Back in the Day

Turning 30 gives you a license to do 2 things.

1.  You can romanticise “the good old days.”  This means you have every right to tell anyone who cares that back in the day young people knew about respect, and just 10 cents would buy you the world’s biggest bag of sweets.  See what I’m getting at?

2. You can think teenagers are from another planet.  This is not a point I’d ever thought about before, perhaps because school seems like yesterday for me.  But on the weekend I had a moment of “you have got to be kidding” and it involved a 14 year old girl.  Now I’m guessing she isn’t your average 14 year old, but what she had to say was so far removed from the 14 year old me that I’m still thinking about it.

She was on the last page of The Sunday Times’ Style magazine, in a small section called “What are you wearing?”  There was a full body shot, demonstrating she is clearly trendy, sorry, on trend.  If I may briefly interject here, I’d like to say that while peep-toe heels are beautiful, peep-toe boots are just strange.  The Times Magazine had an interview with Jenny Eclair who made the point and I completely agree.  So bravo Jenny.

Back to our Young Person.  This is Isabel, she’s 14 (14!!!) and fabulous.


This is what she had to say about her clothes:

I would describe my look as Parisian boho rocker.  I like to mix different styles to create something completely new… Experimenting is a must, from playing with shape to mixing old and new, such as the 1950s with grunge.  It’s all about contrast.  My look normally consists of a textured piece (maybe leather, knitwear or plastic), a bold print, and creepers or DMs (that’s my rocker side).  When I dress, I style my clothes with a theme or a trend in mind.

OK so this might be the one time peep-toe lace up boots have ever looked good.

Now just for fun, think back to when you were 14.  Were you choosing clothes based on their texture?  A theme?   I’m guessing you didn’t.  If you did, you were clearly too cool for me.

When I was 14 my wardrobe was pretty much about looking like my friends.  I now look at teenage girls walking around in matching outfits and I have a quiet giggle, knowing full well that was once me.

Want to know what was in my 14 year old wardrobe?  Levi’s 501s (so high!), pleated trousers, lots of olive green, Country Road chambray shirts, Laura Ashley dresses – and I actually had a long, drop-waisted dress with romanticised farm scenes printed all over it.  It didn’t seem depressing at the time, hard as that might seem.  I certainly wasn’t the girl letting it all hang out, I wouldn’t have been allowed out of the house.

And of course I respected my elders completely and only ever needed 50 cents a week.

I’m inclined to think good on Isabel, she’s obviously having fun with what she wears and she looks great.   Just hope she can keep it up for the next however many years.

8 thoughts on “Back in the Day

  1. Just wtf? Parisian Boho Rocker? Whaaaat?
    Of course, I am jealous. When I was 14, I was wearing…I can't even talk about it. It was the 80s. Let me just say it involved grey pixie boots with red trim. Still, at least that wasn't as bad as my sister's burgundy corduroy knickerbockers.

  2. I cannot even begin to relate to the 14 year old. She clearly has more style that I've ever had (and I don't look so bad). Seems to me she's more focused on what she's wearing and how she looks that school! I was into books which has worked out quite nicely for me in the end! Maybe she'll become a designer!

  3. That young lass is far too sophisticated for me. Who says things like 'Experimenting is a must' with a straight face? When I was that age I just wanted to be Molly Ringwald. A bowler hat and John Lennon glasses from the flea market were about as close as I came. Ah Molly, we love you. Then there was the time I soaked my jeans in a bath full of white king trying to get acid wash jeans. Needless to say that wasn't a good idea. And the list goes on …

  4. Burgundy corduroy knickerbockers are three words that should never go together, like “linoleum wedding dress.”

    Suspect I am only woman my age who has never seen a Molly Ringwald film. I have seen a bit of one, does that count?

  5. LOL. I'm already “trending” this way on both those points, but I appreciate the permission! What I can't stand are those horrible people who tell teens “these are the best years of your life.” Let's just say, that's only true if you're going to die at 20.

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