Picture this: a baseball cap sits above an oversized graphic tee, which has been tucked messily into the waistband of a pair of loose-fitting, stonewash jeans. Below these are a pair of tightly-laced, bulky trainers; the sort your secondary school gym teacher used to wear morning, noon and night. And, to top it all off, the obligatory funny pack, now also known as men’s crossbody bags, or men’s across the body bags, depending on who you ask.
There was a time not long ago when such an outfit was universally recognized as the classic ‘American dad goes sightseeing in a European city’ uniform and a huge fashion faux pas. However, thanks to fashion’s ongoing quest to appropriate literally everything, it could now just as easily be describing the most talked-about look at a Paris Fashion Week haute couture runway show.
But there’s one key detail that has changed. Fanny packs, sometimes known as bum bags, have crept up north of the waistline in a thinly-veiled attempt to cast off their embarrassing title. And it worked. Crossbody bags for men are now one of the hottest bag trends to have emerged from streetwear’s ever-tightening stranglehold on high fashion. If you don’t already have one, those in the know advise that it’s probably time to pick one up.
“The cross-body bag trend derived from the blur between menswear and womenswear,” says Notion Magazine fashion coordinator, Joshua Meredith. “Rappers also drove the trend. However, to them it’s better known as a ‘roadman bag’. A$AP Rocky and Skepta favor the style and have been instrumental in bringing it into the mainstream.”
When it comes to styling, Meredith suggests keeping things bright or finding other ways to add a point of difference. “A bold color or print elevates an outfit and adds an extra layer. Also, source vintage designer before going straight for the latest season – it makes the outfit more personal and unique.”
Ready to saddle up? Here are some of the best men’s across the body bags.
The Best Men’s Across the Body Bags
Here’s a round up of the best crossbody bags for men, suitable for a wide range of styles.
The North Face
Okay, so men’s shoulder bags probably aren’t the most practical type of luggage for hauling breathing apparatus and tents up the side of a snow-covered cliff face in the Himalayas. But if you were going to use one for that, you’d probably opt for The North Face.
The brand’s bags have become the gold standard for everyone from hardened mountaineers to South-London road-men. And with a customer base that diverse it must be doing something right.
In between making high-performance sportswear and the best retro sneakers ever to walk the Earth,
Pricing is reasonable, designs are classic, and aside from that, you can expect subtle swoosh branding aplenty and sleek, sporty styling as standard.
In the bag game since the 1950s, Boston backpack brand Eastpak knows a thing or two about what makes a good receptacle.
Eastpack’s crossbody bag and backpacks designs are simple and uncluttered, with practicality at the fore. Meanwhile, branding is subtle, and construction is damn near bulletproof, resulting in timeless luggage you can keep going back to season after season.
Looking for an eco-friendly cross body bag to stuff your granola bar and spare Hacky Sack in for a hectic day slack-lining shirtless in the park? Sustainable outdoor label Patagonia has what you need.
The brand is known for creating hard-wearing kit for adventurers, while also saving the planet by using recycled and organic materials, meaning you can feel good about rocking its practical yet stylish men’s crossbody bag wherever you go.
The label of choice for everyone from Olympic athletes to hip-hop heroes, German sportswear giant Adidas is about as iconic as names get.
On paper, making denim overalls for redneck car mechanics doesn’t seem like a natural jumping off point for going on to create some of the finest streetwear in Europe, but that’s exactly what Carhartt did, and we certainly aren’t complaining.
Come for the streetwear styling, stay for the rugged quality. It’s all in a day’s work for the brand’s crossbody bags for men.
It’s funny to think that many of the streetwear-influenced looks being paraded down runways wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for a Californian surfer and his T-shirt brand.
Stussy is the granddaddy of the streetwear world, and as such, does it better than most. Opt for one of its men’s across the body bags and watch your street cred inflate like a beach ball right before your eyes.
At a century old, Champion is one of the oldest sporting goods brands in the world, so it should be no surprise that it’s gotten pretty good at its craft.
This whole ‘streetwear meets high fashion’ crossover thing is all well and good, but it’s not exactly easy on the ol’ wallet, is it?
Thankfully, there’s a solution: ASOS. The online store carries all the latest trend-led pieces –including men’s shoulder bags and crossbody bags – as part of its in-house brand and brings them to style-savvy customers with convenience and value for money in mind.
Whatever you’re after, you can always count on Swedish high street stalwart H&M to give it to you for a sensible price.
The retailer is known not just for its selection of wardrobe-building menswear staples, but also for its ever-changing rotation of trend-driven products, of which men’s crossbody bags (which they call belt bags) are now a part.
If the idea of spending significant amounts of cash on a bag you can’t even fit a water bottle in makes you feel slightly ill, may we kindly advise you to avert your eyes now.
Luxury Italian label
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny Virgil Abloh is redefining fashion by doing things strictly on his terms.
His label Off-White is one of the imprints spearheading streetwear’s siege on high fashion and has been instrumental in changing the face of modern style. With that in mind, where better to spend your hard-earned cash?
The undisputed king of high-end luggage, Louis Vuitton’s famous monogram print has become a universally recognised symbol of luxury, whether it’s stamped onto a leather weekend bag or on a crossbody bag.
Expect full-grain leather construction, shiny golden brass hardware and attention to detail that comes second to none.
Everlane, like Patagonia, is a leader in putting sustainability at the forefront of their brand, and it’s helped them pick up steam and establish a cult-like following.
Want proof? Their popular Re-New Transit Bag is a men’s crossbody that is so popular, it’s constantly sold out. As of this writing, there’s a waitlist to get your own. We know, that just makes you want one even more.
For a stylish, on-trend, and versatile crossbody bag that offers your monochrome outfit a pop of color, look no further than Canadian yoga-inspired athletic brand Lululemon.
Their men’s crossbody bags are truly gender-neutral, and as functional as they are fashionable. Take them with you on a walk, running errands, or even on your commute.
Are men’s cross body bags in style?
Thanks to the current trend of making everything gender neutral, a place emerged in the market for a better way for men to carry their things. Gone are the days of stuffing our pockets full and getting made fun of for carrying a ‘man purse.’ Men’s crossbody bags are in style as a functional accessory option for men to take advantage of.
How should a man wear a crossbody bag?
If you’re wearing loungewear, like sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, your crossbody bag can sit at your waist to offer you some definition. Want to dress it up? Sling your bag over your shoulder and let it rest on your bag with the strap across your chest. This is the most secure and safe way to carry your valuables too.