Tuesday, September 04, 2007

CONTEST! Junior High Fashion Confessions

Me (left) with a doily in my hair, circa 8th grade

Today was my little brother's first day of junior high school. We've all had a lot of fun convincing him that he would have to be measured for his jock strap on stage at a school-wide assembly, but today the jig was up, and he was off to reality.

I seem to write about junior high a lot (see here, here, and here). I'm not sure if it's because I'm still emotionally scarred (well, OK, I'm sure of that), or what, but middle school analogies just pour out of me in every facet of life, from job interviews (that was awkward) to their almost daily occurrence on Daddy Likey.

I got to thinkin' that I haven't done a contest for quite awhile, so why not celebrate my little bro's life change and my apparent obsession with a junior high themed contest??

I want to know about your junior high fashion sense. What was your favorite outfit? Your least favorite that your mom made you wear? The garment you look back on and cringe? The garment you look back on and secretly want to revive? Did you get teased for wearing the wrong thing? Did everyone hate you because you dressed so right?? How did you wear your hair? Who was your style icon?

There are no specific criteria for this, just tell me a true junior high fashion story. Make me laugh and/or cry. Leave your entry in the comments section. Treat it like a confessional; just let it all out, honey. There's no need to leave your full name if you don't want to (I totally understand if you don't want prospective employers googling you to find your past penchant for Converse and fishnet gloves); your first name and last initial or a nickname (maybe your junior high nickname? Mine was Winoner Boner...damnit) will be fine.

This contest will run for a week, during which time I will hound you incessantly to enter, and then I'll choose the top 3 (or maybe 5) and have you guys vote on the winner. The lucky winner will receive pride, validation, and a totally sweet junior high flashback giftpack, including a bottle of Revlon's Charlie perfume, Bonne Bell chapstick, a Boyz II Men cd, and much more!

I'll get you started with a couple examples:

My very favorite outfit in junior high was the intriguing combo of my giant, bright purple American Girl jacket, purchased from the back of American Girl magazine; my Zoo volunteer t-shirt, complete with rips around the neckline from a possum attack (yes, really); a pair of plaid short shorts; mismatching kneehighs; and a pair of lace-up, faux-suede boots. If you can't guess, I wasn't that popular.


In 8th grade, a kid named Billy Williams came to our school. He was immediately popular because he looked like a prepubescent Abercrombie model, and there was a rumor floating the halls that his dad owned Budweiser. The first thing I noticed about Billy was his shoes--pristine blue and white Adidas Superstars. I knew I had to have a pair, so I saved up, had my mom drive me to Fred Meyer, and got my very own. I literally wore them to bed that night; I had never felt so cool. I was opening my locker the next day when I heard a voice behind me.
"What do you think you're doing?"
I turned around. It was Billy, staring at my shoes.
"Why are you copying me?" he asked.
"Umm...er...I had these before you!" I lied.
"Yeah right," Billy said. "Those are men's shoes anyway. What are you? A man?"
He teased me daily for the rest of the year, through two more pairs of Superstars, but I didn't care. A boy had never paid any attention to me before, and I decided it was better than nothin'.

So there you go. Obviously, they don't have to be that long--"I dressed like Kurt Cobain." would suffice. Please tell your friends, and if you have a blog and would like to link to this contest, I would love you forever. I'm so excited to read these, and thank you in advance for sharing your stories!

Want to send a picture of your hot junior high self? Email me at daddylikeyblog@gmail.com


The Tinfoil Saint said...

oh man in junior high i combed thrift stores like a little weaselette to find the baggiest boys pants ever somehow i convinced myself that wearing boys pants was sexy, so i paired that with tight tshirts (not such a bad thing-- i had the biggest boobs in my grade)
then i would cap it off with, quite literally, anything that could pass for bracelets... up to my elbows on both arms. i had a safety pin in one ear, and i wore a chain choker around my neck.
shoes? converse imitations from payless baby.

i was HOT. ish.

Karen J. said...

I used to wear like four belts at a time: two studded ones, a skinny pink one, and a big black leather one. I thought it looked so cool!

papagena said...

Two words-Bumper bangs. Straight across and I made them stay in the same shape of the big curling iron that I used. My boyfriend still makes fun of me for it.

Anonymous said...

i wore plaid flannel shirts layered with tight floral print thermal tops or henleys, champion sweatshirts (for some reason these were a hot item at my school), flare leg Paris Blues or MUDD jeans, and a pair of Sketchers i thought were the coolest shoes ever. i accessorized with sunflower themed anything, clay beads on leather cord, sterling silver dolphin themed jewelry, and a hemp bracelet my cousin gave me that I thought made me look totally bad ass. oh, and i had short, blunt cut bangs to top it all off. barf.

Lee said...

Oh man, junior high...let's talk about fashion disaster... Picture this: wide leg carpenter jeans - ALL the rage (I have yet to figure out why) - not flattering at all on my lovably larger-than-life thighs and belly pouch. Due to the unfortunate fact that I never grew to the expected 5'7 (stupid doctors, what do they know anyway?) all my pairs of said jeans were at least three inches too long and thus had giant holes in the back.

Now, pair these with some seriously sweet Adiddas Airwalk type shoes OR the really cool black BOYS Reeboks with silver accents. (Also copied from cutest boy in school - he noticed - I feel your pain)

Okay, now for the tops. I had this amazing oversized hot pink sweatshirt - not a regular sweatshirt though - it was this ragged fleece thing - the kind that had a high neck but only unzipped about halfway down the chest (hardly even made it to my way-too-big-for-junior-high-chest). I, of course, always wore it unzipped with a hint of some other brightly colored tee shirt underneath. At the neck was the ever present ball-chain necklace (not nearly as sleek/pretty/acceptable styligh as the Tiffany's version).

Are you wish me so far? Good. Now, for the icing on the cake - the hair. My nearly black, very large, VERY curly, very unmanageable hair was worn in a variety of atrocious styles ranging from pulled back so tight I looked worse than Joan Rivers, but with two little strands coming down on each side of my head (anyone else remember this look?) and a giant bushy ponytail in back... To being left natural - cause I was convinced I could rock the eighties hair - hey! I didn't even have to tease it!

