Do or Don’t: Fanny Packs

Today, let’s talk about a polarizing accessory…

Ever since they got popular in the ’80s, fanny packs had a bad rap. They were the #1 identifier of overeager tourists. The statement bags of mall walkers. The equivalent of “a belt that’s digesting a small animal.”

So, I was surprised when I began seeing them on the hips of celebs like Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne back in 2017. The leather designer packs they wore felt nothing like their neon nylon ancestors. But the fanny pack rebrand felt trendy and I didn’t think it would last.

Cut to five years later: I have a two-year-old and my hand real-estate has become very valuable. Do you know how many spills, tumbles, and cries two free hands can prevent? With my toddler in tow, I don’t have the time or patience to dig around for wipes and pretzels in big leather totes. So, when mother-of-two Aurelia Ugarte looked super cute in her fanny pack and said it could hold diapers, a wallet, chapstick, lotion, and snacks, I was intrigued.

After a few more months of reading reviews and finding fanny pack inspo (above: here, here, here, and here), I decided to start with a casual, everyday type and bought this floral cutie.

These days, when I go to the grocery store, I don’t have to choose between my lumpy purse straining my shoulder or taking up space in my always overflowing cart. Instead, I can bop around with a fanny pack resting lightly across my chest.

Also, have you ever ridden a bike with a larger bag? Feeling it flap back and forth against your body is stressful. But biking with a fanny pack is easy and relaxing. All you have to worry about is where you’re going to stop for your next break because you have the space to carry two to three snacks!

best fanny packs for women

Two months into the fanny pack life, I am now a proud convert and want to add a second style to my collection. A leather one would be perfect for a date night. I also like this cross-body style and this gingham look.

Thoughts? Where do you stand on fanny packs?

P.S. More do’s and don’ts and Kim Anderson’s fanny pack outfits.

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(Photo layouts by Jannelle Sanchez. First grid from top to bottom, left to right: a week of outfits: Jo from Vancouver photo by Jo; a week of outfits: Kim Anderson photos by Christine Han; a week of outfits: Aurelia Ugarte photos by Morgan Lee; a week of outfits: Erica Kim photos by Judy Nguyen. Second grid from top to bottom, left to right: leather fanny pack photo by Erica Kim, Baggu fanny pack photo by Valerie Metz, snake fanny pack photo by Katie Sturino, black fanny pack photo by Emily Wells. )

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