Why the Tiny Backpack from Your Childhood Is Back and Better Than Ever

::gets Dora the Explorer song stuck in head::

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Unequivocally, getting dressed was so much better when we were but wee things. Light-up sneakers. Tulle skirts. A pair of Limited Too jeans embroidered with bugle- and seed-bead vines that I would *kill* to own today. They say you can't ever really go home, but with the resurgence of the baby backpack, that schoolyard staple, at least you can go back to kindergarten.

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This time around, the BB is a lot more streamlined but no less fun—like you, it's matured. (You can still add a glitter notebook keychain, though. Fully support.) The quilted MZ Wallace I've been carrying, for example, is made from super-luxe leather and contains clever compartments for all the accoutrements a modern woman requires: phone, keys, Metrocard, sunglasses, a tube of Glossier Cake, and an Edith Wharton paperback.

Because the shape itself is inherently jaunty, I style mine with outfits that might otherwise be too ladylike or staid. But regardless of ensemble, when I *really* want to feel young and insouciant again (HA), I slip off the straps and carry it by the top handle, swinging my arms like I haven't a care in the world. 

Courtesy, design by Dana Tepper

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1. Loup, $176, louponline.com2. Want Les Essentiels, $795, wantlesessentiels.com3. Dooney & Burke, $224, dooney.com4. Liebeskind, $278, usa.liebeskind-berlin.com5. MZ Wallace, $425, mzwallace.com.

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