High School, In Outfits

{{This is a re-post.}}


I can’t remember much about the person I was in high school. That teen identity sorta fused with the person I am now (frighteningly similar) and the girl-woman I perceived myself to be during that time. I’m quite sure I came across as goofy, overly earnest, and random. I do know I thought a lot about clothes, and concocted the perfect outfits to wear for each auspicious high schooly occasion: football games, late night Denny’s dinners, barn parties. The labels of my day — Esprit. Hunter’s Run. Guess — whirled about my head at night and I still recall the acrid carpety smell of the Vernon Hills Hawthorne Mall fitting rooms.


Still, I was a girl of little parental money for clothes, so I often borrowed friend’s outfits and conjured money from babysitting jobs to foot the wardrobe bill. What I couldn’t buy, I cobbled together from my parents’ closet. Oversized sweaters from my dad, inappropriately clingy silk dresses from my mom, pajamas. Thank God for uniforms. But every dress-up Friday, you’d find me in either (a) something I made with paint/bleach/stencils or (b) something horribly off in some glaringly disturbing way. Many times, I wore plastic slippers with my plaid Catholic schoolgirl skirt because I thought they looked like stylish flats, or a flannel pajama top that doubled as an oxford. And? I’m totally serious.


I loved bright colors and stripes and patterns and (did I already say bright colors?). Also, I adored juxtaposition, so I’d wear say, oversized sunglasses with a hobo ensemble because no one expects hobos to dress like Madonna from the nose up, am I right?




(These were my artfully bleached pants.) (And my straw hat.) (No relationship between the two implicit nor implied.)


And — I did mention the bright colors, right? Did I talk about the stripes too? ‘Cuz I had big love for both of those design elements.

I don’t think you believe me. So I’ll have to show you.


(Just so you know, this is hurting me way more than you):


Sushi and Stripes


(Dad’s sweater. You may recognize the bright color gene?)


Goofballs in the '80s


(Were stripes big in the ’80s? That’d make me feel marginally better.)


Eyes Wide Closed


(Eyes closed due to nuclear glow given off by shirt.)


You know what? I think I’m done here.


p.s. Just be glad I’m not posting the Moonlighting script I wrote my senior year.


6 Responses to “High School, In Outfits”

  1. Bitchin' Amy says:

    I have always had a pathological fear of bright colors…. I mean since I saw pictures of what I wore pre-9th grade. Yikes!

    And I adore you even more for posting these photos! Loved seeing the Deb of yesteryear.

  2. Casey says:

    You are a brave woman, indeed.

    Love this!

  3. Ferd says:

    You are an absolute treasure!

  4. Jason says:

    I just love pictures from the 80’s. We are all fabulously awful! So great!

  5. MomZombie says:

    In the process of cleaning my desk this weekend, I found a picture of me at 15 that a high school friend tucked into last year’s Christmas card. I was mortified upon receipt of this portrait! There are things worse than bright colors. There are those of us who only wore black and denim and sneered for their entire high school careers. BTW, you look adorable in these pictures, like someone who’d be a lot of fun.

  6. diamond dave says:

    Anyone who posts a picture of herself eating sushi can’t be all bad.

    Now I want some too.

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