One Thing: The Flat Leather Document Folio


As Christmas is quite literally upon us, I want to add one more item to my wish list. I hope that when you read this column, you too make a little room for this arguably anachronistic yet stylish item. I would very much like a flat leather document folio; the one with a zipper that opens up on three sides so it can lay flat on a table. You’ve seen it, the simple and classy kind that gentlemen and titans of business used to carry on a regular basis. That’s what I want.

It is, in this world of laptops and Blackberrys, not particularly practical. Flat folios have limited space and can never really compete with the functionality of a messenger bag or roomy elegance of a soft sided brief bag. Regardless, I see them as the perfect accessory. Their very obsolesce is what makes them so wonderful. You must think about what goes inside and are forced to pare down the clutter.

What to carry? A pad, a pen, some calling or business cards, and a few important documents. That is part of the beauty, being forced to shed most of the stuff we carry around but never really use; simplification by necessity.

It’s also just an elegant alternative on those days when you need not carry all your daily gear. It makes you want to dress up a bit; if one is planning on walking around without all the normal bulk he must be someone important, people will think. You might as well look the part.

Leather folios are a great choice when traveling for business as well. Instead of toting around your business bag, toss the essentials into a leather folio and you are ready to meet in style.

Other styles of document folios are useful as well. They can come in a range of sizes and styles; some are the simple single pocket described above while others have multiple pockets and flaps. All these styles are designed to be carried under the arm; no handles or straps here. Pick one up, give it a try, and be amazed by how much more polished and organized you feel.


Chris Hogan, an association executive based in Washington, D.C., blogs at A lifelong interest in style and clothing led to sales and management positions at several Ralph Lauren stores and an active wardrobe consulting practice


  1. Anyone have any recommendation on where I can get one of these? Brand or reviews or what not?
    Those pictured ones look really cool. What brand are those?

  2. Hi John,

    I am blanking on the first one, but the second item is from Schlesinger
    ( The third item is from a company called Hides in Shape, a store in NYC (


  3. Several of my settings copiously followed behind me.