Over the weekend, at a gathering, a very stylish, yet conservative friend was wearing a slim leather belt bag. He said it was his mother’s, 20 years old, and made of sturdy leather that she picked up in a fair in Florence. When asked why he uses one, he said that with his phone, battery pack, wallet, card cases, and gadgets. it just made sense. His jean pockets couldn’t handle it, and how could he hold on to his drink? That, my friends, is the pragmatic answer to the return of the waist bag/waist pack/hip bag/sling pack/belt bag as an ultra- convenient pouch—also long known as the choice accessory of tourists, nerds and trail runners.
The major revival of the bags themselves can be associated with the rise of street wear. Hyped a few years back by Supreme and Louis Vuitton, it slowly made its way to runways across the seasons.
The bags themselves range from traditional—the typical polyester pouch with a horizontal zipper running across the face—to more luxury micro-bags with straps. The prices are just as varied. You can go to Decathlon.ph’s website and pick up a bag for P300 or check out Gucci or Louis Vuitton for bags that can set you back over $1000.
And there it is, the return of the 80’s—just like the clutch bag but with a belt, it is often accompanied by a coño refrain: shet, pare, my clutch bag is better than your clutch bag!
Having said all that, fashion wins this one. The belt bag is practical. There must be many things running through your mind right now. “Has Monchet,” you might ask, “lost it?” “He says its okay to use a belt bag?” Think what you want, call the bag what you may, but this bag is a useful option.
With couture pushing the envelope on a simple utility bag, the big change isn’t the bag itself. It is how you wear it. Once looked upon as unwanted, extended girth, or second ass, the bag is no longer just waist-bound. Streetwear dictates that it be worn diagonally over the torso, or over the shoulder, snugly leashed for easy access. As my friend pointed out, we carry far too many things. Held close and tightly to the chest, the micro bag becomes a pickpocket’s worst nightmare. For the user, it frees one hand to hold a drink, while the other takes a selfie.
So there you have it guys, I have succumbed. I don’t have one myself, since I always end up wearing a jacket to carry my accoutrements. Once a telltale sign of un-chic tourism, it’s now a practical must-have. While the offerings are now vast and varied, the fanny pack's appeal has stayed the same: simple and hands free. And now chic, too, when worn right.