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View Full Version : Ever struggle on color choice for "professional" look?



pretzelb
03-03-2009, 08:49 AM
I find my self looking to buy (again) and the Western Flyer has caught my attention as a possible personal carry on item to go with my Aeronaut for vacation, and as an everyday laptop bag for work. And there is the problem ...

I love that my Aeronaut is Crimson when I'm on vacation. It stands out and is easy to spot. I never get it confused with anyone else's bag. So going with a WF in the same color would be useful and also color coordinated.

But I have to admit that it's not what I'd call professional. In the current economic climate I could find myself job hunting (knock on wood) and a nice boring black briefcase would probably be safe.

Anyone face this dilemna before and reach any conclusions they'd like to share?

backpack
03-03-2009, 12:28 PM
I would go for Steel, it is easy to spot in a sea of black, less boring and more stylish.
Not as bright as Crimson, Steel has a wonderful hue that coordinates perfectly with all the other Tom Bihn colors.

One of my Brain Bag is Steel and the other is Sapphire, I can definitely say that the Steel feels less backpack casual and more stylish bookbag.

With the exception of 2 who are pairs of fun colors and 2 who have a black/color combo, all my other Tom Bihn are Steel by themselves or with another color.

Somebody just posted a thread called "In praise of Steel" and I agree 100%.

KarlJ
03-03-2009, 02:01 PM
110% Steel. It's beautiful. And I say that even though I think the Western Flyer in black is very attractive as well.

dclawyer
03-03-2009, 02:47 PM
My 2 cents: Black is elegant. It goes with a more professional look and looks great for casual wear as well. It won't stand out and that can be a disadvantage as well as an advantage. You probably also won't tire of the color. The problem I have with steel is that it isn't a bold color and it's not black. In my opinion, it's better to go all one way or the other. In any event, I don't think black is ever boring. I think it's elegant.

pretzelb
03-03-2009, 05:38 PM
I should say that I do like black for a professional look. It's an easy comfort zone pick for a work bag. But I just hate having the same color as everyone else. Plus, on vacation trips it blends in with everyone else and can be easy to lose track of.

dclawyer
03-03-2009, 05:41 PM
I should say that I do like black for a professional look. It's an easy comfort zone pick for a work bag. But I just hate having the same color as everyone else. Plus, on vacation trips it blends in with everyone else and can be easy to lose track of.

Well then, buy 2 :)

MagicTiki
03-03-2009, 06:27 PM
I loves me my steel Brain Bag and Steel ID. And they both look completely professional... even if I don't. :)

pretzelb
03-04-2009, 06:10 AM
Well then, buy 2 :)

Ha. It's bad enough I'm even looking for another bag. I absolutely don't NEED one.

pretzelb
03-04-2009, 06:15 AM
I loves me my steel Brain Bag and Steel ID. And they both look completely professional... even if I don't. :)

This may sound odd but there are times when I like Steel and times when I don't. For some reason it looked really nice on the Smart Alec I tried out but on my Brain Bag it looks a bit dull. Since I was using the bags for work I didn't mind it being a bit neutral but there was something about the Smart Alec that made it seem more pleasing to my eye.

One other issue is that with some bags steel is a complimentary color with black and other times it's the only color. The Western Flyer is totally steel for example. It's hard to tell how that will end up looking just based on the pictures.

But a black/steel combo would probably be a decent compromise if available. It's not the same as everyone else but it's still not overly bold.

rabergnc
03-04-2009, 06:41 AM
I currently have a Western Flyer in steel and it looks fine in my opinion. There is black trim and the handles are black which make for a nice appealing contrast. I use the bag for travel - as a suitcase, not a briefcase (I use the ID for that - black/steel/wasabi). The color works well on those occasions when I need to carry the bag into a meeting because of an early checkout/flight. Seems to be professional enough for my purposes. For a point of reference, I am a neuropsychologist and for my national meetings may not need to be quite as formal. As a speaker or surveyor I have not been viewed askance with either bag.

mruseless
03-04-2009, 03:23 PM
I'm going through this same debate in my mind. I'm excited about the TriStar, and I will be using it for business onebagging. This means it will have to look fine in a client account.

I'm leaning toward steel (I'm really hoping for a wasabi or solar interior!) and black. Black seems boring, but sometimes that's what you want in a business bag. However, I have to agree with others here that Steel is a nice color, goes with nearly everything, and stands out "just enough".

I've been using a steel and black Empire Builder for over 2 years (Here's my review (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?t=1710)) and I haven't regretted the color choice for this type of bag.

AVService
03-05-2009, 05:07 AM
I don't even really understand the debate here?
Black is the answer.

I take my Black E.B everywhere and it is next to every other Black bag all the time but I never fail to be asked about it anyway, it hardly resembles the others.

Anything else just is not as Professional unless it is Leather.

