The crossbody bag was born of necessity. In the 16th and 17th century, purses and bags were worn around the waist, but when travelers and workers needed more support for larger items, bags moved upward to the shoulder where more weight could be comfortably carried. Primarily, documents and items that were sent via messenger (and this is how the name messenger bag was born).
In the 1990s, the crossbody bag served a similar function, and gained popularity as women’s armor for the alternative music scene. Slightly punk and perfect at the plethora of music festivals that sprung up during this decade, the crossbody bag was the first true hands-free accessory: it kept personal effects body-close and safe without hindering your head-first dive into the mosh pit.
In the 2000s, the crossbody went even deeper into home-spun practicality, with crochet yarn and canvas being the “it” materials for these functional pieces. The “knitted by my grandma” feel was also reflected in the reasonable price, and may have been the spark that inspired affordable name-brand fashion.
Today, the crossbody is making a couture comeback, possibly inspired by the need to have our hands unhindered so we can scroll our phones. But, how you wear them is as just as essential to determining where you wear them.
The most common way to wear the crossbody bag: let it rest comfortably across your midsection towards your hip. This look marries function with fashion.
Back Is Where It’s At
This playful way to wear the crossbody could come in handy if you’re on a second date, where holding hands is more important than holding your phone.
This look works best for traveling or cruising your local farmer’s market, when you need quick access to cash but still need to move with ease.