Attache Case: What is it and How to Use One


by Dave Johnson 


Have you ever bought something that turned out to be too big to use? Recently I got a nice cooler (brand shall remain nameless), that had a lot going for it. I mean, on paper it was the perfect cooler. It had all the bells and whistles, it looked cool, and it could keep ice cold for up to ten days—ten days! I ordered it online, and once it shipped to my doorstep, I thought I received a baby elephant by mistake. It came in a huge box, and rivaled that baby elephant in its weight, making me wonder how the UPS driver even got it to the door. It was so big I had to cut the box out from around the cooler—I had hoped that the huge box was just a packing overcorrection to ensure that it arrived safely. It wasn’t. It was just huge to start with. It was at that point that I came to the sad realization that it was too large to use. I couldn’t fit it into my SUV’s trunk, and I didn’t have a truck (or a C-130 Hercules). And even if I could fit it in the trunk, I wouldn’t be able to lift it when it’s full of ice—I can’t lift it without ice! It was just too big.

Sometimes when shopping for things, it’s best to be realistic with ourselves and ask what we really need. The same is true with briefcases. Sometimes the allure of the large leather briefcase is strong, but the need for something that large isn’t. And that’s why I’m glad there are smaller sized bags out there. So today let’s talk about the attache case, the perfect solution for your small bag needs.

History and Design of the Attache

leather attache inspired by military bags

The history of the attache is a little different from the standard briefcase. The briefcase as we know it was developed for lawyers. The attache case has a military origin, and was made for an attaché, an officer assigned to an embassy or consulate.

The design is obviously smaller. The purpose of an attache case is to hold papers and documents and the bare essentials. The attache typically has a small opening flap, that opens into a single, thin compartment. Another key feature of the attache case is that it doesn’t come with a shoulder strap. But it doesn’t need one, either. It’s a fast-and-light bag that will never carry more than your arms can handle, so a handle it has. What is interesting about the attache case is that the military aesthetic stayed with the design, which I think is really cool. If you tend to like military-inspired designs in, say, watches or clothing, you’ll probably really dig the attache case.

Who Uses an Attache?

The attache case is perfect for business professionals who carry papers and folders all day. Plus, there is something powerful about having a briefcase or bag on you. Even if you are carrying a list of groceries to a meeting about the next picnic, if you take your attache and pull out your list, you’re telling people you are in control and in charge. “Don’t mess with my list.”

Even if you aren’t a business professional, an attache is great if you want the convenience of carrying something, but don’t have a lot to start with. And because of the design and size of the attache, they’re typically easy for both men and women to pull off, unlike larger briefcases which typically skew more masculine and are a lot larger. These bags are perfect for carrying laptops, too. So if you are in the market for a high-quality laptop case, consider the attache case. 

Jackson Wayne Attache

And that brings me to my suggestion, which is the Jackson Wayne Attache Laptop Case. This is on the smaller size, but it’s perfect for carrying the essentials. It has an inside pocket for any keys, pens, or anything small you want to set apart. The main compartment perfectly fits a 15-inch laptop or MacBook, and fits legal-sized paper. Of course, it’s made with the highest quality in mind: full grain, vegetable tanned leather, heavy duty antique brass hardware, and heavy gauge bonded nylon thread.

This is one of my favorite pieces from Jackson Wayne. I love that the design is a throwback to the 30s, and still has a somewhat military aesthetic. Something about it tells me that this is what Allied spies in WWII would carry if given the chance. And at the same time, this is something I can whole-heartedly suggest to women who need an attache, because it still has a somewhat unisex feel, which is perfect for this bag. It’s a very lightweight bag for such a sturdy frame. And this has some of the coolest leather coloration (on mine anyway) that I’ve ever seen. I could go on and on about Jackson Wayne and their bags. But if you are looking for a small bag at all, this Laptop Attache Case is an excellent choice.

Sign Up for Inside Info About New Releases & Secret Deals.

We occasionally send an email to our subscribers with inside info about products and secret deals that aren't available to non-subscribers. Don't worry, we don't spam or sell your email.