I have a very vivid and horrifying memory of walking by an American Apparel store back in 2011 and seeing a fanny pack on a mannequin. The name fanny pack alone gets under my skin. How could American Apparel breathe life into an 80s/90s trend I’d hoped would remain buried in the past right next to slap bracelets and rat tails? To me, fanny packs are neon-colored atrocities made with cheap nylon and are seen secured around the waists of Disney World tourists with plastic buckle clips. To me, fanny packs are, and forever will be, dead. May they rest in peace and may their name never be spoken again.
Waist bags or belt bags on the other hand, are very much alive and thriving in today’s fashion market; and yes, I’m giving them their moment! So what’s the difference between a waist bag and the above discussed “F-word,” you ask? Well, to start, when I see a waist bag, I don’t see the ghost of Kelly Kapowski’s past. I do however; see a beautifully structured accessory, made with luxurious material that one would never take near a water park. It was Louis Vuitton that debuted a waist bag in its Fall 2017 Men’s show; not the American Apparel on Lincoln Road in Miami– which mind you, no longer exists.
Over the past year of high-fashion shows, sophisticated waist bags have been featured on the runways of designers like Gucci, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo. Luxury street style brands like Alexander Wang and Moschino have also shown sporty versions of the accessory which, unfortunately, more closely resemble the aforementioned “F-word.” Long of the short, the resurgence of the trend has given consumers an array of options (some chic and some tacky) to choose from. The waist bag is a Spring/Summer 2018 must-have for any fashionista and proper selection and execution is essential!
Follow these #Sauci Style tips to help you shop and style a waist bag:
- Choose a waist bag with a current silhouette.
- Go small, or go home! Choose a dainty option that won’t fit more than a cell phone, wallet and lip gloss. If you need to carry more items with you, opt for a leather backpack, a hobo, or a tote.
- Pay attention to the hardware. If the straps and buckles look like they could secure a skydiving parachute to your back– don’t jump! Look for waist bags with leather and metal straps and closures.
- Wear a waist bag as the statement of your #OOTD. Style with denim, an Equipment blouse or t-shirt, and neutral pumps! Remember, the waist bag is a trendy piece to add to an outfit, but it’s not an everyday bag. That said, don’t be afraid of a white, pastel, metallic, or bold red choice.
- Pretty please with sugar on top, do not be a cliché! By this, I mean if you’re going to Disney or to Europe for vacation, leave your waist bag at home. Crossbody bags keep both hands free too, and won’t make you look like a walking Ad for the U.S. Travel Association.
- HACK ALERT: If you already have a crossbody bag at home, check to see if the strap is removable. If so, you’re in luck! Extend the strap to its full length, wrap it around your waist twice, and then re-attach the strap hooks to the bag. Voila! You now have a waist bag.
I invested in the Gucci GG Marmont matelassé leather belt bag in Hibiscus red for NYFW back in February and played around with wearing in around my waist and over one shoulder. I’m obsessed with the oval shape and small size of the bag (7”W x 4.5”H x 2”D) and loved how it added a fun and unexpected pop of color to my looks each day that I wore it! Check out how I styled my waist bag along with some of my favorite, more affordable options below:
*Edited by Dana Filetti