Even though they went out of fashion decades ago, I am a great fan of fanny packs. Actually the name is a misnomer. They should be called crotch concealers; no one wears the pack across their backside. Instead the little kangaroo pouch hangs front and center providing you with instant access to keys, passports, wallets, lipstick and gum.
These waist wallets make ideal travel companions especially for flying in the 21st century when seats have shrunk to the size of chamber pots and overhead luggage must smaller than a Barbie doll suitcase.
Fanny packs also provide agility to navigate through countless airport screenings where you must scan everything except your underwear. Best of all, fanny packs allow you to have all hands on deck at all times. At every security checkpoint, the added dexterity allows passengers to untie shoes, unbuckle belts, and unpack iPhones, iPads, and laptops in record time.
To add to your anxiety, in the age of terrorism, the voice of the Transit Security Authority booms over the loud speaker, “Do not leave your baggage unattended!”
You can breath a sigh of relief knowing that your fanny pack will never get left behind or misplaced.
These money bags are ideal for long haul layovers crossing time zones when your body lands in London and your head is still back in LA. During transit, when trying to stay awake to protect your belongings until your next flight is impossible, the fanny pack offers you the luxury of dozing off. Flip it over and slip it around your neck to use as a little pillow.
This carry on item is also perfect for touring European cities where pick pockets prey on tourists. You can outsmart the purse-snatchers and pocket thieves with this versatile pouch wrapped securely around your middle. Buckle up for extra safety on buses and trains.
The bum bag is by far a woman’s most underrated accessory. Handbags are hard to hang on to in crowds. Shoulder bags force you to walk lopsided. Backpacks pull the spine. Totes take a toll. Fanny packs are synonymous with freedom to move unencumbered.
In 1962 Australian Melba Stone invented the fanny pack, which became as popular as shoulder pads in the late 80s and peaked in the 90s, but since then it has gotten a bad rap. In Europe wearing one is considered a faux pas. French view it as part of the fashion depraved tourist attire of those “ugly Americans” who dare stroll down the Champs Elysées clad in tennis shoes and baseball caps.
But leave it to the Americans to favor functionality and comfort over fashion, especially on vacation. For all practicality, there is no better extra. The waist pack allows you so much dexterity, leaving hands free to round up stray kids, sip drinks, give out snacks, hold books, and hug your honey.
With the Nineties fashion revival in full swing rumor has it that the fanny pack is making a comeback. Models are strutting down the runway with designer pouches slung around their skinny waists. Listen to the advice of the ultimate trendsetter, moi, for a real “groovy” holiday, leave your purse at home instead pack a bum bag!
You have nailed it again, Pat! I always leave my purse behind and put on my fanny pack when I travel for all the reasons you’ve listed. It’s a hands-free world 🙂
With hands-free from hand bags, you can text message,Twitter and write more stories! But be sure to look up for oncoming traffic. ha
I love fanny packs! For all the practical reasons you reported. I caved in to fashion when they were ostracized years ago, but I’m ready to embrace them again!
Good for you Patty. As active as you are in life, I would think a fanny pack would be a real asset especially when hiking the wilds.
I have NEVER used a fanny pack, Pat, and frankly don’t intend to. Where I live, only oldsters use those things, not hip Boomers like us! Still, I’m impressed at the features and benefits you’ve described — somebody ought to pay you handsomely for this tribute, ha!!
Wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could be paid for our blogs, but we both know that is not why we write. And you know me, I have never followed the dictates of fashion even when I was living in Paris. Give me my trademark bum bag, sweat suit and tennis shoes, and I am good to go anywhere.
I was devastated when I was told fanny packs were out. I still have some in my closet and yes, will occasionally dare to wear one for the reasons you state. I’m thrilled to hear they are coming back into fashion.
I still remember the fancy, little, designer bum bag you carried on our basketball trips. You always managed to look chic even while coaching in sweats on the sideline. Miss you!
Ah yes, I did give up my ‘bum bags’ in the nineties, as I am a fashion victim However, I can confirm that they are making a recent comeback here in Australia. Michelle Bridges, our sports icon, has created a beautiful little nylon, brightly coloured version that just came out in a local store for the ‘running lady’ to put her essentials in. I reckon they’ll catch on big time now with her behind them I also never forget a moment in San Diego in the nineties when we were exiting our hire car and the lady next to us spoke with her partner and said ‘have you got your fanny pack?’ Welcome to America!!! …if I had been eating soup it would have spilled all down me as I roared with laughter. You do NOT use the word fanny in relation to a piece of clothing in public when you are British … Thanks for another witty and informative article. Hugs, Rach xxx
Oh no looks like I put my foot in my mouth again. I am amazed how though we share the same language, so many words and expressions can mean different things. Loved your anecdote. Reminds of how I felt so lost on my first trip to London. I was terrified of crossing the street and couldn’t comprehend a word the waiters said to me in the restaurants. “Fancy a jacket on that po-tay-toe, love?” I thought is was some kind of inappropriate sexual innuendo. How was I supposed to know he was talking about the starchy veggie without or without the skin. Miss you dear friend. I would have never learned British English so quickly without you as my teacher!
Hehe, my American English is pretty good now ‘cos of you too 😉 I even take the role (not the register) here in Australia and have learned to write program instead of programme… I’ll get there! Or else end up as a messed up tri-cultural lady!! 🙂 miss ya too xx
I agree on the fanny pack and when traveling or in a situation I’m lugging stuff, I wear my regular purse (always a shoulder bag) with the strap over my head and across my chest, Robin Hood-style. Then I can sling it to the front/center, have hands free. Sure, I would love to be more stylish, but I’m not wearing heels to sight-see, either!
I like your idea of the shoulder bag over the head and across the chest. Robin Hood style sounds like my kind of look, too.
Oh my gosh I LOVE fanny packs! With three littles every where I go, I need to be hands free!
Yes and now isn’t great, they are coming back in style. Thanks for stopping by.
I kind of like “crotch concealer” myself, but yes, I am a fan of fanny packs and wear them whether I’m in vogue or not. I’m all about practicality!
No wonder we get along so well. Not only do we share a love of books, but we are also big on being practical.