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It’s now trendy to carry a manbag

Back in the day, men carrying anything resembling a handbag were the butt of jokes. That was then. Nowadays, they do it with confidence without a second thought. Why? We sought to find out

Grace Wachira @yaa_grace

If you thought women are the only ones that carry around bags, take a second look. There’s one apparent shift in fashion, as evidenced during many high-end red carpet events in the city and on the streets. Purses or handbags worn by men, often called “murses” or “manbags” are no longer weird, they too have items they need to use on the move, don’t they? So why not?

Vincent Wangara of Vinn Clizz Limited and Mtindo Africa carries one. “I am not ashamed of it at all,” he says. “Nowadays, it’s both out of necessity and is also a fashion trend,” he quips.

Wangara says the purse comes in handy, especially because it eases the stretch when reaching out for important necessities that men need. “When driving, it is easier to have my items within arm’s reach, but I also need items such as my phone, charger and so on, so I started carrying a ‘handbag’ around,” he says. 

In Vinn’s purse, you will find his phone, wallet, a business card holder, which to him are the key components of his day-to-day needs and sometimes a charger. “I receive numerous calls from clients on a daily basis, meet people and thus the need to have my business cards aside from the wallet,” he explains.

Also, men’s wardrobe has changed and they continue to wear tight fitting clothes, some that don’t have pockets. Therefore, carrying a handbag becomes a necessity.

Cost a fortune

Seth Onyango, a journalsit, says that menbags are a necessity. “I need one to carry stuff I otherwise can’t carry in my pockets or in my jacket,” he says. Being a metrosexual man, he prides himself in carrying a great looking man purse.

“These bags cost from as little as Ksh3,000 to even Ksh65,000 but that is if you are going for the legit stuff,” he smiles. In his bag, Seth has with him wet wipes, moisturiser, business cards, chewing gum, a motivational reading book, a notebook, pen and lip balm. He also never forgets his USB cable.

Fashion accessories

Muriuki Kagiri, a men’s fashion blogger, says that men purses vary in sizes and shapes. “There are totes which are much smaller and go well with casual outfits. In fact, a lot of times, murses are fashion accessories and do not vary with age,” he says. He himself carries one.

“I have one that is a bit sleeker for business-related meetings. They are usually bigger and have more room for notebooks, ipads and such, as opposed to the casual ones that have enough room for sunglasses, Chap Sticks and power banks,” he says.

To pull off a look with the man purse, you need to have some sort of fashion forwardness. “Many men that carry such purses around are conscious of how they look and the murses complement their looks. It does not depend with age. Fashion knows no age and there is no stigma that comes with walking around with a purse,” he says. If anything, the society knows that such a guy is in control of who he is and is conscious and confident.

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