Oh yeah. I was a sight to be seen. An unfortunately (or maybe by the grace of god...) All evidence of this time in my life has been destroyed. But it's okay. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Emily said...

juicy couture sweat suits. oh the horror! of course you cant have the juicy sweat suits without the DITCH HIM! shirt, and bag.
Different colored sauconys completed the look.

Princess Poochie said...

Okay, I went to a parochial school until 10th grade, which is bad enough. But the truly horrible fashion faux pas' didn't happen until I transferred to public high school for the first time (I hope this counts). I actually just wrote about the horror here - http://shoedaydreams.blogspot.com/2007/09/shoe-memories-part-two-growing-out-of.html

but here's an excerpt: "One classic ensemble that, thank god, there are no pictures of that I know about, was what I have called the "fruit salad" outfit. I actually wore, prepare yourself, a pair of bright goldenrod yellow jeans, raspberry pink tank top and this white button down shirt with a fruit design on it. Oh, but the horror doesn't end there. I had a bangle bracelet with the same colors and, get this, plastic fruit dangle earrings."

That's what wearing plaid for 9 years can do to you.

Feel free to drop in a comment and link to your contest!


Emma said...

Unfortunately, my junior high experience was not all THAT long ago, but that doesn't mean I don't turn a weary eye to the stacks of grinning, tacky prepubescent photos and heave the deep sigh of someone staring into the face of evil.
Okay, ready for the confession? It's too embarassing to even write down. But I'm going to anyway. It's only fair.
I was going on a trip to the country with my best friend and her family for the weekend. Her "supercute and dreamy" brother (who, when I look back on him, was SHAMEFULLY nerdy- the kind of guy who plays air guitar in his bedroom and spends half his life willing his facial hair to grow- but I was young and he was a high school boy. 'Nuff said).
I rolled up at my friend's house wearing-
1. Too-small white capri pants from The Gap. I was ultra-skinny then (dammit! Curse my preteen metabolism for evaporating on me!) so I didn't have muffin top, but it was still bad.
2. A red tee shirt from some tacky chain store (Strawberry, I believe) reading "Bling It On" in gold with rhinestone hearts. You think I'm kidding? It gets worse.
3. Blue faux Uggs. Not even Uggs. FAUX Uggs.
4. In addition to my fifteen different bags filled with misguided outfits meant to lure my friend's brother to my side, I was carrying a BABY PINK POLYESTER METALLIC HOBO SAC. Not a cute one. A tacky, disgusting, awful one. It was BAD. Especially since it was filled with all the kind of crap you carry around in junior high- "Dear Diary" notebooks and receipts from Claire's Accessories and Ultra-Sticky Glimmer Gurl Lip Glossage and so on.
5. A pair of faux gold sparkly earrings- one shaped like an X, and one shaped like an 0- dangling from my poor earlobes like beacons of tacky. And not funky, offbeat junk-shop jewelry ironic tacky- just disgusting tacky. I forgot this particular little detail of my outfit until I dug out the photos from the weekend a minute ago to properly transcribe the outfit for this lil' contest. God, they were gross.
6. And, the piece de resistance...a HOT-PINK OPEN-WEAVE FRINGED PONCHO. You think I jest? You think I exaggerate? NO. It was my super-sexy killer accessory. It was not Ugly Betty's Guadalajara poncho, either- it was not in any way adorable or sweet or actually kind of funky if looked at from the right angle. It was just a hot-pink poncho.
I was also wearing way too much makeup, which I applied frenziedly in the lobby after my mother dropped me off, and a plastic see-through bangle. Oy.
The only cool thing I owned at this time was a pair of polka-dotted Steve Madden high-tops. Hey, as far as my wardrobe went, those were pretty damn cool. I still wish they fit me. I'd wear them with jeans and a fun sweater or something.
Okay. This was pretty much as long as your actual post. Which is embarassing for me, that I have enough bad-junior-high-fashion material to fill a million-years-long comment. Enjoy.

Jessica McWilliams said...

Oh boy,
It was not so long ago that I was in middle school, which makes this just that much more painful. I suppose somewhere during back to school shopping before 8th grade I decided it was on me to corner the market in pre-teen girls overalls, coveralls, whichever suits you best. For some reason, I needed to possess as many different styles and colours of them as possible. Denim, corduroy, some satiny shiny fabric, pink, purple, black, khaki, I had them all. Not to be remembered just for my affinity for clothing resembling that of a farmer's, I also chose to sport shirts with nifty sayings on them such as "Princess","Brat", and "Superstar", all of course, adorned with rhinestones. During my JHS tenure, it was also considered fashionable to wear bra straps on your head as a headband. I fell into this trap too. After seeing overalls pop up here and there this summer at places such as Urban Outfitters, it's easier for me to come to terms with my faux pas by telling myself I was a "pioneer". I'm sure the bra strap headband is inconsolable and unexplainable. However, in future therapy sessions I will probably attribute this dark stage to my mother for supporting my habit, and Old Navy for supplying endless amounts of overalls to fit my every need.

Biz said...

Different colored fleece vest and a pair of jeans every damn day. Oh, thank GOD I grew out of dressing to be unnoticed.

Samantha said...

The most alarming of my Junior High outfits was the combination of a short sleeved large floral print collared shirt, or just as horrific, a brown and white plaid collared short sleeve shirt that used to belong to my Grandfather and had buttons and safety pins holding it together, worn over

-OVER- a long sleeve collared shirt that could be plain, or plaid flannel (floral mixed with plaid happily in my demented little mind)

- paired with any of my too big man pants (cords, jeans, grey cargo shorts - they didn't make girls lowrise pants back then).

For shoes, airwalks, vans, or converse... personalized by pen... of course.

Not to mention my rainbow colored nailpolish and brightly colored eyeshadow, and often colored hair.

And where did I get the brilliant idea to wear two collared button up shirts together... well... in a magazine, from a picture of Eddie Vedder. Yes, the Pearl Jam frontman with the out of control hair, was my style icon... until my first year of high school when a pink polo shirt and short denim skirt changed my life...

