How To Wear A Sling Bag (5 Stylish Ways & Tips)

Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Faraz Rajput

Wearing a sling bag is not only practical but also adds a stylish touch to your outfit. Whether you’re running errands or going out for a casual outing, knowing how to wear a sling bag properly can make a significant difference in your comfort and overall look.

When wearing a sling bag, place the strap over one shoulder and let it rest diagonally across your body, ensuring the bag hangs securely on the opposite hip. Adjust the strap length for a comfortable fit, and position the bag at your preferred height.

In this article, we will provide you with essential tips and step-by-step instructions on how to wear and style a sling bag effortlessly.

From adjusting the strap length to finding the perfect position, you’ll learn everything you need to know to rock a sling bag with confidence.

What Is A Sling Bag?

A sling bag is an American English term that refers to a bag that is designed much like a backpack whose one end of the strap is connected to the other end. These days, sling bags are used as an alternative to the backpack to carry small accessories with them on short trips or travel.

The alternative has become so common and in a fashion that people have started calling it a sling backpack and this is the major reason why people ask how to wear a sling backpack.

The best thing about the sling bags is that they can be worn over the shoulder, around the waist, and diagonally to the body. The wearing style of the sling bag depends much on your comfort and use.

The sling bags are also commonly known as shoulder bags, so don’t get confused about them. Because our main aim is to make our sling bag look more fashionable and classic and easy to access at the same time.

Sling Bag vs. Cross Body Bag: Is There Any Difference?

Before we dive into the specifics of wearing a sling bag, let’s clarify the difference between a sling bag and a cross body bag. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a subtle distinction between the two.

Sling Bag

A sling bag is a type of bag that is worn diagonally across the body, with the strap resting on one shoulder. It typically has a single wide strap and can be worn on either side of the body. Sling bags offer easy access to your belongings and distribute the weight evenly, making them comfortable for extended wear.

Cross Body Bag

On the other hand, a cross body bag is worn across the body, with the strap going from one shoulder to the opposite hip. It usually has a longer and narrower strap compared to a sling bag. Cross body bags provide a secure and hands-free way of carrying your essentials, ideal for those who prefer a more compact and streamlined look.

How To Wear A Sling Bag?

  • Wear Sling bag On Shoulder: The most common and traditional way provides easy pick and drops the bag.
  • Sling Bag Around The Waist: The fashionable way provides easy access to accessories.
  • Wear The Sling Backpack Across The Back: Best while riding bikes and cycle.
  • Wearing Sling Bag Across The Front: Keep the bag close to you to safeguard your accessories.
  • Wear Your Sling Bag Loose: Let you enjoy yourself with your friends and best for the parties.

#1. Wear Sling bag On Shoulder

on the shoulder sling bag

Wearing the Sling Bag Across the Shoulder is the most common way of wearing a sling bag that you will find almost everywhere because of its functionality.

Wearing a sling bag over the shoulders will allow you to quickly pick and drop your sling bag which will make it more comfortable to carry a sling bag and you can access your stuff easily.

You quickly pick the sling bag whenever needed and drop it when not. You do not need to clip or unclip it around your body.

So, in case, if you are someone who constantly has to put the sling bag off and on then you should wear a sling bag on your shoulder.

#2. Sling Bag Around The Waist

waist sling bag

If you want to get more comfortable wearing a sling bag then you should wear it around your waist. You will be more comfortable with the sling bag resting a bit lower to your chest.

I have seen many people using this way, they wear it around their waist and this provides them easy access to their stuff. To wear a sling bag around your waist the sling bag should be smaller in size so that it can properly fit your waist.

This style of wearing a sling bag is quite popular nowadays and in my opinion, you will look perfect wearing the sling bag this way.

#3. Wear The Sling Backpack Across The Back


Wearing a sling backpack over the back is the most comfortable way. It lets you enjoy the city sights, nature, and your surroundings when you are traveling.

Also, this is a traditional and safest way of wearing the sling bag because it provides you the hand-free functionality.

When you are traveling via bicycle, bike then you should always prefer this method of wearing and when you are traveling by foot then you should make sure your bag is anti-theft because anti-theft bags are worth it.

However, if you are carrying something important with you and the backpack is not anti-theft, then you must check the next way of wearing a sling bag. This style of wearing a sling bag is best while riding a bike or cycle and also if you do not need to take out your stuff frequently.

#4. Wearing Sling Bag Across The Front

sling-backpack front

To be honest, if you were wearing a sling bag across the front about two decades ago then it would be funny. Also, there were not so many stylish sling bags available at that time. But now this is a great trend.

This trend has emerged from New York and now it is spreading all over the world. The benefit of wearing it across the front is that it gives you quick access to the things that you carry.

You can easily take out your wallet or your tablet without putting your sling bag off. Also, this will let you empty your clothes pockets and feel relaxed as all your items are safe in your sling bag and are close to you.

The pickpockets can not steal anything from your sling bag as it is in front of your eyes and close to your body. They will not be able to unzip and get even a single penny for your sling bag.

This style of wearing the sling bag is in fashion and also you will be more secure with your stuff if you prefer this method.

#5. Wear Your Sling Bag Loose

You should wear a sling bag loose whenever you are going for a short walk or hanging out with some friends. Wearing a sling bag loose simply means that you should wear your sling bag loose enough so you can easily access it without having any trouble. Also, this way of wearing the sling backpack will allow you to freely move around.

