I can't handle the '90s fashion

Yesterday, it finally happened. When I least expected it, it was right there in front of my face. Just casually hanging out in my Instagram feed.


I haven’t heard that word since I was a preteen, talking with my mom about what we were going to wear to an upcoming family party. And here was Lucky magazine editor Eva Chen, Instagramming about her latest fashion segment on "Good Morning America" touting the so-wide-they-kind-of-look-like-a-skirt pants that I never fathomed would come back into style.

First, I felt old. Then, I realized how my mom must have felt dealing with me during my fashion-obsessed teen years:

13-year-old me: "I have to have (trendy item of the moment)."
Mom: "We used to wear those in the '70s!"
Me: [Gigantic eye roll] "Mooooooom."

Keenly aware of the cyclical nature of fashion, my mom put forth a good faith effort to deter me from some of the least practical returning trends. There were the sky-high platforms (“We twisted so many ankles wearing those!”) and, of course, the demonic creation that is the bodysuit. (You were right, Mom. Who in their right mind actually thinks it’s comfortable to wear what’s essentially a snap-crotch leotard? Whatevs, American Apparel.)

That same everything-old-is-new-again feeling sneaks up when I see today’s teens flocking to '90s trends. There’s Tavi Gevinson wearing jelly sandals. Racks of frocks in itsy-bitsy florals, shades of Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." And Lolla-goers rocking the same Doc Martens I cut out of Sassy magazine and pasted onto collages covering my bedroom door (which, it occurs to me just now, was analog Pinterest at its best).

It also makes me second-guess clearing my closet of trendy pieces that flew high and then fizzled. I coveted the clothing my mom kept and dug out of storage when it came back in style. I happily rocked her bell-bottomed Oshkosh overalls throughout high school and, to this day, have an incredible butterscotch-colored woven leather jacket in my closet that she wore in the '70s. Maybe someday my future progeny will feel the same way. However, for the greater good of all humanity, my scrunchie collection is long gone.

Lisa Arnett is RedEye’s Eat & Drink, lifestyle and special sections editor. She really, really loves Pinterest.

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