Middle School Fashion: WTF Was I Thinking!?

You'll regret those fashion decisions one day, kids. Trust.

Now that we are all college students our life is full of stress – classes, jobs, and, oh yeah, that little task of figuring out what to do with the rest of our lives. I’m sure that on more than one occasion we have all stopped and wished we could go back to our carefree childhood years for at least a day:

Coming home from school to a Swiss Cake Roll waiting for you and eating it layer by layer while watching episodes of Sister Sister and The Secret World of Alex Mack. Then chatting on AIM for hours on end to all of our “homies” about the “phat!” shoes we wore that day.

Ah, that was the life.

But as wonderful as it was, there is one aspect of my childhood that I pray never comes back to haunt me: my wardrobe.

I blame my shopping addiction and poor fashion choices on my mother. From a very young age she had me convinced that a new dress was needed for every new event that popped up on the schedule. That being said, when there was a new trend on the market, I was one of the first ones to have it. Then? Cool. Now? The reason for many an embarrassing photo (which I very purposely left at home when I moved to campus). Looking back on the trends of our middle school days, I am left sitting on my floor surrounded by piles of reputation-killing photos wondering what the eff we were thinking back then…

The Scrunchy

I know every single one of you had a scrunchy. The larger than life hair-tie that could have held up a horse’s mane was definitely unnecessary for the sliver of a ponytail that covered a nine-year-old’s head. You had to have one in every color to match every outfit, and I even remember wearing them on my wrist, like they even had a chance in hell as working as a bracelet.


I’m not sure if “milkmaid” was an actual trend or style featured in fashion magazines in the early 90’s, but it was in my world. I wore overalls every other day, and when feeling particularly adventurous let one strap hang down as if “not having time to finish dressing” made me instantly cooler. And when my beloved ‘ralls developed a hole in the knee, I thought it was awesome that my mom let me pick out a patch at the fabric store and sew it overtop.

She also did this to my…

Bell Bottoms (with platforms, of course)

Yes, the jeans that I could have climbed into through one leg. But they looked great, especially when balanced out by my footwear, which always gave me a good three inches of height (and 6 inches of width). My clunky shoe of choice was a Skechers platform sneaker. I also had a pair of chunky Mary Janes, which were always worn with a…


And this is where things get a little fuzzy. Would I ever in a million years where a skort again? No chance in hell. But I can see the practicality. Young girls (and Hollywood starlets, apparently) aren’t always totally aware of leg position and skorts made it much easier to sit Indian-style during class (or a rousing game of duck, duck, goose on the playground), instead of doing the awkward connect-knees-and-fall-to-the-floor deal. But that combo was the fashion equivalent to the mullet – it just doesn’t work.


I rocked the knit poncho like it was my after-school job. Because you never know if you’re going to get caught in a blizzard and need 13 pounds of fabric draped around your body to keep from freezing to death. Not that a poncho would protect your armpits or hands if such a situation arose…between the school bus and the classroom. But the fringed edges were so cute and the poncho was so chic! Especially in pictures, where it looks like I skinned some road kill and wrapped it around my shoulders.

The Tech Vest

OMG, the Old Navy Tech Vest. After seeing the commercials for them every day after school and dreaming of when I could feel the itchy, felt around my own neck, I begged my parents to get me one. Everyone else was rocking them in gym class and I felt so left out. All those pockets. All that warmth. Sigh. When I finally got one for Christmas, I was ecstatic…and so was my little brother who got the exact same one.

Wearing the Old Navy Tech Vest? Fail.
Matching your brother (color and all) in the yearly family photo? Double fail.

I know I’m not the only one who regrets over 80% of my middle school attire.
What pieces of your childhood wardrobes have you asking yourself “WTF was I thinking?!”

God Loves a Little Forepray
God Loves a Little Forepray
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