“You want to wear that!”

by Megan Moss

This fall I went shopping with my son for school clothes. 

"Hey mom, can I get these pants?  They are so cool," my 8 year-old asked

I looked at the pants he had just pulled from the rack.

They were camouflage. 

"No.  I am not buying you camouflage pants," I said and as an afterthought I added, "and they are definitely not cool."

How could he think camouflage pants were cool?  Yeah, they used to be cool, back when I was in eighth grade and wanted to spend my Friday evenings at the roller rink. 

I assumed it must be some strange abberation that this store happened to have camouflage pants.  It was an outlet store.  They must have been rejects that didn't sell at the regular store.

Then, my mom took the kids shopping.  They came back with camouflage pants, camouflage shirts, and much to my horror, matching camouflage backpacks.

I realized that I was going to have to face the facts here.  Obviously camouflage was cool.  It was very cool.  Maybe I wasn't so up on what was cool anymore.  These days I did more shopping at garage sales than anywhere else.

I did some quick mental math.  Supposedly fashion goes in 20 year cycles.  I was in the eighth grade in 1984, 20 years later would be 2004.  Give a take a year and that must be it.  What used to be out was now in again. 

What about all the other fashion trends of the early eighties?  Would we be seeing parachute pants on the racks too?  What about velour?  I wasn't sure if I could wear velour again, especially not if it had poofy shoulders and three-quarter length sleeves, ugh!

Oh well, at least only my boys were old enough to worry about fashion trends and wearing the latest styles.  Fortunately they didn't care whether I wore cool clothes.  I had never been much of a fashion guru and that was definitely not going to change if the resurgence in camouflage's popularity was representative of things to come. 

I breathed a sigh of relief, and then realization hit me.  After years of only boys, I had been blessed with a girl.  One day my daughter would be old enough; not only to care what she wore, but to be embarrassed by a mom wearing last decades fashions. 

When she gets to that age, I guess I will just suffer silently as she tries on clothing styles I had hoped would never again see the light of day, lest I embarrass both her and me by proclaiming that something must not be cool because it was popular back when I was in such and such grade.  And although I might not be willing to submit to the latest fashions, I will at least attempt to wear clothing that is reasonably up to date, because lets face it, I don't want to be the mom the girls are talking about when they whisper, "What is that thing your mom was wearing?"