Man + Purse = _________

A very interesting dialog ensued spurred forward by this tweet. That was followed just recently with my stealth following and capturing evidence of a man donning his purse while en route to dinner. See all four tweets. Thanks to me being extremely light-footed as well as 1/3 ninja I was able to snap those photos while surrounded on all sides by Italians in their native habitat – that is, where men wearing purses is normal – while not creating a stir.

The question at hand, which began this dialog being: where does the man purse fits into modern society. With more than three hundred responses and counting, never before have I evoked such hearty and hearty-felt responses. The final exact tallies have not – and in all likelihood will not – be made, so it’s more of a general feel from my audience that I’m gauging here. You, the friendly, loyal, and wonderful iamtedking audience, are primarily American and therefore your eyes have not been affronted by the infiltration of man purses on a daily basis as in occurring in Europe right now. Let me tell you, it has already become a way of life.

As an American, striking is an apt characteristic of the man-purse in the same manner as one could use striking to describe witnessing a car maintain traffic speed zipping down the highway… in reverse.

Furthermore, I need to emphasize that we’re talking about a man-purse. No, not a satchel, certainly not a over the shoulder computer or messenger bag, and definitely not an eponymous carry-all. Yes, I recognize that Indiana Jones rocks an over-the-shoulder bag and that Mr. Jones is on par in the manliness department with the likes of Chuck Norris or Kimbo Slice. Again, I stress that Indy’s bag is a satchel and not a purse. Be not mistaken, we’re talking about a tried and true purse. Fancy materials and designer names – Louis Vuitton and Gucci spring to mind – with ornate and ostentatious riveting to match.

The likes of the man-purse leave me at a loss. I won’t go all in and execrate the man-purse entirely, but I’m by no means a convert. I recently found myself deep conversation with Timmy Duggan, my American cohort in this Italian bicycle racing job, and he is equally shocked with the likes of a dude casually wrapped around his purse.

To the wearer’s defense the concept, especially with travel, actually does make a great deal of sense… at times. Unlike a backpack, you don’t need to remove a shoulder harness and unzip the danged thing to delve you hand deep inside fishing blindly for your passport, for example. So while still quite flabbergast, Timmy and I put our heads together and have come up with this extensive list of items that we would uncover if we were able to dig through one’s bag.

  • cell phone – This way you have your music/mp3 player covered also. A two’fer if you will.
  • earphones
  • passport
  • cinnamon gum – We’re packing light here people! The advantage of gum being you don’t need to tote along your toothbrush. Oh, and cinnamon gum is the best flavor ever. Chuck says so.
  • Leatherman – We considered that you may need a weapon, but a multi-tool has a knife and sharp scissors, so you’re covered in the weapon department
  • hot sauce
  • band-aids
  • a flask
  • glitter – Face it, if you have a man-purse, in all likelihood you have glitter too.
  • lip balm – By the same reasoning as your aforementioned glitter.
  • sunglasses
  • crossword puzzle
  • beef jerky
  • a baggie or two – Plus you can keep your beef jerky in these baggies. Brilliant.
  • superglue – Alternatively, a pen with duct tape wrapped in it acts as a two’fer as well, so it just depends on whether you do crossword puzzles and need that pen.
  • various keys
  • quite possibly you need a second flask
  • cash in all denominations
  • …Timmy and I considered whether we’d find matches in a man-purse, but if you’re man enough to tote a purse, you already know how to make fire out of virtually nothing. So no matches needed.

There you have it folks. A man, a plan, a canal… panama. A man, a purse, a murse…? Hmm, I just don’t know if America is ready for it.



  1. Wendy

    I feel like there may also be some type of hair maintenance tools and/or hair products. Unless that is what the Leatherman and hot sauce are for?

  2. Don

    Can we expect a iamnottedking man-purse from cutaway coming soon? And Wendy, that reply has got top any I’ve ever witnessed, Ted has got to be LHAO!

  3. Steve

    Me thinks you been watching one too many Miller Lite commericials….

  4. James T.

    I think the preferred term (via Sienfeld) is “European men’s carryall”.


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