How To Choose a Backpack for Work that is Sophisticated and Stylish

Classic business attire calls for a clean briefcase but with so many stylish and sophisticated backpacks on the market who says you can’t wear a professional looking backpack to work? Backpacks are easy to manage, comfortable to wear and are jammed packed with useful features that are especially important for commuters. Maybe it's time to reconsider the briefcase and choose your new perfect backpack for the office.

Here is a quick guide on how to choose an office appropriate backpack for work.

Choose Quality Materials

A backpack made out of good high quality materials will often dress up your look. Choose backpacks made out high quality materials like leather and waxed canvas. Metal hardware instead of cheap plastic adds another level of sophistication and professionalism to the look.

Quality materials give backpacks a more sophisticated and professional look.

Quality materials give backpacks a more sophisticated and professional look.

Avoid loud colors and designs

Backpacks that are simple in design with clean lines can be a refined addition to your work outfits. Avoid backpacks that are very busy on the outside with carabiners or too many pockets. Instead go with a backpack that has a simple yet defined silhouette to compliment your overall look. Colors should be mature and compliment your work wardrobe: Black, brown, tan and navy are all safe bets.

Avoid Unstructured Backpacks

Leave your basic polyester backpack at home. Opt-in to a nicely structured backpack that retains it’s shape even when empty. This will allow for a cleaner and more put together look.

Avoid unstructured backpacks in loud colors. Go for a structured leather backpack like the Knomo Hudson Backpack

Avoid unstructured backpacks in loud colors. Go for a structured leather backpack like the Knomo Hudson Backpack

AVOID SPECIALTY BACKPACKS & LOUD BRANDING

Sports, hiking and other specialty backpacks should be avoided. If it looks like you are ready to embark on an epic hiking trip then maybe the backpack may not be office appropriate. The same goes for sport brand backpacks with loud branding that would be better suited for gym days. Avoid backpacks that look too "student". Although brands like Jansport have some well designed models, nothing screams "I'm a college student" louder than a Jansport Right Pack. Instead go for a backpack with understated branding for a cleaner and more grown-up look.

Check the Fit

Avoid backpacks that are too large or too small for your frame. Make sure the shoulder straps are adjustable so that the backpack can sit just right on your back. Hanging your backpack too low on your back looks sloppy and unprofessional.

Don’t Forget About Function

Before purchasing a new backpack make sure it has all of the features you need for everyday carry. Does it need a laptop compartment? What about enough room for lunch or gym clothes? Are you a commuter that needs a water proof backpack? A great looking backpack should also be functional.

Make sure the backpack you choose fits your daily carry needs.

Make sure the backpack you choose fits your daily carry needs.

Ultimately the backpack you choose comes down to how conservative or casual your workplace is. If you work in a business casual environment you may have more leeway to sport a more casual backpack at the office. Or maybe your workplace is a strict suit and tie environment where a more formal looking backpack is the only considerable option. Either way with so many different backpack styles currently available you should have no problem finding one that works for you.

If you want to see our top picks for office appropriate backpacks check out our list of 10 Best Men's Backpacks for Work & 10 Best Women's Backpacks for Work.