Sunday, August 24, 2008


I heard a friend mention today about taking her preteen daughter clothes shopping. Another friend remarked how glad she was that her same-age daughter has a school uniform (private school) so the gotta-haves are cut down considerably.

It took me back 27 years (it cannot have been that long ago. Simply cannot be.) ....... I was about to start 7th grade, which was high school in my town at the time. Our high school was grades 7-12. And it was right at the height of designer jean craze. And real honest-to-Pete Izod shirts, with the alligator and NOT the faux ones that had other animals.

Now picture it -- a fat kid dying for designer duds. But I had one great advantage: a mom who loved me but didn't spoil me. She didn't mind going to the nearby department stores for the Izods, but the jeans..... well, I had limited options. The department stores didn't carry my size in Jordache, Calvins, Glorias or any other designer label. Or in Chinos (the brand name) ..... so what was I going to do? I would be D.O.O.M.E.D. before I ever started.

Mom to the rescue: we went to a place called World of Clothing about an hour from here. They're still open but I haven't been there in a lifetime. We went there one Saturday -- I want to say that someone from my mom's work went with us, but can't remember which person. We shopped, and shopped, and shopped. I got a pair of Levi's, a couple of pairs of dress slacks (similar to Chinos, but not that brand. Oh well), and ..... a pair of Calvins. My mother made one thing quite clear: when they wore out, I'd best enjoy the memories I had with them, because I was NOT getting another pair.

Izod shirts were another story. I got a few of those, with the real 'gators on them. Of course the trend of it having to be a REAL alligator on it died out by year's end, as had my Calvins. I gladly stuck with Lee's and Levi's the rest of my high school career. I still love polo shirts, with or without an attached symbol. And really, when was the last time you saw a 'gator on one?

I'm sure Mom (and Dad) had some misgivings about giving in to me ..... of course, I was cheap compared to my brother who insisted on having the real-honest-no-fakes original Air Jordans. They were $85 in 1985, and by that point times were a lot tighter for us. Again, Mom indulged but not right away...... and told him the same thing: You tear them up, and you do not get identical replacements. You will get CHEAP shoes.

I had good parents. And I still don't think I've thanked them enough.


Melissa said...

Guess? Jeans.

That was the fad of the late 80s/early 90s that this fat kid couldn't fit into. I wanted a pair so bad, but they just didn't come in my size. I wore my lees and occasionally levis, but it was Guess? that I wanted. I even went so far as to try the men's Guess? jeans on even though the little triangle on the back had green stitching instead of red and everyone would know they were mens'. They didn't fit either. I did finally get a Guess? jean jacket and some t-shirts but it just wasn't the same.

I'm not sure why I thought having the right jeans would help, I was clearly not going to fit in with the "popular" kids no matter what so maybe it's a blessing I couldn't try b/c I would have only ended up getting hurt.

Talmadge Gleck said...

This calls for a post all my own. For now, though, I offer one word:


Izods were the genuine item. JCPenney had the fox. The fox pretty much said you WANTED to be "with it" and have an Izod, but you hit the brick wall (read: parental resistance, whether financial or just stubbornness). Fox = "close, but no cigar." And "compromise with the 'rents, just to keep the peace."

Then you had Sears. In 1980, they came out with THEIR entry in the shirt-zoo: the dragon. Or, as it was called, the "braggin' dragon."

These shirts were of the same material, but were different. Can't put a finger on it, but they weren't the same. The JCP "Fox" garbs otherwise looked identical to Izod (I'm convinced Izod made 'em) ... alas, not that @#$%ing dragon.

"Dragons is so stupid."
-Yosemite Sam

Again, this is gonna be a post of my own. Lots to say on this topic.

--Talmadge "Had two Izods by sheer freak of miracle nature" Gleck

Kate/Susan said...

When I was in school it was stirrup pants--you know, the little stretch pants with the elastic that went under your foot and into your shoes?

My parents tried to bribe me to lose weight by offering to buy me stirrup pants if I dipped below 100#. Never happened, but I did actually own one pair of stirrups right before the fad died and I was the last loser in school wearing them.

I think they were yellow.

Go figure.

Talmadge Gleck said...

The ex had a few pairs of those stirrup pants back in the day, and she was a pleasantly plump ~280-290 on a 5-8 frame. It always puzzled me how those things seemed to defy the laws of physics and gravity.

Seraphim9 said...

I had a pair of stirrups, but the darn things drove me crazy because the more I tried to pull them up to my waist the more the stirrups wants to keep them down. I finally got PO'd one day and cut the stirrups off the pants and just wore them around the house. Made pretty nice pajama pants.

And I have never, ever in my life owned an Izod or any other polo shirt with an animal on it. I had such a deprived childhood. I never even had a gold belt until it was almost out of style.

Unfortunately, these days my fashion choices are based upon whatever I can find that fits. Hopefully soon that won't be a problem. :-)