If you had a chance to do high school over, would you? Or are you, like me, content to live out repressed high school rebellion through the current 90s revival?
The last photographic evidence of me wearing this dress was at a high school graduation party in 2001. I accessorized with a crisp tan, permed (permed! I know it was Ohio, but how was this not only acceptable, but a trend, in any high school after the 80s?!), highlighted mane and overflowing décolletage.
Perhaps it’s for the best that I went with the teen dream aesthetic though. Glammed up grunge is far more sophisticated than anything my high school self could have mustered (not to mention the fact that my parents would have had an aneurism if my hair was anything from the Manic Panic color family). My one grunge punk summer of ’97 was gracelessly executed in flannel and corduroy jackets, babydoll tees, JNCO jeans, wallet chains, platform sneakers and one particularly ill-advised camouflage dog collar.
These days at least I have the sense to stick to faux piercings and extremely temporary hair colors. Purists can judge, but I like the flexibility to change my look entirely from one day to the next. When I do get grungy, I’ve learned from experience to balance it with girly elements – like a flowered dress and lace bra. And yes, this dress is (and always was) an unflattering length and stompy boots are not the ideal footwear to correct the issue, but I’ve gained something else in years since high school – the confidence to dress however I feel. Isn’t that the ultimate fashion rebellion?
[Dress, Express circa 2001; H&M vest; Lonely Hearts bra; Aldo boots; Forever 21, Does Not Equal and AllSaints necklaces; various rings and bracelets]