Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is likely the only back-to-school fashion article you're going to read with unicorn sweaters in it.

It’s back-to-school time for the kiddos of the world. I know this because it is ALL YOU HEAR ABOUT EVERYWHERE EVER. The women in my office were discussing it this morning over their coffee. “When do YOUR kids go back to school?” “Oh, MY kids go back to school TODAY.” “Oh, MINE don’t go back until TOMORROW.”

This is all very interesting OMG I can’t even breathe with the overwhelming excitement please someone get me one of those paper bags so I can hyperventilate into it.

Fine, fine, the kids of America need to go to school, if only to learn the difference between “their” and “they’re” and that “alot” isn’t really a word and that Europe is a continent, not a country.

But you know what the back-to-schoolers need? Fashion tips. Because it is a scary world out there! A world full of options! What is in? What is out? HOW CAN I BE COOL?

Well, I am nothing if not helpful. And I enlisted AN ACTUAL TEENAGER to help me with fashion tips for the back-to-schoolers. You are welcome. Please mention me in your valedictory speech.

According to R., our helpful teen and a very stylish young lady, the place to shop is Delia’s. This is a store I have never heard of, because I am old and I’m pretty sure it's the kind of place I would speed past when I go to the mall because it would frighten me. So I went to the Delia’s website to check out what fashions to endorse for the upcoming school year.

First, I am confused by the layout of the name of the store on the website. It is set up thusly: dELiA*s. AND IT IS IN MY SPELLCHECK LIKE THIS. That means Microsoft Word knows about this travesty of spelling. Is it code? I tried to decipher the code. ELA. dis? It is apparently a code that only teens can understand. DENIED!

R. – who was sporting a Flashdance-style off-the-shoulder shirt/tank top combo (but when I mentioned that they were popular when I was a teen as well, and how fashion is cyclical, said, “This is INSPIRED by the SEVENTIES” and when I said “Flashdance wasn’t in the 70’s – how old do you think I AM, anyway?” looked at me like I had two heads and each was spouting nonsense syllables) informed me of the following:
  • Skinny jeans and jeggings are the “in” thing this season.
  • Kids like “fun” t-shirts. But only if the “fun” is in air-quotes.
  • Fourteen-year-olds are too old to wear unicorn sweaters unless they’re wearing them ironically.
These are important tips. You can pass them along to your children, if you’d like. Or use them yourself, if you want to act younger than you are. But that’s kind of pathetic and you’re better than that, don’t you think?

So anyway. dELiA*s. Skinny jeans and jeggings (or, as my guide informed me, “Jeggings? You DO know what jeggings are, right?” *eyeroll*) look UNCOMFORTABLE. My stars. Example:
I picked these because wow, what a color! Like Big Bird!

THESE ARE TOO TIGHT. Look at the wrinkles of tightness! These would only look good on someone with NO BODY FAT AT ALL. Otherwise, you’d look like a sausage stuffed into these things.

When I was in school, the in thing was stirrup pants. They were AWESOME. Here, check this out. These are MUCH BETTER AND MORE FLATTERING THAN JEGGINGS.

See? They were awesome for many reasons. One of which being they never rode up. Because of the stirrup. Multitasky! No, I don't KNOW why this photo is so fuzzy. It looks like a Barbara Walters interview subject. Probably because it's vintage and doesn't want you to know its real age.

Also, we liked tights with no feet in them but with a wide band of lace around the ankle. Then you would peg your jean cuffs and wear your feetless tights so that when you sat down, the lace peeked out. IT WAS JUST ABOUT THE SEXIEST. I would show you a picture but the only one I could find online was from some website that I’m pretty sure was a weird fetish website because IT WAS JUST THAT TITILLATING. BAM! We were the sexiest, yo.

Well, if you can’t dress in super-sexy stirrups or feetless fancy lacy tights I suppose you need to turn to anorexia and get yourself some jeggings because they are the in thing this season. If you don’t get them, you will not have any friends and also someone might throw tater tots at you in the lunchroom and wasting tater tots is a capital offense. Also you will never get a boyfriend if you don’t have tight pants. Sorry. SORRY! JEGGINGS. R. says you cannot call them tight pants. That makes you sound like an old person.

Next, let’s talk shirts. R. likes shirts with sayings on them but not stupid sayings. Well, I approve of that. dELiA*s apparently caters to all kinds of teens. Here are some examples:
This is from the television program Pretty Little Liars. Ezra is a teacher. There are a LOT of these shirts in different styles.  If I was in high school, I would get one of these, and if anyone asked, tell them it was referring to Ezra Pound? Because that would be AWESOME. Then they would throw tater tots at me. Also, I don’t know if dELiA*s should really be endorsing the underage teacher-student illegal relationship on its tees?
This is called, according to the website, the “Shinging Star Tee.” Well! That is a good name and not at all misspelled! We all like to shing. Shing on, you crazy diamond! Also, WHERE IS THE REST OF IT. Crop tops? These are still in style? Really? Well, I suppose if you have no body fat because you took my advice about the eating disorder in order to fit into your canary-yellow jeggings you’ll look just delectable in this top. You’ll totally shing like the sun.
OMG ZOMBIES TOTALLY TOOK BITES OUT OF THE SHOULDERS OF THIS SHIRT. “Live Free!” Well, until the zombies get you. Up until then, live free, though. Have a good time!
This one is wrong on a lot of levels.
  • Not enough sleeves!
  • Not long enough!
  • But what. BUT WHAT? Very vague, shirt. Is it an abstinence shirt? Like, “I love you, but don’t touch me there, please, because I don’t want to be on that MTV Teen Moms show?” Or, I love you, but not LOVE love you, and I was only experimenting, Jennie, I’m not really a lesbian, I’m sorry you got my name tattooed on your lower back? Or I love you, but I’m going to give you some constructive criticism right now like “when you talk it sounds like you’re gargling with razor blades please stop that?” SO MANY POSSIBILITIES.
dELiA*s also had a thing for any pun on the word "moustache." Apparently, one of the marketing people got really high and realized that "moustache" sounds kind of like "must ask." So there are a lot of things like this happening:
Ha! Whoa. What WITTY WORDPLAY. I am BLOWN AWAY by this.

And now, what NOT to wear, per R.


Unless you wear these ironically, these are NOT OK.  (And I don’t know how anyone could wear these ironically. Maybe draw wee horn-rimmed glasses on the unicorns?)

And there you go! This has been very helpful on many levels. I can’t even imagine all the things you’ve learned, probably there are SO MANY THINGS, but I’ve learned that going into dELiA*s would most likely cause me to run around tugging down the hemlines of all the t-shirts because I’m pretty sure all the girls would have chilly tummies. Also, that I miss the super-sexiness of high school. You don’t even know sexy until you’ve got your footless tights, pegged acid-washed jeans, baggy sweater, gigantic plastic earrings, and hair to the sky courtesy of Aqua Net and a ratting comb. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I MY FRIENDS AND I WERE NOT MORE IN DEMAND.

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