I used to hate when my mom would show me a bag of clothes that someone passed down to her for me to wear. I felt as if I was forced a certain style that was not my own, leaving me little self-expression. Most of the clothes we received were not even the right size. I was also very tall for my age and extremely skinny, so things were baggy or short on me. It was sometimes embarrassing. Most of what we got was ripped or stained. I am sure my brothers went through similar situations with their clothing bin bags too.
When I was 8-11 years old, I’d spend about a week each summer at my aunt and uncle’s house down the NJ shore. It was always nice because I was given more freedom than I ever experienced, was allowed to go by myself to the Wawa right by their house to buy Laffy Taffy that caused me to lose my last 3 loose teeth one summer, they’d take me to the Boardwalk to go on the Log Flume ride, or go swimming at the beach. Being there was just one of those escape havens I needed that didn’t seem to ever last long enough.
During the first summer I spent there, my aunt asked me if I wanted to do a little back-to-school shopping. I told her I had never gone school shopping before. I had no idea what this event entailed and I was elated to find out!
When I was nearly nine years old in late August of 1992, the fashion included very large t-shirts, neon colors, straight legged thick material jeans that were semi-tight, stir-up pants, and flannel shirts. I always loved looking through books with 60s & 70s fashions, so none of the popular clothing in the store looked nice to me. After a while I spotted the pieces of the outfit you see on the left that looked so pretty! Check out all of my rings because Ringo was/is my favorite Beatle! No one in my school owned a pair of clogs either.
My aunt not only bought me that outfit, but also a long flowy gypsy skirt, a dark green belled sleeved blouse (worn in my 4th grade school picture the following school year), a few tops, and a pair of plaid pants that looked like they came out of a Sandra Dee movie.
I wore these outfits every week for two years. I wore hand-me-downs the other days.
My outfits received much ridicule, but my heart still holds on to the memories of how much I enjoyed wearing them and how well worn those clothes became. I was and am happy with what I wore.
I was 10 when my mom got a full time job and I was able to pick out my clothes every time after that.
I recently told my aunt about how blessed I felt by my her generosity, which made her very glad that she did it.
My days of fashion blogging were attributed to that moment in history, though to wear the same outfits constantly goes in line with my minimalism.