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Loewe’s elegant backpack is a study in understated utility.

MARCUS TONDO

Regardless of your age, the freedom that comes with a fuss-free carryall is truly potent. Perhaps that’s why you’ve been seeing them crop up on runways – such as in Loewe’s fall collection, which featured outsized backpacks in sumptuous leather – so frequently of late. Take your cues from these elevated examples, and steer clear of the more nineties-revival options, which are generally smaller and best left for nights on the town than an office commute.

Instead, direct your attention to styles that allow for storage in swish fabrications and that come with chic and convenient details (think smartphone pockets and adjustable straps). Avoid nylon backpacks – despite their durability, they are better suited to high schoolers more concerned with getting through puberty than looking polished. And, if I may offer some practical advice: Never overload your bag (backpack or otherwise). Aside from putting unneeded stress on your body, it stretches the fabric and reduces the lifespan of your purchase. Prioritize what you’re planning to bring with you; clean out your wallet, streamline your totable beauty products – whatever is bulking up your bag is keeping you from having a wonderful, long-term relationship with it.

Aldo’s rounded bag comes in a bold embossed snakeskin pattern and has a gold-tone chain across the front; think of it as the advanced version of the typical teenager’s backpack. Matt & Nat’s bright red style has a boxier shape that lends a contemporary feeling to a classic silhouette; the sloped top closure almost gives it a sculptural quality. If you’re the non-committal sort, Toronto-based designer Sonya Lee’s convertible backpack offers the ability to change to a satchel-style with a switch of the strap. Who says you can’t have it all?

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HANDOUT

Acareria backpack, $60 at Aldo (aldoshoes.com).

HANDOUT

Matt & Nat Dwell Brave backpack, $145 at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com).

Sonya Lee Carver backpack, $485 at Zane (visitzane.com).

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@globeandmail.com.

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