Thursday, January 24, 2013

the cool kids clothes

surviving middle school and high school was no easy task. most of us struggled to get by, fit in and get through without too much emotional baggage chained to our ankles post-graduation. 

when i was trying to fit "in" with the kids in school, i thought there was only one way. since all they saw me for was my chubby outside appearance, it seemed logical that if i could mirror my outer appearance to theirs, it would prove to them that i was just like them, that i was worthy of being included and that i didn't deserve to be the (large) butt of the fat kid jokes. and since i couldn't drop 30 pounds overnight, dye my hair or get plastic surgery, the next logical way to do this was through what i wore. so i became obsessed with fitting into the cool kid clothes, and when i couldn't, i was devastated and distraught. 

one of the best days ever in 6th grade was when i went to the gap and was able to fit into a pair of wide legged jeans. i couldn't fit into the flared jeans that the girls were wearing. fitting into those wide legged gap jeans felt like a miracle. i couldn't believe i was wearing a wide legged pant that covered my shoes! just like the cool kids! i went to school the next monday expecting everyone to notice my new-found coolness and baggy pants, but no one did. and i didn't get any cooler.

here were some of the top "cool kid clothes" brands:

- mudd jeans (in particular, flared khakis with cargo pockets tight to the knees, worn most often with sketcher boots)
- jnco jeans (not just for skater kids, cool kids loved 'em too)

- silver jeans (more popular in high school, the ones i envied most were tan corduroy with no pockets on the butt)
- abercrombie & fitch (really big in high school, especially when you could carry around the hot guy bags to school w/ your gym stuff in them)
- tommy hilfiger overalls (when i finally got my hands on a pair of these, i never took them off and refused to part with them even when i didn't wear them anymore)

if beyonce wore them, they must be cool

i've worked hard to lose a lot of weight in 2012, and losing weight means having to shop for clothes that fit the new shape of my body. needless to say, i've done a lot of shopping and i've been to the mall and kohl's more times than i'd like to admit. each time i wander the halls of the mall like a true mall rat, the same sneaky thought creeps into my head as i pass the one store that pumps cologne through it's doors to suffocate anyone walking by, "i wonder if i can fit into abercrombie jeans now."

i manage to pass on by each time ... until i made the decision that i wanted to try them on and that's where i got conflicted.

the bad angel on my shoulder says; "do it alicia! try on those jeans! can you  just imagine how great you'll feel when you fit into them!? what redemption for your younger, chubby self!"

the good angel on my shoulder says; "what are you thinking? what will trying on these jeans prove? that you still believe your worth is in your outer appearance?  that wearing "the cool clothes" will make you worthy? will make you feel like you belong now? what will it really prove? seems like negative reinforcement for a body image problem you're trying to remove from your life."

so as it stands now, i'm at a cross roads and don't know which road to choose.

what do you guys think? should i try on the jeans, or not? what would you do?

what clothes were "the cool kids clothes" when you were growing up? do you feel like clothes could help you "get in" with the cool crowd sometimes?


  1. Amy @Write this DownJanuary 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    The cool brands when I was in junior high were Keds shoes, Guess everything, Mauricio jeans?. I was poor growing up. I had none of these items. I have always been on the chubby side and avoided shopping at the mall. This last year I was walking through the mall and decided to go into every store that I was previously intimidated by and look around. I tried on clothes and I felt like overcame a lot of fear and self doubt. I bought nothing, but I just needed to know that I could buy something there, if I wanted.

  2. I think you should do whatever is going to make you truly feel good about yourself. Is your self worth completely tied to fitting into a certain pair of jeans? And remember, those jeans aren't just made for "skinny" girls, they are made for GIRLS, not WOMEN. Women {even "skinny" women} have curves that girls do not have. My daughter is 14 and wears Abercrombie jeans. Even at my thinnest, there is no way I could ever get into them. I have hips and I always have. I've learned to accept it.

    When I was in high school the popular brands were Z Cavaricci, Used and IOU {by saying this I've just told you that I am OLD}. My parents didn't have a lot of money but my mom always tried to make sure I had at least a few pieces of clothing that were "cool."

  3. these were all the cool clothes when I was growing up too. My family didn't have a lot of extra money so I rarely had any brand clothes, but I did have the Adidas track ("swishy") pants and a matching jacket/shoes. So silly. I also worked at Abercrombie for a summer when I was 17 and it was miserable!

    Go to Norsdtrom and try on a whole bunch of nice name brand designer jeans that you have no intention of buying. You look fabulous and I guarantee you'll feel much better leaving Nordstrom than sneaking out of Abercrombie hoping no one you know sees you!

  4. Those brand bring back memories! I had a pair of Mudd jeans that we wayyyy to tight, so I looked at them every day and wished I had a "perfect" body. Sooooo happy not to be 14 anymore. Whew.

  5. I guess it depends on your heart behind it. Is it just to prove that you can wear them? Or, is it because you would buy them if they looked good? Etc. :) I hear ya on the cool crowd. I grew up as a pastor's daughter so it was always hard to fit in...

  6. I had a semi-similar experience- I had saved jeans from years ago- maybe they were highschool jeans or maybe early college? But anyway, I've had them for like 8 years, just waiting to fit back into them lol. I finally fit into them this year, and I was elated, only to realized that a) my personal style has totally changed and b) fashionable jean styles have totally changed as well lol. Just made me remember that loosing weight is an experience of growth- I can move forward, don't have to look back!

  7. Those are good points. I guess I really need to re-evalutate where my heart lies in this one. I am trying to save money, so realistically, buying any jeans is out of the question! LOL

    The one thing I think about it terms of "fitting in" in high school, is that a lot of those kids hit their "peak" at that time. I think for us, we are lucky to hit our peak later in life, when we have much more time to appreciate it, grow and enjoy life... if that makes sense. :)

  8. So happy not to be 14 anymore is right! Holy cow. I remember those jeans being super tight too - everything seemed to be at that time, and not just because I was chubby, but because that's how all of the clothes were made!

  9. YES! ADIDAS track pants! How could I forget about those? With the 3 stripes down the leg? Those were so cool (especially when all the boy bands started wearing them).

    I LOVE your idea about going to Nordstorm. High end jeans for women, versus girls! Fabulous suggestion.

    I'm sorry your summer working at Abercrombie was so miserable. It's a good thing we get to move on from all those experiences. :)

  10. I love what you said, "women" versus "girls". I've always been curvy - and it doesn't say anything bad about it. It says I'm a woman! Something to be proud of! Thank you for keeping my perspectives in check :)

    I was the same - didn't have a ton of money, but did have one or two pieces that were "in". When I finally started making money working in high school, I made a lot of trips to the mall to try and keep that pile growing :)

  11. Overcoming self-doubt is what I think I need most. I need to feel confident in myself! So maybe going around trying things on (without intentions to buy) will be okay for me, as long as I tell myself this isn't about being "cool" or accepted, it's about helping myself to get to a more confident me!


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