A beginner’s guide to professional luggage

By: October 21, 2019

As you trek through Toronto during in-firm week, dressing for the interview won’t stop at your clothes


As October gives way to November, second-year law students across the country are preparing for the final stage of Toronto’s formal recruitment process. We are referring, of course, to in-firm week. Hundreds of students are set to descend on Toronto for three days of non-stop interviewing and networking at the fanciest spots in the city. If you’re one of those students, take note: your professional look extends beyond your suit.

When you’re carrying your life around Toronto in a suitcase, your luggage becomes just as important as anything you’re wearing. So save the duffel bag for the gym and, instead, pack your belongings in a professional suitcase.

If your budget doesn’t have room for new luggage right now, don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable options. Both Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are full of gently-used, nice-looking luggage that cost a fraction of the retail price. Alternately, you could borrow a suitcase from a friend, roommate or family member.

Whether you’re shopping for something new or cruising for deals second-hand, there are a few key points to keep in mind. First, colour. Just like your interview outfit, choose something in a solid, understated colour like black, navy blue or burgundy. Steer clear of garish patterns, racing stripes and other embellishments. Second, pay attention to design. There are some stylish soft-sided suitcases out there, but most of them are pretty ugly. Hard-sided plastic luggage, on the other hand, is a safe bet. Its design is sleek and contemporary. To help kick-start the shopping process, here are three fool-proof options.

The Classic Choice: Herschel’s Trade Medium


With a molded ABS plastic hard shell and four multidirectional wheels, this case makes a great entry-level carry-on. It also offers thoughtful features, like garment cross-straps and a zippered mesh storage divider to keep your stuff in place during transit. Available online at $199.






The Soft Choice: TravelPro’s Crew VersaPack Max Carry-On Expandable Spinner


It lacks the sleekness of a hardshell case, but this nylon carry-on more than makes up the difference in functionality. Thanks to a ton of interior and exterior pockets, and clever features like a removable exterior toiletries bag and laptop pouch, it excels at keeping your stuff neat, tidy, and accessible. You’ll be ready to pack for whatever the journey holds. Available online at $379.




The Luxury Choice: Away’s Bigger Carry-On With Pocket


Thanks to its sleek, minimalist design and trendy colour combinations, Away is a popular choice for stylish, reliable hardshell luggage. This new model is an upgrade to the company’s standard carry-on. It offers a bit more room and the added benefit of an exterior pocket to keep your laptop, tablet or important documents within easy reach. It also comes with a hidden laundry bag for your workout gear and an ejectable battery for charging your phone on the go. Available online at $395.

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