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In defense of Fanny packs

Kelly James | Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dear Mr. Fitzgerald,

While it is by no means a timeless accessory in a well-dressed man’s wardrobe, the Fanny pack does not merit the criticism voiced in your Nov. 9 Letter to the Editor. Despite your assertion to the contrary, the Fanny pack is an incredibly functional accoutrement.

It’s the perfect size for stowing a cell phone, wallet, water bottle and keys on the way to the gym. And ask any lady of sophistication if she’d rather date a man whose ill-fitting cargo shorts are stuffed with everyday necessities or a man who throws those same essentials into a Fanny pack (worn casually over one shoulder) and opts for a pair of tailored trousers or, dare I say, short shorts (7-in. inseam being my personal preference, 5-in. if you are particularly daring).

She will obviously prefer the man with the fanny pack. Further, if Notre Dame is ever ranked as the least stylish college campus, Fanny packs won’t be the culprit. Rather, it will be the abundance of baggy sweatpants, Ugg boots, oversized parkas and euphemistically dubbed “athletic” apparel that earn Notre Dame such a status.

Most importantly, I refute your claim that Mr. Denue deserves a scolding for wearing a Fanny pack in public. Consider Thom Browne, 1988 graduate of Notre Dame and designer of the eponymous label.

Much like Mr. Denue’ss Fanny pack, Browne’s signature slim lapels and truncated trousers initially met with hostility, but his vision dramatically shifted the paradigm of modern menswear, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America ultimately dubbed Browne the Menswear Designer of the Year in 2006.

Mr. Denue should be similarly applauded for his own interpretation of fashion, which serves as a breath of fresh air in a rather stylistically homogeneous community.

Fanny pack swag,

Kelly James


Stanford Hall

Nov. 11