It’s an argument I often have with my mom when she breaks out her fanny pack. “But it’s so dorky looking!” I’ll say. “I don’t care! It’s practical,” she always replies.
A trend that somehow made its way into Vogue in the late 1980s quickly dissolved along with the other sartorial anomalies from the decade (see: acid-washed jeans, shoulder pads, and the side ponytail). But there is one element the fanny pack had that other fads didn’t: practicality.
No bag can compete with the pragmatism of a fanny pack. It’s hands-free, giving your back and shoulders a break, and it’s more easily accessible. What the fanny pack lacked in order to give it staying power, however, was an element of style. It was a tough trend to get behind because no one was doing it right; no one could figure out a way to make it look cool.
Now, while it’s very much in style to be busy, women need to be free to sip their coffee, check their emails and Instagram feeds, and pick up their dry cleaning in one easy swoop. Designers like Stella McCartney, DKNY, and Jil Sander heard our prayers and set out to revolutionize the fanny pack in a chic, modern way.
Our favorite? Rag & Bone’s patent leather Ellis fanny pack (ragandbone.com, $395). It’s designed to be worn across the hips or as a cross-body for the fanny-pack skeptics who still need a little time to ease in. It has two pockets with a shiny nickel zipper closure. The tougher take on this ’80s trend will sharpen your look and make your day of errands or travel hassle-free.
When I told my mom about the piece I was writing on the revival of the fanny pack, she shot me the intrinsic “I told you so” look that only a mom could. And although it usually takes us decades to realize, and it’s never easy to admit, Mom’s right again.