What are the Different Types of Briefcases?

Sherry Holetzky

Briefcases are a handy way to keep papers and other items organized and to transport them from one place to another. They come in assorted styles, which vary from personal to professional use. In the past, briefcases were rather plain and most were designed with a masculine edge. Today, you can find everything from hard-sided high security briefcases to handcrafted leather styles and even softer, more feminine designs.

Expandable briefcases are larger, but contain multiple compartments for items.
Expandable briefcases are larger, but contain multiple compartments for items.

Security briefcases are usually constructed from aluminum or metal and many offer reinforced steel frames. They also feature different types of locking systems, from simple combination locks to high tech electronic options. The hinges are designed for security as well and most are tamperproof.

For personal or regular business use, when security is less of an issue, there are many elegantly styled briefcases from which to choose. Designer bags made of soft, supple leather and slim briefcases with clean straight lines are very popular. They come in many sizes, from the very compact to the extra roomy, and offer different types of closures. Some briefcases have a simple zipper, while other have clasps like those found on a suitcase.

Expandable briefcases with interior as well as exterior pockets are very practical, especially for the executive that carries a lot of paperwork and wants to keep everything organized. Some expandable versions also offer an internal folder or many folders, much like a portable filing system. These briefcases make storing, transferring and locating papers much more expedient.

Other styles offer a selection of compartments, including laptop storage, that allow a person access without opening the main compartment of the briefcase. Some have typical handles, while other have shoulder straps or offer both. Some briefcases are carried under the arm, much like a clutch bag, while others have long handles and wheels for easy transport.

Many briefcases can also be personalized with your name or monogram. Personalized cases are not only practical in case of loss but also very attractive. A personalized briefcase would also make a nice gift for the new executive, for someone who just started his or her own business or received a promotion, or for any other special occasion.

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