Waist Bags: Don’t Call it a Comeback. Or a Fannypack.

I’ll say it: the eighties (the first time and the recent revisiting) were a sad time for style. Before you get up in arms with the exceptions, I’ll say this to you: FANNYPACK. I said it and I’ll say it again: FANNY. The word itself is so skeevy, so offensive to the ears, that it trumps any New Wave/Basquiat/Annie Lennox/Michael Jackson moment you can reach back and pull from the wreckage. FANNYPACK!  Remember? Well if you forgot, American Apparel made it a personal mission to remind you.




So with that healthy caveat in place, I have to say that sometimes a guy needs a waistbag. It’s controversial, I know. If you don’t believe me, believe Kanye:


Probably Louis Vuitton. What am I saying? Definitely Louis Vuitton.


For awhile, I resisted the call. I said to myself, Self, you don’t need a little pouch for your wallet, smartphone pen and notebook! Just shove it in a million pockets! Just be a man and carry a satchel!

Then I denied my impulses. I said, No way, McBee! You don’t even want to keeps your hands-free and unburden your shoulders. A bag that would allow you to run for the train or impromptu scale a tree or get into a fistfight without losing your shit. You don’t even want that.

But I cannot hold back anymore and neither, it seems, can a bunch of my favorite designers. OBVIOUSLY WHAT I NEED IS A WAIST BAG! WE ALL DO! And now that it’s not a “fannypack,” we can feel better about ourselves. If you find yourself unconvinced that a gentleman can wear a waist bag and not look like a tool, check it out:


White Mountaineering x Porter “Urban Supply Series” Leather Waist Bag


Obviously this would look excellent low on your waist with some skinny dark denim and sunglasses. Can White Mountaineering do wrong? No. As you may or may not know, a waist bag can also be worn across your back, depending on how toolbelt-y your look is:


Mixing it Up


Don’t say I never gave you options. Speaking of options, look!


Head Porter Waist Bag


Head Porter is yet another glamorously understated Japanese company, probably one of the most popular in the country and beloved internationally–with good reason. I love the elegant lens applied to the humblest of carrying cases. Speaking of, a slight digression: they do a great job with backpacks/small bags, too. These pieces are both rugged and beautiful, ready for stylish adventure:


Head Porter LX Series


(Oh, another digression. My man Junya Watanabe collaborated with Porter to make a grown up backpack that makes me want to stab myself in the eye because it’s so beautiful):


Junya Watanabe x Porter Daypack


Stab stab stab!

Okay, I”m back! So you only have $25 but you want to look like a million bucks? Though I can’t say for sure, this Ebay find has potential:


Tough Men's Oxford "Bum Bag"--Sad Name, $25 Deal


Though technically not a “waist bag,” I think it would dress your ass up quite nicely.

Back on the money train! Engineered Garments of New York makes this dapper tweed-y wonder:


Engineered Garments Tweed Waist Bag


And for a sportier look from White Mountaineering x Porter, check this out:



I love the seventies tennis look of this one. It makes me want to run shirtless through the desert with only a compass to guide me and a notebook to sketch in. Or it makes me want to navigate a bustling village in remote Eastern Europe with only a vague sense of the language and some change. WHO KNOWS WHY? I’M EXCITED!

For a more distinguished day, I choose this khaki number:




This makes me want to drink wine on a sailboat, which is basically my life dream conjured up by a waist bag. See? You never know what will happen if you let yourself believe.


About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here: www.thomaspagemcbee.com

One comment

  1. michaelvonbraithwaite

    This is brilliant! You might have changed my mind when it comes to 80s hold-overs.

IBC LOVES your brain, and we encourage thoughtful, lively discussion. We will, however, moderate comments that are abusive or disrespectful. Stay classy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: