I’m a Mom & Here’s Why the Fanny Pack Is My New Ride-or-Die Bag

It’s been hard not to notice that fanny packs are having something of a revival—and not just among trendy teens on TikTok. I first clocked the fanny pack’s resurgence last fall, at my kids’ Halloween festival, where a mom-friend had a buttery-soft leather Rebecca Minkoff bag strapped around her torso. Huh, I thought, that’s a look. And then I wondered, could I wear one, too? 

Given that I was juggling an overstuffed canvas tote and a bucket bag at the time (not to mention, both kids’ puffy coats), she seemed remarkably unencumbered and I was actually pretty envious. Later, I went home and started bookmarking fanny packs I thought were cute.

Obviously, it took me a while to clip on my very own fanny pack 2.0, but nearly a year later, it finally happened I took a black Rebecca Minkoff Bree Belt Bag with lush gold-tone hardware for a two-week test run. Yup, I wore it to school drop-off and pickup, during my morning and evening commute. On the weekend it even came along for the usual slog of errands, kiddie soccer games and grocery store trips. And, after a fortnight spent with my keys, phone and wallet nestled closer to my heart than they’d ever been, my life as a fanny pack wearer taught me a handful of important life lessons.

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Liz Krieger

1. Time Is A Flat Circle

In fashion, it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing new, just new ways to wear what we already have (or used to have). And not to brag, but I remember the first time fanny packs were cool, which was back in the '80s when acid wash, big hair and popped collars were not a costume but were real, unironic style choices. Still, no one ever tells you what trends are going to come back! Zippers at the bottom of jeans? Nowhere in sight. Pants with giant pleats? Oh god, I hope they never return. And while fanny packs were pretty cringe-worthy for a few decades, I’m actually pretty pleased to see them come back around.

2. The Northern Migration Of The Fanny Pack Is A Good Thing

Just like every trend that’s really just another iteration of a prior trend, there’s a new twist on how to wear this accessory. In the case of the fanny pack, it has simply moved higher on the body. No longer resting atop your waist like a kangaroo pouch, it’s now slung between your shoulders (messenger-bag style), casually hanging out near your chest or resting along the sides of your ribs. Having worn it this way for a few weeks, I quite like the arrangement—especially since I feel strongly that the original, lower torso location often felt like I was strapping on a gut. And no one wants that.

3. Got Kids? The Fanny Pack Is Your New Best Friend.

Parents are all about pockets. Have you seen most diaper bags? We go bonkers for pouches, slots, extra compartments and any other vessel for carrying a random item. Being constantly bombarded with requests for food, beverages and toys—not to mention kids’ iffy toileting habits—will do that to you. But I really like having the most important stuff (keys, phone, cash) on hand and within easy reach, but not in danger of getting left on a park bench or plucked off a stroller.

To wit: the night I went to a back-to-school event with my pack. While I ordinarily may have abandoned my bag in a not-so-secure corner, this time I didn’t have to put anything down. Oh, and not once did I have to dig my house keys out of the depths of my bag while standing in front of my apartment building, in the pouring rain, with two shrieking kids. That’s what I call #winning.

Liz Krieger

4. Size Matters

My personal foray in fanny pack life involved a rather large style, but I think a petite bag is actually the way to go. It felt a bit like an upmarket saddlebag—and when I looked in the mirror the proportions on my five-foot frame just didn’t look right. Had I opted for the smaller iteration, I would have still been able to carry the bare necessities with the added liberty of being able to run to the train and after unwieldy children. As a work-around, I started wearing the bag with the pack positioned on my back—but that defeats the purpose of easy-access. (And, not to be indelicate, but the reach-around just isn’t the same…)

5. The Fanny Pack + A Backpack = No.

I couldn’t help it. There were a few workdays when I had to bring my laptop and a few other necessities with me, and so I needed to carry both the fanny pack and my backpack. No matter where I positioned my Minkoff, I looked rather overloaded, like I was ready for some sort of urban-Alpine adventure where I would be asked to whip out my EuroRail pass at any moment. The point is: If you have to carry anything more than will fit in the fanny, abandon ship. Leave the compact pack at home for the day and go with the bigger tote. There are some things that just can’t share the spotlight. And the fanny pack is one of those. 

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