I like a lot of the other colors but that is not the question.

Ed

mruseless
03-05-2009, 07:52 AM
I don't even really understand the debate here?
Black is the answer.

I take my Black E.B everywhere and it is next to every other Black bag all the time but I never fail to be asked about it anyway, it hardly resembles the others.

Anything else just is not as Professional unless it is Leather.

I like a lot of the other colors but that is not the question.

Ed

Disagree. Steel looks very professional too. Black perhaps a bit more neutral, but I've never had anyone say anything negative about my briefcase in Steel and Black. Just because you don't think there should be a debate doesn't mean there can't be one.

tommylane
03-05-2009, 09:17 AM
I just had delivered to me an Imago in Steel/Steel/Cayenne and it's really nice. My Super Ego is Black/Steel/Wasabi which is also a very good color for me. I don't like carrying or wearing loud colors and steel is very good for me. I use my bags to carry stuff to work and for general purposes. I like Navy Blue also. Maybe my next bag will be that.

I will use my Imago for those times when I don't need to carry a laptop with me and less than 'everything but the kitchen sink.'

maverick
03-05-2009, 09:35 AM
there is definitely something to be said for the conservative black or steel choices for the exterior with a more lively color for the inside of the bag.

i personally like the navy blue, and the steel may be interesting. but black just doesn't do it for me.

maybe it's because every other laptop bag i ever came across before i found tom bihn bags was black.


I just had delivered to me an Imago in Steel/Steel/Cayenne and it's really nice. My Super Ego is Black/Steel/Wasabi which is also a very good color for me. I don't like carrying or wearing loud colors and steel is very good for me. I use my bags to carry stuff to work and for general purposes. I like Navy Blue also. Maybe my next bag will be that.

I will use my Imago for those times when I don't need to carry a laptop with me and less than 'everything but the kitchen sink.'

backpack
03-05-2009, 09:07 PM
Before Gates, there was no such thing as business casual.

Everybody was wearing a white or blue shirt with tie and nice looking but uncomfortable pants or a suit.


People liked the idea of wearing nice and comfortable cotton at work so much, that designers, followed by jeans houses, then department stores, and ultimately, discount chains stores made their own brands of khaki and cotton shirts.

The Stylish designs of Tom Bihn bags in Black and/or Steel Cordura can replace leather bags the way khaki has replaced the wool pants.

AVService
03-06-2009, 03:52 AM
Disagree. Steel looks very professional too. Black perhaps a bit more neutral, but I've never had anyone say anything negative about my briefcase in Steel and Black. Just because you don't think there should be a debate doesn't mean there can't be one.

I never said I thought there should be no debate?
I simply can not believe anyone really thinks alternatives to a black Exterior look as professional as Black does.

By the way,I love your Sig. and I have been using it for a while myself now too.
I am amazed how many people just give me a blank stare when I mention it.
People are funny?

pretzelb
03-06-2009, 07:01 AM
there is definitely something to be said for the conservative black or steel choices for the exterior with a more lively color for the inside of the bag.

I am a new fan of the bright interior color. It's to the point where I'm almost requiring it. It makes finding things so much easier. It should be an option with every bag if possible.


i personally like the navy blue, and the steel may be interesting. but black just doesn't do it for me.

maybe it's because every other laptop bag i ever came across before i found tom bihn bags was black.

I think that's my problem. It's not that I don't like black but I feel generic if I pick the same as everyone else. It's not practical for bags you check IMO because it's too easy to get confused with other bags. For security, it's nice to have a non-black bag so you can easily spot your bag being stolen (but I have to admit it's silly to plan your bag color just based on the fact it may be stolen).

I have to say though, the more I stare at pictures the more the black bags are growing on me. It is a nice traditional look when it's dust free.

I think my big problem is that when I find a bag I like I'm so happy with it that I want it to stand out, which isn't always good if you happen to be on a job interview or something.

mruseless
03-06-2009, 08:28 AM
I never said I thought there should be no debate?
I simply can not believe anyone really thinks alternatives to a black Exterior look as professional as Black does.

By the way,I love your Sig. and I have been using it for a while myself now too.
I am amazed how many people just give me a blank stare when I mention it.
People are funny?

My apologies, I took your initial comment (about not understanding the debate) as a cynical statement meaning that you thought the debate was stupid or shouldn't be happening. That's what happens when I try to read intent into a post instead of just reading the words. Let that be a lesson to all of you! :)

I know what you mean about the blank stares, I gotten a few of them myself.

Back to the topic, I suppose I have to concede that steel is not quite as professional as black, but my point is that unless you are a C-level executive (I'm not), then I think steel is fine and the color would never cause a problem. Of course, my experience with this is my EB, which is almost all black with a steel front flap. I've seen some pretty wacky stuff in business meetings.