How to Wear a Cross Body Bag

Now that we’ve clarified the difference between a sling bag and a cross body bag, let’s focus on the steps to properly wear a cross body bag:

  1. Adjust the Strap Length: Start by adjusting the strap length to your desired position. The bag should rest comfortably on your hip or slightly above your hip for easy access.
  2. Cross the Strap: Put the bag on your shoulder and cross the strap diagonally across your body. The bag should hang securely on the opposite hip.
  3. Position the Bag: Adjust the bag’s position by sliding it along the strap until it sits at the desired height. Ensure that the bag is resting comfortably and securely against your body.
  4. Check the Fit: Take a moment to check the fit and make any necessary adjustments. The bag should feel snug but not overly tight, allowing you to move freely.

How to Wear a Shoulder Sling Bag

If you prefer a more casual and laid-back look, a shoulder sling bag might be the perfect choice. Here’s how you can wear it with style:

  1. Choose the Right Side: Decide which shoulder you want to wear the sling bag on. Most people find it comfortable to wear it on the shoulder opposite to their dominant hand.
  2. Put the Bag on Your Shoulder: Slide the strap of the sling bag onto your shoulder, allowing the bag to hang at your preferred height.
  3. Adjust the Strap: If your sling bag has an adjustable strap, you can modify the length to achieve a comfortable fit. Ensure that the bag hangs at a convenient position and doesn’t cause any strain on your shoulder.
  4. Position the Bag: Adjust the bag’s position by sliding it along the strap until it rests comfortably on your side. The bag should be secure and not swing excessively as you move.

Tips: How to Properly Wear a Sling Bag

  • Balance the Weight: Distribute the weight of the sling bag evenly by adjusting the strap length and positioning the bag properly. This will help prevent strain on your shoulders and back.
  • Match the Style: Choose a sling bag that complements your outfit and personal style. Consider the color, material, and design to create a cohesive and fashionable look.
  • Secure Your Belongings: Ensure that your sling bag has secure closures, such as zippers or magnetic snaps, to keep your belongings safe. Keep valuable items close to your body for added security.
  • Consider Occasion and Functionality: Select a sling bag that suits the occasion and meets your functional needs. For example, a smaller sling bag may be suitable for a night out, while a larger one might be more practical for a day trip.

Types of Sling Bags

Sling bags come in various styles and designs to suit different preferences. Here are some common types of sling bags:

  • Casual Sling Bags: These sling bags are perfect for everyday use and usually feature a more relaxed and casual design. They are often made of durable materials like canvas or nylon.
  • Leather Sling Bags: If you prefer a more sophisticated and luxurious look, leather sling bags are a great choice. They add a touch of elegance to any outfit and are highly durable.
  • Convertible Sling Bags: These versatile bags can be transformed into different styles, allowing you to switch between a sling bag and a backpack or handbag. They are ideal for those who need flexibility and adaptability.
  • Designer Sling Bags: Designer brands offer a wide range of sling bags, combining fashion and functionality. These bags often feature unique designs, high-quality materials, and meticulous craftsmanship
  • .
  • Classic Sling Bag: One Strap Attached to the top and another attached to the bottom
  • Designer Sling Bag: Best for occasions and dates because it looks classy.
  • Cross-body Hiking Sling Bags: It is a combination of messenger and sling backpack.
  • Messenger Sling Bag: It is a bigger version of the classic Sling Bag.

These all are the different types of sling bags and should be used as per the requirement. Here is one of them, WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack which I recommend.

How To Use A Sling Bag For Men’s Applications?

You can carry your mobile phone, charger, or other small stuff that you may need frequently. Slings bags allow you to focus on the task you are performing instead of looking and caring for your stuff all the time.

Over-the-shoulder sling bags are ideal packs for travel. These sling bags provide good security against pickpocketing and also, they will not mark you as a tourist until you let it know.

Pros of Wearing the Sling Bag:

#1. Lightweight: You can hold your keys, cards, pens, pocket diary, and other smaller items in it when you travel.

#2. Durable: Most of the crossbody bags are water-resistant which means they provide good durability because they are made of polyester material.

#3. Convenient: Compared to the backpacks the sling bags have only straps which make them more convenient to carry and you can quickly pick them and drop them.

Cons Of Wearing The Sling Bag:

#1. Pain: You will feel shoulder pain if you carry it for a long time because of the narrow straps in some of the sling bags.

#2. Small Capacity: The sling bag does not have a large capacity due to which it is perfect for only small items and short trips/travel.

Are sling backpacks bad for your back?

The slings bags are not bad for your back if you carry them in the right way. Although you will feel shoulder and sometimes a little back pain if you wear it on the backpack for a long time because of the narrow straps and pressure.

But, only a few sling bags are available in the market that provides narrow straps other than there are a lot of amazing options that you choose from. A wide and padded strap sling bag with padded st

Also, the way of wearing a sling bag is an important factor that should be considered while thinking about whether sling backpacks are bad for your back or not.

Ideally, sling backpacks are not bad for the back or spine, but they are not good for the neck and shoulders.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, wearing a sling bag can elevate your style while providing convenience and functionality. Whether you opt for a cross body bag or a shoulder sling bag, following these instructions will ensure you wear it with confidence.

Experiment with different styles, colors, and types of sling bags to find the perfect match for your personality and needs.

Related Questions:

How Do You Wear a Sling Backpack?

You should always wear the sling bag accordingly which means that you should always check where you are going and whether you will have to take it off too frequently or not. If you are more fashionable focused then wearing diagonally across the shoulder or around the waist is a great choice.

What Should You Carry in a Sling Bag?

You should keep your keys, wallet, phone, diary, pens, headphones, and other smaller items in a sling bag. Also, many sling backpacks allow there are many sling backpacks that allow you to keep your tablet, phone, occasions, and even laptop in it comfortably with all other accessories.

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