Are you packing?
By Sarah O'Hegarty
It always happens, like so many things do, in this way. First we laugh; then we scoff; then we wear. And the fanny pack – otherwise known as (yeesh, nineties throwback), the bum bag – is no different. This time around it’s got a new moniker as the belt bag (hello marketing spin), which in my opinion is far more pleasant. Call me old-fashioned but I think no reference to your gluteus maximus/front bum should ever be associated with where you keep your pocket change.
Why do we care now, you ask? Popping up as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it micro-trend year upon year, the bum bag has been there, like a white noise, in the back of our cultural consciousness. Quite frankly, I put it on mute. It was easier to ignore its existence than acknowledge (and deal with the logistics) of such frippery. But then, something happened. Mainly: Gucci happened. And the masses (read, street stylers) followed suit. Perhaps, it was seeing it subtly worn with some navy streamlined suiting, but something clicked. And, for the first time, I took the fanny pack seriously. Call it a sea change, or just repetitive strain. Either way, eventually I caved.
Here’s my tip if you are genuinely considering doing this trend* (*note, I refer to it mostly as a belt bag as it conjures a far more pleasant image), think of it less as a fanny appendage, more as a belt with benefits. And it’s all about how you wear it: forget the nu-rave, I-packed-the-kitchen-sink manor. The coolest wearers, to me, are pairing it with a normcore herringbone suit in sensible grey, or a simple trench coat. It’s all about that OTT-ordinary mix.
Benefits? There are many. Easy access to your essential kit of phone, bank card and lipstick for one. The downside being you won’t fit much else. A caveat: YOU WILL GET FUNNY LOOKS. Remember, just own it. God (meaning Miuccia Prada) didn’t create this trend so that you could be a wallflower. The fanny pack is as much an affirmative state of mind as a style statement. Maybe Mr Motivator had it right all along.