There are some fashion trends that shine brightly for a while and then disappear forever. Other trends are more mercurial, they disappear, only to reappear, loved once again by a new generation too young to remember them the first time around. One such fashion trend that fits this bill is the once much maligned bumbag, which has popped up again on the Skatehut site in a range of cool designs.
The bumbag was a late 1980s phenomenon, often teamed with a shellsuit and trainers. It was a look that, for a while, was everywhere. But it fell out of favour very quickly, linked to badly dressed tourists who wore them with sandals and sock, or market traders who wore them for a practical, but certainly not fashionable, reason. The bumbag disappeared, seemingly never to return.
But fashion is a strange animal, and the most unlikely of items can make a comeback. Celebrities seemed to rediscover the bumbag, and set out to make it a highly coveted fashion item all over again. Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Suki Waterhouse and Kylie Jenner showed that the bumbag (or fanny pack as the Americans call it) could be both practical and stylish. Kylie and Suki showed that it was the perfect way to hold your belongings at festivals, wearing their designs to Coachella. SJP, who had worn them as the ultimate style icon Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, now showed that a bumbag could be worn on the red carpet when she teamed a stylish black leather design with an evening dress. Jared Leto, no slouch in the style department, also used a bumbag and totally rocked the look. These new bumbags couldn’t be further away from the idea of Mr Motivator.
And it is not just at the festivals or on the red carpet that bumbags have reappeared. They have also returned to the catwalk with embellished ones at Ashish. Celine may have called their version a beltbag, but it most definitely has a bumbag vibe, whilst the Rebecca Minkoff version was neat and quilted, with more than a nod to Chanel.
So why has this most unlikely item made a comeback? The truth is we now, more than ever, like to keep our important possessions safe – our money, our keys, our phones, our credit cards, and a bumbag is the right size to keep all those things in whilst also keeping them close. It leaves the hands free too, so it can be very practical at festivals, whilst riding a bike or a skateboard or scooter, when we dance the night away, or try to push a pushchair or pram. It is a safe and secure place to keep our belongings, and can be worn above, or below our coats, or just over a t-shirt, making it perfect for all seasons.
In addition, with sportswear and sports luxe trends so popular, bumbags actually look a good fit style wise, but the black leather version show that they can also work in a stylish, more grown up way too.
Did you wear a bumbag in the 1980s – would you wear them now?