Purse Alternatives at Army Surplus

Damn if you’ll wear a purse but you also don’t want to disturb the lines of clothes you are styling with keys, kerchiefs and iPads.  So what’s a dapperQ to do?

Here’s some advice from Althea, an astronomer living in Florida who identifies as a “fledgling dapperQ”:

I need a shoulder bag; I’m a packrat, and can’t go anywhere without my pens, calculator, iPad, notebook, umbrella, etc. It’s easy to find a purse that’s just big enough to fit my gear; messenger bags, not so much. But I took a quick trip over to the local army surplus store and was amazed at my options. There’s a nice, sturdy canvas bag in practically any size!

I’m sending you a couple of pics (one to the right) since I’m so pleased with my purchase. Just look at those pockets 🙂 This particular bag came in khaki, black, and camo, too. And as a side benefit, you can always kill half an hour looking at pocketknives … or maybe that’s just me.

PS I love getting photos and advice to share with readers and now you can upload your own photos to dapperQ via Twitter using the #dapperQ hashtag!

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  • I totally agree! I have the same problem, and hate most purses, so if I’m not just stuffing my BDU pockets full of things I mostly end up with army surplus bags. I used to have an ammo bag, but my partner appropriated that one and I ended up replacing it with a map case instead.

  • I was JUST thinking about this today on my way out the door when I grabbed my purse for lack of better options. Fabulous idea. Thank you.

  • I have the inverse of the traditional problem. As a hetero male, it’s difficult to find purse-like objects that don’t invite annoying attention.

    Or it was, until I found army surplus bags. I have a similar bag to the one in the photo above, and I adore its versatility. I carry it almost everywhere.

    You can find them on Amazon pretty easily using searches like “army bag”, “medic bag”, “Canvas bag”, etc. They’re extremely cheap when bought that way.

    Only one caveat. Both the ones you get at surplus stores and the ones you find online are likely to be poorly constructed. If you’re not ready to modify or maintain such a bag yourself, you might want to pick up more than one on the expectation that one will break.

  • Ok. We’re on the subject of purses–the word feels wrong in my mouth–, so here is where I think it appropriate to share a link to a site called The Big Skinny. They have wallets, card holders, and billfolds that miraculously reduce the size of your bulge. If you don’t want to ruin the line of your man pants, may I recommend the Big Skinny, please?


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