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The Belt Bag: From Tourist to High Fashion

Most would know the fanny pack by its distasteful reputation and the stereotype of being worn by the typical dad. For a time, no one who cared anything about fashion would be caught wearing one. But now, it looks like the fanny pack is rising from the garbage heap of regrettable clothing fads to try and make it’s claim to fashion relevancy.


A major trend this season is dad-inspired accessories. Items that our fathers once wore (and we once scoffed at) are now all the rage. One major example is chunky New Balance sneakers, a shoe made solely for comfort with a competitive price. Many may accredit the start of this trend to Kanye West, who had his wife and muse Kim Kardashian West rock his Yeezy dad shoes.

Taking a note from the dad shoe, the fanny pack has also taken off. Originally just a form of functionality and a no-hands compartment, the fanny pack has moved towards a path of form over function. Designers like Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent are now releasing their own fanny packs, coining them with a more tasteful moniker: the belt bag. The new name screams chic more than “fanny pack” could ever hope to, and this rebranding has proven nothing but success for everyone from luxury to lower market designers.

A once canvas, hands-free purse worn so the typical tourist has room in their hands for both a map and a camera, it has now evolved and can be found in hundreds of different shapes, fabrics, and designs. Everyone from socialites to hipsters is now sporting the fanny pack. It can be worn across the chest, around the shoulder, or even looped into pants as an actual belt. Another inclusive plus is that fanny packs are completely unisex. The versatility of the belt bag is just another perk.

It is almost ironic that the ugliest shoes and accessories are now in style. The rise of the fanny pack is a testament to the cycle of fashion, which tends to repeat itself decade after decade. I mean, what’s better than finding a great designer belt bag? The answer: finding a great vintage designer belt bag at an affordable thrift store price.

Overall, the complete rebranding of the fanny pack to the more luxurious belt bag has been yet another trend that fashion has seen come and go, and then come again. Seen in every shape and emblazoned with the name of every designer, the belt bag is proof that those tourists you once made fun of, or your dad you were once afraid to be seen with, were actually more ahead of the times than you, and it is time to catch up.


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