Summer style is hard. The season is supposed to be the highlight of the year, the time you forget about life's problems, soak yourself in the sun, get lost in the wilderness and do way too much daytime drinking.
What people tend to forget, though, is that sweltering temperatures make things really difficult steez-wise — the season is hell for stylish dressers. You won't be seeing all your dope jackets, jeans and hoodies for months, and the washing machine will be working overtime to refresh your sweat-drenched clothes. Layering is nigh-on impossible.
Of course, there's plenty of ways to keep your "lqqks" on-point — sunglasses, breezy fabrics and baseball caps are your friend — but one of the most grinding of summer's frustrations is the lack of storage space.
If you're gonna be out and about with more than just the bare essentials — say, suncream, portable phone battery, sunglasses and smoking paraphernalia — you'll quickly run out of pocket space, or you'll be walking around with your thighs bulging like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on leg day.
Enter the sidebag, aka the waist-pack, hip-pack, fanny pack, or, as we call it this side of the Atlantic, the bum bag. Over in the states, it's the sort of thing you'd find strapped to the hips of aging midwestern tourists, but in the UK and Europe, it's the essential accessory for party kids, hoodlums and grime MCs.
Not too big, and not too small, it's just the right size to carry all your daily essentials, plus anything else you might need on your average summer's day. There's plenty of stash space, and it's handy enough that you can grab your stuff in a couple of seconds. Basically, just chuck everything in there, sling it over your shoulder and forget about it.
The sidebag has been worn on european street corners for years now, and ravers all over the continent love them so they can wear as little as possible in sweaty clubs but still have somewhere to put their, ahem, keys.
The bag's been a staple in the grime scene for years, too. Here's Skepta spitting bars with a pack slung across his shoulders, worn with a OVO dad cap and an England football shirt (a modern-day riff on the all-red number from way back when we were actually good at football).
There's all sorts of varieties out there. Topman's got a reflective version so you don't get lost in the rave, Porter's one looks big enough to carry a kitchen sink, and Wander dropped a piece that veers into man-bag territory, while Versace comes through with the gaudiness (obvs) and BAPE draped theirs in camo (duh).
Personal fave though, is this camo ting from Herschel Supply Co:
Highsnobiety's NYC squad tell me that some of the more fashion-forward guys over the pond have discovered the joys of the mighty sidebag, so maybe in a few seasons time we'll see the rest of the country following suit, if they can get over that whole overweight tourist cliché.
NYC label HSWLD (one of the Big Apple's more promising up-and-comers) is ahead of the curve though, fearlessly stepping into roadman territory with this Taxi-cab yellow option:
So, if you're looking for some new storage solutions this summer, look no further than the trusty sidebag. Still not convinced? Here's how the team at Highsnobiety's Berlin HQ wears theirs:
Here's our anti-summer style guide for goths.