Briefcase vs Messenger Bag: What Could Look Classier?

Briefcase Vs Messenger Bag featured image

Briefcases look robust and purely give off office vibes, as they have a professional appearance, whereas messenger bags seem informal and a little plumpy most of the time.

Sometimes messenger bags look more elegant with a particular attire, but the next moment briefcase seems to surpass its place; this is a long-tong battle forever will be on go.

Well! The look of briefcase and messenger bag depends greatly on their usage, so comparing them will be highly absurd.

But yes! Briefcases and messenger bags also share similarities and have similar pros and cons. Let's look at both bag's factors closely, which will ultimately help you choose which is best for you!

Messenger Bag – What Is It Exactly?

what is messenger bag

It is commonly composed of natural and synthetic fabrics and is also referred to as courier bags.

Messenger bags are typically thought of as a sort of sack, a bag in the shape of a non-rigid framework.

It is slung over one shoulder and has a strap over the chest that rests the bag on the lower back. Because of its simple access and front-back straps, it is also utilized by delivery companies and is regarded as an emblem of urban fashion.

Additionally, this bag is not new; it has been used for transportation services since the '90s. However, it is now nearly everywhere, with incredible variations and elegance.

Famous fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, Versace, and others now sell messenger bags with their signature styles in their stores.

Messenger bags are frequently made of more robust and water-resistant fabrics than other over-the-shoulder bags.

Nylon, polyester, ballistic, and other materials are frequently utilized to protect the bag from folding and maintain its shape.

Briefcase – What Is It?

what is briefcase

Since the fourteenth century, the briefcase has ruled the fashion world with incredible adaptability and styles.

It is frequently used for carrying money and transportation and is said to be a forerunner of the limp satchel. Lawyers, businesspeople, and other white-collar professionals mostly seem to carry this, as it gives off a total executive vibe.

Not only the documentation stuff but briefcases also help in carrying laptops, tablets, and other bulky things as well. It is a compact, solid box-shaped bag with a handle mainly used for carrying paperwork.

Some briefcases come with only the main inside space, but some have many sub-sections and dividers too.

They are usually made up of leather, vinyl, aluminum, etc., and also possess a shoulder strap and a lock to protect your belongings.

A portfolio or folio case, an attaché case, and a catalog case are the main types of briefcases you can easily get to notice.

How Messenger Bags & Briefcases Are Similar To Some Extent?

Both bags have a different purpose and look different as messenger bag seems informal while briefcases give a formal-executive vibe.

But, besides that, due to the shoulder straps, easy-to-access facility, and over-the-top handles, they seem to come in comparison and competition against each other.

Not only that, but the benefits of using both bags are also quite distinct but similar to some extent. You can also see the inside compartments, spacious pockets, dividers, etc., in both of them.

But messenger bags tend to make you look casual due to their chubby structure, while the briefcase is pretty formal due to the thin-solid framework composition around it.

And yes! Messenger bags are not so trendy nowadays because people usually find briefcases decent and stylish.

Now, the boxy shape of briefcases is also seen with fashion models with heavy embellishments in a very compact size.

Advantages of Using Messenger Bags

Advantages Of Messenger Bags

Besides having a casual appearance, messenger bags make you look classy and chic.

All you have to do is to wear them appropriately with the outfit. Before heading towards the way wearing, let’s get into its benefits:

Casual & Professional Look

The messenger bag offers the perfect mix of a casual and professional appearance. Its matte look and sleek vibes will considerably complement your style if you wear it with coat paint.

However, make sure that the colors of your outfit and bag aren't too dissimilar; both colors should be in the same shade category.

Similarly, wearing it with a picnic outfit (informal) would give you an entirely casual vibe while also keeping your belongings safe and secure with its interior storage.

The color doesn't matter in this case since whichever color you mix and match will appear swanky.

Check out the best Leather Messenger Bags For Men that will take your look to the next levels!

Easy-To-Access Facility

Inside, messenger bags include multiple sections and dividers to keep you organized. You will also notice padded separators in the central internal storage to protect the laptop and tablets from unexpected accidents and knocks.

The briefcases cannot be worn over the shoulder since they have top handles, but the messenger bag may be carried both ways; either over the shoulder or with the handle.

People preferred the over-the-shoulder wearing option since you can easily put your phone, chargers, water bottles, food, and so on in the simple front pocket access.

Compact Size

Compact Size messenger bag

Well! Not only the messenger bags but briefcases also seem to have a compact size so this benefit is equally appreciable for both of them.

However, due to the non-boxy shape and no-thick composition, messenger bags are loved widely among the peeps. You can easily carry it anywhere and even keep it with you during air travel.

Necessary components like a phone, charger, toiletry bags and supper will stay safe inside.


The messenger bag is a true style icon if you know how to wear it in the right way. The compact and casual look makes it appear very chic and flawless.

Firstly, you have to pick a style that can go with casual and professional situations. A leather bag will be the right choice if you're more into executive styling. But if you love looking casual, go for the canvas messenger bag.

