‘Folio’. It's a curious word. It comes from Middle English, and the Latin 'folium' before that; which translates simply as 'leaf'. Which is ironic — because refined, reliable examples of these luxury leather cases definitely don't grow on trees. In fact, managing to find a folio that ticks all of your high-flying, hard-working business boxes can be nigh on impossible. And yet, they are out there.
And it’s worth the search. Because a folio, or portfolio, can be an invaluable piece of kit. Bigger and more durable than a folder, but less bulky than a briefcase or laptop bag, these mid-size life-savers are the perfect way to store your back-to-work documents. And, with several striking designs in countless eye-catching colours, they make handsome accessories too…
If you’re travelling light, opt for an envelope style
Prone to heading into town for a short, sharp meeting — and then shooting back to the office? We’ve got just the folio for you. The envelope style may look a little lightweight — but it makes up for in practicality what it lacks in size. Without a handle, zip or any other distractions, this is a simple, sleek way to carry your papers and documents to-and-fro. But don’t be deceived; there are still some tricks in these sleeves…
Bennett Winch’s folio, for example, conceals a unique reverse popper fastening, is lined with suede and is sizeable enough to comfortably carry a 16 inch MacBook. Charles Laurie London’s envelope has a similar suede lining — available in a rainbow of bespoke colours — and features handy business card pockets and a pen loop. And then there’s Pickett’s stripped-back option — with a magnetic fastening to ensure chicness in simplicity.
The Envelope – Green
For extra security, invest in a zip-around portfolio
Of course, if you’re a man constantly on the go, you may want a portfolio with an extra layer of security. Poppers are all well and good — but nothing says ‘safe’ quite as definitively as a meticulously-made zip. Carry an all-round zip portfolio and your papers, pens, documents and laptop will remain snug and secure from A to B.
Ettinger's portfolio has the extra appeal of bridle leather, which will grow even more luxurious over time and will acquire a beautiful shiny patina — guaranteed to turn heads on your morning commute. Or, if one zip isn’t good enough for you, Paul Smith’s portfolio boasts a zipped back compartment for extra slimline storage.
Bridle Hide large zip portfolio
Get a handle on your back to work workload
If you’re finding it hard to let go of your briefcase, why not try a folio with a handle? Literally hard to let go of, if you don’t find yourself filling up your old case this September, these slim stylish alternatives to traditional attachés are the perfect way to pack light.
Ettinger have an excellent option; the Bakerloo Zipped Portfolio. In versatile navy, it not only has two ergonomic retractable handles, but also features a lock for added security. Aspinal of London’s Connaught Document Case is similarly designed with businessmen in mind. In Italian full-grain leather, it contains room for your laptop, and pockets for your diary and smartphone. Or, for the more jet-setting gent, look back to Charles Laurie London — whose Handle Folio even offers a pocket for your passport.
Looking for more back-to-work gear? A blue-and-white shirt is the perfect investment...
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