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Messenger bags are a great alternative when you need a bag bigger than a purse but don't want to lug around a backpack. Messenger bags can be used by both women and men and they became popular in the 1990's as a sort of anti-fashion statement. Originally used by bicycle messengers, the bags are usually large enough to fit newspapers, magazine, and courier-size letters so they're also perfect for school books and other supplies. The bags have one strap that goes over the shoulder and across a person's body. A messenger bag is a great option for you if you think backpacks are dorky looking and want to use a bag that's a little cooler looking. Messenger bags are also fun because you can decorate them with buttons or patches.