There are four basic types of briefcases for men, and they each have their own unique style and design. The attaché case was the most common type of briefcase, but is being seen less and less today. The attaché case is hard sided and made of leather with a hand carry handle only. It is considered to be the most formal of all briefcases for men.

The folio case is usually made of leather, but can be made from fabric, and is very soft with a handle for hand carrying only. It is a versatile briefcase that is functional and even fashionable for those who place looks ahead of functionality.

The portfolio briefcase is probably the most portable of the three types. It is considered an informal type of case that folds almost in half and has a snap or tie closure. It typically does not have a handle, but can be carried in a backpack or other type of shoulder bag.

The shoulder or messenger bag that can also become a backpack is becoming the most common of all briefcases. It is a leather or fabric bag, about the size of a standard attaché case, but is soft sided and has a handle for hand carry and a padded shoulder strap for shoulder carry.