Joe Strummer, NYC, 1978.
photo by Bob Gruen
Ever since entering the professional work world, I have been lusting after leather briefcases. Unfortunately, when you start working, your salary doesn’t necessarily align with your wants. Fast forward a few years and months of saving, I decided it was time to buy a leather briefcase. After weeks of surfing the web, reading way too many styleforum posts and comparing a stupid amount of small jpgs, I finally pulled the trigger on the Frank Clegg American Briefcase. In the end, Frank Clegg seemed like a good fit given what I was looking for.
I received the bag a few weeks ago and am quite impressed by the quality and construction. First off, the bag is friggin gorgeous. Gorgeous. In the past couple weeks I’ve gotten a ton of compliments, to the point where I’ve even gotten words of approval from random strangers. My ego has thanked me overtly too much for making this purchase. It is a beautiful bag. I have a feeling it will stay in my rotation for years to come.
After using the bag the bag for a few weeks, here are some of the things I’ve noticed about it. The leather is a very nice grade. It’s smooth, supple and free from any blemishes or fat deposits. Part of the reason why I decided on Frank Clegg for a bag is their commitment to using high grade leather at affordable prices. The vegetable tanned leather is rich in both depth and color. I opted for the bag in cognac so that I could see how the bag ages with time. I’m excited to see it develop that enviable classic leather patina that we all love.
Construction wise, everything is polished to a tee. Stitching is straight and dead on. Hardware is solid brass and weighty. It doesn’t look like any shortcuts here. Time will tell as I put this through the regular wear and tear of day to day use, but on first glimpse it looks like it should last years to come.
The bag has a divider that breaks it into two main compartments. Aside from that there is a zipper pouch in the front as well as pockets for phones, pens, namecards and other various odds & ends. In the back there is another open pocket which makes for easy access for quick items. It’s easy enough to throw the wife’s 13” macbook pro with a sleeve into either compartment. My 15” macbook pro is another story, it barely fits and sticks out a bit. The bag is good for office life. It holds everything I need on a daily basis without being to big.
Overall, I’m excited about this bag. Handsome leather tanning and quality, attractive yet functional shape to the bag, solid construction throughout the piece - the briefcase has all the classic elements to become a heritage piece. And being made in Massachusetts, Boston, it even holds a bit of Americana. I have a feeling that this will be an heirloom bag that I’ll pass down to my unborn son. It’s a pretty penny, but worth it in the end.