Stop everything and get a fanny pack (this is not a joke)

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Forget holiday gifts, groceries, and those other boring ‘essentials’, and move ‘fanny pack’ to the top of your buy-it-now list.

YES, we know. Of all the sentences we never thought we’d say (write), that one is in the top three. (After ‘No guac for me, thanks,’ and ‘Yes, of course I’ll take a 2 hour personality quiz with you, mysterious person outside the creepy Scientology building.’)

But fashion, like love and happy hours where you’ll ‘just have one’, is full of surprises. The accessory that was once strictly reserved for dads on vacay and people running yard sales is having A Moment.

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That moment began around the start of 2017, when celeb spotters began posting photos of A-listers (and others) sporting the loathed purse-alternative.

At first it was the more, er, ‘quirky’ stars, like actor Matthew McConaughey, a man who always looks as though he arrived at the red carpet on the back of a horse, thanks to a long love affair with bootcut jeans, brown leather jackets, double denim, and Stetsons. McConaughey is exactly the kind of guy who looks at practicality over style, and if it doesn’t ride your horse, well, ma’am, that’s just dandy with him.

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Similarly, when Leonardo DiCaprio, everyone’s favorite determined-to-dress-horribly forever-stud, showed up in a fanny pack while in Thailand, everyone shrugged, like, of course, Leo. The man could wear a shirt made of trash bags with cargo pants and human hair flip flops, and a large percentage of the population would still swoon.

 

BUT THEN the fanny pack moved beyond the realms of these stubborn fashion mavericks, and into the realms of Generation Cool when it got an unofficial rep in Kendall Jenner.

 

Mom jeans, turtle neck, & a Chanel fanny pack. Only Kendall. ☑️🙌🏻 #kendalljenner @kendalljenner

A post shared by Kendall Jenner (@kjennerstreetstyl) on

Maybe Kendall is nostalgic for the days when fanny packs were as much an essential of family vacays as a giant video camera, ten disposable cameras, and foldout maps. Maybe she’s ready to overlook memories of walking ten paces behind your dad/other responsible adult to avoid being associated with the fanny pack around his middle. Or maybe, she has been able to look beyond its initial searing ugliness to appreciate its staunch practicality. Maybe she’s over getting back pain from carting around a massive purse.

Whatever the reasoning behind Ms Jenner’s unbound affection for the ugly duckling of bags, she has taken them under her wing, and as with anything she does (except drink Pepsi) her army of fans is ready to jump on the bandwagon.

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In light of this revival of the humble fanny pack, those of us traumatized by its original incarnation are having to put aside our personal opinions and re-examine it for its charms.

All the great things about fanny packs

  1. They’re hands-free. That’s kind of the main selling point. Unlike a clutch, there’s no holding on to a fanny pack all night, balancing it with a drink, trying not to wave it around like a club while you dance. There’s no clinging on to the strap so it doesn’t slip off your shoulder. And unlike a backpack, it’s right there in front of you when you need it. There’s no sliding the thing off your back so you can root around for the wallet you’re fairly sure is in there, while the line of people waiting to check out their groceries forms an angry mob behind you. With a fanny pack, you just reach down, unzip, pass over the cash/card, and glide coolly out of the store. Does prolific shopper Kendall understand this too?
  2. Another key feature that has fueled the fanny pack’s comeback is its compactness. After years of lugging a million unnecessary items all day (do we really need a change of shoes, a donut and three extra sweaters?) we are forced to go back to the essentials. You can fit your keys, wallet, phone, maybe a bottle of water, some hairclips, and your make-up in a fanny pack, and that’s all you really need. Free your hands, cancel arm day, say no to being your own pack horse. Fanny pack = freedom.
  3. Crucially, unlike our dads/the adults in our lives who advocated for the earlier iterations of fanny packs, Kendall has proved that it isn’t all about the waist. You can wear it over your front, like a mix between a wallet and a shoulder bag, if that’s how you feel. It doesn’t have to be a neon arrow to your hips or your gut, unless that’s what you’re into (you do you).

Doesn’t that all sound so enticing? If you want to join us on Team Fanny Pack (OK, too far, but you get the idea), here are four of our favorite options:

HAND PUFF FURRY FANNY PACK

It’s a fanny pack AND A MUFF in one.
In case you are unfamiliar with essential Victorian fashion, a muff was like a tube that fancy ladies carried in winter to put their hands in. This one is made of faux fur, ‘cos we’ve come a way since then, and it’s softer and more exciting than when you manage to convince your cat to cuddle you just so you can steal his body heat. AND it’s also a fanny pack, with an adjustable belt and two zip pockets. On first impression, you feel confusion, but five minutes with this and we promise, you also will fall for its allure.

 

FUTURE SO BRIGHT FANNY PACK

If you prefer something more understated, the Future So Bright Fanny Pack has a faux leather finish, in either black or metallic gold, with a neat compact body, adjustable strap, and two zip pockets. We think Kendall would approve, but she’s not answering our emails.

THE REALIST VELVET FANNY PACK

The Little Black Dress of fanny packs, the Realist Velvet Fanny Pack is simple and perfect. It has a single velvet pouch big enough for just your absolute necessities, an adjustable strap with a clip, and a sleek metallic zipper. Your new best friend on nights out, it will never abandon you on the dance floor or drink too much and leave. Unlike actual best friends.

The Realist Velvet Fanny Pack

 

BEAUTIFUL EXCUSES FANNY PACK

The subtlest of the bunch, this one could almost be a purse, with a box design with a lid that clasps shut, but the adjustable waistband confirms its status as a fanny pack. Definitely less geek, more chic.

Beautiful Excuses Fanny Pack

 

Our new verdict?

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