No matter the rank or role, it is vital that all business professionals invest in well-designed, high quality, leather briefcases. With the sheer volume of briefcases available on the market, however, selecting the best one can seem a daunting task. Knowing some features to look for and factors to consider can help you find the one that best suits your needs and your personal style.

You can find briefcases in a variety of sizes, from small, messenger-style cases to extra-large briefcases with wheels on the bottom and everything in between. For most people, the standard size is sufficient, but consider how you will use your case, where you will take it and what you need to transport on a regular basis to determine the best size for you.

Briefcases are made from a variety of materials, so you can choose something that fits your discrimination and complements your lifestyle. Many business professionals love the rich look and supple feel of real leather. On the other hand, some are opposed to using animal hide or simply prefer something besides leather. For them, cases made from nylon, aluminum or other animal-friendly materials might be a better option.

Be sure to think about the type of closure you require as well. Briefcases may have zippers, buckles, latches and even locks. If you frequently tote legal briefs, client files or other sensitive documents, choose a case that features built-in combination locks is prudent. Even if the paperwork you carry is not terribly confidential, a brief case that does not have secure closures of some sort can cause you to lose work that may be difficult –if not impossible—to replace.

Look at the interior arrangement and any external pockets or compartments provided. Little extras, such as a special section for your laptop, a compartment for your cell phone or even a fob to hold your keys might not seem like a big deal at first blush. However, when you are rushing to a meeting and you need to bring your laptop for the presentation along with the handouts for your clients, you will be grateful that everything fits neatly in your brief case.

Of course, price is an important aspect. When it comes to costs, briefcases run the gamut. If you have a little wiggle room in your expense account, go for a high-grade, hard-sided case with all of the extras you might need. Alternatively, if your budget is a bit tight, think about the features that matter most to you and then buy the nicest case that best meets those within your price range.