Barbour’s Guide to Choosing a Work Bag

Barbour’s Guide to Choosing a Work Bag


Deciding on the right bag to take to work takes careful consideration. You need to choose a bag that not only fits all of your work and everyday essentials but also aligns well with your work environment dress code. Whether you’re making your daily commute to the office or working remotely from your local coffee shop, no matter your occupation or workplace, here at Barbour we’ve got a variety of work bags tailored to your needs.

When choosing the perfect work bag for you, it’s important to consider the following things:

What are you using the bag for? 

One of the main things you should consider when searching for the perfect work bag is what the bag will be used for. Will you require a compartment for your laptop or space for important documents? If so, choosing a bag that has a multitude of compartments and pockets such as a backpack will be perfect for you. If your work bag consists of just your daily essentials and maybe your lunch, a cross body bag or tote may be more suited to your needs.

What colour and material is best for you?

The colour you choose for your work bag should be largely down to personal style preference, however we do recommend choosing a colour or pattern that is versatile enough to wear with any work outfit and will suit all work environments. This ensures that one bag will be suitable for all of your needs, without the need for additional alternatives. Whether you opt for a pattern that adds a pop of colour to a neutral work outfit or keep it classic with an all black bag, we’ve selected some of our favourite options to share with you. 

The material of your work bag will determine how durable your bag will be. Leather is a timeless choice that is hard-wearing and will stand the test of time. A waxed material will give the bag a water-resistant finish that is perfect for protecting your work essentials on your daily commute in all weathers. This is important, as a work bag can quickly become subject to wear and tear with laptops and notebooks and other supplies frequently being taken in and out of the bag. 

After careful consideration of the qualities you are looking for in your work bag, read on to discover inspiration for choosing the right Barbour work bag for you.

Barbour Work Bags for Men

Barbour Briefcases for Men

Briefcases are a classic work bag option for men looking for a more sophisticated look. Traditionally used as a more formal option, a briefcase is a great choice of bag for a suit and tie workplace to complete your smart workwear look. Commonly boasting a leather design, briefcases come in a variety of materials, colours and styles, with options to wear over the shoulder or using carry handles for your convenience.

One of the benefits of carrying a briefcase as opposed to a backpack to work is that it can help to prevent potential creasing of your smart shirt or blazer. The Barbour Leather Briefcase boasts a traditional leather outer that offers superb durability along with a robust polyester and cotton lining donning Barbour’s signature tartan. Finished with antique-style brass fittings, practical carry handles and an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap for personalised wearing, this briefcase is available in a dark chocolate and classic brown leather colourway.

If an all-leather briefcase isn’t for you but you still want the formality this work bag style brings, the Barbour Wax Leather Briefcase with canvas material is perfect for carrying your workday essentials. Crafted from Barbour’s robust waxed cotton material in both olive and navy colourways, this briefcase offers the perfect mix of durability and style. Featuring classic brass-effect hardware, a versatile detachable shoulder strap and soft waxed leather carry handles, this briefcase is one that is sure to age beautifully and support you throughout your career.

Barbour Backpacks for Men

Easy-to-wear, functional and always on-trend, a backpack is a timeless work bag option for men that will never go out of style. Taking you from your morning dog walk to your daily commute and your post-work gym session, a backpack is designed to offer you a comfortable and practical way to carry all of your daily essentials in one place.


Designed to give you a fully customisable work bag to suit your needs, the Barbour Cascade Three-Way Laptop Bag can be worn as a backpack, a shoulder bag or a briefcase. Featuring two front zip pockets, a padded laptop sleeve and one large internal space, this bag is crafted to keep your tech secure and your essentials to hand. The padded shoulder straps provide extra support whilst worn as a backpack and can be easily tucked away if chosen to wear over the shoulder in a satchel style. This bag is a great option for those wanting a functional work bag that is convenient and holds enough space for all of your everyday work necessities.

For more of a classic backpack look, the Barbour Highfield Canvas Backpack comes in an on-trend, navy and olive colour block design that features the traditional rounded backpack silhouette with singular front zip pocket. With additional brass-effect ring pullers, adjustable shoulder straps and an inner slip pocket, this backpack is an uncomplicated work bag option that is perfect for a casual workplace and will pair with any work outfit for an added on-trend edge.

