With a history that dates back all the way to the time of the Romans in the 1st century, briefcases have a long and storied past. Once a staple for the the 20th century business man, slim, modern tech has made these classic carriers rather obsolete. However, even though your MacBook might not need all that space that a briefcase offers, they’re still worth a buy. Usually made of leather, these carrying cases have a more grown-up appearance and for those looking to graduate from their college carry-on, a briefcase is a great way to do it.
Even though backpacks have become acceptable in many offices, briefcases are still the most professional way to carry your work essentials. Thankfully, there’s a handful of budget-friendly briefcases on Amazon, which means you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire businessman to look like one. If you want to upgrade your work or travel bag to something more professional, check out these 10 different briefcases to give you a cool and sophisticated look at the office.
1. Samsonite Colombian Leather Briefcase
Made from a rich Colombian leather, this leather laptop messenger bag from Samsonite feels like a classic leather bag you’d see Don Draper carry. It feels both vintage and modern, mostly due the high quality leather that covers the bag and small design flourishes like the brass hardware and accents. With plenty of room for a 15” laptop and additional interior pockets for storage, it’ll carry pretty much anything and everything you need.
2. BOSTANTEN Briefcase
Bostanten’s briefcases come in three different sizes depending on how much you need carry. They also use a brass alloy for accents and zippers, which gives the bag a premium feel and a more unique look. Handmade and available with an additional shoulder strap, this briefcase was designed to fit up to a 15″ laptop along with the rest of your daily essentials.
3. KomalC 15 Retro Briefcase
BEST RETRO PICK
Who says a professional-looking work bag can’t also have a vintage-inspired look? This handsome rustic briefcase proves that you can have both, and has an impressive 700 glowing reviews to back it up. Made with Full Grain Hunter buffalo leather on the outside and canvas on the inside, this bag not only looks like it has stood the test of time, but will continue to last no matter what you put it through.
4. Samsonite Expandable Briefcase
BEST FOR CARRYING A LOT
This black leather briefcase comes from Samsonite, a brand that’s been making trustworthy bags and luggage for over a century. The briefcase features room for all your daily essentials, but can be expanded to fit more items in it when traveling. Great for the businessman who requires plenty of gadgets and accessories on hand, this smart-looking bag comes with a handy shoulder strap as well.
5. Jack&Chris Briefcase
BEST MESSENGER-STYLE BAG
We love this briefcase from Jack&Chris because it seamlessly combines the minimalism of a classic briefcase with a slightly rugged style. It’s made of high-quality cow leather that’s accented with vintage brass, and it features a no-frills single pocket design that’s ideal for daily use. Though we love the make of this bag, it can’t fit a laptop larger than 14″, so we’d recommend it for those who are more apt to travel rather than the daily businessman.
6. Estarer Leather Briefcase
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Crafted in a jet black (vegan!) leather that will pair well with any existing set of luggage you have, this Estarer briefcase is a must for travel. A sleek back strap makes it so that you can slip it over the top of the of a luggage handle for easy storage while you’re shuttling about the airport or hotel. Additionally, the bag can expand to carry all of your stuff, including a 15” laptop. We love the single belt closure, as it helps to tie together the whole package together into a retro-looking case.
7. Banuce Vintage Leather Briefcase
BEST FOR VINTAGE LOVERS
Designed from the ground up to look and feel like a vintage attache case, this Banuce bag features a caramel leather that’s inherently eye-catching. That look is further accentuated by a striking push-button brass lock. With two main compartments for storage and organization, there’s more than enough space for you to store away whatever you need in a way that makes it easy to find it again whenever you need it. Plus, there’s an included strap should the bag get too heavy to carry.
8. Leathario Leather Briefcase
BEST MINIMALIST DESIGN
For those that just want something that’s doesn’t skimp on features, but looks cool, this Leathario leather briefcase will be your new best friend. The front closure eschews any sort of standard belt or buckle, opting instead to have two hidden fasteners that are covered by the top fold. While the flat front is plain and simple, the interior is anything but and sports a main compartment which includes a divider to separate and organize. Meanwhile, there are dedicated pockets for your cellphone and other accessories. Need to get to something fast? The front also contains a smaller zipper pocket for quick retrieval.
9. Polo Ralph Lauren Pebble-Grain Leather Briefcase
If you’ve got money to spend on a high-end briefcase, you could do a lot worse than to invest it in this stunning version from Ralph Lauren. The black pebble grain gives the bag a real heft and texture, while also ensuring the bag has enough durability to withstand the chaos of a busy commute. The removable strap also contains a solid gray stripe if you want to add a bit of a sporty feel or if you need some extra support. Of course, there’s plenty of storage inside for whatever your job may require, without adding a lot of extra bulk to this decidedly slick offering.
10. Shinola Harness Bedrock Leather Briefcase
Made and assembled right here in the US, Shinola’s swanky Bedrock leather briefcase is made to look and feel like a classic case. That stylish choice will just get better with age, as the specialized, soft Harness leather (known for both its durability and longevity) will actually look better the more you use it, taking on unique characteristics and flourishes as time goes by. With elevated details like the gold-hued hardware, removable strap, hefty zippers and a comfortable handle, this is an investment bag that will last your entire professional career—and possibly even after that with the right care.