Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grownup Lessons from Childhood Fashion

My favorite Disney character is Peter Pan. While my childhood chums would brush their hair trying to make it gleam like Cinderella’s, I wore my green leggings and would jump off any surface I could, think happy thoughts, and try to fly. There are certain memories from childhood that are simply too great to say goodbye to. Included in these fond memories are some of my favorite outfits and ensembles, and I’m on a quest to reclaim them. I still dream of flying – but now I do so wearing an empire-waisted dress and a pair of green tights. It’s still like Peter Pan – just grown up.

Embroidered jeans

My favorite pair of jeans as a child were flare legged and each back pocket had a large embroidered butterfly. I loved these jeans because they felt special. No one else had them. They might have had similar jeans, but these felt like they were mine and no one else’s. Childhood lesson: Find one item that makes you feel ridiculously beautiful and ridiculously special. Because, you’re both of those things!

Babydoll dress

I had a babydoll dress that I’d wear almost every day, usually with a pair of leggings and tennis shoes. I loved it because I looked like a girl, but I could run and keep up with the boys. It felt like I was free to be whatever I wanted! Childhood lesson: Who cares if your clothes fit your “image” – wear what makes you feel confident regardless of the labels.

Spandex lace shorts

My mom has a framed picture of me wearing Barbie roller skates, a Minnie Mouse shirt, and cotton spandex shorts with black lace around the hem of each leg. It was the first thing I ever wore that made me feel like a rockstar. Childhood lesson: Find an iconic accessory – a pair of shoes, necklace, pair of earrings, etc. – and declare it your rockstar item.

Long dresses

I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans to school until I was in the sixth grade. Once I graduated from college, I began pining for the dresses of my childhood because believe it or not, I could do more in dresses than I could in jeans. Childhood lesson: In my long dresses I could ride a bike, run around, crawl under things, and never get in trouble for being indecent. I was fearless! So in honor of that kid, put on a maxi dress and then go climb a tree.

While being a grownup can be great (hello happy hour!), we’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we forgot about the childhood us with the calloused feet and skinned knees. When’s the last time you felt like a superhero? When’s the last time you climbed a tree? Sometimes reclaiming your childhood is as simple as putting on the superhero costume – or a pair of Barbie skates.

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