Bum bags, fanny packs and Bauchtasche, oh my!

Bum bags, fanny packs and Bauchtasche, oh my!


Bum bags, fanny packs, bauchtasche… whatever you call them, they have always had a bad rep – associated with the 80s, gauche and ultimately unflattering. 

First off, I want to address the idea that the hip bag is inseparable from that mad wonderful decade we know as the 80s. Really, it makes so much sense to hold our things on our hips: that’s close to our hands and our hips give the bags somewhere relatively secure to hang on to. 

Cue images I got from this great mural in Schloss Hohenschwangau, near Schloss Neuschwanstein, which dates to the 1700s. 

Admittedly, I wouldn’t wear a typical bumbag either. I don’t cast any shade on people who do, probably because I like wearing hip bags myself, but I have yet to find one which I would wear without feeling a bit awkward. 

I have tried subverting the gawkiness of them by getting a super loud pop-ish bumbag before, but the truth was, it didn’t go with most things I wore. 

I tried wearing it at the back, to replace the front bulge with a silhouette that was hopefully more reminiscent of a bustle, but it was just too impractical, having to move the bumbag to the front, every time I wanted to access it. On top of that, it was pretty insecure, open to being pickpocketed by anyone behind you. 

So, that was how I arrived at a design that is more a flat panel, than a sac that hangs on to a strap. The width is, I feel, also more flattering than a thin belt, that would make your body look wider. 

Firstly, I came out with a compartmented loop made of elastic fabric, but this design had two problems:

– I had to step into it to wear it, which is a pain

– there was no way to alter its circumference, thus, it would only sit on the hip, which looks awkward on dresses which cut in at the waist, or below the chest. 

I also experimented with compartmented panels, held up with a strap with changeable lengths and buckled together. The whole contraption just didn’t sit together comfortably.

Finally, after about three years and various tweaks, I came out with a version that I am happy with. I will come out with additional improvements I can think of, but it’s certainly something I am happy enough to wear out and about myself. 

I’ve found it essential in my own life, and at times when I need to wash it, I need to go back and find another old prototype to wear because it’s just useful for me. I believe it would be useful for some of you out there too, so try it out. I only want the product to get better so if you don’t like it, send it back to me with your reason and I will refund you with a voucher for a discount for the next product that would hopefully incorporate your suggested improvement!

Either way, talk to me, tell me what you think. It seems, bumbags are all too prosaic a topic to go on about, but in my world, they hold some of the essential things that we need in our real worlds – not least our indispensable mobile phones with its connection to others and camera to document our world, etc. It’s this and how it comes together with how we would like to present ourselves to the world, our outward appearances: a sticky but fascinating subject, I reckon.


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