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Fanny Packs’ Surprising History That’ll Make You Love Them Even More

Fanny Packs’ Surprising History That’ll Make You Love Them Even More

September 10, 2017

History of Fanny Packs

Bum bags, hip packs, waist bags, belt bags, butt pack, oh my! Fanny packs are back and coming in hot. Gone are the days where bum bags were only worn by Dads who tell terrible jokes thinking they’re the epitome of cool. The neon colors are retired and these classic pieces of fashion are taking on a modern spin that’s perfect for the travel enthusiast, sun chaser, adventure seeker or really, anyone who is totally badass.

But in order to truly appreciate this one-of-a-kind statement, you have to know all about the history of fanny packs and we have all of that for you right here.

Cavemen loved a good bum bag

They may not have discovered the power of utensils, houses, electricity just yet – you know, the boring stuff ­– but they certainly knew what a good fanny pack was. Researchers recently discovered that even cavemen loved a good bum bag after finding a mummy frozen in a glacier in 1991. Finally, two decades later it's been revealed that this ‘Iceman’ was actually wearing a fanny pack! That means the hip packs we all love today were also worn by cavemen more than 5000 years ago.

The French wore chatelaine bags back in the 15th century


Although they weren’t called fanny packs back then, history shows that French housekeepers also loved a good bag worn right above their bum. These small purses attached to a belt with a chain and were used to carry all sorts of 15th century trinkets, such as thimbles, scissors and keys.


Native Americans wore buffalo pouches instead of pockets

 The Native Americans were onto something in the 15th and 16th century as well. Instead of sewing pockets into your clothing, they’d wear buffalo pouches around their waist or suspended around their neck (similar to what we know of today as a purse) to carry all sorts of medicinal herbs. Although, one might argue that it’d take longer to create a buffalo pouch than it would take to sew pockets. To each their own. At least they had the right idea! Those pockets would be huge.


The Medieval times weren’t fans of pockets either

Forget about pockets. The Medieval times, which lasted up to the end of the 15th century were all about pouches as well. This era’s version of the fanny pack was a combination of the chatelaine bag and buffalo pouch, as they suspended their animal-skin pouches from their belts. Talk about evolution!

The people would use their little bum bags to carry all kinds of necessities, such as money and household items but the really cool thing is that their fanny packs indicated gender and hierarchy.

Scottish loved a good sporran and actually had a reason to be anti-pocket


If you’ve ever tried to wear a skirt and stuff a ton of your necessities inside of it, you know the struggle is real. The 1800’s Scottish men actually had a reason to be so against sewing pockets into their kilts. So, they wore sporrans instead, which can still be found on traditional Scottish outfits today.

Sporrans are leather (or fur) belted pouches, decorated with all kinds of metal plates, feathers and tassels that hang on the front of the body. In other words, they’re fanny packs that hang over your… Well, you know.


British skiers were all about the hip packs in the 1900s


Fast forward a good century, hit up the slopes in Europe and you’ll find all kinds of British skiers rocking a fanny pack. It’s an excellent way to carry your belongings while skiing or snowboarding. So, good on them for figuring this one out early!

A couple decades afterward, fanny packs became the must have fashion
accessory during the 80s and 90s in the United States and they really haven't been seen since...


...Until now, that is. 

fanny pack by brkn label

Today, you have the modern-day fanny packs that are the most stylish of them all but we have to give it to the history of fanny packs. 5000 years is a long time to last within the fashion industry.

And BRKN LABEL is bringing back chic, boho, hip waist bags to carry on the fanny pack name. So, stop stuffing your pockets (join the anti-pocket movement) with all your gadgets and lugging around a giant purse. Shop our hip fanny packs today and take your adventures to the next level of practicality and style.


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