Monday, May 10, 2010

Generation Envy

A recent conversation with one of the baristas at my favorite coffee place really got me thinking.

First, she was born in 1991, which doesn't really compute with my brain, though it should - college freshmen this year were born around 1991 and 1992.

She thought that it was awesome that I was both a child of the eighties and that I came of age in the nineties. I think that it's hilarious that she thinks that, as I feel like we got a little short-sheeted.

First of all, the eighties. I was young enough to avoid the lacy gloves and bustiers, but not young enough to avoid stonewashed jeans. Oh no, not young enough.

Leggings, oversized sweatshirts and t-shirts, jellies!, thick socks, and pegged jeans. What the fuck were we thinking?

And don't even get me started on crimped and permed hair. Shudder.

I had to show Bri what "pegging" my jeans meant by putting my foot up on the counter and carefully folding my pants to one side and rolling them up twice. She thought that it was awesome... Well, we did too, didn't we?

Then the nineties. I think that the first half can be summed up, at least for me, in one word: grunge. Flannel, clunky shoes, mixing feminine with masculine, and trying every day to look like Angela Chase.

My absolute favorite outfit in 1992 was a pretty flowery dress, pulled together in the back with an elastic clasp. I had a lacy white vest to wear over it, and to top it all off? White socks and Doc Martens.

Of course, those shoes were the Payless version of Doc Martens, because there was no way my mother would have bought the real thing for me. She wouldn't even buy me the ones from Payless because she thought they were the ugliest things she had ever seen. Don't get me wrong - my mom never criticized anything - not my wardrobe choices, not my life choices, nothing. But she fucking HATED those shoes.

And I looked AMAZING. Let me tell you.

(This is where I would include pictures if I had any way of scanning them and if I had any idea how to make them picture-sized and not 8x10 sized. I have no idea how to do things.)

And now leggings are coming back and it's a little more than irritating.

I've heard that you are not to take part in a wardrobe fad if you were old enough to live through it the first time. That's why I think that no one my age should be wearing leggings except maybe for recreational activities.

Oh, and I saw someone wearing stirrup pants, too. And jeans with zippers at the ankles!

I think that once the next decade rolls around, and we're forced back into grunge attire, I won't be so annoyed. It really wasn't that bad. Flannel is comfortable!


lem said...

Jellies! Pegged jeans! Vests! Oh, it so fun to look back and laugh at ourselves. As soon as you said pegged jeans, I was going to ask if kids today even know what that means. The OC apparently is a little ahead of the game. I saw tween girls dressed like Cyndi Lauper a few years ago.

Waayers said...

Oh man...from about 5th grade to 8th grade, all I ever wore were Jordache jeans with zippers on the ankles. I was so cool. (Do they even make Jordache jeans anymore?)

P.S. Heather, your outfit sounds like something Donna Martin would wear, i.e., awesome!

Megan said...

If wishes came true, my one wish would be to live in the movie Dazed and Confused. I asked someone who graduated from high school the same year those kids did and she said it really was like that. SOOO COOL!!!

Heather said...

lem - Yeah, the coasts seem to get on the trends before the middle of the country. K-10 used to joke that the 80s didn't come to Minnesota (where her cousins live) until 1996.

waayers - I would think that you could find Jordache jeans at Kmart. They've... fallen down the social ladder a bit. And Donna Martin, obviously. IF I HAD BEEN ALLOWED TO WATCH THAT SHOW.

megan - Yeah, that would have been rad. I'm a square when it comes to the drugs and whatnot, but I'm guessing that I would have been a different person in the 70s...