Here’s The Deal: Backpacks


Style editor Linda Immediato answers your burning fashion questions. 

This query came in over the transom… well, over iChat which is like the modern-day transom.

Q: Can I pull off a backpack? Like, are backpacks the Tevas of bags?

A: Unless you are carrying your books to class in one, or you traveled back in time to 1996, backpacks are tough to pull off. However, if  worn with only ONE strap over one shoulder, you can get away with it, without looking like you’re headed back to your hostel bunk. But, then again, what’s the point of a backpack if you’re not weaing it on BOTH shoulders?

My solution, if you want to be hands-free, is go with a fanny pack. Yes, fanny packs are cooler than backpacks (check out the Gucci one, below, left, they call it a “belt bag”), but you can’t carry your laptop in one. So if you’re looking to shuffle work to-and-from the office, go with a classic briefcase, crossbody-style, bag with a strap (see Chloe bag, below, right). Or…grab your backpack, throw on your Tevas, and go for a hike— both are totally acceptable for the great outdoors where performance, necessity, and survival outweigh looking stylish. 


Got a style question?  Leave your question in the comment section below or send an email to [email protected], and put “What’s the Deal?” in the subject line.