Good style starts at home. That’s why having a central location for your grooming essentials should be a top priority – right after replacing your year-old toothbrush and not getting your mum to choose your shampoo anymore.
Men’s toiletry bags – also known as dopp kits or wash bags – act as a one-stop-shop for your skin and hair care products. They’re lean, durable, and compact. Men’s toiletry bags can stay and travel as you need – you can keep them on the top shelf in the bathroom (because everyone likes to ‘borrow’ your Aesop) or tuck them at the bottom of your carry-on.
RELATED: 10 Best Skin Care Products For Men
A worthy toiletry bag should last you decades, and can serve as a cool heirloom to pass down the generations, if you’re so inclined. Whether you’re deciding on a name or just can’t deal with constantly misplacing your razors and moisturisers, this list will point you in the right direction of a first-class toiletry bag. You’ll never spend the morning wondering who hid your toothpaste ever again.
Bamford Grooming Department
A mother-son design duo, Bamford Grooming Department brings a bit of corporate hustle to grooming products. This luxury toiletry bag combines monochrome palette and unpretentious design for the aspiring CEOs and corporate warriors holding out for something to finish the look. This design has a perforated leather shell and leather lining, with a firm triangular structure that’ll keep its shape through daily punishment. The bag has a single exterior zip, and additional internal compartments for simplified organisation and ease of access. Bamford knows that contemporary grooming isn’t just a toothbrush and tub of clay; there’s plenty of room for your daily regimen and the moisturiser you flogged from the missus.
Taking two things that seem unharmonious and making them work is a bread and butter racket to Canadian designers DSquared2. This cotton denim wash toiletry bag is no different. On the design front, DSquared2 have travelled a different path compared to run-of-the-mill unicolour leather or nylon bags. The distressed finish and patch detailing that suggests prolonged use and plenty of travel (even if it stays on the bathroom shelf). It also has a stonewash texture, adding a sense of the rugged to your grooming kit. There’s 8cm of depth to work with, so you’ll be able to fit small shampoo and moisturiser bottles without too much early-morning hassle. This might be pricier than your shoes, so think twice about leaving your luggage to grab a coffee in the flight lounge.
NN.07 are the overachievers of understated durability. In a collab with L:A Bruket, this bag carries that legacy with awesome value: not only do you get the bag, but you don’t have to worry about hitting the shops to fill it. This travel bag is made of a hardy shell exterior, so it’s perfectly suited for your daily carriage to work, or at the bottom of your gym bag. The complimentary goodies – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a lotion – means you’re already good to go on the grooming front. This bag has 8cm depth, so plenty of space for its included goods plus the extra backup razor here and there. At its current pricepoint its an absolute steal, so keep it in mind if your parents are interrogating you about a potential birthday present.
D R Harris
D R Harris have been the grooming go-to for aristocrats and Brit royals since 1790. With a Royal Warrant (not an easy trophy by any means) they offer a suite of luxury scents, bags, and grooming essentials with plenty of old-world quirkiness. This hanging toiletry bag puts optimal convenience and inconspicuous elegance together like jam on toast. This is made from rock-solid textured grain leather, so it will take on its own shape and colour based on your unique circumstances of use. It offers two zipped compartments; a primary section for the bulk of your gear, and a smaller side compartment for additional bandaids and razors you see fit to carry. What sets this bad boy apart from the rank and file is its detachable hanging sleeve. If you’re prone to misplacing small items, you can hang this on the door in the bathroom during use and a wall mount in your bedroom. This will protect the leather and zips from accidental abrasions, and means you won’t have to ask your housemate to borrow a razor ever again.
If you want to bring luxury to grooming essentials, buy Versace. In an electric blue with Versace’s distinctive medusa logo, this modest toiletry bag is a step beyond the bland and ordinary. With a fuss-free zip fastening, this bag is made in Italy with a robust nylon shell, promising long-term use and the chance to groom another day. This bag runs on the smaller side of things, so pack light with the essentials and leave the backup toothbrush at home.
Patricks have had serious time in the ring with their grooming products – from small beginnings and struggle in Bondi to awards, acclaim, and astronomical achievement worldwide. Patricks have diversified from war-winning clays into toiletry bags that’ll see you through exhausting flights and tough mornings like no other. This air-friendly toiletry bag uses a cow leather shell, with quilted external reinforcement for those bumpy flights, or a long week at the bottom of your gym bag. It boasts a revolutionary antibacterial lining, which will keep the interior looking tidy and make any unfortunate mid-flight breakages less of a trip killer. If you need something that comfortably straddles monochrome cool and travel-friendly, this bag should be your first and last choice.
The venerable Paul Smith knows that mid-flight grooming isn’t just for the cast of Mad Men. This understated navy nylon toiletry bag will guard your toiletries whether you’re struggling through a morning in a hotel bathroom or trying to pull off a beard trim on a last-minute red eye. With a single zip and compartment, this toiletry bag is for the inconspicuous guy. With a muted french navy base and a simple contrast orange label, its only concession to Paul Smith’s usual quirkiness is a simple PS logo. Nylon might not have the character of leather that’s seen a few years of wear, but it more than makes up for it by putting stains and abrasions in their place, with extra versatility for both travel or daily use in the office and gym. At a reasonable price point, this is a good entry into smart toiletry bags that’ll be a reliable companion in most environments.
The outdoors is no place to forget grooming, and Patagonia have an ideal toiletry bag to keep you looking the business whichever mountain you climb (and puke on). This black wash bag has two internal mesh pouches for additional protection and a rounded zip-up feature, allowing you ease of access to internally-stored toiletries. This bag will stand up to rugged treatment – its polyester exterior is water-resistant and easily shrugs off stains and discolouration. Patagonia toiletry bags run on the larger end of the scale, with 10cm depth and 30cm width, so its perfect for a road trip where you need extra kit to keep you looking like the gainfully employed, socially adjusted guy that you are.
If your grooming essentials need a point of difference, then Alexander McQueen is your knight in stylish armour. This bag combines two contrasting motifs – menacing skulls and woodland camo – and somehow pulls it all together. It has a fully lined interior, to keep you safe from any internal breakages, and has ideal dimensions – big enough for the grooming basics but lean enough to keep in your carry-on without sacrificing those extra pairs of jocks you hope you won’t need. It’s likely more expensive than anything else in your luggage so don’t bloody check it in.
Connolly have over a century’s experience servicing automobile manufacturers with five-star leather and their accessories are designed with this tradition at the forefront. Outside upholstery, Connolly have done leather for almost everybody, from Ferrari to the benches of Parliament House, so this vintage leather toiletry bag is steeped in a history of solid workmanship and timeless design. The colour scheme is vintage to the bone, in a neutral tan that will never drop off the sartorial radar of acceptable colours.
This bag has several internal compartments, if you are a fastidious organiser or just don’t want your toothpaste to explode over your double-edged safety razor. It has substantial internal dimensions, making it a perfect choice if you have an extended trip on the cards or just took Patrick Bateman’s monologue in American Psycho about skincare to heart. You’d struggle to find a more suitable choice for everyday use, travel or no travel.