Some moments really should remain in the past, they should be locked away and forgotten about forever. However, this rarely happens, especially when one hopes for these moments to remain in 2001, in a box, in a cubbard hidden forever.
But no, whilst enjoying an evening at a friends house, having a lovely time, drinking some wine. Said friend declares during her recent move that she found something, when asked if it was funny she replied, 'it depends'... alarm bells rang. Back she came with a grin on her face and three passport sized photos in her hand. Three passport photos that should have remained lost in boxes, three photos that we all decided as 12 year olds should be shared. I was confronted with my year 7 school photo, to say that I was an awkward looking pre-pubescent is a gross understatement. And why we decided to share them is beyond me, why my friends also failed to mention to me that I looked ghastly with my glasses on is also questionable.
A chubby, awkward looking 12 yr old, with slicked back hair and wire rimmed glasses, in a shirt and tie looked back at me with an uncomfortable grin, not the best combination. A photo which now lives on the fridge in said friends kitchen for everyone else to enjoy. It made me think, about all the cringe worthy fashion moments of my teenage years. Trust me there are many, and it hurts me to think about all of the following, some more than others...
Year 7 was full of awkward moments, the school photo mentioned above, silky satin boxer shorts under my summer uniform. Why any of us thought that was a good idea is beyond me. It also appeared to be the fashion of having a little of the hem showing out the bottom of our dresses. Was it to prevent the boys from seeing our knickers? In my case the last thing I needed to worry about as a 12 year old was boys wanting to look up my dress.
Year 8 was not much better, I ditched the satin boxer shorts, lost a little puppy fat but the fashion faux pas continued. My favourite outfit of choice was a pink camo knee length denim skirt, worn with a pink t-shirt that had a sparkly cherry motif on the front paired with a really 'fashionable' pair of red Gallaz skate shoes (FYI: I did not skate). There was also the hot pink Billabong cords I begged mum to buy me for my 14th birthday. They were boot cut and I don't think Miranda Kerr would have looked good in them, let alone an awkward, slightly chubby 14yr old me.
Year 9, FINALLY all my puppy fat had decided to leave the building, boys began to talk to me. They didn't so much talk to me because they fancied me even if i had hoped that was the case. I do recall one boy thinking he was very clever when he decided to call me Samantha 'Saussage' because that was just sooo similar to 'Savage'. I think it is safe to say that I have come a lot further in life than you have, Rory. Year 9 was a bit less harsh on my fashion credentials as the previous years. I was stuck with braces, which were not the best look on me. Even though I had convinced myself that the boy's telling me that I 'looked good for a girl with braces' were actually telling the truth...I am not so sure now. There were quite a few trips to the local shopping center on Fridays after school, where we would promptly rush to the bathrooms, to roll our skirts up to an acceptable but cheek grazing length, unbutton our shirts and loosen out ties... oh such rebels we were. This behaviour was always followed by an announcement in the Monday morning assembly, that some Luther students has been seen at Eastland and their uniform was not at an acceptable standard.
Year 10 saw the braces leave, a week before the deb. The deb which I went to with a Ronald McDonald look alike and a GHD burn mark on the middle of my forehead. Year 10 seemed to be quite a uneventful fashion faux pa year, I think I was just leading up to the crescendo of wrong clothing decisions of the 17-19 age bracket. Although at a friends 16th birthday, I decided that I would try making my self something fancy to wear. Which turned in to an awkward camisole with rough edges and some awful pearl brooch.
Year 11, oh year 11. This year saw me with a horrid dye job that turned my hair from orange to brownish green all in the 2 days before the formal. It also saw the rise of my confidence... which lead to the rise in my hemlines... which kept on rising until the age of 19. I began pushing the boundaries of tops as dresses through the summer of year 11 to year 12.
Year 12... mmmmm tops as dresses, a lot of home made 'dresses' which I am shocked my mother allowed me to leave the house wearing. There was a vast amount of my legs going around, there was also a vast amount of my hemline missing. The creme de la creme, my Valedictory dinner dress. Now the only reason I believe that my mum allowed me to wear this dress is because it cost far too much and I brought it with out her seeing it to approve. From a store that would not offer a refund or an exchange. Somewhere in my 18 year old mind I had justified the fact that this dress was ok. It was ok that it was so short that I couldn't bend over or walk up stairs comfortably, it was ok that the neck almost came down to my belly button... all because it had sleeves. Ok, this might have been justifiable if they were long sleeves but they were a pathetic cap sleeve. Lets just say I am glad that dress is long gone.
I am also glad all the 'dresses' I made are long gone, that my braces are off, that I can recognise the difference between a dress and a top. Now I feel that I have a much better idea of what looks good on me and more importantly what does not. It's quite lucky actually that these things remain in the past, I know I judge myself harshly for the questionable things I wore, I don't need others too either. Although I am not so happy for my year 7 photo's new home on Emily's fridge, especially when told that the last person who saw that photo laughed for a good 20 minutes and could not believe that I was that awkward, badly accessorised kid. Now I will go on my merry way continuing to appreciate all the awkward, badly dressed teenage girls that cross my path, knowing that one day they will realise that denim knickers in public was never a good idea, and feel the same embarrassment I do when I think about the things I used to wear.
PS. Please note the title of this post, It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers , this book and the others in the series, which follow Georgia Nicholson and her adventures through teenage hood. These books were my bible and many of the events are not so dissimilar to my teenage years. Some more so than I wish to admit, Georgia also had many a questionable fashion moment.