Back to School Backpacks!
By Ella Seltzer
After fighting with AU mail service, most of us have now, hopefully, gotten all of our heavy and absurdly-priced textbooks for class. Now, there’s a new problem. How the hell does anyone carry all of these 8,000 lb books around? With everyone’s new, cute, back-to-school outfits, there’s no better way to ruin them than with a raggedy old backpack, or one that screams “I’m a freshman!” For those of you who are reading this and are thinking “oh… that’s me,” I have broken down the best, cutest, and most functional bags, backpacks, purses, tote bags, briefcases, wheelie backpacks, and basically whatever else you try to carry your stuff in.
I am personally a very big fan of bags and purses, which I know is not most peoples’ first choice. I have literally used a purse-style bag since middle school and have been more than fine despite peoples’ consistent reaction of, “how do you carry everything?” Even though I started my bag tendencies with a VERY cringey Victoria’s Secret tote, I have since upgraded to my absolute favorite bag that I’ve been using for years. The Longchamp bags are a great classic that are simple, cute, and super durable, so they’re worth the price and you’ll have one for years. Another great thing about the Longchamp bags is that they’re really versatile, so they work as both a bag for class, a tote bag, or a nicer purse. Besides the classic colors, there are a few more brighter and fun ones, as well as making the bags in a bunch of different sizes, all of which have the same foldable feature.
Even though I have never worn a backpack in my life, I do have a good eye for ones that I could maybe see myself using if it came down to it. A common but classic backpack is the North Face backpack. Despite being a seemingly random place to find a school-use backpack, they are pretty popular ones. Besides the weird amount of strings, pulleys, and toggles for a school backpack, I have to say they are always nice-looking and something I could see myself using. The solid black is not only a classic color, but makes the bag seem less outdoorsy in addition to it being a color that goes with anything. The one benefit I would say North Face backpacks have that I am sorely lacking with my own Longchamp bag is the great space for the size/shape that they have. You can definitely fit a decent amount of textbooks and notebooks, plus a laptop, all without the backpack looking too bulky.
Another increasingly popular backpack brand is Herschel. With a larger range of styles than North Face, these backpacks are the more fashionable and just as functional option for when you want a bag that doesn’t look too clunky. One of my favorite things about these bags is that they even though they don’t look spacious, the one main backpack pocket can hold a lot with a more sleek appearance as well as being lighter with less padding and straps, which is what adds to the weight of a North Face backpack.
Now, I of course have to rip into the awful mainstream trend that is the Fjällräven Kånken bag. First off, I don’t think any fashion item should be that difficult to say, especially if it’s so popular, because everytime I try and explain this bag to someone, it sounds like a jumble of letters. Maybe it’s just me, but I personally have never understood these bags, like at all. How do you even adjust the straps to fit over a normal size person’s shoulders? Whenever I’ve seen them in a store, the straps are always adjusted to a child’s size. Another thing I don’t get about them is how it’s possible to fit more than a single piece of paper in one of these backpacks. The one main pocket of these bags is such a small and unwieldy square that it must be a puzzle trying to squeeze a textbook/notebook/laptop in one of these bags. . The only thing these bags have going for them are the good color assortment, but the obnoxiously pastel ‘trendy’ colors are just not it.
In the interest of covering all forms of bags, I have to give an honorable mention to the sorority tote bags. A classic gift from bid night, my favorite way to spot a sorority girl is by her classic Greek letter tote to show everyone that, “yes I’m in a sorority, but I also study sometimes!” I will say, these bags seem questionably small, so I don’t know how realistic it is to actually have school stuff in them.