Culture shock: Papa’s got a brand new bag

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By Kelvin Chan

Coming soon to a Queen St. boutique near you: the manbag.

If Bulgaria is any indicator, this masculine accessory may find its way into the hands of stylish men everywhere.  Then again, Bulgaria is not exactly a leading force in cutting edge style and fashion.

But on the streets of Sofia, many men carry the ubiquitous manbag, aka the male purse.

There are two general types of manbag.  One type looks like an oversize pencil case and usually has a wrist strap so that one can dangle it jauntily yet keep it handy.  The other kind more closely resembles a woman’s purse, with a shoulder strap and sometimes fancy silver or gold metal trim.  Both are usually black and made of leather, and are designed to carry all a gentleman’s needs, such as wallet, keys, handkerchief, handgun, etc.  The male purse is one of the hallmarks of the Bulgarian man, the other being the tank tops they wear underneath their short-sleeve polyester dress shirts.

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