Like an airline’s carry-on rules, the laws of traveling in the city are oriented toward the compact and lightweight. The holdall (a.k.a. duffel or weekender) should fit in an overhead bin — or a hotel’s bag holder. One personal item should fit your surroundings — a proper tasteful backpack that looks at home in an urban environment, not packed for an overland expedition. And beyond one or two pieces, that’s all you need. Don’t overdo it, or the city (like an airline) will make you pay — in discomfort, if not cash.
Want Les Essentiels Suede Backpack
Made from cognac suede and a leather handle and base, this backpack is not your average North Face (to be clear: that’s a good thing). You’ll get just as much use out of this — with multiple pockets, a laptop sleeve and a total capacity of 17 liters — as any outdoor backpack, and you won’t look out of place when “spelunking” down into the subway.
Shinola Messenger Bag
Inspired by vintage camera bags, this leather messenger bag fits nicely in Cartier-Bresson’s favorite backdrop: the city. A messenger is convenient for accessing items (like a camera) on the go, or slinging over your shoulder for a quick spin on a city bike.
This beautiful tan-brown holdall is perfect for fitting in at the swankiest of valets and can also slip by the bellman as an unobtrusive, under-the-radar VIB. That leather will also, obviously, get better with age.