Stefanie said...

I think I showed up to my first day of junior high, on my bike, wearing my mickey mouse sweatshirt & matching leggings. All the cool kids took the bus because they got to make out there & wore abercrombie. & We were only 12! sheesh

Cate said...

In junior high, I was obsessed with silk. I thought that silk could make any garment classy and worth wearing. I was also obsessed with boxer shorts, despite having been caught with my fly open several times...by peers, teachers, 5th graders, my horrified parents..you get the picture.
After purchasing about three thousand oversized silk short-sleeved buttondowns in a wide variety of extremely intense colors, I found what I considered my crowning glory. Silk, maroon, Animaniacs-printed boxers. In size XXL, so they wouldn't "dig in" to my youthful chub (or raging case of needing-to-put-the-food-down-fatty, whichever). I decided to wear these with white sheer knee highs, black patent leather mary-janes, and a black cotton tee shirt, to a party where the boy I was in LOVE with was in attendance.
Needless to say, I returned home boyless and traumatized after having "She's an Animaniac" sung to me all night long, to the tune of the Animaniacs theme song. Although I will say....I still wore the boxers. Furtively, at home, and under my man-jeans, but with a sense of "the bastards will never get me down."
An honorable mention goes to the "As If!" and "Whatever!" shirts that dutifully strained around my pudgy midsection in eighth grade after Clueless came out.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely curled my bangs UP and hairsprayed the heck out of them. Oh yeah... So cool... Nora

Kasmira said...

Because a picture (or three) says a thousand words, you'll have to visit my blog for my entry:

Jr High Style

"Beavis" said...

Ha ha-bumper bangs. I had those too.
In 7th grade my favorite outfit was a white turtleneck under a floral button down shirt (tucked in) and my beloved Guess? jeans with ankle zippers. soooooo preppy.
In 8th grade I was all about bodysuits and colored denim, which I wore everyday with my clogs.
My style icon was probably Brenda from 90210 but I really just wanted to look like all the popular girls in my school. Oh no, this is bringing back all of those horrible repressed memories again!

Laura V said...

Hah, oh boy. I was in junior high in, let's see -- 1989-1991. My most ever so tres chic outfit was pretty hideous: a pastel yellow floral sweatshirt over a turtleneck, and pleated teal slacks with tapered legs. Oh, and bunchy socks.


Actually, at least one part of my junior high style has stuck: I still work the bold colors like nobody's business.

Jamie said...

Oh the memories! I think most everything I wore in junior high makes me cringe now that I think of it. I actually went through stages of fashion insanity. I will outline them here for you now:

The Tomboy Stage: I was obsessed with Adidas and soccer during this stage, so I wore the black and white Adidas soccer sneakers that were the emblem of cool at my school. If you had the sneakers, you were in. That is, of course, if you weren't also a complete dork. Then you'd just be a poser. And a poser I was. Anyway, I also wore long sleeved logo tees, and Adidas windbreakers, grass stained jeans, etc. It was a sad sad time. Fortunately, however, this did not last too long.

The Matronly Stage: From one extreme to the other! After the tomboy stage I entered the matronly stage, which is exactly how it sounds. I was trying to emulate the preppy rich girls that I saw on Disney Channel movies and whatnot, so I started wearing little gingham blouses, cameo necklaces, trousers, pleated skirts, SWEATER VESTS. Oh the horror! During this stage I was also inspired by Clueless, resulting in plaid miniskirts and knee socks. I thought I was being all cool and ironic, and even a little sexy like Cher and her friends. But they had women bodies, and I was short and skinnier than a Latvian model, so I just ended up looking like a Catholic school reject.

The Trendy Stage: The final stage before I morphed into the beautiful high school butterfly with actual style. I soon caught on that my strange fashion tendencies were not earning me any points with the in crowd, so I thought: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I wore what they wore: whatever was popular. This was the 90s, so that meant grungy, slightly 70s, and tight. I remember dark red corduroys with huge bell bottoms, an odd brown, black, and white diagonally striped top with bell sleeves, and a black polyester mesh top with a huge pink flower painted on. And, you guessed it, dressing like the cool people did not make me one.

Nicky said...

I went through this phase where I was obsessed with wearing my dad's shirts. Yeah, oversized flannel button ups and tees with fish and deer on them look so great on a 13 year old girl! Besides that, I wore huge peace sign earrings, strictly Vans sneakers, and these weird shorts that had this flap you buttoned in front to make it look like a skirt. And I had a perm. Awful. I wish my mom had still dressed me, it would have been so much better.

Anonymous said...

I refused to buy anything that cost me more than 4$ in middle school and it showed. I ended up dressing daily in as many layers as possible, most of which were dirty. For 8th grade graduation, I partied it up with my equally badly-dressed friends, choosing to wear the following gorgeous, super-cool outfit:

- a lacey blue-fuzzed tablecloth cut, badly, into a poncho. my mom noticed this atrocity about 30 minutes after the party started and immediately called my grandmother, who chose to interuppt my party to demand an apology for sabotaging her property.

- four layers of tanks (i was trying to be trendy.) unfortunately the tanks were alternately too large and too small, meaning that they either gaped at my bellybutton or looked kinda like mock turtlenecks gone wrong.

- fake hair, bright green. it was one of those nasty hair scrunchie things. i thought it was the epitome of cool... at this time, i had relatively short hair set off by a very long chunk right by my ear, which i preferred to braid and bead. sometimes i braided, beaded, and then tied the rest of my hair back with this strand. for some reason, i also refused to wash it.

- mismatching socks (one slouchy and colorful, the other toe-socky and nasty and exactly what you'd think to find at clare's), indicative of my inner rebel or whatever... worn over porn star cosplay stockings with a garter.

- enormous billowing gold bloomers that were basically like MC hammer pants, except they stopped at the least flattering place on my flabby preteen thighs possible. i wish i had a picture of these monstrosities. i'm pretty sure they were one of a kind.

