The Briefcase in 2014: Feminine Yet Functional

As a little girl, I was always fascinated by my father’s brief case. There was something so grown-up and mysterious about it. It had locks on the outside, and inside it was so organized. There were so many files and papers to read! Who had the time (or interest, I thought) to read all those words on all those pieces of paper? My favorite part was the sound and feel of those locks as they snapped in place on either side of the case. Sure my mother eventually brought home her own version, but those were the early days of women’s briefcases. They were all soft edges, no locks (as if women didn’t have important enough papers to keep secure) and inevitably maroon — as if black was too serious for women, but pink would be offensive, so they went with maroon as a compromise.

Times have changed and yet once again I’m obsessed with the perfect briefcase.  Only now there are great options for the working woman.  Check these out:

women's briefcases

You can’t go wrong shopping at Nordstrom.  Not only do they have a great variety of merchandise, but their return policy (anytime, anyplace) is unparalleled.  The above briefcase is Jack Spade and the grey fabric is a wonderful neutral that says you’re confident enough not to scream “black leather makes me professional!”

 briefcases for women

I also find to be a great shopping experience – so much variety and range of prices. The above yellow bag has an area to keep your laptop undamaged, is only slightly over $200, and the color adds a pop of feminine (not girly!) fun to any outfit without clashing.  Plus, it pays a subtle homage to the classic Hermes Kelly Bag without looking like a complete copy.

women briefcases

If there’s an item to splurge on, it’s the briefcase because you get so much use out of it, and you want it to last.  If you can afford to, head to Saks and check out the above, Burberry case.  The leather is sublime and the design will never go out of style.

Perhaps I started loving briefcases because seeing one in the house meant that my father was home, not at work. But today I love them because they mean I have my own work – work I love and affords me the reason, and funds, to buy my own.

What type of bag do you carry to work?


  1. says

    I actually use a handbag when I go to work. I got a Tory Burch handbag a year ago, so far, it’s very reliable. I thought of using a briefcase before, only I hesitated because I thought those leather cases are heavy when held.

  2. Olive Vega says

    I like that yellow/beige briefcase bag, it looks handy and lightweight, which is one of the factors I consider when using briefcases.

  3. says

    I use big bags when I go to work. Sometimes, I use briefcase, too. I think briefcases are appropriate for business as it helps me bring out my professional side.

  4. says

    I’m more of a bag kind of girl, but I surely love to try using a briefcase to the office instead. I know this would help make me more appear mature and professional looking.

  5. Serena says

    I gotta hand it to Saks, I always find the best items there and the Burberry case is definitely worth investing on. Thanks for the links, Heidi!

  6. Faye says

    This is the perfect birthday gift for my mom! Thanks Heidi for sharing this, I’m actually running out of ideas on what to buy her on her special day.

  7. says

    Those are indeed nice-looking briefcases. I must try one now that I finally got a job that requires a lot of paperwork and stuff. Thanks for sharing the links, Heidi :) I really appreciate it.

  8. Emily Granger says

    THAT Burberry case is definitely a must have! It’s so elegantly designed and looks comfortable enough to use.

  9. Blue Dahlia says

    Thanks for the tips where to buy briefcases. I’m actually planning to buy one for myself now that school is back, I really need to put all my papers and stuff and a reliable briefcase is what a teacher like me needs.

  10. says

    Come to think of it, now that you mention about locks, I have always wondered too why women’s briefcases do not have locks outside. My Mama also owned one when she was still working while I was in grade school. I asked her why her briefcase didn’t lock like the one that my Papa owned, but all she did was smile and shrugged.

  11. Kelly says

    Awww, I couldn’t help but sigh and agree with you.. Seeing your dad’s briefcase in your house meant he was at home, something that makes a girl/lady feels secure. That was a nice thought, Heidi!

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