26 February 2009

Wear and Tear

People should take care of their things. It's the only decent thing to do. But there are times when a bit of roughness around the edges is the best medicine:

Recently we had a little discussion going on the merits of the classic canvas tote bag. I love these things. I have a bunch of them , but clearly this one is my favorite, and sees an awful lot of active service. Jammed into this little bag are two rolls of paper, a tube of drawings, a full kit of drafting supplies, two hardbound books, a bottle of wine, a gift for Mrs. G, a Stanley tape measure, a scarf and a pair of gloves...a fairly heavy load for a one handed carry bag.

Note the ragged state of the handles. The older and more beat up this thing gets, the more I love it. Buying things that are "pre-worn" or "distressed" is downright silly, but getting something new and wearing the hell out of it yourself over the course of many years is just the opposite, a mark of character.

Good thing I live in a part of the country where these admittedly purse-like bags are completely acceptable for men.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You will see British Members of Parliament and barristers carrying bags just like this one:

http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/collection/images/briefcase.gif

Andrew said...

Those things are just too cool. I think as long as I don't put it over my shoulder, I can avoid the man-purse look. I agree that years of wear always beats "distressed". That's another bonus of thrifting.

Renovation Therapy said...

I bought a new LL Bean tote a few years. It was so spiffy & new looking that I was a bit embarrassed to carry it! LOL I can't wait till it's raggedy.

Memphis88 said...

As much as I like the classic canvas tote, I live in a part of the country where they are not acceptable for men. So, no tote bags for me.

asimplerstyle said...

Completely agree with comments about pre-distressed clothes. I think it's only good quality stuff that gets a bit rough round the edges which can pull off that great, lived-in look.

Sturdy fabrics like canvas and denim definitely work best.

Armilyn and David said...

I carry a canvas tote as my lunch bag to work everyday. Grant it, it was a free bag from our local grocery store, but it does the job. Though it does graze the pavement as I walk from my car to the office door. I am sometimes tempted to hoist over my shoulder, but never do.

David

Sartre said...

Completely with you on the canvas tote. I see many a well dressed chap in NYC carrying a brief case in one hand and one of these in the other.

RB said...

I agree these are perfect. I have a monogrammed one and use it constantly.

AJD said...

I could not agree more. Of all of the bags that I own, my old trusty tote is my favorite!