Omnia mea mecum porto*: the backpack edit

*All that is mine I carry with me

They say that there are two type of women – those who can get away with carrying only essentials in a small to medium purse and those who need to carry their whole life in a bag… Well I do love small purses and find them extremely pretty, but in reality I’m really that latter type.

It’s probably also a reflection of my lifestyle and years of carrying stuff around – and lots of it! Textbooks & notebooks for school and university, my DSLR around during trips and for my freelance gigs (or – let’s be honest – I used to carry it around pretty much everywhere), laptop for work and for what-not… But let’s leave more details to what’s in my bag post 😉

Trying to cater for all my needs, I experimented with tons of different bags, but I’ve always returned to a solution that is much more comfortable and back-friendly than a full tote bag or even a crossbody – a backpack! If the first associations that come to your mind are backpacks for hiking (which would definitely fit your whole life in it) or school girl hello kitty backpack – don’t worry, backpacks can be just as stylish and trendy and meet all your [fashion] soul desires as any other bag. They vary in size, they don’t give you shoulder pain if the straps are right, they come in different finishes and styles… they are definitely an ingenious invention of humanity and one might even call it a full on wardrobe staple.

But in the times of abundance of choice, how do you pick your perfect backpack? Here are some things you would need to consider.


Back straps

This is one element that you should never underestimate. To make backpack last for years and make sure you enjoy wearing it, it’s crucial to pick one with straps that are not too thin and attached quite sturdily attached on the top.


Obvious, but the size of the backpack depends on your needs. For instance, if you know that you will probably need to take your laptop frequently, it won’t hurt to check the measurement of a potential backpack – because there’s nothing more painful than trying to close the zip when a laptop barely fits.


I have a personal preference for leather backpacks (genuine or high quality vegan leather), just because it is generally more durable and gives a backpack more of a city look. However, if it’s not your thing, go for waterproof textile. Suede or nubuck do look classy, but may be difficult in care and maintenance unfortunately. Natural materials like straw, wood, bamboo are very hot this season and look very cool and breezy in summer, however, a natural backpack would probably not be a long-term investment piece (even though they are pretty cool!).

Zippers et al.

Here the same rules apply as to clothing: do pay attention to hardware on your future backpack. Cheap zipper can ruin a look of an, otherwise, very decent looking backpack or bag. Plus you probably wouldn’t want it to break at the least appropriate moment, e.g. when you’re trying to fit in a barely fitting laptop (see “Size” section).


Since we’re talking basics, I would also recommend to go for a basic colour that will go with majority of items in your wardrobe. Think of: black, grey, off-white, beige/ tan & other neutrals.


With fashion moving more towards minimalism and comfort in the past few seasons, if you want to be on trend and yet keep using it for the next few years, you would probably want to go for a more classic looking model with minimum décor which would work in classic, romantic, or even sport chic outfits.


Having all this in mind, I made a selection of my favourite 10 backpacks on the market RN (including one very exciting Russian brand!).

Beauties from ARNY PRAHT for lovers of minimalism and simplicity (BONUS: these backpacks are made vegan, come in different sizes and colours, downside – they ship only to CIS countries)

Blue backpackBrown backpack

A few faves from Matt & Nat – because it was impossible to pick just one. Again, a wonderful example of sustainable fashion of great quality for a chic look

Blush pink backpack  Tan backpackOff-white backpack

A never-getting-old classic backpack from Liebeskind from black leather

Black leather backpack

Or another stylish one by Picard – for those of us who loves gold hardware

Black backpack

For those who wants to infuse some logo mania in a classy manner – this backpack by Joop! (potentially) inspired by LV may save the day and some money 

Logomania backpack

A bright red backpack by Calvin Klein for those who do want to infuse some colour 

Red backpack


Last but not least, this pricey but amazingly elegant and functional backpack by P.MAI that could be a worthy investment for those of us who carry lots of s… stuff 🙂

Black backpack


I’m genuinely a really – really – big fan of backpacks, and I hope that I can convert you too!

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