Unpopular Opinion: The Cross-Body Bag Is Dead

Listen first. Hate later.


Before I launch into my diatribe—or "pointless rant," if you wanted to be meaner about it—I would like to say something to prove I am still sound of mind, and therefore worth hearing out: There is still no better choice than a cross-body bag for situations in which you need full use of your arms to hold your weeping friend and/or flail around so violently security has to come over. (Unless you can do without one entirely—that is the very best.)

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However, when aesthetics trump practicality, which is probably more of the time than might be good for us, a little flap- or zipper-top thing worn bandolier style just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. My hypothesis attributes this to a few conditions:

  • the general puffiness of clothes at the moment, which makes it kind of weird to deflate it all/interrupt the line
  • Fashion said so
  • we got tired of the thumping against our hips
  • and the lopsided shoulder ache
  • carrying an extra thing with your hands makes life more difficult, and we like making life more difficult because that is the human condition

    I don't make the rules! But as an interpreter and messenger of vibes, I am here to confirm what you might already know in your heart: that the cross-body is not cool and that you really do need to buy a straw basket or a top-handle something-or-other. Look on the bright side, though—whereas the CBB's main draw was freedom of movement, the handheld carrier encourages it by enhancing your arm swinging. Plus, you can't very well sling a briefcase over your torso, so in matters of size, even The Row croissant or Cult Gaia Ark wins. (Unless your standard is a messenger bag, in which case, we have bigger problems.)

    Interesting too that, in these times, we've returned to a more classic, not-so-utilitarian shape. But then you remember how movie-ticket and lipstick sales soar during wartime.

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