- a nasty plastic belt i got at the dollar store; it aspired to the studdy punk aesthetic but fell short, ultimately consigning itself to a sort of a blind raccoons stabbing glinting trash into melted dumpster linoleum type thing. i loved this belt and occasionally slept with it.

- ugly beat-up glasses, never cleaned, permanently smudged, layered with deep scratches, frames a totally different color (puke green-ish) than their original copper tone.

at that time i also bit my nails almost to the cuticle before painting them with cheap, gloppy, acidic green polishes i bought secondhand off friends who shopped at hot topic, so you can imagine how attractive i was to all the guys at my school. on the bright side, i've always had perfect teeth (even if i refused to brush them for almost all of junior high), so i never had to suffer through braces!

Maddy said...

For me, junior high was not so long ago, but I've put enough distance between then and now to be able to look back and wince with embarassment. In sixth grade, I wore my hair in this weird low pony tail with the end tucked into the elastic. I had one pair of jeans that fit me the way everybody else wore them, which was obscenely tight, and I wore them almost every day. I didn't have enough boobs to justify wearing a bra until, like, mid-seventh grade (you think I'm joking? Nope.) so I would wear bulky camisoles under my tee shirts instead. Let's see, then there were my feeble attempts at makeup- I would try the eyeliner tips outlined in Seventeen, thinking I looked awesome, and I'd wear gloopy old mascara that was probably riddled with bacteria because I held onto that thing MUCH longer than the recommended four months. Then there was the sticky bad-tasting old lipgloss which all of us would apply liberaly... ugh, I don't think I can go on. It's too painful.

Peajai said...

In Junior High (early 90's) I went through several phases, all of them bad.

1. Brightly colored leggings (stretch pants) paired with shorts or a mini-skirt. This was my signature style in 6th grade. I had a purple pair and a turquoise pair and a pair of black short shorts that I almost always wore them with. This was usually paired with an oversized t-shirt (spring) or sweater (winter).

2. Short shorts with stockings. This was my signature in 7th/8th grade. I had a pair of short white shorts that used to belong to my grandfather (he had really skinny legs) that I would wear with various colored stockings, usually white or black and an oversized shirt.

3. Vests. 8th/9th grade I was all about vests. No outfit was complete without a vest. I had vests for every season and every reason. These were usually paired with a fitted t-shirt or knit shirt and men's jeans. (I purchased all of my jeans from the men's department because at the time women's jeans seemed to all have tapered legs and even at that tender young age I knew this was horribly horribly wrong.)

4. Glasses. Huge. Did they make them any other way in the early 90's? I had a new pair every year because I always found a way to break them.

5. Socks. Never matched my outfit. Argyle socks were my favorite. Loved to raid my grandfather's sock drawer. I would usually go out of my way to find socks that would be the complete opposite color of whatever I was wearing. Or I wouldn't wear socks at all.

6. Patent leather ass-kicking boots. I couldn't afford Doc Marten's so these were some generic off-brand but I wore them with pride.

7. Nail polish of every hue. I had quite the nail polish collection. I have no idea where they all came from. Yellow and black were my favorites! My signature style was usually a different color on every nail, with a glitter top coat.

8. Body suits/leotards. Usually paired with an unbuttoned button down shirt. I felt especially hot in the body suits with the snap crotch.

9. Kool-aid hair dyed, fried and laid to the side. I was all about the kool-aid hair dye. I got a process down and my color of choice was always bright red on black hair so the color would take you by surprise.

The Narcist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

I definitely sported a tshirt that said, "If the Macaw saw what the Leopard spotted, then the Toucan can, and you can too!" and there was a rainforest scene on it, and it said "save the rainforest!" underneath. I loved that shirt. I also wore safety pins in my ears, when I got them pierced at the end of junior high (in the states). I'm pretty certain my weirdness and lack of fashion sense made me absolutely the most unpopular kid in my junior high in France (before we moved to the states).

Anonymous said...

On the first day of 7th grade, I was ecstatic to show off my black and pink Converse Chuck Taylors. Nobody at school wore Chucks, so I felt pretty special. Unfortunately, the reaction of most of my classmates was "You're too punk rock for me." WHAT???


The Narcist said...

Forgive me Karl Lagerfield for I have sinned. It has been 10 months since my last confession...

In an effort to appear more sophisticated, in the eight grade, I ditched my coke bottle glasses (even though I couldn't see shit), traded my "brandy" braids for an "aaliyah" swoop, and started wearing dresses and skirts.

My favorite outfit that year was a faux silk blouse, underneath a burgundy corduroy jumper, which I paired with opaque burgundy tights and black mary janes that were polished at the beginning and end of each day. When I wore this outfit I thought I was FLY!

So fly that I wore it on picture day, two eighth grade dances, at least once a month to church (even though it was kinda short) and to a bar mitzvah in May (where I almost fainted due to the heat).

I finally stopped wearing the outfit but only because my mother donated the jumper to the salvation army and the shoes no longer fit. I will however, swear on a stack of Chanel suits that I would wear that outfit again if it gave me the same confidence I had in the eighth grade.

The Narcist said...

oh yeah I was raised Baptist so I've never done a confession before in my life. I made up the 10 months part=)

Laura V said...

@the narcist -- actually, that outfit could be totally hot. and in my head, can work on a grownup with the right pieces.

i wish i had an outfit that made me feel that confident in my life right now, for sure!

Meg said...

Oooooh! I have one!
I was really adamant about being a tomboy, even though I secretly knew I was growing out of it. Still, I convinced my mom (not really, since she had already been doing it for the last few years) to take me to the Fred Meyer (wow we're so alike..Fred Meyer) boys section so I could buy some "Gecko" shirts. Remember those? Probably not....because you weren't a boy like me. Anyway, I bought some stylin' Gecko shirts and a striped blue and black long-sleeved shirt, which was my favorite. Unfortunately, it was also someone else's favorite. And he was a boy. So yes, I was sitting in math class feeling super-cool with my awesome striped shirt when I looked up and saw a guy wearing the exact same shirt as me.

My dream of being a tomboy was very abruptly ended, and I shopped in the girl's section from that day on.

