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Classic Signal: Clothing trends face quick changes

By Liya Davidov
Features Editor

As we begin a new semester in a new decade, it’s about time we reflect on the good, the bad and the trendy. When looking back on cultural changes throughout the years, focusing on the evolution of fashion is inevitable. Are ladies wearing too high of heels? Are they cropping any new clothing? Are guys leaning toward dressier or more casual attire? In a fast-moving fashion world, today’s biggest trends will be out of style before we know it. 

In an April 1999 issue of The Signal, a reporter reflected on how quickly fashion trends can evolve. 

See if you can remember what you wore in middle school. That’s right, it’s coming back to you now, isn’t it? Look­ing back, Skidz pants were incredibly ridiculous — in fact, they were always ridiculous. There’s a reason why you never saw James Dean in a pair of baggy plaid pants.

Yet, when our parents told us that Skidz were silly, we sneered and told them that they were out of touch. We completely ignored their experience on the matter and because of this attitude, we were doomed to repeat their mistakes.

I defy anyone to page through his middle school yearbook without wincing at how painfully “cool” they once were.

I won’t even go into some of the stuff we wore when we were even younger. No one should be held ac­countable for that G.I. Joe t-shirt that he wore every day in third grade.

The worst part of our middle school miscalculations, however, is that I guar­antee that we’ll make the same mistake all over again — it’s a trap that a per­son never grows out of.

Although we realize that we looked pretty silly back then, it never occurred to us that what we’re wearing now could easily make us look just as fool­ish by the time a decade has passed.

Instead, we honestly believe that this time, our attire really is cool — and timelessly cool, at that.

Leg-warmers seem ridiculous 15 years after the fact, but, if you think about it, why aren’t track pants just as goofy? Parachute pants are a huge joke now, right? How do cargo pants make any more sense? Kind of so­bering, isn’t it?

So, after chuckling at that photo of you in a giant Starter jacket and pair of Skidz, secure in the knowledge that you’re looking good, you get dressed for the day, throwing on a baggy pair of “carpenter’s” jeans (after all, you’ve got to have a place for your hammer) and that awesome fleece. How could either of these garments ever appear lu­dicrous in hindsight?

This short-sightedness, however, is nothing compared to our hypocrisy. At the same time that girls laugh and point at the bell-bottoms their mothers wore, they’re buying “boot cut” jeans, which are the exact same thing.

While we chuckle at the platform shoes of the’70s,take a look at the giant lifts on most shoes today, both male and female. Butterfly collars were pretty awful — yet here they are again.

It’s not enough that we’re not learning from our parents, we’re actually do­ing the exact same stupid things they did.

All we can hope for is that eventually, all the things we’re currently wearing will make a comeback by the time our kids are our age. At least that way, we can salvage a little dignity and maybe even trick them into thinking that we’re still cool.


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