I recently received the Lotuff & Clegg working tote bag, ordered a few weeks ago. It’s nice to be able to say that neither the online photography nor Joe’s rhetoric are misleading. It is a beautiful, classic piece of leatherwork.

In my original piece on Lotuff & Clegg, brothers Joe and Rick Lotuff talked about how the handle of a bag just feels better in the hand when it is made their way – in precise proportions, with six layers of leather. They mentioned the importance of using big, vegetable-tanned skins for the effect it gives on the overall matching of the grains. Both of these things are borne out by the tote; but it is hard to put them any better than they did.

The tote is a big, unstuctured bag; it is made of a thick, soft and supple leather; it has no internal construction or pockets. It is therefore, in some ways, an impractical bag. But I would never suggest that the beauty of the leather, its tanning and texture, be sullied with pockets. It would be a sin. You can fit everything in and the sesation of carrying it will be a pleasure.

Lotuff & Clegg makes more other, perhaps more practical bags. Like the lovely English leather or lawyer’s briefcases. But for me, the working tote is the most beautiful. I can’t wait for that veggie-tanned grain to develop its own character through daily use.  

Previous, more detailed piece on Lotuff & Clegg here. The company’s website here.

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I currently have an English Lock brief on order – it’s been an agonising wait but I cannot wait to receive it.
Delighted to hear they look as good in real life as they do in the pictures.
Enjoy, T


Good day!

Would love to see a picture with a close up of the seam finishing in the interior of your Rubinacci cashmere odd jacket’s sleeve. Very rarely does one get to see an unlined sleeve.



Mr C.,

instead of these atmospheric, meditative pictures it would be much more beneficial for us readers if you’d display the bag in full. In natural sunlight, from many angles.


Hello Simon
Three years on, how have you found the quality of your L&B bag – has it lived up to expectations?


Dear Simon,

I can’t help but find that the Frank Clegg bound edge ziptop briefcase ($850) is almost identical to the Lotuff ziptop briefcase ($680). The former uses RiRi zippers vs the two way YKK excella zipper of the latter. Both use full grain tumbled leather. Dimension and design almost identical.

1) Is one RiRi better than a two way YKK excella? Any advantage in either?
2) Any reason for the $170 difference in price?

It makes me think if I were to buy a FC briefcase I should get the more squared off Ziptop one, for, at least it uses belting leather and the design is different. What do you think? Any thought on belting vs tumbled leather? Which colour is the most versatile overall?

Is there any other briefcase brand that you would recommend?




Thanks Simon. Will the tumbled leather lose it’s structure quicker than belting? Why do you prefer tumbled?


And what do think about the shrunken grain leather regarding structure and formality Simon?

Would you also say that dark brown (chocolate on Cleggs site) is the most versatille colour for a duffle bag as well?


Ok, so colour and style of the bag are making the difference in formality.

I am trying to figure out for a duffle bag. So only for this bag would you agree on the following?

In a scale of formality the darker colours (black, dark brown, dark green, navy), will be on the more formal end and the lighter ones (cognac, chestnut, olive, tan) on the more casual?

And texture on a scale of formality would be with shrunken grain on the more formal end, followed by the texture of tumbled leather and on the other end (less formal) with the harness belting leather? Where would you place suede leather texture in this scale?

I am tending to the duffle bag in chocolate shrunken grain but the tumbled leather is also very interesting. I don’t know though which one is keeping its structure better over the years, which is important for the loads of a duffle bag i think. On the other hand i am trying to figure out which leather is going to age better. Any idea on that?

Unfortunately, i can not see and touch them in real, so i have to decide upon the online store pictures and your much appreciated opinion on above questions.

Which one would you choose for a versatile duffle bag?


Hi Simon, would you mind sharing what is the name of the color you went for with this bag? Tan, cognac or chestnut? Thanks.