I was in France on a family holiday recently and I was reminded how many men of all sizes in that great country use a man bag – really a glorified purse the size of a very thick smartphone – to keep their keys, cash, bits and bobs handy.

It reminded me of previous family holidays in France, a thousand years ago, when I was the child instead of the parent.

Back then my father – who was way ahead of his time in terms of progressiveness, equal rights and being comfortable in one’s own skin and sexuality – commented on the same thing.

I remember his words. “I’ve always thought the small handbag French men use to be an eminently sensible idea.” This was back in the macho, chauvinist 70’s when a heterosexual British male wouldn’t be seen dead carrying anything remotely resembling a purse or handbag.

I agree with him. And I think that smartphone cases that come with a couple of pockets to hold credit cards and cash are going that way too.

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