vintage folio case laptop

I bought this vintage folio from Bentleys Antiques in London last year, and it has proved fantastically useful. 

We can all count ourselves lucky that laptops (well, MacBooks anyway) are only a touch bigger than European writing paper in the first half of the twentieth century. It means vintage cases like this one can still be used today. 

Along with the MacBook Air I tend to carry a phone, wallet, keys, business cards, phone and notebook. Plus assorted papers. This case can hold all of them, with several of the pockets also conveniently sized.

vintage folio case leather

vintage folio case mens    

The biggest problem with vintage cases is speed of access. A gentleman in the 1920s never had to dive into his case to answer a call, fish out his wallet or drop in a leaflet. He would arrive, sit, and only then open his case. Pieces like this would usually contain writing equipment, which would always require a desk. 

Modern cases usually have some form of external pocket, and it is often the one most heavily used. The classic attache case suffers from the same problem – it has to laid down on a surface to access the contents, which is not helpful when you are trying to dig out a map or grab your keys. 

vintage folio case leather2

vintage folio case2

However, for a vintage piece this folio is actually quite easy to use. It can be opened at the top when held, as shown, giving access to a deep, full-width pocket. It is here that quick-access items can be stored, while the laptop and anything else can be contained in the other two, folded sections. 

The leather is a heavily waxed calf on the outside, and goatskin on the inside. It has a lot of spotting on the exterior, but I like such signs of age if they don’t affect the functionality.

If I could change one element, it would be the hardware, which might be nicer in brass. 

vintage folio case bentleys

Photos: Jamie Ferguson – and @jkf_man

Post on the clothes in these photos here

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You’d think a bespoke jacket would have a pocket or two for phone and such…….


Do you carry your phone in your pocket, then?


That really is a lovely, lovely piece of kit.


Sorry Simon, a question on a different topic – I noticed that your dinner jacket (made by Richard Anderson) has no facing on the lapels. Is this correct? Is this in keeping with tradition?

nick inkster


Have you tried to follow up on the wording to see if it has any real history?


Perhaps it’s Hunter Hearst Helmsley?

I kid. That folio is full of character, and is an excellent example of how things get better with age (and appropriate care, of course.)



On the subject of your dinner suit: what kind of braids do you have on the trousers? Same silk as the lapel? If so, do you have it attached at the seem, or as a strip covering the seam?



Thanks. Did the tailor make the strip himself from the silk used for the facing or was it supplied as a strip from a trimming supplier? Russel at GB told me that you need a special sewing machine to make a silk strip straight.



Thanks Simon. Any chance you could find out from which supplier? Would be much appreciated:)



Loving the jacket’s pattern. The material is Cashmere?

Tim Hardy

Really nice piece that Simon – Tim always has some lovely things and we have chewed the fat over many an article in the past.
Kind regards,
Tim Hardy


Why does there appear to be a blood-like spattering on the right side of the folio on picture 4 which is missing from picture 5?

Andrew Goadby

Hi Simon,

Out of interest, how do you care for the leather of the folio? I have a similarly old leather satchel that I use instead of a laptop bag and I want to make sure I look after the leather properly, as it has lots more character than a black nylon shoulder bag.

Thanks in advance,

Harry Barker

Lovely piece Simon, thank you. I feel the world of modern leather goods is yet to effectively address the challenges technology pose. I have a small messenger from The Bridge with a useful outer pocket, but I still struggle to locate things within it. I would love you to explore this in more detail in future posts, thanks again.


Hi Simon,

I am wondering if there is any chance you would be willing to add a photo or two of the inside of the folio when it is completely opened up? It would be lovely to see the complete layout of all the pockets and pouches, and speculate as to their exact purpose back in the day.


Simon, I would like to know how to look after Bridle leather goods. I’m in the process of looking to buy a Swiane Adeney Brigg legal attache case. Since the cost of these finely made cases are high my concern is how to I protect from cracking and dry out. This would also apply to small Bridle leather goods as well.

Mikey Taylor

love the leather colour of the folio

Ferruccio - Journalist, Milan

Thnaks a lot for this post, Simon. Style and true elegance is also very much about mixing beautiful vintage pieces with new ones. In Milan there are amazing places where you can find (donated for “beneficienza”) bespoke Caraceni and Savile Row for 15 euro and bags like this for 3 euro….to be really elegant you dont’need to be rich…it is more a matter of culture, dont’you think? Best regards and thanks for your work

Cormac Lynch

Simon, Love the folio. Is this your armory chino in the photos used in the article? If so, I’m impressed with its versatility and what shoes were you wearing in this outfit? Would suede or grain EG dover work?
Thank you.


Can anyone recommend any good menswear stores in Vienna please?