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