So many people do not associate backpacks with fashion. For them, the word “backpack” merely conjures up images of screeching elementary schoolchildren running through the playground, carrying polyester sacks covered in animated characters. However, contrary to popular opinion, backpacks can be incredibly chic.

One of the major benefits of choosing a backpack over the usual tote or a messenger bag is comfort. The dual straps distribute weight more evenly—allowing the wearer to feel more at ease. Because of their two straps and closed compartments, backpacks can also make it easier to move. With a backpack, you don’t have to constantly worry about spilling the contents of your bag. Sporting a backpack frees up the wearer’s hands, which makes it simpler to travel, work or just finishing your morning coffee.

Still, just because backpacks are comfy does not mean that they must be strictly utilitarian. There are plenty of backpack options that are stylish and comfortable. For more of an easy, everyday look, canvas backpacks are great. Many canvas backpacks also offer wider straps, which are fantastic for students who’ll be carrying around stacks of books and papers during the semester. Leather or vegan leather backpacks are more streamlined and tailored, while nylon backpacks look more sporty. Quilted backpacks offer a more playful tone.

This Fashionista’s look is both relaxed and elevated. Her minimalist black tank top, light wash denim skirt and simple black sandals keep the outfit grounded, but her metallic cuff bracelet and silver backpack help to add interest to the ensemble.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “Don’t throw clothes out after just a season of use. You never know when they’ll come back in style.”