Believe it or not—the fanny pack is one of the hottest bag trends for spring 2021. This eighties mainstay is showing up on the world’s stage in a major way. 

Whether you envision using a fanny pack for convenient runs to the grocery store, as a mini purse, or for a dreamy night out on the town, here’s our guide to one of 2021’s most unlikely trends.

What Are Fanny Packs?

Fanny Packs are small bags attached to Buckled Straps
Source: JanSport

First thing’s first, we have to answer the basic question of, “What are fanny packs?” Whether you know them as waist bags, belly bags, belt bags, fannies, or fanny packs, these bags are defined by their small size and that they are attached to a clasped belt, usually secured with a buckle. These lightweight, reliable bags can be worn around the waist, hips, or over the shoulder for a cross body look. 

When Were Fanny Packs Popular?

A retro Igloo Fanny Pack
Source: Igloo Coolers

The fanny pack practically screams eighties. They were big in the days of exercise clothing, bright colors, power clashing, the bouffant and bad perms. Fortunately for bag lovers, the fanny pack has aged quite well. While other looks from that decade may be doomed to always look dated, the many fanny pack benefits, such as its convenience and small size, have made it worth adapting to contemporary fashion. 

What Are Fanny Packs Called Now?

A Black Eco Leather Fanny Pack worn over the Shoulder

In 2018, an article in The Boston Globe announced the fashionable return of the fanny pack. Major brands began presenting their own interpretations of the look and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Rhianna, and Jaden Smith were sporting them at society events. Still, memories of the many faux pas of the eighties haunted the image of this newly in vogue style. In response, many major brands like Chanel and Hozen introduced a new term, “the belt bag,” which retains all of the good qualities of the fanny pack without having to be associated with some of the worst. 

How Do You Wear Fanny Packs?

Traditionally, fanny packs are worn around the waist almost as a convenient pocket replacement. Recently though, fashionable people have reimagined the look by styling the bag over the shoulder. This creates a sporty, minimalist, look suitable to aficionados of the health goth or norm core trends. 

The convenience of this hands-free bag is undeniable and what is the purpose of a fanny pack has never been clearer. In addition to the over the shoulder look being a newly acceptable answer to how do you wear fanny packs, like Hozen’s biopoly oil vegan leather belt bags that wrap around the hips are becoming an increasingly common cute new way to style this look. 

Fanny pack can be worn in many ways

What is the Purpose of a Fanny Pack?

There are many benefits of using a fanny pack. This small, hands-free bag is the perfect size for a cellphone, some hand sanitizer and a lipstick. It’s become a choice bag to pair with exercise clothes and bring along on hikes or sling over the shoulder while biking or jogging. At the same time, the increasing prevalence of athleisure in high fashion means it can work perfectly for social events, parties, and more formal events. Perhaps most of all, the answer to what is the purpose of a fanny pack is attaining an effortlessly bohemian look while attending a festival. 

Fendi’s Multi Tool Belt Bag
Source: Luxury Next Season
What are fanny packs but a stylish, light weight, convenient accessory? These relics of the eighties might still come in the neon colors and leopard prints of another era, but with contemporary reinterpretations of this bag’s classic silhouette and undeniable ingenuity, the fanny pack has a place all of its own in the 21st century.
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