Posted at 5:00 AM May 03, 2010
By Merritt Martin
We've covered the embarrassing childhood photos already, but have you ever looked back at seemingly normal photos and really thought about the fashion trends you were participating in? Have you considered 10, maybe 20, years too late that leggings paired with a XL white foil-printed T-shirt weren't exactly flattering to that last smidge of baby fat and the swollen mosquito bites you refused to sheath with a pre-teen's first bra? Or that a Liz Claiborne purse with Nike trainers, a blazer and acid-washed tapered jeans probably wasn't the ideal outfit in which to campaign for 8th grade president?
I have. Because I just looked at my middle school yearbooks.
What follows are some personal mistakes and some offered by friends and family. All made in middle school. All regrettable. Some will rear their ugly heads again, I'm sure. Fortunately, not on my--or any of your--6th to 9th grade bodies.
10. Z. Cavaricci, or any fad pants, really
Why did I succumb to the peer pressure on this one? With my grandmother's ample thighs and a torso way longer than my legs, I still rallied against the logic of "classic pieces that flatter" and donned not only tapered, but pleated trousers...with a yolk. WTF, Cavaricci. Maybe TV's Brian Austin Green could pull these off back then, but I couldn't...and sorry, friends, neither could any girl in my middle school. Also, looking back, forest green was an awful choice. Let's go ahead and throw Girbaud "x-front" jeans with the slanty pockets into the fire here, too. Because baggy all the way down was just as bad when a yoke was involved. Jnco, you may also consider yourself served.
9. [Insert Vacation Spot] Polo Club clothing
Remember that time you went to the beach or some shit with your family and you got that shirt that said Denver Polo Club or Boston Polo Club or South Padre Polo Club because it had that neat green and red logo with the horse man on it and it looked like those shirts from that fancy Beverly Hills company? And remember how you never visited a polo club while you were on vacation?
8. Block-color button up shirts
Yes, a la Garth Brooks circa The Chase. And I'm talking with or without the bolo tie. O, the days when boxy was hot. Did you go to a dance with a dude wearing the classic black and white? Did you want to? Thankfully, I dodged the bullet, but I have close friends who sported the "dressy Western."
7. Alternating socks/Keds
This trend of cross-coordinating puffy or slouchy colored socks was HUGE in my school. And I have on good authority than in other parts of the nation the trend would occasionally incorporate mismatched Keds. Shocking! It became such an epidemic that in at least one school in the Garland (Texas) Independent School District, it was detention-worthy to not layer your socks in the same order on both sides. Also, our shoes had to match. Fuckin' dress code. Now that I think about it, though, I think the school secretary just wanted us to realize how fat it made our ankles look.
6. Big Dogs, T&C Surf, Stussy, OP, Billabong, etc.
By all means, let's all pretend to be surfers or some shit. Let's wear ill-fitting T-shirts and giant name brands across our forming chests. If my boyfriend could also have a faux-bleached surf-flop haircut, that would be cool too. Unfortunately, this trend will never go away--Ed Hardy what?--but we'll see it move from skatepunk to 30K millionaire to mall-twat and back to surf depending on the year/decade. Disclaimer: I have a favorite cardigan that is Billabong, so you can call me a hypocrite, but in my defense, I've never said "Hang ten, bra!" with any seriousness, and I don't even think it features a logo.