My favorite store between the ages of nine and 15 was Claire's, and the same was true for almost everyone I knew at the time. In fact, there was essentially an era of teeny bopper-dom during which everything I owned was from the store. I'm willing to be there are several things we definitely owned from Claire's that are universal amongst Millennials. And TBH, most of us probably wish we still had them. The year my mom let me spend $50 in Claire's for my Christmas present led to a pink furry garbage bin and a frankly ridiculous amount of Lip Smacker flavors — both things that I wish I hadn't thrown out when I hit 16 and decided I was too "mature" for Claire's.
Flash forward to my 20s, and my nostalgia-filled life combined with a renaissance for my adoration of all things pink and fluffy make me wish I still got an allowance. Or that I could afford to restock my childhood Claire's collection while still paying my rent.
While I await that possibility, you can find me longingly and lovingly perusing the Claire's website or gazing in its window at my local mall, taking voyeuristic delight in the BFF bracelets and impractical backpacks that new generations get to spend their pocket money on. They have it so lucky and they don't even know it. Here are 15 things you probably owned from Claire's back in your day, and not-so-secretly wish you still did.
1. Hair Mascara
Glitter Hair Chalk Tin, $19.50, claires.com
The times have changed and the names have changed, but hair mascara is still essentially the same thing: Non-permanent hair coloring that your mom still helps you apply when the occasion calls for it.
2. A Tiara
Pink Crystal Gem Butterfly Silver Tiara, $5, claires.com
I'm not going to lie: I still have a plastic Claire's crown and you can pry it out of my cold, dead hands before I ever throw it away.
3. BFF Necklaces
Best Friends Pink Half Heart Pendant Necklaces, $5, claires.com
Because how else could someone know you and your best friend were true BFFs without heart-shaped necklaces that fit together? This was a moniker of serious pre-teen friendship if ever there was one.
4. Shag Bands
Looking back on it, shag bands (or "sexy bracelets," whatever your classmates called them) were pretty inappropriate for 14-year-old me to be wearing.
5. Animal Key Rings
Best Friends Fuzzy Elephants Key Chain Set, $6.50, claires.com
Up until like, last year, my keys were adorned with numerous faded versions of the above key ring.
6. Fingerless Gloves
Fingerless Lace Gloves, $7.50, claires.com
There was definite competition in my middle school over who had the best pair of these.
7. Butterfly Clips
Kids Glitter Rainbow Ombre Butterfly Claw Hair Clips Set of 8, $5.50, claires.com
There's nothing more '90s than butterfly clips, am I right?
8. Glitter Hairspray
Purple Glitter Hairspray, $3, claires.com
This is my number one favorite hair product, regardless of my age.
9. Fishnet Gloves
Flash Fishnet Gloves, $6.50, claires.com
These were for pretending you were involved in the '90s rave scene at age 12, because why not?
10. Ear Piercing
Kids My First Earrings Pink Heart Stud Earrings, $5, claires.com
I'm honestly shocked whenever I hear that someone didn't get their ears pierced for the first time at Claire's. Some stores even offered cute teddy bears for you to hold onto while getting it done!
11. Lip Smackers
A&W Root Beer, $2.50, lipsmacker.com
A kid in my class always used to steal these out of my desk and eat them. I'm not saying those weren't strange times.
12. Ear Muffs
Plush Panda Click And Heat Ear Muffs, $4, claires.com
I have never understood how ear muffs could ever be comfortable to wear. But that doesn't stop them from being the cutest.
St. Patrick's Day Sequin Green Tie, $7.50, claires.com
Back then, they were worn over your T-shirt in a punk rock Avril Lavigne kind of way.
14. Fairy Wings
Kids Glitter Fairy Wings, $9.50, claires.com
Fairy wings are a staple in anyone's wardrobe, whether you're a kid or not.
15. Striped Knee-High Socks
Black and White Chevron Stripe Knee Socks, $9.50, claires.com
I used to mismatch my pairs for an even more intense emo look.
If I could write a love letter to Claire's, I would. Thank you for providing me with all the accessories I definitely didn't need, but wanted anyway.
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