12 Stylish Alternatives to the Classic Fanny Pack

Love it or hate it, the ’90s (and even a few more decades past) are back. Thanks in part to music festivals, now we’ve once again got bright colors, high waisted shorts and jeans, overalls, embroidery, culottes and more. I find it interesting watching fashion evolve; it seems to have gotten more minimal over the current modern years, with clean embellishmenet-free designs, toned down neutral shades and timeless pieces that probably won’t ever go out of style. That still exists, but styles that once were “out” always revolve around and come back “in,” and in they’ve come. I’ve heard many people verbally roll their eyes at this new trend, but I welcome it with open arms. The ’70s, ’80s and ’90s were about having a great time, and with the growth of music festivals combined again with a bit of political turmoil, these modern years seem to have taken that turn once again as more and more people just wanna have fun.

One archived style that seems to have a little trouble re-emerging is the all-too-classic fanny pack. Being a festival nut myself, I completely understand the convenience they bring when it’s just entirely unpractical to run around in a desert environment all day, throwing your hands up and dancing to your favorite bands and DJs while carrying a handbag. I have a few utility belts that I’ve used at such events, as well as a few others like an all-day outdoor shooting event, while hiking, clubbing or traipsing around amusement parks (which is when my handy FlipBelt comes to play, other than when I’m out jogging). Despite the fact that fanny packs or hip sacks don’t seem to be all that popular again yet, it’s interesting to see so many larger brands creating their own versions and understanding their versatility. Louis Vuitton, Coach, Chanel, Hobo and several others have picked up their own super chic versions of the belt bag. It’s also interesting to note how differently they can be worn, such as over the shoulders and across the back, like the example above.

I often find, just like with handbags, one style of hip sack or utility belt may not quite work stylistically or functionally throughout the full spectrum of hands-free events, and feel the urge to start up a collection. I started perusing some fun stylish alternatives to the classic fanny pack on Etsy…I am so blown away by the number of unique looks (but not surprised, there are a lot of talented independent creatives out there). We’ve got more festival-type bags like the Leather Utility Hip Belt by offrandes, the Aura Black and Antique Brass Utility Belt Bag by Suckahtash or the Festival Canvas Pocket Belt Bag by TalismanaDesigns, but there are plenty more toned-down looks that are a bit more modest and flexible for any occasion. However, as I’ve said before, fashion is all about taking risks and nothing is set in stone. Let your freak flag fly! If you’re looking for a cool way to contain your personal items while needing to be hands-free, but are a bit too unsure about sporting this so-called “no-no” from years past, here are some awesome ideas for you below! From designer to festival to something simple and cheap, I tried to cover most bases and tastes.

Here are the awesome styles typically seen at Burning Man style festivals which I’ve fallen in love with lately.

Still not so sure, looking for something different? Here’s several more from a much wider range of brands on the market.

Leave me a comment! I do my best to respond to all. But please, keep it classy :)