Tuesday 18 September 2018

How to wear... the belt bag

The dreaded fanny pack has had a high fashion makeover, writes Meadhbh McGrath

'Rosie Huntington-Whiteley opted for Gucci's Marmont bag for New York Fashion Week, peeking out discreetly from underneath a leopard-print coat' Photo: Robert Kamau/GC Images
'Rosie Huntington-Whiteley opted for Gucci's Marmont bag for New York Fashion Week, peeking out discreetly from underneath a leopard-print coat' Photo: Robert Kamau/GC Images

The likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid frequently make headlines for their outlandish takes on street style, but it looks as though their favourite accessory trend has firmly made its way into the mainstream.

That most loathed of 90s trends, the bum bag, started to make a resurgence last year when 'It' girls like Kendall, Bella and Adwoa Aboah casually slung designer versions across their chests, much like a cross-body bag.

Kate Bosworth Photo: Getty
Kate Bosworth Photo: Getty

Paired with transparent mesh, supersized tailoring and retro sportswear, it looked like a trend best left to the Insta-models, but for spring, designers have taken an altogether more sophisticated approach.

For many years, the fanny pack has been relegated to the past, clinging on only as the biggest joke of the fashion world. But this season, it has undergone a total rebrand, even adopting a new name. Given bum bags have little to do with bums in the first place, the fashion crowd have christened the new style the 'belt bag', and in the right shape and fabric, it can look fabulously chic and super-luxe.

At Gucci, quilted leather pouches were belted over heritage check blazers, while evening gowns were dressed down with logo-printed bags. On the Valentino catwalk, colourful studded versions were paired with disco-glam mini dresses. Prada offered a utilitarian-inspired take in black nylon, Miu Miu rendered them in matelassé while Marc Jacobs presented high-shine fluoro brights.

The padded athleisure styles are ideal for swinging over the shoulder, but for a streamlined look, cinch yours around the waist.

And it doesn't have to be sporty - streamlined leather and suede styles can be worn with everything from jeans and a T-shirt to a floaty evening gown.

On actress Kate Bosworth, a neat leather version elevates a simple navy dress and slouch boots. Her look illustrates how the belt bag can steer clear of 90s nostalgia and give just the right edge to the most basic of outfits.

Offset a minimal knit dress and knee boots with COS's slim red belt bag to accentuate your waist, or add a playful touch to everyday jeans by layering an acid yellow bag over a long coat.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley opted for Gucci's Marmont bag for New York Fashion Week, peeking out discreetly from underneath a leopard-print coat.

Follow her lead with & Other Stories' pink studded number or try a more eclectic, Gucci-inspired look by tying a quilted bag over a ladylike stripe-trimmed cardigan.

For evening, pair Topshop's pink velvet bag with a monochrome jumpsuit or tone down a heritage check suit with one of Wandler's gorgeous pastel belt bags.

Whether tied tight around a trench coat or hanging over a romantic gown, the belt bag has proven itself to be a versatile, hands-free option for spring.

Irish Independent

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