Anna Healy Fenton, South China Morning Post

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Man up – Get that iPad case

It’s always been a mystery to me how any man who does not want to look like he got dressed in a power cut can manage without a handbag. No woman can leave home without mobile phone, hairbrush, wallet containing credit cards, octopus, cash; both notes and shrapnel; hairbrush, lipstick, face powder with mirror, tissues, business cards, keys, sunglasses, reading glasses, nail file, toothpicks, painkillers  – and that’s just the basics. So how do men manage? If they’re wealthy, their car is a mobile handbag. If they take their wife or secretary around with them, and they don’t want to ruin the line of their Armani suit by stuffing a bulging wallet and mobile phone into their back pockets, she carts them about. You can tell because one of her shoulders is lower than the other. Nevertheless, numerous suits are walking about awkwardly with both wallet and phone poking out of pockets, ruining both their clothes and making them look deformed. And often, throwing their assets into much higher profile than they intended. In any case, not a good look.


Enter the iPad

But now there’s a game changer. The iPad. And its little cousin, the iPad Mini. These must-have bloke items do not fit into pockets. Or fashionable ladies’ handbags.

The point of having an iPad is supposed to reduce the need to carry laptop, documents and stuff around. So logically, men need an iPad case. They do. Some cool dudes have made the leap. To some, it already encompasses more than just the iPad. “I definitely think of it as a folio rather than just an iPad case,” Toby Bateman, buying director for online fashion store Mr Porter told the Weekend FT. “I have a Want Les Essentials de la Vie case. I like it because it zips up, has slots for my credit cards and a couple of sleeves for paperwork, invitations and so on, which makes it indispensable during show season, when I need to carry everything I need all day.” There you have it guys, it’s OK to tote the iPad; in its case.

Actually, iPad cases are becoming so normal in the menswear industry that they no longer raise an eyebrow, on catwalk or street. Bateman also says the iPad case has also helped him streamline business trips. When he travels, he takes an overnight bag or carry-on suitcase plus his iPad case, rather than a day or briefcase-type bag, he tells the FT. “The iPad case has minimised my luggage and made working trips far easier.” And the luxury brands have jumped on the, er, bag wagon, churning out iPad cases at every price point. At Prada they start from low-key leather job for £270, (HK$3220) to the same thing in crocodile for £3,590 (HK$42,810). Lanvin teams python with leather for £460 (HK$5485). Fabulous, but not very functional for the man about town who needs persuading that an iPad case still makes the macho cut. Gucci’s version goes the extra mile and doubles as a bag in itself. The best value bestseller on Amazon, courtesy of OtterBox, comes with built-in screen protector and stand. Substitute silicon for crocodile, and the price is just £49.99 (HK$596).

So there you go guys, man up and get an iPad case. You know it makes sense.