Don’t @ Me, but I’m in a Full-on Love Affair With My Fanny Pack

Photo: Zoe Weiner
I lost my fanny pack virginity when I was traveling through Thailand last year, shopping for an outfit for the legendary “Full Moon Party." I found a nylon silver belt bag that I figured would look cute with the neon bikini I had on deck for the event (yes, I was that girl), and dropped $5 on it in an H&M in Bangkok. I figured I would wear it once—it was a fanny pack, after all—and donate it post-party.

Boy oh boy, was I wrong. What was supposed to be a one-night stand turned into a full-on love affair that's totally changed the way I travel—for the better.

After that first evening together, I never went anywhere without my trusty hands-free accessory again. I wore it to hike mountains in Bulgaria, glaciers in Iceland, and on a five-day motorcycle trip through Chile. (I was the queen of being well-prepared for the tolls, TYVM.) Then, I bought another fanny pack while traveling in Peru that is heavily featured in all of my photos from Machu Picchu. Both options are now in permanent travel outfit rotation because 1. I secretly think they look cool AF, and 2. I never have to worry about losing my passport in the airport again.

Screw purses, I say! They've done me dirty far too many times, weighing on my shoulders, filling up with crap, and gulping down every lipgloss and set of keys I've ever owned. Not only do fanny packs require exactly zero hands to carry around, which makes them damn near impossible to lose (I know this, because mine survived the Full Moon Party), but they make everything so easily accessible—no digging through old gum wrappers in pursuit of a vibrating cellphone required. Ever.

Plus, there are so many different ways to wear them! In the front! Off to the side! Over your shoulder! On a boat, on a plane, on a train! Here and there and everywhere!!! To give you a sense of just how deep my love for this accessory runs, I recently had to be aggressively talked out of investing $1,700 in a high-end, designer version, which I'm still not totally sure was the right decision. It's real, fam.

Speaking of high-end designers, while I'm clearly a massive proponent of the functional aspect of #fannypacklife, other people far chic-er than I have been doing their part to make them fashionable again, too. Brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Supreme sent belt bags down the runway this year, and celebs like Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber have made them look cool in paparazzi shots.

And if you need more convincing that we're at peak fanny pack status, according to new research from NPD, reported by Quartzy, the famed belt bags were responsible for 25 percent of the accessories industry's growth in the first 10 months of 2018, despite making up only one percent of the sales. I'd like to think Kendall Jenner, Supreme, and I are all equally responsible for this....

On a recent trip to Colombia with my trusty silver partner strapped around my waist, someone asked me if it held sentimental value after having been so many places with me. The answer was a resounding, "Yes." No matter what haters have to say, fanny pack and I are in a deeply committed relationship, here, there and everywhere. Can't wait to see where our relationship takes us in 2019.

Has my waxing poetic about fanny packs convinced you to hop on the trend, too?! Here are five ways to wear 'em without looking like a dad, and a few of our favorites from 2018

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