Barbour Holdall Bag

For those who like to hit the gym before or after work, a holdall bag may be ideal for you. The Barbour Essential Wax Holdall boasts a sleek, all-over navy colour with an outer front slip pocket and inner security pocket to hold your more valuable everyday possessions in a secure place. With webbed grab handles, stud fastening grip and adjustable side straps, this holdall is a comfortable and practical work bag option to carry with you on a long day or even for a business trip away. 

Barbour Work Bags for Women

Barbour Tote Bags and Crossbody Bags

When travelling to work you want a bag that is easy to carry and gives you quick access to your belongings when needed, and styles such as a tote bag or crossbody bag provide just that. If there’s a style of women’s bag that is sure to never go out of fashion, it’s a tote bag. Hailed as the carry-it-all bag, a tote bag is easy to carry and can fit all of your life essentials into one place. For those who want a more secure bag for their commute, a cross body bag is perfect for keeping your belongings close by and easy to reach.


Our Barbour Tasche Witford Tartan Tote boasts an allover signature Barbour tartan pattern with stylish leather-look shoulder straps. Featuring a secure zippered main compartment with an inner pocket to keep valuables and a separate detachable pouch to keep your easy-to-grab workday essentials. This tote bag is large enough to fit in your personal items, laptop, work documents, lunch and even a change of shoes to switch into your comfortable trainers for your commute. Whatever you need to carry with you, this tote bag is perfect for the everyday working woman and suitable to wear to both formal and informal workplaces.

If your work day requires you to only take a few personal items, then a small, crossbody bag may be more suited to you. The Barbour Tartan Crossbody Bag features a combination of the classic Barbour tartan pattern with cotton and leather elements to give the bag a versatile look that can be worn with a multitude of outfits. Suitable for both formal and casual workplace wear, this crossbody bag features an inner slip pocket for easy-to-reach items and an adjustable shoulder strap that can be worn on the shoulder or cross body for a personalised fit.

Barbour Purse

Every workbag requires a handy purse to hold your everyday cards and cash in one secure place that can be easily found without having to rummage round the depths of your bag. This Barbour Leather Travel Purse is perfect for those that are required to travel for work as it’s large enough to hold everything you could need to hand. Designed with a simple fold-out feature with a removable zipped pouch for coins, this purse is made from premium leather and boasts Barbour’s classic tartan lining.

Barbour Backpacks for Women

As mentioned previously, backpacks are the most practical work bag option for those who require a large amount of space to hold everything you need for a successful day at work and beyond. Backpacks are not only a convenient bag option that allows you to keep your hands free, but they are also the most posture-friendly bag that helps to support you and prevent back pain that can come from carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder.

Functional and fashionable, the Barbour Olivia Backpack offers a sleek, all-black look with silver hardware for a versatile option to suit all workplace formalities and outfits. Carrying your laptop to work can be uncomfortable and inconvenient if you don’t have the right bag to hold it, that’s why this backpack features an internal padded laptop sleeve to keep you comfortable and your tech secure. Crafted from 100% cotton, this backpack features a large main compartment to hold all of your essential work documents as well as a handy outer pocket to make your personal items easy to reach.

The Barbour Witford Quilted Backpack offers you a smaller version of a classic backpack style that is perfect for those who like to keep their work bag light. Although smaller than a traditional backpack, this bag is still able to hold the essentials that you may need for your work day and after-hours. Featuring faux leather adjustable straps and a leather grip handle for alternative ways of carrying, this all over quilted backpack is the perfect stylish accessory to your work outfit. With a handy zipped front pocket and large main compartment, this bag will take you from the office to after-work drinks effortlessly with its convenient yet fashionable design.

Show up to work in style with Barbour

To discover more stylish yet practical work bags from Barbour, browse our full collection of men’s bags and women’s bags to find the right one for you. Why not take a look at our men’s and women’s clothing collections to help you find stylish and work-appropriate outfits that will pair perfectly with your new Barbour work bag too.

  1. Arwin Canvas Explorer Backpack
    Arwin Canvas Explorer Backpack