At the Mall, Fanny Pack Is Fashion Forward-But When You Hit the Trail, Leave It Behind


Women may curse having to lug a purse around, but men may secretly want that burden. For years, guys have had to stuff their pockets with their belongings, never having enough room for a brush or an address book.

Not long ago, as wilderness walks and the environment became chic, hiking boots and shorts were spotted on people who hadn’t trekked a trail in years. They also wore the fanny pack, a lightweight version of the backpack for short hikes, big enough for a couple plastic bags of trail mix. Except the innovators turned it around and filled it with all the stuff you never could stuff in your pockets: checkbook, brush, business card holder . . . .

The fanny pack solves the problem of the overstuffed pocket, but it must be worn a particular way. “When you’re out hiking, it’s fine to have it hanging off your back,” says Dave O’Brien of The Army-Navy Store in Orange. “But if you’re wearing it while shopping, you’d better have it turned around.”


Having the pack on your back while you’ve got your wallet and credit cards inside isn’t very safe. When valuables are inside, keep the pack in sight, worn forward like a kangaroo pouch. Otherwise, keep it on the back side--unless you’re worried about someone getting into that trail mix.

Clogged up: Is this Holland or Southern California? You may be asking yourself that question after hearing the “clomp, clomp, clomp” of women in wooden clogs marching through the malls. Another relic of ‘70s fashion, clogs are back this fall. But while they’re comfortable, are they OK as office wear?

“If you have a ‘casual day’ or the office isn’t too traditional, you can get away with clogs,” says fashion consultant Sara D’Allessandro of Yorba Linda. “Women often think if you wear them with hosiery, they’ll look fine. But clogs are strictly casual.”

When the weather turns, you may be tempted to wear your clogs with socks, even though that’s not the accepted fashion look. Today’s models are wearing them without hose. However, when a cold January morning comes around, let Stephanie Seymour be the one to walk around in clogs without socks. No one’s going to look down at you for trying to keep warm.

Lost, but not forgotten: It’s one of those little tragedies in life. You’ve got this great shirt that’s only a few months old, and somewhere along the line you’ve lost a button, along with the spares that came with it.

There are at least as many buttons in the world as there are stars in the Milky Way, meaning you may never find a perfect match. “The worst thing to do is, if it’s one of those first four buttons, replace it with one that’s close,” says Ziva Adams of Tie Rack in MainPlace/Santa Ana. “Even if no one notices, you’ll know it’s not right.”

Because the last button is usually tucked into your slacks, put the odd button in that spot and move the good one. If you’ve already done that once, it’s time for a button change. Check out the selection at a fabric store and pull out the needle and thread, or take the shirt and new set of buttons to an alterations shop for professional care.