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Forget the briefcase: Backpacks you can wear with a suit

With more variety than ever, there’s a backpack that’s right for you

By PAULA KNIGHT

The briefcase is not dead, but among a younger generation of office workers, it’s definitely on life support. The culprit? Backpacks, which are shedding their budget-conscious, college freshman image. The reasons for this are as varied as the bags themselves. Posture is one thing, but they also allow an on-the-go guy to keep his fingers free for texting. Some even come with a USB charger and a dedicated pocket for a laptop or tablet. And yet, these practical bags are stylish enough to wear with a suit. — Bloomberg

1 Louis Vuitton’s Christopher PM (main picture)

Louis Vuitton’s Christopher PM (us$3,800) is a richly coloured mix of leather and the brand’s Damier graphite canvas. side pockets offer easy access to your sunglasses, phone, camera or water bottle; the leather flap snaps shut with press-stud closures.

2 JW Hulme Crosstown Backpack

if you prefer the shape of a briefcase without the hand-holding it requires, JW Hulme’s Crosstown backpack (us$795) comes in distressed leather and has a lifetime guarantee. it has an interior 15-inch computer compartment, two exterior pockets, solid brass hardware, and adjustable leather shoulder straps.

3 Brunello Cucinelli Leisure Gym Bag

On the other hand, the Brunello Cucinelli leisure gym bag (us$3,895) arrives in a classic cinched shape. its goatskin and buffalo leather give it an Indiana Jones-style romance, but the real selling point is a roomy interior with two open internal compartments, two closed pockets (one with a zipper, one with a snap button) and water-resistant nylon lining.

4 Patagonia Arbor Daypack 20l

For a more environmentally minded workaholic, Patagonia’s arbor daypack (us$89) is made from all-recycled fabrics, including its water-repellent polyester shell. The design includes zippered front pockets that are just within arm’s reach — simply stuff your gear and go. The main compartment also includes a padded laptop sleeve to protect your computer.