More backpacks, knapsacks, and rucksacks have been appearing on retail shelves as of late. But the lowly backpack isn’t just a rustic carryall bag you sling over your shoulder on your way to the beach or camping trips. Urban, uber-sleek leather backpacks have been popping up everywhere from big department stores such as Barneys down to quirky shops such as Kitson.
Personally, backpacks offer easy functionality that can’t be fulfilled by big, giant handbags. Unless you’re the type of lady to carry your wallet, keys and phone in your pockets, you’ve probably experienced shoulder pain twinges from all the weight in your bag. Sometimes, it’s a hoarder’s mess: old receipts, coins, used tissues, tampons, notebooks, folders, packs of gum and all kinds of who-knows-what get deposited there. And when it comes time to actually pull your phone or ID out of your bag, at least a few minutes of rummaging go by before you come up for air with a triumphant “I found it!”
Backpacks won’t necessarily solve hoarding habits, but they certainly even out the weight on your shoulders and give you hands-free access when you’ve got to run for the bus, the subway, or a taxi. And the square-ish, stiffer structure of a backpack provides ample support for keeping your laptop or iPad safe while trotting around town. Perfect for those who frequently work on-the-go or from coffee shops.
Net-a-porter declared “The backpack makes a comeback @Chanel #pfw” via Instagram last week.
While this arts and crafts version isn’t our favorite, here are some that round out our top picks.
If you’re looking for a backpack that’s classic but still a little sporty, try the Frye Logan leather backpack, which has small distress marks on a warm, mahogany brown leather. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, just straightforward pockets and clean lines. Marc by Marc Jacobs also made a slightly sporty backpack in a deep blue. For backpacks that are more high fashion and edgy, 3.1 Phillip Lim has the “31 Hour Backpack,” a unisex black bag with a top cover panel. Wear this little shearling backpack by designer Sarah Law to an art, design or fashion event, which will be sure to draw some oohs and aahs from strangers.