Since we’re officially closer to a midlife crisis than we are teen angst, we get asked about “kids these days” quite a bit. I recently told a girlfriend that crew neck sweatshirts are now called “noodies,” and she stared at me in shock and disdain.
And I don’t blame her. It can be confusing keeping up with the kiddos; they do things we never did [like wear ear buds around their necks at all times] and things we did when we were twelve [like wear scrunchies around their wrists]. It feels familiar, but none of it makes sense.
Well Erinn and I got the chance to dress like teenagers for the Teacher/Student Swap day for Homecoming spirit week. What we thought would be some fun, subtle mockery of their bizarre choices [why socks with slip on sandals?] ended up being a lesson for us both.
What Erinn learned:
- All things come back around. As MB said, piling on scrunches made me strangely nostalgic for the days when I would match my hair accessories to my outfit, but it also reminded me of something that I have truly known for quite some time–all fashion comes back around! I’ve heard my mom lament the fact that she didn’t keep her hippie clothes of the 70s to pass down to her daughter, and now I truly understand this regret! And the strange thing is, it’s the trends that are so out there and bizarre that somehow seem to be given new life a decade later. So, note to self (and to my husband), don’t throw anything away! Ha!
- It may be time for me to “dress my age”/I’m old: I really don’t like admitting this one, but after my students commented that I was just dressed like any other day, when I was CLEARLY trying to mock their style, I had to face it head on. There is a small chance that I may need to dress more “adult”. I don’t even like saying this one out loud, because I am a strong believer that good fashion isn’t tied to any age group, but I do have to say, it made me feel old. And the last thing I want is to be the “old” lady trying to dress too young.
What MB learned:
3. We need to start prioritizing function over form. I used to make fun of the girls for wearing leggings like regular pants with short tops, but these gals are onto something. Wearing leggings to work is SO COMFORTABLE. It felt like Saturday was wrapped around my legs all day. And a full day running around in athletic shoes was an orthopedic dream with no squished toes or aching arches in sight.
4. It’s time to jump on the body positivity train. My favorite thing about teenage girls today is that they give zero f***s about their size. These girls aren’t tugging layering tanks over their muffin tops like I was doing at 16. No skinny jean or crop top is off limits, and they proudly sashay down the hall like they’re strutting on a catwalk. When I bought these pieces, I did not remotely entertain the idea of wearing them together; I would NEVER wear a top this short with leggings that highlighted so much of my hips. But you know what? It was super freeing. I was so comfortable, I kind of didn’t care how hippy I looked.
So what are the kids wearing these days, you ask?
- Athletic shoes. So many athletic shoes.
- Slide-on sandals with socks, often mismatched.
- Tie Dye.
- Scrunchies. On the wrist, like we used to.
- Friends gear. This is the weirdest one for me. They’re binging it on Netflix and acting like Ross and Rachel just took a break in 2018.
- Leggings with sweatshirts, tshirts, and crop tops.