A quick history lesson for you: The fanny pack, a 1980s wardrobe staple, decided to rebrand itself. In 2021, the belt bag was born. That’s it.
I didn’t say redesign because the design is really just the same. Worn around your waist like a belt or slung over your shoulder like a bag, belt bags and fanny packs are both convenient ways of carrying your belongings. I love a good handbag, but I will say handbags have their flaws, especially when you live in Manhattan—spending minutes at the Whole Foods self-checkout digging around for my wallet and hearing impatient coughs from the long line, hugging it to my chest when I’m taking the subway late at night, accidentally bag-slapping my fellow civilians on the sidewalk as I rush to hail a cab… And that’s where the belt bag steps in.
The fundamental difference between a fanny pack and a belt bag is the former’s level of sophistication. Just take the name itself. Would you really buy something named after your arse? No, and this is exactly why (okay, maybe not exactly) luxury designers decided to help with the rebranding and introduce designer belt bags.
Designer belt bags are essentially Bluetooth: hands-free, modern, and attached to a steep price tag. At first, I was skeptical of these bags (and Bluetooth, too), but after a Sunday of heavy-duty research, I was convinced. As belt bags are sleek and practical, I found myself tabs deep in inspiration to save my paychecks for. I also have taken the liberty of rounding up the best designer belt bags to share some of this inspiration.
And who knows, maybe designer belt bags will have a rebranding in 40 years that someone else will write about. But for now, keep scrolling to see the 15 best designer belt bags available now.