Bag Men

First came the moisturizer. Then skinny jeans. And now men have embraced handbags. Call them what you will, but these oversize bags of supple skin walk and talk like the satchels favored by the Olsen twins.

The massive totes seen on runways of late make a man look like he's on the way to some significant destination. The office? Gym? Onto the Gulfstream for a weekend jaunt?

Perhaps they allow guys, who traditionally carried little more than a billfold, to have all their modern essentials on hand. (Worked for Mom, didn't it?)

But what does one carry in such a large day bag? The answer, it seems, is the Emperor's new clothes. Not roomy enough for an overnighter but rather hefty for everyday, the bags dwarf popular and pragmatic cross-body messengers.

Simon Doonan, creative director for Barneys New York and consummate fashion commentator, has plenty of room in his oversize Goyard monogrammed bag. Currently bouncing around inside: Gucci wallet, rarely used cellphone, Filofax, subway reading material, house key -- kept on a giant key ring so it doesn't disappear in the abyss. "It all could easily be accommodated by something smaller, but I like my big bag," he says. "Which is probably not a great idea since I am a small person and the large bag only serves to make me look smaller." -- Cory Ohlendorf

Ferragamo bag photo courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo; other photos by Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post

© 2006 The Washington Post Company