We all remember the lazy August days of summers past, awaiting the L.L. Bean catalogue in the mail, ready to take a pen to the decisive back-to-school shopping glossy and circle the new book bag and lunch box we'd be sporting for the new year. To be "in" in the halls of childhood, one thing was absolutely necessary: a backpack (one-strapping was the ultimate in cool; those roll-y ones, not so much).
Well, that was then, and this is now, and now, guess what's happening? Backpacks are a thing, though they tend to veer more high fashion than elementary-school inspired (except for Nick; he's got his "knapsack for grown-ups"). Think: the floral embroidered Christopher Kane number that quickly sold out on Net-A-Porter (a similar version's available for preorder at Saks!). Why? Street wear is back, Grimes is a style icon, and sneakers will run you $800, which is all to say...gone are the days of yearning to be mistaken for a lady who lunches. Now we're embracing the decade of our childhood and aiming to dress like an adult version of a 12 year-old circa 1997. It's high time to ditch the purse and return to le sac (note: phrases in French always seem chicer. Vive le français!). You with us? Ok, good.
If you, too, find yourself in need of a highly practical toting option, here, our top picks for backpacks that will leave you looking the appropriate amount of 'throwback' without crossing into infantile territory:
The Classic: JanSport Right Pack 
The Not-So-Standard Black Leather Backpacks: Coach Rivington Leather Backpack 
The “I’m A Hipster” Backpack (sometimes confused with the “Fashion Bag” Backpack): Topman Exotic Print Backpack  or Meredith Wendell Backstroke Rucksack  or Christopher Kane Embroidered Velvet Backpack 
The 80s/90s “Throwback” Neon-Inspired Backpack: American Apparel Nylon Cordura School Bag  or Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Knapsack  or Graf & Lantz Wool Backpack  or State The Garfield 
Let us know if there are any star options we’ve missed. And while the items found inside our bags may no longer include Lisa Frank folders and a pencil box (they've been replaced by a stray lipstick tube, blotting papers, and an iPhone...who are we kidding, those are permanently attached to our palm), the two-strap vehicle is not much different. And you never know, maybe our new accessories will inspire us all to go back to school. See you in Cog Sci 101 next semester?
 Photo by Phil Oh for Streetpeeper.com.