Fanny packs are making a comeback. When most people think of fanny packs, they think of tourists scrambling about unknown streets of some foreign city or hikers trekking along in the woods. Or in the case of Cornell University, you probably think of your friends making rounds along the slope on Slope Day.
The name of this accessory — fanny packs — does not accurately suit the typical use or function of accessory itself. In the 1980s, fanny packs were introduced into US fashion and traditionally worn from behind, above one’s buttocks. However, people started to shift the fanny pack to the front of their bodies because pickpockets were having too much fun stealing from them.
Now, fanny packs are worn on the front of the body but only by a select few. Most people find them nerdy or uncool because of who wears them; yet, what they fail to recognize is that fanny packs are incredibly practical. I go so far to say that they are the most underrated, democratic and useful accessory that exists. You can carry all of favorite personal possessions around your waist without having to use your hands, making you more mobile than before. A person on crutches can still carry things with him/her without an extra worry. The fanny pack can be worn underneath or over the garment you wear, serving as a private or public item. Additionally, they non-gendered, suitable for one and all.
Although fanny packs have not made their way into mainstream fashion just yet, we are in the midst of breaking down negative perceptions of them and reinventing the way they look aesthetically. High-fashion brands, such as Marni and Canali, for example, are celebrating the fanny pack’s history, uniqueness and handiness. The fanny packs purpose is endless and the liberation as well as universality that comes with their designs will continue to be praised in fashion through contemporary, streamlined styles for seasons to come.
I am advocating for greater use of fanny packs and a change of their names to belt bags — as the British call them — because this will strip them of their negative perceptions and describe their function more accurately. The new it-item of the future is the belt-bag, so get ready to start wearing them and seeing them everywhere.