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  • Jessica Taylor Yates

The Murse: An In-Depth Investigation

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Finally - the guys can carry all the shit.

Disclaimer: Now team, let me start by saying- wear whatever the fuck you want. Boys in a pink dress and nail polish with bangs, yass queen! The times, they are a changin', and we are along for the ride.


I think I first noticed just how uncool my fashion choices were compared to men in Harajuku, Japan some 8, 9 years ago. Not my Back to the Future top I wore on the Back to the Future Ride:

(that was obviously ballin')

but like...I could have been in my raddest outfit, and I wouldn't have come close to the least cool dude there. They were into unisex dressing and pushing the boundaries of male/female way before it was mainstream. Think dudes walking round in pink overalls, kimonos, and dare I say it -murses, or the male purse.

The murse had a bit of a hard run before it came back into the spotlight in the form of an over-the-shoulder bumbag in 2018.

Legend has it Scottish dudes needed satchels to put their shit in all the way back in the 1700s, as their skirts had no pockets (been there, bro). In the Middle Ages, there were pouches for carrying spices, coins and I dunno, apples people stole? (My research of this rests solely on the cartoon Aladdin). During the Renaissance, murses were a symbol of wealth, so obviously these were leather pouches - and these weren't just the hipsters.

At the turn of the 20th century, man-bags took on more of a 'work' vibe, in the form of satchels, crossover body bags, and briefcases. But what was a dude supposed to do who just wanted to carry some shit with him to a bar? Briefcase, too work-like. Satchel, what you got, your uni assignment? Abort. Backpack. What are you carrying, spray paint to graffiti my garage? Nah mate.

There had to be something...more. A bag that was small enough to not look like you're working or heading on vacay, but big enough to fit your shit like your phone, wallet and keys. Almost like a...a purse?

Christian Ronaldo

Yo, we all need to store our paw-paw somewhere hun.

The invention of the murse has been legendary for women.

NO LONGER will we carry your keys!

NO LONGER will we store your cigarettes!

NO LONGER are we the ones who have the tickets, the lip balm, the passports, the sanitiser (#isolyf), the dog bags!

That's right. MEN CAN.


It wasn't always this way. Who doesn't remember when Joey was shut down for loving his murse on Friends?

Video: NBC

Before you get all shitty, it was a different time! The world wasn't ready for Joey and his bag!

But we're ready now.

Slowly, celebs started stepping out in the open with their murses, unafraid and unashamed. David Beckham, LeBron James, Robert Downey Junior. Guys started to think - shit. If Iron Man even needs a place to store his shit - maybe I do?

Seal rocking his renaissance-inspired murse

Suddenly, the murse was not just tolerated, nay, it was CELEBRATED. What once was a joke between my partner and I has turned into a battle for who gets to use the murse when we head out. Although he has not yet merged designer (we have a male friend with a custom PRADA murse. Will just isn't ready. But he will be), he cannot deny the benefits of being able to store all your shit in one place.

"I wear a murse so well, it makes women with purses look masculine" -my apparently woke husband.

Murses these days can come in the form of the 'over the shoulder' (more of a travel murse):

Robert Downey Junior, aka IRON MAN, rocking an over-the-shoulder murse.

The 'hip bumbag' (note: apparently according to Will I cannot pull this off. I bought three in different colours to be sure)

Jared Leto. Note: abs help.

The 'small satchel':

You got snacks in there LeBron hun?

And the 'legit murse':

Kanye's murse designer game: strong

I for one, dig the latest iteration. Long live the murse!


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