The American Apparel Scrunchie: Did someone say 1993? Or, more accurately, did mom just say “Kaitlyn/Megan/Brianna/[insert classic ’90s name here], take that scrunchie out of your hair, you look like one of those girls from Salt’n’Pepa!”
The Babydoll Dress: This one comes in many incarnations, but almost inevitably features a bow, pleats, frills, or a pattern designed for Laura Ingalls Wilder. The proof that it is definitely not adult apparel comes from the fact that, if, as most adult women are, you’re blessed with boobs, you will have trouble squeezing into the flat-paneled babydoll. Also, maybe the name is a clue to its intended market?
Jelly Shoes: Previously the preserve of your family’s beach holiday, Jelly Shoes were the perfect summer kicks. If you were six years old. Given that this version comes with a heel, we suggest that you don’t accessorize with a popsicle, poison ivy from camp, and gappy teeth.
So what makes us, as adults, want to return to the styles of our youth? As we’ve mentioned before, children who want to look more adult in make-up and heels may feel creepy, but it’s long been attributed to a media culture focused on sexuality and claims that children want to grow up quickly, and are being encouraged to do so. But where do our adult desires to look like children come from? Is this a Freudian wish to return to the security of childhood?
Or are we overanalyzing? Could it simply be that oversize neon hairbands, smocked-top clothing, and rubberized sparkly shoes are due a comeback?