Fashionable backpack is back...

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Hang up your handbags, ladies - the backpack is back.

The 1990s fashion item - these days favoured mostly by schoolchildren - is apparently making a comeback, thanks to the increasing necessity of busy Britons needing to be hands-free as they move around.

According to high street giant Debenhams, the once humble symbol of the budget traveller is fast becoming the new briefcase, handbag and holdall, all in one.

Sounds good to me. My handbag is bursting at the seams every day with a million odds-and-ends: make-up, snacks, books, phone chargers, iPad, mail, purse... The weight often gives me a crick in one shoulder by the time I’m heading home. The idea of being able to distribute that weight comfortably between both shoulders is a welcome solution. And if I could do it and call it fashion? Even better.

There’s also the added bonus of it leaving my hands free to text, tweet, or surf the internet.

As with anything, fashion insiders are being warned the secret to this look is size - it matters.

Debenhams’ head of accessories design, Natelle Baddeley, revealed: “Too small and you look like you are still stuck in the ’90s. Too big and you may be mistaken for an actual backpacker...”