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Thankfully, over the past few years, we’ve somehow moved beyond the antiquated notion that bags can only be worn by one gender, and instead the collective focus has shifted to the variety of styles of bags offered and when and where best to wear them.
We’re fans of all kinds of bags – from fashionable totes to reliable duffle bags and everything in between – but we’d say that aside from being one of the most stylish or statement-making pieces to own , the shoulder bag might just be the most versatile accessory for everyday life.
Read more: The best duffel bags for men
As the name suggests, the shoulder bag is originally designed to be worn diagonally across the body, but in reality, you can wear it however you like. That said, when the bag is secured crosswise as intended, its functional capabilities really shine – with your hands unloaded you’re free to go about your usual business, and when you’re finally forced to dive into the bag for its contents , it’s right there. Another plus? With the bag in front of you, it’s almost always in view.
Here to guide you in finding your perfect shoulder bag, whether it’s for running errands, a night on the town or anything in between, we’ve picked out the best of them just below.
Read more: Best luggage brands
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Best Versatile Shoulder Bag
Alpha Bravo Junior shoulder bag
This compact leather shoulder bag with a stylish quick-release buckle is testament to Tumi’s status as a loyal travel brand. Ideal for those who are always on the go, the clipped front flap pocket and open back pocket allow easy access while the zippered main compartment ensures that the most important belongings are safely stored.
Best Hard Shoulder Bag
Aluminum personal shoulder bag
Premium luggage manufacturer Rimowa has been making suitcases in Germany for nearly 125 years and the grooved aluminum suitcases have become instantly recognizable at airports and train stations. This crossbody version has a zipped pocket and three card slots between two open dividers, all nicely lined in camel leather, of course.
Read more: The best travel bags for men
Best Everyday Shoulder Bag
Shoulder bag with logo patch
This rectangular-shaped shoulder bag in black by Italian retailer Diesel is classic and unassuming, making it a well-suited style choice for anyone who appreciates a more streamlined approach to dressing. That said, it still has all the bells and whistles when it comes to practicality.
Best Outdoor Shoulder Bag
Mountain shoulder bag
We’d say some of the best shoulder bags are those that are versatile enough to be worn on the body, like this one from mountaineering-inspired company Topo Designs. With a 6.5 liter capacity, you can pack anything and everything for your next outdoor adventure.
Best Designer Shoulder Bag
Le Frescu Square shoulder bag
The French creator of his eponymous brand continues to be the reigning king of mini it-bags for men and women. Despite their size, they still pack a heavy punch. One look at this pale blue leather number reminds us why her bags are perfect on-the-go accessories.
Leather T-Box shoulder bag
The high-end brand might be best known for its denim offerings, but it also makes some pretty cool accessories. Case in point: This grained leather crossbody bag adorned with Ksubi’s T-box badge features two zipped slits and a phone pocket conveniently located in the middle.
The two-way shoulder bag
The ability to wear a shoulder bag any way you want is what makes the bag style especially appealing. Away takes this idea one step further with its sleek and aptly named two-way shoulder bag, which features a removable zippered pouch that can be stored inside the main carrier.
HeiQ V-Block City Water Resistant Shoulder Bag
We’ve all been caught out in the rain at one time or another, which could spell disaster for your carry-on luggage. To avoid any misfortunes, the Bellroy shoulder bag with padded dividers is made of a resistant and waterproof fabric.
Charter North/South leather shoulder bag
Using a military-inspired color design, the Coach version of the shoulder bag is incredibly fashionable. But it’s just as practical: the shoulder strap of the bag includes a removable zipped pocket in an accentuated sunny yellow.
Combining its history as a technical brand with its streetwear expertise, The North Face offers a simple yet beautiful shoulder bag that’s more than capable of getting the job done. In a nod to the company’s utilitarian roots, the drawstring closure adds a nice touch.
Read more: The best backpacks for men
Multi-pocket shoulder bag
They say less is more, but if you’re the type to haul more than most, you need the goods to help you keep it all together, without giving up those hard-earned sorting skills. This shoulder bag has all the pockets, pouches and compartments to do just that.
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