If you like to follow fashion chances are you will have noticed that backpacks are back in style and in a big way. Previously, backpacks tended to be fairly functional items, targeted towards the travel, sport, education and work markets, but today they are coveted by fashionistas and style-setters everywhere and come in a vast variety of styles, shapes and designs. You only have to go on the high street to see that the bag style you once sported at school is now in demand. Get involved with the trend and enjoy how backpacks make your life easier - and stylish - in the process.
The floral trend
You will not have failed to see how florals have made it onto backpacks this summer. The trend for English garden-themed fabrics has made it from the world of interiors across a range of clothing fabrics - inspired by designers such as Orla Kiely, Cath Kidston and Liberty fabrics. Tying in with the 'Made in Britain' campaign, these gorgeous fabrics are being used to create strongly desirable bags, which mix aesthetics with function. Thick cloth fabrics are treated with a water resistant resin, which helps to keep the bag's contents safe from unexpected summer showers. Why not check out the trend for micro rucksacks too, which are incredibly cute and a fantastic alternative to the traditional clutch or shoulder bag. They keep your hands free too, which is great when you are out and about and do not want to be carrying things.
Bright sporty backpacks
Sports-themed backpacks are also great for combining style and multi-purpose use. You can pack them for the gym, take them to work and then even bring them with you for a cheeky post-office drink with the team. Look for bright graphic prints, modern and urban detailing, interesting shapes and sleek designs which work across a variety of contexts and occasions. Bear in mind that if you use your backpack for sports, you might want to look for a model with your particular form of exercise in mind. For example, a cyclist may want a backpack with a reflective strip across the back, a more rugged exterior and highly waterproof construction, possibly even with a double shell. A runner may prefer a lightweight backpack with sleek styling, adjustable straps in wide and padded finishes and even an integrated water bottle or headphone loops.
Where to buy your backpack
You will find a great selection of backpacks online, particularly at the online stores for big fashion and sports chains. Look for independent retailers too, whether you are looking for a high-fashion finish in the season's colours, or a timeless piece that will stay looking good for years to come. You may want to buy a variety for different occasions, perhaps a sleek leather or monochrome model for work, a bright reflective and functional sports backpack for active and weekend use, a rugged and larger size model for weekends away and camping and a small or 'micro' backpack for fun finishes and quirky style. Have fun with your favourite new accessory.
Dee Bowers writes regularly for women's style magazines and blogs. You will find a great selection of backpacks here.