See you in a few minutes!

alex said...

i was going through some strange secretary phase - fashion-wise ;). while the others went for stonewashed jeans and xxl sweaters (ok, it was the late 80es), i was wearing a white blazer, brown pencil skirt and white pantyhose. i even went for ties: only remember a shimmery green one...

Suma said...

Thats a great exciting day in their life for everyone..a best outfit which will appear cool and comfortable enough should be wore on that first day...

suma valluru

katie-lilga said...

im not sure what the equivalant of junior high is here in ireland but ill just pretend ok? alrighty. well all through school i had to wear a set uniform (like most schools here) but every now and then we would haul our asses into assembly only to be told the exciting news that we had a colour day coming up. and SWEET mother of god did we make the most of those days. you'd come in in the morning and everyone would seem far more awake and excitable in the corridors, huddled in groups talking fashion only glancing up to have a goo at what everyone that passed by was wearing. and you'd want to see the teachers trying to get us to do any kind of work on those days. HA. anyway on my first colour day in a new school my outfit went a little something like this...

the most conspicuous big blue chunky CHUNKY blue skecher PLATFORM runners. (i refused to let this craze go a year beforehand when everyone else did.)

jeans that were made out of a variety of different coloured but equally manky retangles of denim. they were too short (platforms did not help) and the fly had to be SUPERGLUED CLOSED. (they were my favourite favourite jeans and i didn't care how i kept that damn zip up.)

a BRIGHT RED 'nope' fleecey hoody with a big WINKING cat on the front. (why oh why is that cat winking??)

all topped off with a long rainbow scarf (it wasn't even cold) that used to get caught in between my legs when i walked leading one good friend to start calling me 'multi-coloured pubes' or mcp for short. (this was actually all in good fun but still added to the hilarity of the outfit)

oh oh and i'd just discovered make-up...gold cream eyeshadow and tonnes of orange bronzer.

i got a lot of wear out of that outfit. the jeans could alternated with beige 'o'neills' tracksuit bottoms (yes with platforms). in fact o'neills were the must have at the time, the waist band had to be folded down and they had to be dragging slightly on the ground so you were constantly tripping up. (i was ok in that regard, mine hung halfway down the platform heel, not such a silly choice of shoe nooow are they?!)

oh and everyone thought i looked cool.


now that wasn't long ago at all but you should seeee the kids in my old school these days, all kitted out in their designer labels, fake tan and professional looking make-up...YOU'RE LIKE TWO YEARS OLD!!!

oh i do apologise for the length of this comment. eek.

Anonymous said...

My family was on a seriously limited budget during my school years, what with the four daughters and the absentee father. Combine with the conservative outlook of my Fundamentalist mother, and I was a pretty serious nerd. I spent most of the days trying to avoid calling attention to my appearance. I remember admiring some of the suits my mother wore to work, especially a deep-green-navy-gold tweed one. Memories of my own style, however, have been seriously repressed. I can't remember which grade (8th or 9th), but, at the height of early-'80s Madonna-mania, my school photo shows a pale, make-up free girl wearing a lavender oxford shirt, grey corduroy blazer, and long straight hair worthy of Marcia Brady. Except auburn. At least I had contact lenses by that time!! However, no Boy George eyeliner, upturned collars or designer jeans for me, daggone it. Dullsville, USA. OK, West Virginia.

Natashia said...

Jr High was a great time for fashion because you were young enough to experiment with styles & with how you defined yourself through fashion without being too caught up in what would be dictated by fashion mags (at least I hadn't read very many fashion mags by jr. high).

To that end, here are a few of my favorite Jr High ensembles:

On the 1st day of 8th grade, I wore one of my grandma's [vintage to me] flapper dresses.

Often, I wore a black gallon garbage sack cinched at the waist with a red patent leather belt. Red patent flats, lots of bracelets, & a red scrap of fabric in my hair.

I wore records around my ponytail.

My family was very poor, but my dad brought home rubber gaskets for me to wear as rings & bracelets (all black - though, I eventually got a few flourescent ones for my birthday) -- and my mom sewed, so I used a lot of scrap material to add color & style to my clothes. I tied lots of scrap fabric around one leg or arm & I used them to pull back my hair a lot.

Another fav outfit was a bit Lolita-esque: hot pink bloomers, knee high socks with pink hearts, black maryjanes, a white cotton crop top with mini pink hearts, & a hot pink beret. Still can't imagine why mom wouldn't let me get those pink heart-shaped sunglasses to wear with this outfit -- it would have looked great ;)

SHOEGAL said...

We don't have Jr High over here but in middle school (for kids aged 8-11) I had this oversize black sweatshirt that I loved, that had a picture of a cat or something on it and said 'Fluffy Love'. For some reason my nickname at the time was Fluff, hence the sweater. I'd wear it with black leggings, slouch socks and white, boot-style trainers (sneakers?), probably with florescent laces. And my glasses were massive. Cover half your face, massive. I thought I looked cool...

evil_ginner said...

Oversized fleeces (my favourite was my lime green one!) with leggings. Adidas preferably, my favourites were black with lime green stripes, though I had a pair of dark purple with white stripes too. Everyone wore sporty clothes then... maybe.

And I lived in a Liverpool FC shirt, even though it was red and my hair is ginger.

Thankfully, we had to wear a uniform at school (hooray for England!)

Mortified said...

Unfortunately, I have several from which to choose. I think I'll go with one of my most memorable...and horrendous. A look I like to refer to as "Portly Poser."

The year: 1988. The setting: small town Texas. Me: A chunky 7th grader with a can of LA Looks and a dream.

Let's take the outfit from the top...the "rooster" bangs, a stark contrast to my straight black hair (courtesy of an iron...a REAL iron).

Giant hoop earrings that would put Janet Jackson and her key earring to shame.

Big red Sally Jessy Raphael glasses (What 7th grader didn't think this talk show host exemplified the phrase "fashion forward?") I wanted them so much that I actually lied to the eye dr. and said I couldn't read the last few lines of the optical exam. I know. Loser.

White Vision Street Wear t-shirt.

