By: Adam Farwell.
Families have had to make a lot of changes in this sluggish economy, but there are two things that remain universal constants—kids are picky and new clothes are expensive. When approached incorrectly, hand-me-downs evoke feelings of dread and visions of future embarrassment for tweens and teenagers. Fortunately, times have never been better for hand-me-downs. If you play your cards right your daughter might just welcome some of your old clothing with open arms.
Though it might horrify some of us, the 90s are back in style in a big way. You lived through the 90s and chances are good that you have some war trophies to prove it. It’s easy to see where this is going, but first let’s ask: why the 90s? For tweens and teenagers, the appeal comes from experiencing something they never lived through. Titanic 3D and American Reunion just left theaters, popular boy bands from a bygone era are enjoying immensely successful concert tours and there’s a Spice Girls musical in the works. Simply put, the people who grew up in the 90s are now a huge influence on popular culture.
Why is the fashion so appealing to young girls, though? It’s likely because it allows a girl to create her own style (within certain guidelines) that firmly says “I can’t be bothered.” It’s the aura of effortlessness that carries some of these aspects of 90s fashion forward into 2012, but be aware that not all of your old clothes are going to make the cut.
Think about what you have: both moms and dads should look in their closets. Dads might have some old flannel shirts and band t-shirts that they’re a little too mature to wear at this point, but that doesn’t mean they have to go to waste. Band t-shirts in particular (Nirvana, Blur, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement, Sonic Youth, etc—the more obscure the better) can be used in a multitude of ways by an enterprising girl. Sever your sentimental attachments and pass it on because you can’t put a price on something that your daughter will happily wear. Old, authentic flannels are also something no creative girl will turn down.
Moms might have floral dresses, big boots and denim jackets to pass on. Big boots in particular are popular right now, and you also might find an outlet for old shorts and hats that you’d never think of wearing again. Those childlike maxi dresses are more adaptable than you might think. In addition, consider letting go of some of that jewelry you’ve held onto since that particular decade. Earrings, rings and necklaces in particular will be appreciated.
The Hard Part
Your daughter isn’t going to want all of your old clothes. Instead, she is going to want to mix and match certain items with modern clothing to create that unique 1990s comeback look. As stated previously, kids are picky—you’re going to have to let her sort through some choice items and approve each one individually. If your daughter is the type that is embarrassed by absolutely everything you own, see if you can trade old clothes with some of your friends who have daughters. They also might be more open to clothing from aunts and uncles. Don’t force any of this on your daughter, just give her some options and let the wheels in her head start turning. Above all else, don’t tell your daughter what to do with these clothes—she’ll make her own look from whatever you give her. You’re giving her the tools to create something that she’s excited about, which is the best any parent can do when it comes to providing clothes for a persnickety daughter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adam Farwell is an online publisher for the custom T-shirts creator bluecotton.com. He enjoys blogging about design, marketing, fashion and creative projects.
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