When did chaps in suits start carrying rucksacks?

I got the 713am train this morning and was astonished at the number of chaps on the station platform dressed in suits, but also carrying rucksacks.

I added the qualifier, “but”, there, because it is required.

You don’t carry a rucksack and wear a sharp suit. It just doesn’t work. You carry a sports bag or similar instead. Ideally one that doesn’t (necessarily) have Nike written all over it or make you look like a rather old high school student.

If you carry a rucksack it immediately screws up the shoulders and back material of the suit. Worse, if like half the men on the platform, you opt to carry the rucksack on just one shoulder, it seriously disfigures that section of the suit.

There are a few occasions when it’s permissible without the wearer rendered the status of low-level-chump. I suppose if you’re going to the gym later, fair enough. If you ride a bike or a motorbike, I suppose that is ok. Combine it with a bike helmet and you’re all set (a la Boris Johnson).

But if you’re just carrying the rucksack because you couldn’t think of anything else to do, seriously … think twice. Think about the damage you’re doing to the suit. And how much of a chump you look.

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2 Responses to When did chaps in suits start carrying rucksacks?

  1. Tom May 14, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Guilty as charged your honour. My chumpsack contains a laptop, power adaptor, various documents and my notebook along with smaller stuff – pens, ID badge etc. I think it works better over an overcoat, but now the sun’s out again… you’re right, it doesn’t work. Fortunately it’s only once a week – the rest of the time, the kit stays in the office.

    The problem is the lack of alternatives. My commute is about an hour and sitting on the train accounts for 20mins of this. The mass to be transported is ~5kg. As bad as rucksacks look, they seem to agree with my back / shoulders better than others. The solution is probably a lighter laptop and my other bag. Joost bags: brilliant. I doubt I’ll ever buy a Tumi again.

    It could be worse: some people have those wheely laptop cases. Yuck!

  2. Athelstan July 31, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    When I first started reading, I thought you were going to speak of the aesthetics. But needs must so carrying a type of bag is a matter of practicality. I have to agree with your point about the damage. I can only assume that suit wearing by these people is not a choice and may be one of reluctance. They can’t be considering it and, more likely, are taking it completely for granted.

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