What the Cool Kids Are Wearing…

Note:  I am not now, nor have I ever been a fashion maven…this will probably be the only post on fashion that I ever write…

Being the mom/stepmom of teenagers, they often have me ordering their clothes online, for those inconvenient times when everything their little hearts desire isn’t at the mall…

Consequently, I’m on the e-mail list for every “cool” (which is code for “expensive”) teen’s store in the universe.  What usually happens when I receive these messages is that I hit “delete” as soon as possible, so that if my little darlings happen to be peering over my shoulder while I check my e-mail, they don’t see that another ticket to bankruptcy promotional campaign has arrived in my inbox.  Today, however, I decided to actually open one of these bombs messages to see if it would blow up in my face what was in it:

OMG (as my teenagers would say)…someone took the clothes I wore in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and is making huge amounts of money selling them to kids!  Newsflash, children:  I wasn’t cool when I wore these clothes…you’ll look like just as big a dork as I did in them!

Exhibit #1: The Ruffle Skirt.  I wore one of these while playing in the high school band.  We played a concert for a group of elementary school kids.  Somewhere, there’s a picture of me sitting in the front row playing my flute with my legs wide open…I wasn’t used to wearing skirts!  FAIL!

Ruffle Skirt - $69.50 (mine was twice as long, and cost me $10!)

Exhibit #2: The Plaid Shirt.  Everybody (boys and girls) wore these when I was in high school.  We layered them with turtlenecks.  I remember my younger brother insisting that his shirts could only have two pockets in the front (never one – I guess he didn’t want to be asymmetrical!).

Plaid Shirt - $39.50 (I'm sure Mom never paid more than $8 for ours!)

Exhibit #3: The Dolman Sleeve Sweater.  I admit it…I liked the dolman sleeve sweater.  I used to have several that I wore to work at the camera store in the early 80’s.  I had to stop wearing them when I got the job at the photo lab though…the sleeves looked funny under the lab coat…

Dolman Sleeve Sweater - $44.50...I would have had to put in 15 hours at the camera store to buy this sweater!

Exhibit #4: The Open Chunky Knit Cardigan.  These were in style in the late 70’s when I was in high school.  Ours were a little longer, and sometimes had ties, which would get stuck in car doors occasionally, because we never tied them…they just hung there.  These aren’t very warm, because they don’t have any buttons!

Open Chunky Knit Cardigan - $59.50 (I never paid more than $15 for one of these)...

 And now for the completely ridiculous things which I hope even my teenagers will never beg me to buy them:

Exhibit #5: Light Vintage Repair Skinny Jean (yes, this is a quote directly from the website).  This is what my jeans look like when I throw them away after a nasty encounter with a mugger armed with a knife (although mine have twice as much fabric as this pair!).  What are these kids thinking?

Light Vintage Repair Skinny Jean - $59.50 - My mother would have died of embarrassment if I'd ever worn something like these to school!

Exhibit #6: Patchwork PJ Pants.  Okay…I’m sorry…these just look like a Home Ec. project that went horribly, horribly wrong!  I wouldn’t wear these to bed (Jim would never want to sleep with me again!) or anywhere else!

Patchwork PJ Pants - $39.50 - Are you freakin' kidding me?

So, kids…just say “NO” to the clothes your parents wore! 

Now where did I put those clogs I had…maybe I can sell them on e-Bay?


Filed under family, memories, rants

38 responses to “What the Cool Kids Are Wearing…

  1. I’m not a “fashionista” or anything but the trendy clothing right now is really dull and unimaginative, just constant recycling of 80s duds. It’s 2010!

    But I guess I shouldn’t talk because I wear bell bottoms and other 70s stuff, because it’s comfortable. However, I refuse to pay tons of money for my clothes because you can find them at more reasonable prices at many consignment and second hand clothing stores.

    And for those shredded jeans, sorry but you’d have to be crazy to pay $60 for damaged goods!

  2. It’s true that if you keep anything long enough … but you never think to do so at the time, do you?
    Lovely post, as always, Wendy!
    Sunshine x

  3. Skinny jeans only look good on 1% of the population (tall super-skinny supermodels) … not the group that tends to buy them online. Heck, supermodels are given their clothes, they don’t have to buy them.

    I like the sweater. It looks comfortable and cozy, but not practical.

    Plaid shirts were out even when they were in — when we wore them. They have to have just the right cut to be cute. Otherwise, you just look like a lumberjack. Hence, the lumberjacks (seriously) in my school wearing them.

    Nice post. It’s fun looking at fashions and how they change and how they come full circle. Now I’m just waiting for leg-warmers to come back in style….

    • Hi Koreen:

      My girls refuse to wear anything but skinny jeans!

      I don’t recall our plaid shirts having a “cut”…we all looked like lumberjacks (except that lumberjacks probably didn’t wear turtlenecks under theirs!).

