Bags for the Weekend Break

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The weekend break is such a reassuring thing. After the monotony of the workplace; computer screens, snatched lunches in overcrowded cafes, phone calls, emails and forced civility, there is the excitement of getting away to a different postcode, a different way of life. Whether you’re heading to country for walks, quaint landscapes and rural pleasantness, leaving the smoking metropolis behind you, or whether you are heading into town for a refreshing dash of culture, shopping and fine dining, looking snappy and stylish is essential. Your weekend wardrobe is prepared, your kit is together along with essential light reading and toiletries, but then you realise; ‘Ah, what sort of bag can I take this stuff in’. For a weekend break, a suitcase looks excessive. Unless you happen to be hosting an awards ceremony, taking a vast trunk with you looks absurd. The best way to transport your clothing is in soft and stylish leather.

The inventory for weekend luggage should be short; jeans, undergarments and socks are easily packed into a holdall, and if you’re taking a suit, a garment bag is the best way of transporting it. Soft luggage is less cumbersome and its softness makes it appropriate for placing on car seats and on train racks. When it ages, leather looks spectacular, so it’s unnecessary to worry about the bag getting ‘scratched’ or de-shined by other luggage; it’s all about character, and journeys add character to luggage.

However, leather is not for everyone; many people will choose not to buy leather luggage simply for cost reasons. This is understandable. A good stretch of leather is not cheap, and even when it is, you’ve possibly been ripped off in terms of build quality and are more likely to have found a bargain in another fabric.

If leather is for you, then a lovely brown or black leather holdall is just the thing for a weekend sojourn. Vintage designs of old-fashioned holdalls are still the best; the large Gladstone with its peaked profile and metal spine, or the subtle luxury of a suede explorer, a holdall of classic design and warm walnut tones will serve you well for the years to come.

If you prefer something a little more modern and sleek, a look at Aspinal of London’s collection might whet your appetite. Though they do offer traditional luggage, Aspinal also offer a range of black and white for the minimalist at heart.

For the buyer of canvas holdalls, there are few established manufacturers equal to Pickett. The highest grades of materials are used; tough, durable canvasses and fine, supple leathers for the trim and they are available in eye-catching colours.

For the man of style, a sensible navy blue or a bright red are arresting enough without causing too much distraction at check-in. The offsetting of the hardwearing canvas with the charming leather trim makes the bag seem established and luxurious. Canvas bags without this attention to detail can look like camping accessories or military surplus.


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.