My fashion-y friends scoff (snort/laugh/eye-roll) when I grandly proclaim an approaching fanny pack comeback. All I can say is, luggage so maligned has to have its day. Some evidence that day has arrived: my roommate returned from six weeks in Japan and was obsessed with four things: bathhouses, mochi, love hotels, and fanny packs. So, no, don’t listen to me (my “purse” would probably have to be checked on an airplane)—listen to the Japanese. Or perhaps Chanel and Louis Vuitton—both houses have created versions of their own.
In some cases, the new fanny packs are far removed from their original glory, tending instead to be overly utilitarian or completely useless. The hip-hop incarnation came and went in the late 90s—gigantic ass-packs dripping with straps and webbing. On the other end of the spectrum are the so-called “lap belts”—leather belts with little zippered pockets hanging off the hipbone, in which one could—maybe—fit some loose change. Aside from being wimpy, they have forsaken the best part: fanny.
So, go for a classic one. I got my first at a flea market in Ohio—a fantastic nylon Gitano Sport-number with an anchor on it. When I asked the price, the woman behind the counter looked at me, squinted, and said, “Just take it.” Judi Rosen, of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, has just come out with fanny packs ($110), and she is keeping it real in terms of shape and size, but embellishes with suede and metallic leather. If that’s not your price-range, the cotton Rasta fanny pack ($15) at Nicholas is unbeatable.