Don’t opt for too large and too small sizes, make sure that it’s perfectly complementing your body posture.

At last, don’t forget to check out the lock and easy-to-access front pockets; it will help you not wear the bag off your shoulders again and again.

You might be wondering How To Wear A Messenger Bag Properly so that the messenger bag won't hurt your back, our in-depth guides will show you how! Read here!


The durability factors depend on the material you opt for in the messenger bags. Leather is widely recommended if you want your bag to last longer with the same chicness as day one.

Canvas is also famous for bags, as it is weather-resistant and highly durable. Apart from it, fiber, vinyl, polyester, nylon, etc., are also used as its materials, but their durability depends upon how often and protectively you wear it.


A leather messenger bag will be slightly heavier, but leather bags are also pricey. Thus, very few bag fanatics buy them.

However, a messenger bag made of nylon, fiber, or vinyl will be lightweight and easy to carry while traveling.

Overall, it's an excellent option for anyone wishing to pack light and go swiftly.

Advantages of Briefcases

Advantages Of Briefcases

Just like messenger bags, briefcases are also loved widely due to their composition and extreme-formal vibe making them perfect for office meetings and interviews. Let’s get into the advantages directly:


The versatility of briefcases is never-ending; thus, you can get them in any shape, size, and color. They come in almost every size and color with almost the same space quantity.

Briefcase features can differ because some allow small items to be carried in mini pockets while others do not.


They are bodily shaped and structured in a solid-lined framework. But the briefcase's design varies from its type.

For example, a portfolio briefcase is flat and mainly consists of internal storage only, but catalog cases come with various front pockets and padded separators and are slightly thicker than a portfolio.

If you are opting for briefcases, you will get a variety of options to choose from according to your preferences.

Office Look

Most of the time messenger bag fails in giving the classic office look no matter how much they are expensive or leather-made.

But just a simple and affordable rectangular-structured briefcase becomes enough for executive styling. Hence, briefcases are widely preferred in this matter.

The Best High-End Briefcases For Men will make you look fancy and stylish, check our best reviews here!


Store business cards, pens and paper for seminars, comb and tissues for a fresh look, mouth spray or freshening mints, and an umbrella in case of weather.

Apart from storing documents and office stuff, you can also make sure to be prepared for sudden meetings or seminars with the rest of your items. These essentials will forever keep you on the go in your business.

How Should You Choose Between Messenger Bag & Briefcase?

Choose Between Messenger Bag & Briefcase

Apart from the benefits, it’s difficult to choose between a briefcase and a messenger bag. Because both have appreciable upsides and has a variety of purpose.

Let’s look at some factors which may help you choose a perfect fit for yourself:

Consider Your Use

First, consider your needs for using them. A briefcase is an obvious choice if you work in an office or are a lawyer. Nevertheless, a messenger bag is ideal if you want to carry your bag casually.

Even at the office, messenger bags are acceptable, but because of their uneven design, they might appear unprofessional, therefore, briefcases are preferred in this case.


If you are comfortable carrying bags with top handles, the briefcase is best for you.

But if top handles aren't comfortable and you always look to wear them over the shoulder, then messenger bags are ideal.

Messenger bags come with robust shoulder straps with adjustable clips, which is why they are preferred over briefcases in terms of styling.


Messenger bags and briefcases both come in a variety of materials. Hence, if you need to choose between these two, look at the material.

Leather looks expensive and chic, nylon lasts longer, polyester is lightweight and strong, and fiber is crack resistant; choose which looks best for you.

Pricing Factor

Budget is the essential factor to consider while shopping for a bag. Both are pretty reasonable to buy, whether a briefcase or a messenger bag.

However, it mainly depends on the features and materials you get from the bag. If your bag has padded compartments, a large storage capacity, robustness, and is made of solid material, it’s likely to be expensive.

Furthermore, if you are a brand freak and buy the bag from a renowned fashion store, so despite the average features, they will also be over budget just because of the signature of being a brand. Hence, choose and spend your money wisely!


This is another important factor to consider since space matters a lot for a bag. In the case of briefcases, most of them only consist of the main internal storage without any extra pockets.

But this case widely seems with the briefcase that is made up of thin metal like aluminum.

However, messenger bags seem to make with several front pockets and inside storage. So, if you’re concerned about space, messenger bags are slightly superior in this regard.

Wrapping Up 

Briefcase Vs Messenger Bag: which one is best? This is a never-ending dispute since both have advantages and downsides in equal ratios.

Now it's up to you which one you want to choose. Look at your needs, the material you prefer, your budget, the space needed, and your choice to choose the best.


Are Messenger Bags Still In Style?

Messenger bags are “American Classics" and are still in style. Whether for fashion modeling or business purposes, these bags serve all purposes. They are a true representation of style and function.

Do Professionals Still Use Briefcases?

Yes! Briefcases are widely used among professionals and especially lawyers. They are mainly used for carrying documentation and other paperwork.

Are Messenger Bags Feminine?

No! Messenger bags are not gender-specific. Any man or woman can wear these without hesitation; they are unisex.

Ryan Mills
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