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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.

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

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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