Features, Tips and Trends, Trends

BC’s Backpacks: What Your Backpack Says About You

The backpack you wear can say a lot about your style, community, and culture. While most students rely on backpacks to store their textbooks, laptops, notebooks, or between-class snacks, we don’t often analyze the meaning behind them. A student’s choice of backpack might seem mundane, but it can also serve as an understanding of who they are and prove that we may or may not be a part of a trend.

The North Face Fanatics

For many Boston College students, it is likely that a handful of their friends and peers own a North Face backpack. Whether you are a fan of them or not, there is arguably nothing more classic than “a North Face.”

What makes these bags so popular? Is it the loud whistle that comes on the straps? Is it the cool colors? Is it the endless compartments to hoard the random juices and chips you bought to liquidate your meal plan before move-out day?

One student said that the durability and reliability of North Face backpacks make them worth the price. 

While North Faces have been among America’s favorite backpacks since the 1960s, it looks like there’s a new sheriff in town. To my surprise, I found out that Topo Designs is the top manufacturer of backpacks in the United States, according to Bagcottage.com. 

Team Merchandise Mania

Finding a BC athlete with a gray New Balance backpack on campus is easier than getting your first option for on-campus housing.

No one sports BC merchandise like our athletes, and their bags are the perfect example of that. Two years ago, many BC athletes wore their bright burgundy Under Armour backpacks that students could see from anywhere on campus like the North Star.

Last year, the new gray New Balance bags provided a smaller, slimmer, more simplistic design. 

One student athlete said that he likes the design of the New Balance bags because they are decently sized and fit well.

These backpacks are also incredibly exclusive. Both New Balance and the BC Bookstore do not sell this item on their respective websites. So, if you want that bag—or to be a D1 athlete, I guess—hit the Plex and get to training.

Lululemon Lovers and Herschel Hipsters

How could we talk about any trend without mentioning Lululemon? I mean the people who wear this brand are loyal to the core. If you see someone with a Lululemon bag, chances are that it matches their Lululemon water bottle, leggings, headband, sweater, jacket, t-shirt, and pants. 

There is even an official BC x Lululemon backpack sold at the bookstore which, to no surprise, is currently sold out. If that isn’t a trend, I don’t know what is. 

Similar to Lululemon, Herschel is also a brand that many students seem to enjoy.

Known for their retro and hipster-style designs, Herschel bags are perfect for those friends who swear they were “born in the wrong decade.” You can almost imagine a student rolling into class in their Dr. Martens, a beanie, and a Herschel backpack—it’s the perfect way to complete the look. 

Trendy Tote Bags

Where there is a tote bag, there is a group of trendy and fashionable college students. Of course, a tote bag isn’t nearly the most practical or comfortable option to lug around overpriced textbooks and a MacBook Air covered in random stickers, but it sure does look good with a stylish outfit. Not to mention, they are inexpensive and are easy to store.  

Two brands that I’ve personally noticed an increase in are the Marc Jacobs tote bag and the now-viral Telfar shopping bags.

The Telfar bags have become so popular that many of their styles are sold out within minutes of their original release, with many people buying them to resell them for a higher profit.

It’s What’s in Your Bag That Counts

While someone’s appearance or possessions may seem to tell the story of their lives, the truth is that those things only tell part of the story. No one backpack, outfit, or even hairstyle gives us the liberty to judge someone else.

The beauty of a backpack is that it can protect and hold things you need and care about. Which makes me think, in many ways, our backpacks are like us. What good is a backpack that doesn’t open? What good is a backpack that adds extra weight and stress? What good is a backpack that only carries itself? No matter its outward appearance, we don’t know what exists inside of them unless they open up and we find out for ourselves.

Magazine Trends Writer, 

Steven Javier Dumeng

September 6, 2022