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©August 2000

Carol Jane Remsburg



Fashion Sense




Last year it was a total "Retro" look, and while this year has some leftover in the tie-dye division, everything else has given over to "Cargo."  This is the first year that my daughter has paid any homage to fashion or had any sense of it.  Oh, the memories . . .


I remember when Erin was five and there was a foot of snow on the ground and she couldn't understand why she couldn't wear shorts and a T-shirt to her Day School—sans a coat.  That morning I was simply too exasperated to argue the point because we were late, I sent her outside to get in the car to read her reaction.  This wasn't a good thing.  It took her almost fifteen minutes to get cold and decide to change her clothes.  I was late to work that day.  It was also the last day I ever allowed her to attempt her a seasonal fashion inversion.  I know mothers that have taken their kids dressed in their PJ's to Day School, but I'm not one of them.  I have a need to keep those tears, hers and mine, at home.


Just last year we had the "hip-hugger bell bottom jeans" come back.  Oh how I recall those days.  Back then they knew how to make real bells on the bottom of those jeans.  They were so exaggerated that no one could see your feet for them.  They were great. 


When I thought back about it, there were many differing styles that I grew up with and into.  My all-time favorite was the poet shirt.  They had a simple button-down front, enormous lapels, but the best part were the sleeves, billowy and enormous with long tight ends with 4-6 buttons.  I'd wear them today if they still made them.  I felt so feminine and beautiful wearing them.  I only had two, one in pink (ugh) and another in pale lavender.  I wore them until they wore out.


Yet back to my child.  From the beginning, my little one has adored accessories in one form or another.  For three years running, it had to be a hat, dainty dresses with frills and gloves too.  These were with the dresses she couldn't do without.  Erin distained jumpers, she wanted dresses with matching caps and if I had seven different pairs of tights and gloves, then that was what she wore.  She suffered nothing less.


Times have changed and Erin grew.  Today it's Cargo Pants, zippered vests, and Pokemon.  Gone are the days of the gloves, frilly dresses, and the hats.  About the only hats these days are baseball caps turned backwards in simulation of her favorite Pokemon trainer—Ash.  Right now, Erin's a "Tom-Boy" and everyone must see her as such or she becomes distraught about the whole affair.


Fashion moves and shakes, but back-to-school we go.  It will be "Cargo Pants" with the required vests, the latest $130 Nikes, and her shorn locks.  The last is the worse.  With her thick auburn tresses nearly to her waist, they will go next week.  This has been her decision.  About the only upside to it all is that she will donate that lovely hair for wigs to the kids without any hair at all.  She's glad about that now, yet in two weeks she'll be mad all over again.  Erin is just lucky that her hair grows.


The winds of fashion shift and change as do the minds of our young.  I just wouldn't wish to be back in that vortex.  Who knows, this time next year it could be Chantilly Lace, long hems, and heels.  I wouldn't dream of guessing.  Meanwhile, the fashion of the moment is costing me the earth and I can only hope it doesn't change before Halloween.  Good luck to all and I'll keep my fingers crossed.  Fashion sense has never made any sense at all.


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