Don’t know what briefcase to get? Read this guide!

Time to up you briefcase game?

Briefcases are generally for a more business-type style. But of course there are a lot of different kinds and styles of briefcases. In this guide we will go through the most common types. The three most common types of briefcases are:

  • Hard-sided briefcases
  • Attache briefcases
  • Soft-sided briefcases


Hard-sided briefcases

The hard-sided cases have a hard frame around the case and don’t generally have a shoulder strap. They are the sturdiest kind of briefcase and are most suitable for a business setting. The weight of this kind of case is usually heavier than the other two types. The hard-sided briefcase can come in both leather and metal with the metal of course being the heaviest.

Metal cases are usually made from aluminum to keep the weight down and offers the most protection for your content. So if you have things that needs extra protection maybe a metal case is the best choice. For more style we prefer the leather type so unless you really need the extra protection we recommend to go for leather cases.

Leather cases generally look more stylish than metal cases. They come in different colors but the most common ones are black and different shades of brown. More on color below.

The attaché briefcase is a type of hard-sided briefcase and so has the same general appearance but is generally smaller, slimmer and simpler. It doesn’t usually come with a shoulder strap. As it is smaller and slimmer than the hard-sided briefcases it usually offers a simpler inside with less pockets. Color and materials are the same as the general hard-sided case.

A good example of a hard-sided leather briefcase:

A good example of a hard-sided metal briefcase:


Soft-sided briefcases

Compared to the hard-sided and attaché briefcases the soft-sided briefcase doesn’t have a hard frame. It usually have a soft top wrapping from the back to the front with some kind of lock on the front. It doesn’t need to be on the side to be opened and therefore can be opened when standing vertically compared to the hard-sided briefcases where the side of the case usually opens up.

The soft-sided briefcase is a bit more fashion forward than the hard-sided and also works better in a more casual environment so it works for both business and casual.


A good example of an soft-sided briefcase:


Case quality

A good quality briefcase can last for decades so getting a new briefcase can really be a good investment. Of course as with all things higher quality usually comes with a higher price. But try to go as high as your budget allows – especially if you are going for a leather case as the quality of leather can vary a lot. I you really want that briefcase that’s going to last for a long time and doesn’t need to be replaced any time in the near future you should aim for quality.

The parts of the briefcase that gets worn the most are zippers, hinges, handles and edges of the case. You want these to have good quality for the case to last for a long time. These are the things you want to look at to find that top quality bag.


Style and color

The typical size is about 14-19 inches (35-48 cm) in width, about 11-14 inches (28-36 cm) in height and a depth of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). This size is ideal for most people but it all comes down to what you need to bring with you. Most people today carry a laptop which comes in different sizes. So the main thing about size is to figure out what you want to bring and work from that. After that it’s down to personal preference and style. Just keep in mind that if you go too big in size it is going to become clumsy and will take away from your look and if you go too small it might look like a hand bag.

As most people nowadays have a laptop a lot of briefcases now have compartments for laptops to keep them more protected. So if you plan on bringing a laptop look for a case with a laptop compartment. As for compartments in general it can vary a lot from case to case so pick one that fulfill your needs.

When it comes to color the classic colors are black and different shades of brown with the darker colors being more formal/business and lighter colors being more casual. If you only have one or a few bags we recommend you to go for these classic colors as they will work with most styles and clothes. And as you get a couple of briefcases you can style out with other colors but remember that if you will use it in a formal/business setting stick with darker colors and preferably black or brown.


Now go  rock your briefcase!


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