      I bought the girls leg warmers for Christmas (because our farmhouse gets cold in the winter), but they won’t wear them!


  4. Jana

    i live in miami and in my neighborhood a lot of people wear pyjama pants out in the street, together with white (mostly stained) slobby t-shirts and flip-flops. ahh and i forget: you can’t brush your hair either when you wear something like this. it is the i-am-a-house-wife-living-on-welfare-style.

  5. I remember coming home from the mall one time, having used the money my parents gave me for new jeans. They were horrified that I had purchased acid wash, faded jeans. And how much I had paid for them horrified them even more!

    • Hi Jane:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I never really liked acid wash jeans…I was just into regular Levis at that time (and I had to buy my own, because my parents couldn’t afford them)…


  6. Plaid shirts have to be flannel, of course. Cozy, warm – I think that’s the only shirt I miss from my teenage years (yes, I was a teen throughout the 70s).

    I never paid more than $10.00 for a flannel shirt.

    Also, not a fashionista, now or then.

  7. My son discovered- over priced Lucky Brand Jeans and T-shirts. So over priced–they are jeans, for the love of God, but I will say the sales girls are super cute and attentive…so much so that my kid now asks for “the card” and suggests, i wait for him at the mall Starbucks. Handing him”the card” and a firm not suggested budget I head for Starbucks. And as he pointed out one morning on the way to school “Mom, my Lucky’s may be expensive but look at good they make my butt look.” Ok then, my mom was well spent.
    My mom spoiled me with clothes in the 70’s but really the $10.00 flannel shirt is the only thing that I have carried with me through the decades.

    • Yikes, Katybeth! I would never give any of the girls my “card.” I have been known to give them cash, but that’s just to get out of going to the mall with them!

      I bought all my own clothes from the time I was 14…designer jeans were out for me!


  8. Hilarious and so true. Next post you should explore the logic by which clothes which are patently uncool (i.e., because they were worn by parents) have now been transmogrified to the cool. I’m sure the price tag has something to do with it.

    I just hope no one ever decides to bring back the 70s.

  9. Just stopped by from Simply Diane’s and could not stop laughing at this post! I have a teenage daughter and have spent hours in Forever 21 telling her that I used to wear those same styles when I was in high school. She actually bought some #5 beauties (with her own money) and my mom was shocked that she actually paid for something that looked like that!

  10. What drives me nuts is when we buy whatever clothes our daughter picks out — and then she still refuses to wear them!

  11. This post was such a hoot Wendy and educational!! I ‘m beginning to depend on you for my daily laughter fix 🙂

    It’s interesting how prices have increased…guess old really is gold huh??!! Good luck with those clogs 🙂

  12. Like how you structured this piece, Wendy. Introduction, each exhibit with a short narrative and image (which was essential,) quick conclusion (plea). It was a great format for the intended purpose.

    These clothing trends are sort of like the mesh-backed trucker caps that came back in to style. Those never jived with me, and still don’t. Maybe it’s because I’m such a pinhead.

    Take care,


    • Thanks, Chase…

      I can see why you wouldn’t get into the “trucker caps,” seeing as how you don’t have the mullet that traditionally goes with them (thank goodness for that!).


  13. In the 1980s, I tried to leave the house in my Madonna jeans (the “holy/holey” ones), and my dad caught me and grounded me for the night.

    I think you are spot on. Why do kids want to wear what we wore? And why do they want to play 6x as much for it? Ewwwwwwww. It was all wrong the first time around. (Hey, if you find your clogs, let me know; I have a consignment shop that would love to have ’em! Just unloaded my old Mia’s and my Gloria Vanderbilt cords!)

    Come and visit me at http://rasjacobson.wordpress.com


  14. Thanks for the laugh today, Wendy! This post made me think about the PINSTRIPE skinny jeans I saw a few weeks ago. Bad and bad. Sooooo bad.

    I’m kind of digging that Chunky Knit Cardigan. Warmth = good.

  15. planejaner

    too expensive, these clothes they “must” have.
    We “sort of” solved the problem by giving our daughter a monthly stipend. It covers school costs. clothes, extra-curriculars and blow money.
    Now…let me tell you, she thinks twice before buying anything…

    fun post

  16. Pingback: Tuesday Trifles… « Herding Cats in Hammond River

  17. Lol, I’m so glad I shop at thrift stores! I love finding little bargains, especially at $1.00 or less.

    But now and then I’ll find something (like a $50 fall coat we just bought for me recently) that I’ll get all soft for, and Jeremy convinces me to buy it since I don’t usually indulge myself.

    Fun post, Wendy!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Juliana…I would do all my shopping at thrift stores if the kids would wear the stuff! I like the challenge of the hunt! I got my favourite winter coat (suede) at Value Village for $25. I need to have it cleaned this year, which will probably cost an arm and a leg, but will still cost me less than a new one!


  18. Pingback: Mom Moments 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s