Fanny packs have fallen in and out of style for decades. These bags were hardworking helpers for hunters, fashion accessories for Victorian ladies, and neon-colored tourist staples.
As the style changed over the centuries, so did the name:
- Japanese Inro
- Scottish Sporran
- Victorian Chatelaine purses
- Fanny Packs
- Belt Bags
- Bum Bags
- Waist Packs
Whatever you may call them, their usefulness has always fallen short because of their odd look. Fanny packs have a bad wrap for being tacky, tourist staples; but they are quickly making their way back into fashion.
Perfect for the minimalist, the concert goer, athletes, kids, and more, there is undoubtedly a fanny pack for you! But how do you decide on the right style? How can you make sure that you are wearing it correctly?
Read on to learn more about the resurgence of this handy (or rather, hands-free) little bag and all the different options currently on the market!
Styles to Look out for in 2020
There are tons of great options and alternatives available in the market right now. From high-end designer belt bags to bulk fanny packs, there is an option for any style on any budget.
- Make bag check easier at theme parks or concerts by choosing a clear fanny pack.
- Fashion lovers can shop around for countless different styles of belt bags through their favorite brands and retailers. Whether you choose solids, prints, or in-your-face logos, there are tons of ways to wear your belt bag. You can also try accessorizing a more basic bag with keychains, buttons, or patches to give your belt bag a unique look.
- Those with a sense of adventure can choose lumbar hiking packs, worn around the waist. These often come with drink holders and extra straps for comfort and versatility.
- Runners and athletes can choose slim waist packs to hold the bare necessities like a phone and keys. There are also great options that include drink holders, so your play can last as long as possible.
- For those licensed to carry a firearm, there are options to make concealing it safer and more convenient.
- If you're looking for a more frugal style, most small cross-bodies with adjustable straps can transform into belt bags. You can also take the DIY route by making your pack with some fun fabric or old jeans and a belt.
What to Look for When Shopping for Your Pack
When shopping for your fanny pack, there are a few things that you should keep in mind as you make your decision:
- Can all your essentials fit inside the compartments? Does the bag function in a way that works for you?
- Is the strap adjustable so that you can make it fit correctly? Can it extend long enough so you can wear it multiple ways? (Around the waist, over the shoulder, across the chest, etc.)
- Does the material work for your lifestyle or activity? If you are using it outside, you'll want to be able to clean it. Are there embellishments that you love, but that could fall or rip off?
- Are there more straps or add-ons that can make the pack more useful for a more extended period?
- Is the size comfortable for you? Consider putting it on and walking around to see if it bounces or rubs anywhere that would make you uncomfortable.
The Benefits of Fanny Packs
If you're still not sold on the LOOK of this bag, here are a few ways that it may make your life a little bit better.
- This bag will always leave your hands free. Whether you wear the bag around the waist, over your shoulder, or across your chest, you will love the convenience it provides.
- Fanny packs can be dressed up or down depending on the style. Many celebrities wear them over dresses or jackets in the place of a traditional belt.
- Adventurers and athletes can pick styles that have water bottle holders and pockets necessities. The less you carry, the more stamina you will have. Less is more when it comes to conserving energy!
- These bags come in many different styles, designs, and prints. There is a bag for everyone!
- Fanny packs are better for your back and shoulders since you will carry their weight around your waist.
- When traveling, you can keep tickets, passports, and small, comfort accessible.
- Never worry about pickpockets again! All your items will be close to your body, where you can keep track of it.
- Kids can carry their snacks, first aid kits, and any other items they are always asking you to take. While backpacks are great, they often get dropped any time your child wants to play. A fanny pack is more comfortable to wear while playing, so they are more likely to keep it on.
How to Wear Your Bag
Each bag has a unique shape and style, offering several different ways to wear it.
- Fanny packs are traditionally worn around the waist, with the bag situated along your center in front.
- Change things up by wearing the pack backward over your tailbone (or over your fanny). This wear is popular with athletes and runners.
- Wear it over your shoulder like a handbag.
- Extend the strap and wear the pack across your body and rest the bag on your chest for easy access. Or, flip it around you back like a crossbody, but closer to you for security and ease of movement.
- If your pack has a removable strap, you can use it as a clutch for more formal outings or if you want to switch things up.
- Accessorize your pack with pins, patches, keychains, or other accessories for different styles. Dress a basic-colored bag up or down for various activities.
The History of the Fanny Pack
These unique, little bags have fallen in and out of fashion since caveman days. People have always loved the convenience of having their necessities at hand, but apprehensive about the style of it.
Back before the popularity of the oversized handbag came into fashion, people loved the "less is more," mindset. The concept of only carrying what you needed making for many unique, well thought out accessories
Where it Began:
Hunters, gatherers, and fashionistas have loved this accessory throughout history.
- Back in days of icemen, it's believed that a bag worn around the waist was a popular choice for hunters as it kept their necessary tools close to hand.
- In the Scottish Highlands, warriors wore small sporrans over their kilts that held their possessions.
- In 17th Century Japan, people wore small decorated pouches, woven baskets, or containers called "inro." The inro attached to their kimono to hold valuable personal items.
- The Victorian times brought dainty, Chatelaine purses. These held useful items like writing utensils, keys, perfume, and other personal things.
When it Fell Out of Favor:
Once people became more aware of fashion and style, these bags also became part of the do-or-don't mentality.
- In the 50s, the once useful belted bag began to become shoved into a category for use by skiers and athletes.
- The 80s brought nylon and neon alternatives of these bags, and also their first fashion craze. But, because of their brightly colored style, they quickly fell out of favor. This era in fashion even became an ongoing punchline for the next few decades.
Welcome Back, Fanny Pack!
It wasn't easy, but those in the industry have never given up hope that the fanny pack would be back!
- In the mid-90s, big names in fashion tried to resuscitate the trend, but the damage the 80s hasn't been easy to undo. Vintage handbags from this era now sell for an even higher ticket price than some newly designed pieces.
- In the late 90s-mid 2010s, fanny packs became an ironic accessory worn by those harboring a hipster lifestyle.
- On the coattails of the ironic wearing of these handbags came to the triumphant resurgence of the belt bag. Depending on the region, the name changed, but the basic style stayed the same. Many preferred wearing it as a crossbody or around the waist with the pack facing front or back.
- Currently, the trend is strong with celebrities, on the runway, with athletes, and with people around the world!
Where Can You Buy One?
Most major retailers and off-price retailers now carry these handy, little bags. Depending or your style or intended use, you should be able to find plenty of options that suit your style.
If you've never worn fanny packs, consider going into a store to try some on before you buy one. The fit of each style will be different from one another, so this can help you make the best choice before buying.
There are so many different styles for whatever your life brings. You can get some personalized for your group, pick colors and patterns, and be ready for whatever life brings.
Contact us today to make your fanny pack dreams come true. See for yourself how handy these hands-free bags are, and get back to only bringing what you need, any time you go out.