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Grow up

You see them everywhere, and on almost everyone, trendy clothes. The fads that drive teens to spend every babysitting buck they have. You know the ones, the Uggs, Juicy Couture, Sperry’s, Hollister, Abercrombie and the list goes on and on. It’s normal. It’s actually a rite of passage. A way for teens to grow up, grow independent, and yet at the same time grow together.

However, let’s get real here people. When is it time to stop wearing Uggs or Abercrombie T-shirts with the labels plastered across the chests. Let’s ask ourselves, How old is too old to sport the teen trends? Yes, I’m talking to you, the old ladies. The older crowd or in other words anyone over 30. For example, the moms who strut around in hot pink Uggs and Juicy Couture sweat suits. Remember, you’re not 13 anymore.

Now I understand they are comfy and warm but Uggs are shoes for teens, literally! How many people over thirty actually surf or swim in cold oceans anyway. Another popular trend, Abercrombie for instance, is predominantly for winter sports and winter weather climates. I’ve been at Abercrombie and seen a 40 something woman trying on a skirt and I’m legit sure she wasn’t just checking the size for her daughter. At the same store, I actually witnessed a mother and daughter wearing the same outfit consisting of matching pale pink sweaters with the same hot pink moose emblazoned on the upper left collar, matching jeggings, Uggs and North face jackets. Really, are you her mother or her best friend?
Fads keep the economy going so companies might not have a problem with “Old People” buying their stuff, but I know most teens do. Juicy Couture, which sells at Saks Fifth Avenue, is kind of expensive so when I see a grandmother wearing a hoodie makes me think, oh gosh someone call the fashion police, or the nursing home.
Like most teenagers in Carmel, I own a pair or two or seven pairs of Uggs. So imagine my surprise when I go to visit my aunt who is like 50, ok more like 38 but still. Now, imagine my surprise when I looked down and she was wearing the exact same pair as I. It was just plain embarrassing. Of course, My Aunt would debate the issue. She would say things like, “My Uggs make me feel young and hip”, or “ I remember when Moon boots were all the rage”, and something about how everyone grows up at some point, so why limit yourself”. Well, that’s all good, I guess. However, If I don’t drive your car, Please, older people, please don’t wear my clothes.
Of course, there are some instances when it is acceptable for trends to belong to older demographics, such as Coach or North face. This can go both ways. Coach has a brand designed especially for teens called Poppy. They also have a line designed for older woman and for the “Office”. Some people need to understand the difference. North face makes it easy to follow the fashion rules. They advertise the different sections, clearly labeling them; Children’s, Adults, Men’s Women’s, and Teens. North face caters to all ages, allowing young adults and teens to sport one look and older adults to have a line of their own.
Another clear message most teen trend clothing stores provide is done so through their use of advertising posters. Stores like Abercrombie, Hollister and Delia’s have teenagers modeling their clothes or the image they want to portray. I don’t know about you, but to me, that kind of advertising makes me think that these clothes are for teenagers. Adults have stores that display adults in the advertisements as well, such as, Eddie Bauer and Cold Water Creek. I guarantee that a picture of a teenager will not be found in these stores.
I know that it’s just human nature to want to stay young forever. I love the song Forever Young by Jay Z, but does that mean we should arrest our development? There comes a time when we need to sit back and remember how it felt to be a teen, it’s wasn’t always easy dealing with the stress of becoming an adult, it’s confusing to become your own person. Clothing trends are probably one of the best examples of the need to fit into a social group. We see our friends with a new cell phone, new Aeropostle flip-flops, or a new pair of Wayfarers, and immediately we want to connect with them and the only way we know how to do this indirectly as teens is to copy their choice of clothing. Like they say, “Imitation is the best form of flattery”.
In the end, we are trying to grow independent in our ideas and beliefs, separating ourselves from our parents and other adults. Basically, just trying to grow up. So consider the confusion that teens face when now we’ve got adults trying to relive their teen years. However, I am only 14. That said, when I’m 30, I might just change my mind.



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