Why Are All Bags Crossbody Bags Now?

Illustration for article titled Why Are All Bags Crossbody Bags Now?
Screenshot: Instagram

A few weeks ago, I made the very adult decision to finally replace my ratty ass tote and invest in a proper work bag. (My scheme, for the purpose of this blog, was to look somewhat presentable even if my outfit and/or the weather causes my appearance to scream “disheveled mess” instead of “this person works in an office.” That, and I was tired of leaving my notebooks exposed to the elements on rainy and snowy days. New York weather is hellish.) So I began the journey to pleather professionalism with only three requirements: the bag should be black, it should be structured, and it should hold my laptop and a few other small items comfortably. Easy, right?

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Wrong. So very wrong. For some ungodly reason, I’d soon learn, all bags are crossbody bags now. And you know what’s bewilderingly uncomfortable? Slinging a laptop, charger, and a few books betwixt your breasts.

Listen, I’m not opposed to the athleisure trend that requires its fashion followers to wear a fanny pack belt bag, bandolier-style. (By the way, if you’re a big-breasted woman, the abridged advice: use the bag like a boob shelf.) However, fanny packs are small. They’re manageable: what do you place in beyond your phone, wallet, keys and sunglasses? That’s all light and good and fine to wear like a seatbelt. But as a work bag, they seem heavy and uncomfortable.

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In my hunt, I came across a lot of bags that looked like knock-off, fast fashion versions of the Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour, which is an absolutely gorgeous purse, just, once again, not an ideal work bag. It has two short structured straps, which are great for wearing over the shoulder in spring/summer weather but are ultimately useless if you require any sort of outer wear. You know the sensation: the straps become too tight and claustrophobic atop your wool coat and the only way to remove it, or to access any item from your bag, is to remove your thick jacket completely—or slide the entire bag off your shoulder. It’s just obnoxious. That, and there’s only one long additional strap, meant to be worn crossbody. Why? Why only one? Is it really that much more expensive to include an additional strap?

Illustration for article titled Why Are All Bags Crossbody Bags Now?
Screenshot: Target

After a few weeks of casual shopping and searching, I settled for the above $50 bag from Target. It’s black, structured, big enough for a laptop and certainly screams pleather professionalism, but guess what? When I received it in the mail, there was only one long strap—even when I thought I avoided the crossbody bag scourge, here I am, smoothing my tiny bosom down for 45-minutes every morning and 45-minutes every evening on my commute to and from work. It’s almost as if whoever designed this trend, knowing full well it was mostly meant for women, forgot to ask a woman about how it feels to wear. 

In conclusion: my kingdom for just one more strap. Please, designers, my breasts and shoulder—and the breasts and shoulders of my fellow humans—will thank you to cease with this nonsense.

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And if you, dear reader, have any advice or bag suggestions, please drop them below. This is a cry for help.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

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Wait, what? If the designer asked me, I would say “YES, crossbody strap it up! I need and want a crossbody strap.” First of all, the straps have never bothered my bosom (which is ample). Second, the other options suck. Do I carry the strap on my sloping shoulder and it constantly slides off and I have to grab the bag before it falls or I’m pinching it between my arm and body and if it’s a heavy bag I’m leaning to one side? No. Do I want the short straps so that I have to carry it in the crook of your arm or in your hands so your arms/hands are no longer free? NO!

I want a crossbody bag or possibly a backpack. I don’t care if backpacks aren’t professional looking.