I’m going back to school in a mostly casual environment in September. What do you think of backpacks? I’m worried that a backpack would look goofy on a woman planning her fortieth birthday party. I’m also worried that my 40-year-old shoulders will suffer under a full load of books in a messenger bag. Is there any version that works for grown people?
As a student myself, this is a question that I understand. With so many books, a laptop, and extras to haul around, most “stylish” bags won’t get the job done. I don’t have as many books now as I did my first couple of semesters, so I alternate the Lo & Sons OMG and the Dagne Dover Tote for class. But if I did, I would probably be carrying a backpack.
Backpacks are certainly easier on the back and shoulders than messenger bags. So my advice is this: If you’re going to carry a backpack, own the backpack.
Don’t buy a “fashionable” backpack just because it looks good (because it’s still a backpack, and it probably won’t be tough enough for the task). Buy a real backpack and carry it with confidence.
Also, another issue is finding one with a built-in computer pocket. If you can’t find that, buy one large enough to hold your laptop, and supplement with a padded computer sleeve.
Personally, because I see a backpack as being a purely utility item, I don’t think of them as being part of an outfit. Here are a few options that I didn’t find objectionable:
I also like this Tumi Calais computer backpack.
This is my favorite bag in the whole post. I really like the simple look and color combination.
I think a hiking-style backpack would be the only kind that I would use again after school was over. So if that’s the case for you, I would go this route.