The Backpack is Back?

Tommy Ton for Club Monaco backpack

Is it true? Has the backpack made a comeback? This utilitarian and practical carryall in its modern, zippered incarnation dates back all the way to the turn of the 20th century, though humans have been carrying stuff on their backs for literally thousands of years.

As far as the backpack as fashion accessory, we only have to look as far back as the early 90’s when this hands-free handbag was all the rage – remember Prada’s mini nylon version? Or the girls from Clueless matching their mini packs to their over-the-knee socks? Back then, it was the smaller the better.

Nowadays, the backpack trend has officially returned (as all trends eventually do) but in a more practical (there’s that word again!) medium size. So, what do you think? Will you be strapping on a knapsack or will you leave this one on the runway?

The Return of the Backpack?


With all of our modern day tech toys, it’s easy to see why the backpack holds some appeal (not to mention from a health perspective; every massage therapist we’ve ever met has strongly recommended the two strap style); with our bags on our backs we’re more free to type, text and to surf the net on our smartphones.
But be forewarned; this style is not for everyone. If you do want to integrate the backpack into your bag rotation, we have two TBF approved gudelines:

1. Size is key. We mentioned the mini backpack, but that is tres ‘90s. And if you’re bag is too big, people might mistake your for an actual backpacker and offer you directions to the nearest train station. Medium size is the best for pulling off this look while maintaining your style cred.

2. Make sure to keep it more high fashion and less high school. Solids in leather, canvas or a very light-weight Prada-esque nylon (think parachute material) or of-the-moment prints like nautical or florals will keep you right on trend. And please, no patches.

3. Keep it to One Shoulder. Two shoulders is very, ummm, high school (reference: 21 Jump Street Movie). Resist the urge to wear the backpack on both shoulders.

Some of our fave picks:

1. Cream faux leather $60.00 from Topshop

2. Nautical navy and white stripe $37.00 from Need Supply Co.

Backpacks II

3. Tumi black backpack $76.00 (down from $95.00) from Zappos

4. Neon $40.00 from Fred Flare

5. Floral $98.00 from Endless