There's a very '90s outfit which my mom made me wear. It that was so epic (and slightly troubling) that I haven't forgotten it since, despite the fact that I sported it over 20 years ago. Allow me to paint a picture: A baby pink matching top and bottom (the bottoms were stirrup pants), a pair of sandals that looked like a set of turds, and a massive side ponytail accented by a shoelace barrette. At the time, I had no idea how ridiculous I looked. In my mom's eyes, I was adorable.
That's the thing about how our moms dressed us in the '90s: They may have put things on your body that are enough to make 2016 you scoff and recoil in horror, but they probably did it with the best intentions. To your mom, you were the cutest thing to ever hit recess. Plus, it's important to remember that back then, mamas simply didn't have a lot to work with. They dressed us in clunky shoes and bad denim because those were the things available.
That being said, you'll very likely be glad that mom dressing you is a thing of the past after remembering all the things you were forced to wear in the '90s. Try not to judge her too harshly, though. One day, you might just be the mom doing the dressing.
1. A Denim Jacket She Got On Sale
It never fit quite right, and it wasn't exactly the denim of your dreams. But mom got it for a great price at a thrift store, garage sale, or at the big sale at JCPenney's, and damn it, you were going to wear it.
2. Shoelace Barettes
Vintage Neon Shoelace Barrette, $8.50, Etsy
Because mom thought they looked adorable in your hair, and the novelty of wearing a shoe accessory on your head simply swept her away.
3. Stirrup Pants
I'm not sure why moms thought that our pant legs wouldn't stay down, but to make sure they did, we were outfitted with an arsenal of stirrup pants.
OK, mom, these are pretty cute. But why did you have to get so mad when we got them dirty?
5. An Unfortunate Jean
Because in the '90s, the unfortunate jean was the only jean that mom knew. We can't blame her, but I'm personally glad I can pick out my own denim now.
6. A Floral Dress
Vintage Floral Maxi Dress, $29, Etsy
A dress like this and a pair of Mary Janes or Keds was likely mom's favorite outfit to send you to school in — and she probably had a couple of these dresses for herself, too.
7. Side Ponytails
Something about affixing your ponytail to the crown of your head was just too basic for mom. Instead, she always pulled your pony to the side before sending you on your way.
8. Leggings Under Denim Shorts
To keep those legs covered and insulated in chilly elementary school classrooms, mom very likely insisted on layers like this. Unfortunately, she even felt that way in the summer.
9. A Stiff Holiday Dress
Vintage Lace Dress, $30, Etsy
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other holiday situation wouldn't be quite right unless mom forced you to wear a scratchy dress in seasonal colors. Bonus points if yours had a frilly collar to boot.
10. Matching Tops And Bottoms
Aztec Print Twin Set, $46, Etsy
It's funny how good moms seem to be at predicting Brooklyn hipster fashion. You might wear this set today with Birkenstocks and loose waves. But in the '90s, mom had you rocking this top-and-culotte look for picture day.
11. Sandals Like These
Vintage Style Doc Martin Gladiator Platform Sandal, $90, Etsy
There's not much to say about these bad boys, other than posing the crucial question: Why, mom, why?
Their intentions were good, but their style choices sometimes weren't. At least we can appreciate our moms for making us look '90s-fabulous — even if we're glad that we buy our own clothes now.
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