Fanny packs – those small zip top bags worn slung about the waist from a web belt and favoured by Moms juggling kids and strollers — are in vogue once again, according to the Boston Globe. They range from $15 polyester models to Gucci’s $1,100 belt bag or even more expensive quilted leather made by Chanel , Prada or Louis Vuitton with a $1,500 price tag.
I adopted a fanny pack ten years ago and depend upon it. I fear without the belt I would forget or misplace my wallet at least once on every shopping trip. The pack holds my wallet and plastic cards, but little more. My keys are attached by a crocheted lanyard sufficiently long to reach the ignition without unsnapping the belt.
Depending upon the season, the thickness of my jacket and how many layers of sweaters I fit under it, I have settled on adjusting the belt to a middle range – in winter the belt is fairly snug and the fanny pack fits at the waist; in summer it rides lower. Agreed it’s not a high fashion look but that’s not what I’m aiming for. Jerry Seinfeld once told fanny-pack-wearing George Costanza, “Looks like your belt is digesting a small animal.”
Unlike the average woman who walks with one shoulder lower than the other under the burden of a huge handbag that might weigh as much as eight pounds and contain library books, makeup, daily planner, ballpoints, candy, and who knows what else, for such extras I prefer a tote bag. The tote bag is especially handy when I visit a doctor and am asked to disrobe a layer or two. I slip the fanny pack into the tote bag. No more leaving the doctor’s office carrying the tote bag while overlooking my fanny pack slung over a hook on the examining room door.
Another reason I favour the fanny pack – it never sits on a floor or bathroom counter in a public place where it can gather germs. Watching the TV series, “Last Man Standing”, the wife routinely walked into the kitchen after work or shopping and plunked her capacious handbag on the island where she would later chop veggies for supper. Imagining where that handbag might have rested sickened me.
I’m not one to select a handbag to match my day’s outfit; my wardrobe more resembles Jughead’s – seven outfits all exactly the same. By sticking to one fanny pack I know when I grab it I have all the essentials – wallet, money, I.D. Cards, the works. I once shared a brownstone apartment with a woman who worked as a combination model/saleslady for B. Altman, a tony department store in New York City. She had one whole closet stuffed with handbags. Every day she chose another handbag to match her outfit, a needless hassle to my way of thinking as she transferred contents.
I had one handbag, black leather, big enough to carry a hard cover book in one outer pocket and steno notebook in the other. With that I was equipped to entertain myself during a 20 minute bus ride, and after 5 p.m. report for dictation as a freelance medical stenographer. I had better things to do each morning than agonize over which accessory should match my pumps.
Notables like Rihanna, Matthew McConaughey, even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are reported to wear a fanny pack, though Johnson admits his is filled with pop tarts. Fashion claims the fanny pack is trending so for once, I may be in style.