Red knit bubble skirt from Units or Modules, can't recall. Now, I know these have come back in style somewhat, but I STILL don't think they are a good idea. Did I mention I was a chunk? Knit...bubble skirt...strikes 15 and 16.

To top it off, I had these killer red and black Vision Street Wear high tops. They were actually the best part of the outfit and something I would totally wear today.

The kicker is...the extent of my skateboarding was riding up and down the tiny wheelchair ramps at the local nursing home. Hardcore, I know.

Thankfully, the skater phase was short-lived. Less than two years later, I ditched my VSW duds for Hammer pants, matching vest and one of those red, green and yellow leather Africa necklaces. Yep. White girl was representin'.

Anonymous said...

i have so many awkwardly posed pictures of myself in the following outfit:

a very fluffy red sweater with a zebra print felt collar, half-zip zipper with a huge silver pull, and, the piece de resistance, an enormous zebra head across the whole bottom and upper left side. the zebra head actually protruded from the fabric about a quarter of an inch, and its mane was made of thick black yarn.

of course i had to have fabulous pants-- khakis that were several inches too short, which showed my scrawny ankles, pom-pom socks, and bright blue nike cross-training sneakers.

this was like 5 years ago, and i was also fond of wearing it on our morning TV news program.

-marcella, unashamed (but actually really, really ashamed.)

lisa said...

This is more poignasnt than side-splittingly hilarious, but here goes:

In elementary school, I was painfully shy. I also showed my eccentricity at an early age (vintage velour blazers, tweed blazers with leather elbow patches, wildly patterned old-lady shirts), and thus, was brutalized by a quartet of Mean Girls who fancied themselves the real-life Babysitters Club, only bitchy. I'm talking rumors, nasty remarks, even having fruit thrown at me. My life was hell for three years, until...

...the perfect vintage-inspired outfit came into my life. I had a serious jones for all things hippie and mod in middle school, and the year bellbottom jeans came back, I was stoked. But I couldn't let it end there. One day, on a shopping spree with my mother, who tried to buy my pain into submission, I spotted them: stretchy black bell bottoms with a white, ruffly, bell-sleeved shirt. I fell in love. Right then I stopped being ashamed of my weirdness and began to embrace it. I bought platform shoes to go with the ensemble, a wide black headband, and giant hoop earrings. I wore my outfit with pride. Did the Mean Babysitter Girls comment? You bet they did. And I looked them in the eyes, said, "You're entitled to your opinion," and walked on, head held high.

I'm 28 now, and I still love the memory of that outfit. I know it was tacky, but it was also my turning point. And now, I'm confident, outgoing, and successful...because I learned that I could love myself, and that's worth more than any amount of pubescent popularity. :)

Madeline said...

Yeah, I looked like Kurt Cobain. And by that time he'd been dead for almost ten years. I had crazy-curly long hair with purple streaks (it was triangular and cocker spaniel-esque, I swear. Birds nested in it) I wore giant combat pants and color-coordinated Chuck Taylors (olive green...but those were pretty cool.) and some random tee-shirt full of holes that I'd had since I was like, 5. And I accessorized with a scowl. I used to hang out in the park by school and read and sometimes people would give me money because they thought I was homeless.

Inside the Pages said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inside the Pages said...

My mind races with images of outfits and hairstyles I'd sooner forget. I am ashamed to admit that I won the title (which I was too naive to realize was not my in with the cool crowd, but more ironically sad), "Perfect Bangs" in school for I had honed my abilities to make my bangs curl like an empty toilet paper roll and stay that way through an entire day of school. I think the socially outcast were the one who voted for me, as they could not hide their jealous amazement of this feat. Quite possibly I looked my very worst at a church picnic function when I was about 12. Unfortunately, I also dragged my best friend down with me. I decided that we would make an amazing impression on all the people there if we wore matching outfits. This was easier said than done as I was an average sized twelve-year-old (with slightly chubby thighs) and my best friend was almost a stick figure. (We used to dream about transferring some of my thigh fat to her legs so that we would both be normal sized.) So, it was unfortunate that we found spandex shorts as the cornerstone of our matching outfits. They were black and had white panels with black polka dots running down the sides. Mine fit me. Even though we searched the racks for an XXS small for my friend, the small we had found still hung off her. Undeterred we bought them and my mom took them in on her sewing machine so that they would fit. To top it off, we found black and white striped stretchy cotton-polyester blended T's. You see, there were going to be games at this picnic and we had to be able to MOVE! I distinctly remember a bangle, I think mine was white whilst hers was black, which would have made my socks black and hers white. Finally, we couldn't forget our keds. I have one in practically every color and our shoes size was the only thing that was the same. In case you hadn't guessed, I wore my white pair and she wore my black pair. You might have already known I was going to tell you that we put our hair in side ponytails; I can't remember if a crimper played a part, but it's possible and we sprayed ourselves with xhilaration. I grabbed my blue Guess? book bag as we went out the door thinking thoughts of picnic-game-victory in our movable clothing and hearing gasps of admiration at our stylish matching outfits. …We came home sweaty and defeated, but I wish I had kept that outfit. It was one of a kind.

enna said...

I was sick for pretty much the entirety of junior high, so I wore the same two sweatshits every single day. One was purple, the other was oversized, white and had this weird Native American art on the back (I'm not Native American).

But there was the time I got a rad purple-print wrap skirt from Wet Seal (a big deal back then) and agonized for hours about wearing it to a dance--would it make me look ridiculous?!?! I ended up wearing it, and I wish it still fit me.

selinaoolala said...

