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Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Rucksack

Thursday 29 July 2010

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Rucksacks have become an all too common socially acceptable way of ruining your outfit and your reputation, and to be frankly quite honest, I think it should stop. Immediately.

Now yes, before anyone says anything, I know rucksacks are indeed, good for your back. But that is about all they are good for. They are good for bundling a load of junk that you don’t really need into a holdall that can be strapped, unflatteringly, onto your back, so that you do end up representing some type of human camel.

I know that on some very rare occasions, rucksacks can look alright, if you are, say, 5 ft 10 with silky hair, a skinny frame and a good pair of heels. Worn with the right clothes, rucksacks aren’t such a killer – a leather jacket and a pair of jeans; or a well fitted blazer; or even a last season waterfall jacket; then maybe you will get away with it. Maybe. But note that the rucksack cannot be made of any of that canvas bull****; no it has to be a good tan leather satchel backpack thing, or something fresh and flattering. Wearing canvas, can I add, is basically a way of saying “people, I have given up on life.”

I am talking from experience here as well, because I am someone who is guilty of owning a… wait for it, a rucksack. Yes mine was from Millets and I am attending Rucksack’s Anonymous. Basically, I went through a stage when I did, genuinely, have loads to carry and so it just seemed a good idea; I thought I was young and could get away with, what the hell, it’s only a rucksack after all. Pah.

And that was my first big mistake. No one can get away with a rucksack (apart from the above specified description, which has already been noted, and unfortunately I do not meet any of those requirements.) I don’t know what it is, but there is something about a rucksack that just doesn’t work.  And if you think about it, it does make sense.

Firstly, in this world that we live in, to be skinny is desirable and whether I (or you) agree with that or not, it definitely isn’t desired by anyone (apart from those crazy American people who claim in their Californian drool that “I just want to be the fattest person in the world though ma’am”. Huh? Reallllly? ) to actually make yourself look as though you weigh an extra 30 pounds. This is, in effect, what rucksacks do. You are inadvertently making yourself appear two stone heavier by putting on a bag that looks as though you are now carrying a small body. You are adding extra weight to your appearance, whether or not you wear the rucksack on the back or the front (and if you are foreign and wear a rucksack and reading this, please, I beg you, it is honestly not worth wearing it on your front, no matter what you do have in there. Even if it is because you are carrying your life’s saving around, or a sentimental gift, or a passport; whatever it is I would honestly say that it is preferable to risk it being stolen, rather than walking around looking like something that Kerry Katona might have dressed. The plain fact is, no matter what; do not wear a rucksack on the front. Thank you.)

Secondly, from past experience, rucksacks molest and change the shape of a lady’s breast, and it is not the most flattering change either. It makes it appear as though you have some kind of serious surgical problem, all because the rucksack strap gets caught on your breast or bra or pinches your top or something, so the whole look that you are trying to pull off – whether that be some floaty shirt or summer dress or a fitted jacket – is completely sabotaged by the fact that you are carrying some fowl piece of material with stuff inside it on your back. I genuinely doubt anyone who can wear a rucksack and actually look good, not ok, but good; and if they can then I applaud you.

Occasionally, I will admit, I get those days when everything seems a bit too much, and I throw on a pair of leggings (I know, another serious fashion faux pas, but hey – you do only live once) and when I am having to drag my laptop around, or going swimming, or food shopping, then a rucksack does seem like a really great idea. It seems brilliant, in fact, until you bump into someone that you know won’t appreciate the rucksack dilemma, and then you realise you are wearing leggings, and I know you shouldn’t care what other people think, but it is common decency, up to a certain point of course, to care about people seeing you wear a rucksack.

But at the end of the day, I believe the simple message is this: rucksacks are just no good: Do. Not. Wear. One.

Photo by Sam Hiscox