What's a Clear Bag Policy?


Clear bag policy. The phrase has been buzzing around stadiums, venues, bookstores, and retailers since late 2013. We define a clear bag policy when a venue requires a handbag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC under a specific measurement to attend an event.

Progression of the term clear bag policy, started with the NFL issuing a notice to leave large bags at home for the Fall 2013 season. The policy stated only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags 12x6x12 or smaller would be allowed in. Any smaller handbag should be the size of a gallon Ziploc or clutch bag, which is around the size of a hand. 

The goal of the NFL was to build a safer environment and assist with line efficiency. The result over the next few years enhanced fan experience, established safer games and strengthened venue security. The adaptation of the policy quickly spread to other leagues including the NCAA, which has the most similar policy in play for mens and womens sports.

When the policy first rolled out, women across the country went up in arms for the sake of privacy and the disappointment in a clear handbag highlighting feminine products. Today, we’ve seen a shift, thanks to brands creating stylish clear handbags and venues allowing partial concealment (like our utility pouch) to disguise personal items. We understand the disappointment of privacy but we think our brand, Margo Paige, answers all of the concerns women might have. *More on that later*

Since the announcement of the 2013 season, collegiate teams and other professional sports have followed suit. In Fall 2020, all NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, concert venues and festivals require a clear bag policy. Sport leagues have similar clear bag policies, where concerts and festivals are slightly looser in regard to bag size. We can tell you from personal experience with wearing our clear fanny pack that we breezed by security at ACL in 2019. The security staff greatly appreciated the transparency too! 

Sporting games require clear handbags to be smaller than 12x6x12. COVID-19 has changed the policy this year to ONLY CLEAR HANDBAGS. In previous years, small clutches or crossbody were allowed, but with social distancing, line efficiency and promoting a safe environment they will no longer be permitted. Going forward, only clear handbags will be approved in the venues. Be sure to checkout the specific event as policies are subject to change. We’ve done the hard work for you with our policy guide.

Concerts and festivals have been slower to adapt, we believe their policies will only grow stricter, especially with gun violence at larger music venues over the past few years. Currently, they suggest wearing a clear bag, but it’s not required. Most venues would like to see handbags smaller than 14x9x14. Again, be sure to review the specific venue with policies constantly changing by each event. 

Separately from the entertainment realm, we’ve seen retail companies like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Target, Mac Cosmetics and more implement clear handbags for employees. Employers seek a safe environment and loss prevention. On the plus side, investing in a clear handbag will pay off not only for sports, concerts, festivals and work. 

Ok, you’ve made it this far. Let’s do a quick dive into Margo Paige and how we are doing it different for years to come. We focus on quality materials with stylish designs that are timeless. We thoughtfully curated three collections: The Out & About, The Everyday, and The Weekender. Each collection meets bag policy requirements-sporting events, concerts & everything in between. Our bags include a utility pouch, which you are able to conceal any personal items in. Think ID, CC, cash, feminine products, mints, etc. Each bag has its own unique characteristic that stands out. One of our favorites, our fringe crossbody, is perfect for the girl who carries very few things- ID and CC, phone, keys, tickets, and lip gloss. The bonus? The clear crossbody comes with a built in card case for privacy and our utility pouch. We believe when you buy better, you wear longer.

What’s the future of the clear bag policy? The policy is undeniably staying. From the beginning, venues have seen a positive effect of controlling lines and promoting a safe environment. The movement has been on an uphill climb since day one. More venues and companies are taking on a policy after seeing the benefits and now, while experiencing a pandemic-having a clear bag is the perfect solution. 


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