These stories are so hilarious to read!!
I could pick about ten thousand awful outfits of mine too but something I wore to a 'rock teen club' was then, in my deluded opinion, the coolest thing like EVER. Keeping in mind I had no social life apart from this crappy disco that was once a month, me and my friends spent the WHOLE month planning outfits for it.
I wore denim DUNGAREES that had a skirt instead of trousers. A short, PLEATED, FRINGED skirt. AND I wore one dungaree strap unhooked so it hung in a really 'casual' way.
I teamed it with a really cheap light turquoise off the shoulder t shirt that had a tacky message on it of 'my ideal guy' but the red shiny writing was mostly hidden by my super cool pocket flap so it seemed ok.
I added baby pink fishnets (who would make them in that colour to sell to innocent children!) and white and pink dunlops, because I was way too girlie for converse so had to get the soft, plain duns.
Claires Accessories provided me with a whole armful of stretchy, thin plastic bracelets that we called 'shag bands' because if a boy broke one you HAD to have sex with him... tacky and SO never going to happen at like 14 anyway!! I added the matching rings and loads of hand made beaded bracelets which were so sk8r gurl! Also que an anklet (yeah- over tights?!) necklace with a glow stick on the end, and rainbow earrings, like actual dangling rainbows. Oh, and many MANY badges saying things like 'god you're ugly' and 'school sux' and so on.
Back then I had equally curly, bright red hair so a spray in baby pink streak was SO not a good idea! The spray had a funny yellow tinge and went rock hard too. Plus it was just the tester in the shop which I'd sprayed and ran. I needed to save my pocket money for a cup of flat coke ok!?
I wrote in my diary of how excited I was and TOTALLY had to kiss a real live boy (I went to a girls school, but I was still that sad...!) The fact that around 7 people actually went and the boys and girls stayed STRICTLY on opposite sides didn't matter- we went CLUBBING, oh yeah, so cooool!! I didn't get picked up until 10pm!!! We were dancing to Papa Roach or Limp Bizkit or something equally as 'rawk' and a weedy boy approached me with 4 friends in tow and giggled 'My friend thinks you're reeeeeally sexy' and they all burst out in voice-breaking laughs. My pride soared out the ROOF and I knew the outfit I'd planned for weeks during geography and maths had worked, my fishnets were so god damn hawt! I blushed and preened and then did that girl thing of being too cool to care and said 'I only date real men' complete with a hair flick and turn, before huddling with my friends and imagining a white wedding. The boys went back to their friends and they all started doing high fives and laughing and punching each others backs.
Only years later did it dawn on me that they had actually dared the guy to come over because I looked THAT AWFUL and would therefore be the funniest to tell their friend liked. I was the boy queen of my friends for weeks, advising them on bra stuffing and lip gloss application, when in reality I was a total HORROR!
Other terrible stories include some 'girl boxers' I got some bands to sign (good charlotte being one, oh god) which I wore on my first day of college (high school) with seriously, illegally low slung baggy jeans. Little did I know the whole college were laughing at how someone had supposidly draw on my ass and I didn't even know?! Oh the shame. Not many things are preventing me from deleting this whole comment.
Keep up the marvy posts!

Marissa said...

Gym class, seventh grade. We are playing this game called "Jollyball," no doubt devised by the horrible sadistic gym teachers, which involves crabwalking around and kicking a giant inflatable ball (it is about 2.5 feet in diameter and glows green-brown like an alien spaceship). And I am wearing an oversized red T-shirt and turquoise shorts. Probably the world's worst color combination. I also have eyeglasses, which are not too big or thick, but instead have very flimsy and delicate frames. The Jollyball comes toward me and because I am not an athlete, I can't figure out how to crabwalk out from under it and kick it away. It bounces on my head. Repeatedly. Rubbing on my hair to make it a static-electric mess and knocking my glasses off (I had to get new frames after this, the old ones got too bent out of shape). I am half-blind, my hair is a rat's nest, I am in "crabwalk" position and flailing around, everyone else is staring at me, and I am wearing a red T-shirt and turquoise shorts.

To this day I consider this the low point of my life.

Around that time I also discovered, on the internet, some instructions for "how to do makeup," which consisted of about 14 steps including foundation, contour, blush, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner, and all those other things that a 12-year-old has no business wearing. Still, because that was how you were "supposed" to apply makeup, I dutifully started waking up 15 minutes earlier and doing a whole routine with Bonne Bell products, which I thought were the height of cool. Especially memorable is the time I bought BRIGHT red-orange lipstick (I think the color was called "Volcano") and wore it with blue eyeshadow and a turquoise shirt, because I mistakenly thought that bright red-orange = lovely, subtle coral! I am still amazed that my mother put up with me back then!

Miss A said...

I wore Hawaiian print palazzo pants and thought I was pretty much the coolest thing on the face of the planet... And I wore them with the Airwalks that everyone had! If that's not bad enough, I also wore the bad bad bad colored carpenter jeans, and the matching jean jackets. I had serious problems with sweating (overactive glands from puberty, of course, before the discovery of the Drysol) so I walked around Junior High with my arms tucked to the sides of my body. I was literally a walking penguin with bad palazzo pants to boot. I guess I should also mention that my permed-frizzy mushroom cut, caterpillar eyebrows buck teeth and pimples made me an incfredibly awkwardly ugly palazzo pant wearing adolescent.Thankfully I grew breasts, became my now makeup-artist sister's guinea pig, learned what a blowdryer and flat iron could do and mercifully got a subscription to some fashion magazines and my life turned around... But those years, oh so bad. OH so bad. *shudder* I should also give my sister an honorable mention for the jeans that were so tight she had to lie down and have me pull the zipper up with a hanger while she sucked in as hard as she could. *lol*

Sarah said...

