Suits and Backpacks: Yay or Nay?
A backpack strapped to a suit jacket is no longer an unfamiliar sight. Stroll through the center of any U.S. city around five o’clock on a weekday, and you’ll sight scores of jostling backpacks as suit-clad men hustle to catch their trains. That scene begs the question:
Should You Wear a Backpack With a Suit?
In our opinion, no. While backpacks may be convenient—and allow you to hold a latte and a smartphone at once—they can also wreak havoc on your suit’s construction.
Unlike the shoulders of a shirt, the shoulders of most suit jackets are constructed. There is a certain amount of padding within, which provides a more structured look and can give the wearer a more athletic appearance.
When the straps of a backpack are placed on the shoulder, the weight of the backpack’s contents and the motions of movement lead to repeated stress and abrasion. This can damage the construction of the shoulder and the fabric of the suit itself. And even if the suit isn’t damaged, it’ll create some serious wrinkling ahead of your 9 am meeting.
The Backpack Alternative
Before backpacks, there were briefcases. And unlike a backpack, a briefcase held by hand won’t damage your suit. Some may associate the briefcase with the Don Drapers of another era, but don’t let that dissuade you: there are more modern versions on the market today.
And if you need one last push to sweeten the deal, consider how much easier it would be to pull that single, very important work document you need out of a briefcase rather than from the bottom of a backpack.