Is there a correct way of wearing a messenger bag?

Messenger bags are the latest reintroduction of utility wear which has been interpreted into contemporary fashion, with the straps being the indication of how to wear the bag.

Contemporary fashion considers male fashion as a lucrative industry, an industry which saw a resurgence in the early 2000s with the rise of metrosexual identity. However, with time, the term “metrosexual” has fallen away, as all types of male identities have come to be included in the world of contemporary fashion. One way this has been done is through the reintroduction of the must-have fashion accessory for men in general.

From utility to accessory:

The “man bag” obsession can be traced back to the early 2010s, with the resurgence of athleisure wear. Athleisure wear arguably brought the fanny pack, or moon bag, back. The fanny pack, which was a style which saw many interpretations between the 1980s all the way to the early 2000s, shifted from a utility bag used to carry necessities for tourists when travelling, to a fashion accessory in the early 2010s.

Thereafter, street fashion meeting high-end design brought the backpack back in style. Furthermore, with the blurred line between formal wear and casualwear, the reinterpreted messenger bag also made its way back into style. A messenger bag was initially designed to deliver newspapers and letters when a post messenger used to travel afoot or via a bicycle. However, the reinterpreted messenger bag has fused the design of a suitcase with the adaptability of a messenger bag.

Rule(s) of thumb when wearing a messenger bag:

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Firstly, most messenger bags have a small handle on top which can be used to hold the bag. This is the first and most common way to carry the messenger bag. Although, this is for an individual that has both their hands free. However, if one is planning to use their hands at any time, they would need to put their bag down and risk having it stolen under their feet. Hence, most recent interpretations of the messenger bag come with an extended strap.

Latest designs have mostly made the extended straps detachable. This is to allow for the bag to have versatility and not to have a strap be a deterrent when thinking of buying the bag. In light of the extended strap attachment, there are two common ways to wear a messenger bag with an extended strap.

The first is the most common way of thinking of wearing a strap. This is by slinging the strap on one of your shoulders. The result is a messenger bag which falls to either side, depending on the side which the wearer has placed the strap. Wearing the bag in this manner does not ensure that it will be secure. However, it is more comfortable for more rigid messenger bag designs like those that borrow their inspiration from hardbody suitcases.

Alternatively, you can wear the strap across your chest. This style of wearing the bag is considered the most contemporary way. The popularity of this style is evident when looking at male-centred editorial photoshoots which advocate for this style of wearing a messenger bag. Wearing a messenger bag in this style is preferred for two primary reasons.

The first is the security and comfort of wearing the messenger bag in this way. This is as when worn across the chest, the strap ensures that no one can pull the bag and run away with it out of nowhere. This is as the position of the strap uses the upper body as a buffer to prevent it from being taken from the owner. Secondly, when worn across, the strap ensures a better distribution of the weight of the bag across the entire upper body, unlike wearing the strap across either side of your shoulder, which eventually causes tension and muscle pain. Wearing it across the chest ensures that there is less pressure on one or the other shoulder and ensures the comfort of the carrier.

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Currently, there are various styles and price ranges for messenger bags. On Amazon, there are leather messenger bags which range between $49 to well over $200, depending on the quality of the leather used.

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Alternatively, there are messenger bags which fuse leather in the detail and use hemp or cotton for the body of the bag to ensure durability. These bags are available on Amazon retailing from $21.99 to anywhere close to $61.99, depending on the materials used and the make of the messenger bag.