and buying the wrong one can alter the way you’re perceived as a professional.
The purpose of a briefcase is to help you carry all you need for work in a highly convenient manner. In this guide, you’ll learn how to buy the perfect briefcase for your professional needs and style.
Types of Briefcases for Professionals
When briefcases were first introduced, they became associated with the legal industry due to their portability. Lawyers found them useful for documents and other legal materials. Today, countless individuals use briefcases for work. There are different types of briefcases professionals can look into, and they include the following:
1. Leather Laptop Briefcase
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2. Portfolio Briefcase
A portfolio is a type of briefcase that allows you to gather documents in one place. Slim, flat, and portable, it can store essential materials and keep them organized. Lawyers mostly use them to carry legal documents and medical practitioners to store samples of medicines.
3. Padfolio Briefcase
There’s a difference between a portfolio and a padfolio. Portfolios are brief bags that serve the purpose of document storage. Padfolios are a blend of portfolios and notepads, so they’re generally slimmer than portfolios. You can expect to find a writing card, a calculator, credit card pockets, and enough space for documents in a padfolio.
This briefcase style originated from the French, hence the name attaché. They were primarily used by French diplomats and ambassadors many years back. They’re larger than both portfolios and padfolios. Traditionally, attaché briefcases were rectangular and made of aluminum. Today, you can get them in different shapes, sizes, and forms.
5. Travel Briefcase
Work is different today from how it used to be. Professionals can work while traveling, and this is known as workation. So if you’re traveling for work, you’d need a briefcase that fulfills your requirements. This type of briefcase is known as a travel briefcase. It contains compartments to store clothes, papers, and other work travel essentials.
Considerations for Buying Quality Briefcases
The term ‘quality’ is subjective, meaning it’s not absolute. Everyone has something different to say about what makes a quality product. Nevertheless, some factors inform what’s considered a quality item. If you’re getting the best briefcase for work, here are some of the things you can take into account:
You should be familiar with the materials used in briefcases. Leather is flexible, durable, eco-friendly, and waterproof. Synthetic polymers are solid and flexible, and they’re resistant to chemical degradation as well. Metal cases are the heaviest but strongest among all types of materials.
2. Number of Compartments
The number of compartments you should go for would depend on what you usually have to bring with you. If you carry a lot of things to work, consider an option with a lot of spacious compartments and pockets so you can keep your items organized. Otherwise, a simple dual compartment briefcase would be a good fit for you.
3. Size and Weight
Your laptop is likely the biggest item you have to bring with you, so buy a briefcase that can accommodate its size without a problem. It’d be best if you considered the weight of the briefcase itself, too. You don’t want to buy a heavy one and load it with so many documents, gadgets, and other necessities that would weigh you down and be a burden for you to carry.
Whether you work in a formal or casual setting, buying a briefcase that suits your fashion style is essential. Buy a briefcase you’d be proud to carry around and not just any random option that’d make you feel like the odd one out in your team.
Quality comes at a cost, but that doesn’t mean the most expensive option is the best. Plan your budget ahead of time so you’re not pulled into buying a costly briefcase that’s of inferior quality. See to it that the quality and cost of the bag are balanced, and ascertain whether it meets your needs.
Hybrid Briefcases for Professionals
Briefcases are entirely different from what they used to be in the past. These days, hybrid ones are starting to dominate the market. These are bags that serve dual purposes or address multiple needs, and they include:
1. Commuter Briefcases
This briefcase is best for professionals who merge work with leisure. Their flexibility, portability, and durability ensure no issues with working and traveling. They’re the best option for a perfect workstation.
2. Expandable Briefcases
Looking for a briefcase that can complement the fashion statement you’re trying to make? Check out expandable bags. These can be made more extensive than they appear, with plenty of pockets and the ability to provide more space. They’re flexible to carry and convertible for different uses and needs.
3. Convertible Briefcases
These are briefcases that can multitask and shift into several forms. You can convert them into a backpack anytime, or you can use the shoulder strap if you get tired of carrying the bag with your hand. They’re flexible and easily adjustable.
4. Canvas Briefcases
Canvas adds layers of protection and aesthetic appeal to your briefcase. With canvas briefcases, you can work in class and style with the bag slung over your shoulders.
As a new professional, buying the right briefcase doesn’t have to be a tasking job. All you need is an understanding of your needs and proper budgeting. How much stuff do you carry to work? Does your workplace require a casual or formal look? What’s your style, and how much can you spend? Once you nail those, the next step would be to refer to a guide such as this one and make your choice.