For years my friends have teased me about wearing a waist pouch, and with good reason. Whether you call it a fanny pack (Canada and the United States), bumbag (UK), belly bag (Germany), or banana bag (France); the sad truth is that it was in style for about ten minutes in the 90s and ever since then it’s been a visible indicator of my defective fashion sense.
But I love my waist pouch. I’ve got everything but the kitchen sink crammed in there. It’s comfortable, practical, and hands-free; and I got over any self-consciousness about wearing it long ago.
I also got over calling it a ‘fanny pack’ after I discovered that while ‘fanny’ may mean ‘bum’ here, across the pond it refers to an entirely different portion of the female anatomy. In my case ‘fanny pack’ would still be an accurate description since I wear my waist pouch front and centre, but I’d rather not be unintentionally vulgar. (Intentionally vulgar, yes; frequently. But I like to choose my times.)
Back in 2014 I was thrilled to discover that waist pouches seemed to be making a comeback, but when I didn’t see anyone else wearing one in public I simply assumed that (as usual) the fashion industry hadn’t come to its senses. But that was only another example of my cluelessness, because apparently waist pouches have sneaked back onto the fashion scene.
My friends are much more observant than I. Whenever they notice some celebrity rockin’ a waist pouch, they’re sure to let me know. Last week my step-mom got into the act by mentioning she’d seen a pink sequined number on the Shopping Channel that would give me the ultimate in high-fashion panache.
Enlightened, I searched the shopping sites and voilà! A plethora of packs, from $6.95 cheapies to $300 designer duds. I was amazed to find materials ranging from my good old black leather to the aforementioned pink sequins, and everything in between including camo and floral patterns… plus the quintessential Dad bag from Walmart that made me laugh out loud: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dad-Bag-Waist-Zipper-Packs-Unisex-Fake-Belly-Traveling-Fanny-Bags/920778025.
Just in case the fashion industry forsakes me again (which it undoubtedly will) I’d like to point out that waist pouches have a long and distinguished history: They started off five thousand years ago as belt-pouches, detoured to Scotland as sporrans, and appeared in Native American history as medicine pouches.
So not only am I honouring tradition by wearing a waist pouch, it turns out that I’ve also been a trendsetter all along: a bleeding-edge fashionista who spotted a ‘thing’ decades before it arrived! (And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell, too.)
In keeping with their fresh new look, fanny packs have risen above their original vulgar nomenclature with sophisticated new names like sling bags, waist packs, hip packs, hip sacks, and crossbody packs. I showed off my updated vocabulary (and my ancient waist pouch) to my friends the other night, and as usual I came in for some lively teasing. One friend suggested that ‘colostomy bag’ would be an appropriate moniker for smaller pouches worn off-centre.
I had to agree. ‘Colostomy bag’ would be a perfect name for my waist pouch – after all, it’s where I carry all my shit.
So I know I’m probably a freakish minority, but… would you ever wear a waist pouch? Have your say in this poll!