With the not-so-subtle militaristic undertones that have been pervading certain sectors of the fashion industry for the past several seasons, I have to wonder why we haven’t seen more backpacks. They seem to making headway now and will likely be a full-fledged Thing once the gleam is off the mini crossbody trend, but it’s kind of surprising that things like the Marc by Marc Jacobs new Army Handhack Backpack haven’t been cropping up more often.

This is, of course, not the first backpack that we’ve covered. In fact, I loved Alexander Wang’s take on the shape as much as I’ve loved any backpack since, say, 1996. But if you’re unsure of the rend and don’t want to spend all that much money (or, alternatively, if you’d like to actually use the thing as a school bag), the Marc by Marc Jacobs version might be more your speed.

Structurally, I’m unsure about the drawstring opening for such a utilitarian bag and why a set of big tote straps are necessary on a backpack (in fact, that little detail reminds me of the Gucci backpacks from a season or two ago, which I hated), but overall, it seems like a reasonably serviceable option for school or travel. I’d like to see more interesting color combinations, but the price presents a pretty nice deal for a MbMJ bag that large. Buy through Saks for $298.

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