Handy Man

The hardest-working laptop bags put in overtime on style. By Christene Barberich & Piera Gelardi
Every six months it seems, our laptops get sleeker, smarter, and faster. But along the way, the cases that conceal and carry them haven't quite kept the same standards (pull back to reveal: flimsy, fluorescent things and omni-present "free-with-purchase" black salesman bags). More recently, though, there's hope on the horizon—and it's a whole lot better looking than that sad messenger bag hiding under your desk. After a hearty search, we found a range of options to demystify the notion of this previously unsavory accoutrement, finally giving your laptop an overcoat it deserves—protective, thoughtfully designed, and way easy on the eyes. Read on to find the case that'll make you glad you can take your work on the road in style.
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1. Surface to Air Paris Leather Flat Bag—The flexible lines of this comfortably chic bag won't compromise its ability to keep your computer safe and sound. $350, available in New York at Bblessing, 181 Orchard Street; 212-378-8005 and in Seattle at Blackbird, 5410 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle; 206-547-2524.
2. Krane Laptop Backpack—Because a hands-free bag never again has to look like you're headed back to high school. Padded canvas and leather bag with (for 12" or 15" laptop), $540, available in Seattle at Blackbird, 5410 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle; 206-547-2524.
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3 & 4. WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie De Gaulle and Trudeau Bags—Because classic has its place and time, this seamlessly handsome black leather case is for the purist at heart…pretty much the laptop case you can grow old with. $975 the De Gaulle 17" leather bag with gold details, $995 the Trudeau 17" leather bag with gold details, both available at Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street, New York City; 212-219-2688 and 451 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles; 310-652-1120 and at Blackbird, 5410 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle; 206-547-2524.
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5. ACME MADE Designer Slim Tote—Choose your fabric for this classic case like you would a great suit jacket, and at $150, you might get one for summertime, too. From $149, available at ACME MADE.
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6. Barbour Waxed Leather Briefcase—Tough times is nothing for this durable design, as its perfect for inclement weather and loads of road travel. From JFK to Charles DeGaulle…bring it on. About $160, available at Elm of Burford.
7. Acne Jeans Steele Bag—This future-perfect tote exhibits the understated Scandinavian spirit that Acne is known for. An ideal match for the design connoisseur, through and through. $749, available at Acne Jeans
8. Mismo Doddle Bag—Sharp and inconspicuous, this neat and clean case does wonders to make anyone look super professional. 165 Euros, available in Copenhagen, Sankt Regnegade 1-1110; +45 (0) 3393 0014.
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9. Laura Dawson Helmut bag—This designer-to-watch offers an uncomplicated unisex case chosen for its collegiate charm with relaxed, soft edges. Leather bag, $216, available at I Represent Fashion
10. Filson Canvas Padded Laptop Bag—This fine example warrants raves for its earthy aesthetics and streamlined functionality. Sort of the professor bag with a high-style alter ego. $275, available at Design Within Reach
11. Carga Industrial Wool Felt Laptop Bag—Here, conscious means carefully designed. We love the use of industrial felt fabric, light but still just as tough and functional as leather. $245, available in Los Angeles at All Purpose, 144 South Flores Street; 323-866-1828.
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12. Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair Black Leather Laptop Bag—Like Get Smart, only smarter and more appealing in supple chocolate-brown leather (a pleasing switch from the standard black). Leather case (for 10-13" laptop), $450, available Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street, New York City; 212-219-2688.
13. Dunlin Condillac Square Bag—When toting along your laptop is just the beginning, this ingenious multi-compartment design reserves space for boxers, colored pens, a book of Rumi poetry, you name it. $875, available in New York at Oak, 208 North 8th Street, Brooklyn; 718-782-0521 and Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street; 212-219-2688.
14. Ting of London Holdall—When going the traditional route doesn't appeal, this super versatile, long-wearing tote can carry your laptop, portfolio, or even some weekend spoils from Whole Foods. Recycled leather tote (made from vintage and recycled leather belts and horse saddles), $380, available at Kaight.
The hardest-working laptop bags put in overtime on style.
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