The start of the school season ushers in the new: new teachers, new rules, new subjects, new friends. Parents this year not only face new educational challenges, due mostly to the unpredictability of the coronavirus, but still have to contend with new fashion trends. No time is this more apparent than during back to school shopping.
Amidst all this new-ness, I started feeling old. I caught myself at Target last week thinking, “Who would let their kid wear that?” Which instantly reminded me of a common phrase I heard my own mother say when I was younger, “You’re going to wear that?” (Condescending tone implied.) I froze in the middle of the aisle with the realization: It’s happening. You are that mom now.
Oh no. I vowed I would never become a fashion police parent!
But, come on, some of these trends are puzzling.
For starters, as a kid growing up in the ’80s, I find trends such as neon colors and cutoff jeans unoriginal and so, like whatever, dudes. Rather than being retro, this pseudo-eighties look feels more like a lazy rip-off of the real thing. Like watered-down remakes of “Saved By The Bell.”
Although it’s only an accessory, I have to question the fanny pack comeback. Really? I remember my dad wearing a bright yellow fanny pack during a family vacation to Disney World in 1990. It didn’t look cool then, and I predict it won’t look cool five years from now.
I happen to be a bit of an expert when it comes to style for 8-year-old girls, since I live with one. For the past two years, “flip shirts” have been all the rage among young girls. Flip shirts have a pattern made of sequins (smiley face, flower, animal) and you can run your hand over the sequins to flip the pattern to a different color. The shirts are generally cute and colorful and age appropriate. But this year, as third graders, flip shirts are out and belly shirts are in. I found my daughter, Selah, in her room earlier this month with a pair of scissors, looking up like a deer in headlights as she cut a tie dye shirt.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Making a belly shirt,” she answered.
“Vivi just got one and I want one too!” she replied, defensively, referring to her best friend.
I was confused about how she would know how to cut her shirt without measuring or wearing it, but I didn’t bring that up. I walked away shaking my head with the realization that this is just the beginning of years of questioning her fashion choices.
The other trend I can’t figure out is why boys ages 8-14 are obsessed with wearing sweatshirt hoodies year round. My fourth-grader wore sports shorts and a gray Stingrays hoodie on his first day of school this year. In August. In South Carolina. It makes me hot just looking at him.
While it’s hard to know now how the rest of the school year will look, at least we can take comfort knowing that our kids will look their best, even if it’s not exactly how we envisioned it.