My Mother, in her infinate wisdom, decided that I was never to wear jeans, and so it was inevitable that I held jeans to be the highest and chicest piece of clothing anyone could ever wear and spent my time trying to think of a way to get my hands on some, my schemes getting more and more outlandish, in a way highly reminiscant of Pinky and the Brain trying to take over the world. Because of this lack of denim I never went to school discos, because obviously I was far too uncool to even leave the house and might as well resign myself to a life of obscurity and celibacy because no one would ever fancy me, ever

Anyway, in Year 8 (so age 12/13) I went on a school drama trip to Kuala Lumpur (I was living in Jakarta at the time) where there was a disco. I wore a yellow Levis belly tshirt I'd secretly bought with my babysitting money and a black lycra miniskirt stolen from my mum, as well as neon pink lipstick and black platform heels. I obviously looked like the kind of child prostitute in bad after school specials and remember standing by the side of the road in this highly conservative Muslim country tugging my hem down waiting for my lift. Even I knew it was ridiculous, so when a kindly Dutch girl said she'd trade me her jeans for the mini I was delighted! Finally, my moment of denim triumph had arrived! As I wriggled into them in the toilets, I got the sinking realisation that they didn't fit. Only after panicing and rearranging internal organs for half a hour did I manage to get the top button done up, but the zip was a lost cause. After several people stopped me in the halls to tell me my zip was undone, I ended up bursting into tears and attempted to find the girl to get my skirt back, but she refused and I ended up missing the disco and crying in the toilets all evening. I never got the skirt back, and my mum asked me for months if I knew where it was, but I was so mortified and full of horrific teenage shame that I never, ever told her. I'm 21 now and she still occasionally mentions the skirt, and yet I can't bear to tell my shameful story, even though I now own plenty of denim, none of which suits me, so in the end my Mother was right.

Bekkie said...

Well, first you should know my Middle school history:
6th grade, i went to public school and i was a cheerleader for about a week WHEN...DUN DUN DUUUUNNNN...
in 7th-8th grade, I was dramatically shipped off to a private dyslexic school, where i learned to read! Tragically there was a slight dress code that was enforced on a daily basis. It included: No sweatshirts, No blue jeans, Skirts had to be no shorter than one inch above the knee and No sandals. The last bit was we had to wear a god awful made for a 10yearold boy collard shirt with the Carroll school logo on it. In 8th grade I had become a C cup. Wearing a shirt that made me look 5 months pregnant because of my breasts, definitely did a lot on my self esteem.

So because of this dress code, i loved to push it as much as i possibly could. So my outfit insisted on:
-A b/w polka dot head band (that i really honestly wore everyday until it broke)
-My favorite royal blue and purple striped silk scarf tied around my waist
-Crazy floor length hippie skirts that i bought at this amazing shop called Little Tibet
-Black laced up knee high combat boots with 1inch heel
-Crazy, crazy stockings.
-So much jewelry it would make your heart sing! (attached)
and Last but certainly not least:
Yes, its true, i had two red streaks on my left cheek as much as possible, and that was my way of Rebelling.

Bella Chi said...

LOL i really loved selinaoolala's, Lisa's, and Mortified

Nice job ladies =D

Anonymous said...

My mom thought real Keds were too expensive... so I had to wear fake Keds... this was so embarrassing that I took some off of the back of an old pair that a friend had, and then glued them to the back of the fake pair. Oh my. Nora

beastie said...

ok, junior high is thankfully years away (20 yrs!) but it's amazing how acutely you can remember details about fashion and the awful insecurity of those days.

I read through some of the entries and it brings to mind so many ridiculous outfits, but the number one embrassing thing was that I hadn't developed yet and therefore didn't require a bra. I was short and skinny, however, and always cold. So I would wear layers of shirts to hide my pokey nips! I really don't know why I didn't discuss this dilemma with my mom and just get a trainer bra or whatever they call them nowadays. I don't think we had quite the options then.

Thank god for maximum padded push up bras which I discovered years later. ;)

Anonymous said...

Bekkie i live right by the carroll school.. i'm not sure if there's more than one, but if there isn't then you lived awfully close to me!

Lauren said...

@ Natasha - Oh, how I totally would have been your BFF. My fashion inspiration in middle school was equal parts Courtney Love and Rayanne (Angela's BFF from the best show ever - My So-Called Life). Delia's debuted their catalog sometime during my 8th grade year, and I went crazy begging my mom to buy my argyle knee socks and shiny baby blue mini skirts that in no way flattered my chubby figure. I had quite a collection of high-heeled maryjanes too, my faves being a silver T-strap pair with 4 inch heels. I wore them proudly with my crowning fashion achievement: a silver minidress made actually for homecoming, a ratty Kurt Cobain cardigan, sparkly tights and the piece d'resistance - my face. Thanks to Delia's, I had a crazy collection of cheap makeup, from green and blue Manic Panic nail polish to purple-black and silver lipstick (Delia's used to be so rad). So, I would wear the silver lipstick as eyeshadow, as well as layer it over top the purple-black lipstick. This, of course, was in addition to the obscene amount of Grateful Dead t-shirts (after I saw them live, I desperately sought to rid myself of them. Hey, back off - a boy I had a crush on was a total Deadhead), baggy pants, and thrift store finds. I was so stylin'. Especially after I got my Dr. Martens AND dyed my hair pink with real Manic Panic, as opposed to the Kool-Aid dye jobs I had done before. And who can forget the waitress dress I bought that looked *just like* the one Courtney Love had on in some issue of Spin that I had. You know, I must say...I miss those days. Although I do appreciate the tiny bit of fashion sense I have now...just because I'm mom doesn't mean I'm not still punk rock. Right? Right.

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nesha said...

Alright, so since you and I happened to go to the same junior high school and the story of Billy Williams rings all too true for me because even as an older sister that little punk was running around my house in those damn Adidas every day... I thought I might share with you my junior high fashion disaster which actually led to a lot more problems than my little seventh grade brain could handle.
I was completely obsessed with Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. And the trend at the time was women wearing that really dark lip liner with clear lip gloss, c'mon ladies I know you remember it! well I thought in all of my fashionable Banks wisdom that I could pull this look off. To up the anti I used a grey Garden Botanica eye pencil... Mind you I was not into expressing my tortured soul through skulls and black lipstick like that chick on Degrassi. I really in my heart of hearts thought it looked good. A little edgy albeit but good. I had paired my charcoal lips with my older brothers charcoal sweatshirt which happened to be about four sizes too big so as to hide my overly abundant chest, and a pair of grey pin striped dress pants. So I show up to Ron Alleys Jr. High health class thinking I looked a little edgy but all together hot.
The barrage of insults that ensued were pretty harsh however they were not from the other kids, though I am sure the looked on stunned horror but, from my teacher Ron Alley! Needless to say I was sent to the counselors office and was from then on out fingered as a massive pot head. I never did wear the charcoal lip liner again....

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