I don’t know about you, but when I think back to school, I think back-to-school wardrobe. I’ve had some fall fashion mishaps over the years (I’m remembering a particularly heinous pair of plaid overall shorts, circa 1999) but I’m not the only one! Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista—the first book in a series about a teen who travels back in time with the help of a fabulous vintage dress—dishes about her misguided fashion attempts in junior high.
Fashion: The ’90s Edition
This photo is of me (on the right, trying to hide my braces) and my best friend Doris Josovitz from the 6th grade. Believe it or not, she is now a women’s wear designer for Gap, and I write books on fashion. Although we’re still friends, we no longer try to coordinate our outfits with one another, or with the background.
Being that I write a YA series called The Time-Traveling Fashionista, I’d like to pretend that I’ve always been the epitome of style. But there is indisputable photographic evidence that this is far from the case. The fact is, I probably didn’t actually get it together, fashion-wise, until I moved to NYC after college. And alright: sometimes I still don’t have it together.
In 1991, back-to-school shopping meant one thing to me: I needed an outfit that matched with someone else’s. When I was younger, my mom would dress us up in matching mother-daughter dresses from Laura Ashley. Besides being a little creepy, there are very few dresses that work on both a 30-something woman and a seven-year-old girl. The end result was that we both ended up looking Amish.
Still, I continued this tradition well into junior high with my friends, tricking them into wearing the same clothes as I did. As an only child, I always wanted a sister; more specifically, a twin sister named Courtney or Susan. Perhaps that’s why I insisted that my best friends and I wear matching outfits. In this picture, my friend Doris and I are wearing identical floral jumpers from the sales rack at Bob’s. I thought we were going to start some trend where everyone would coordinate their outfits with their best friend. We didn’t. For this picture, my mom literally snuck us into the backyard of someone in town whose garden she coveted. That is not even our house.
In high school, I stopped buying multiples at the Trumbull mall and started getting my back-to-school wardrobe at the Salvation Army. This was actually an improvement. Although I had a habit of buying rugby shirts and used Levi’s that were 10 sizes too big for me, at least I was finally starting to develop my own style. Even today, some of my most favorite possessions are things I’ve bought at thrift stores. And that personal sense of style has paid off: the purchase of one particular pink dress inspired my book and changed my life.
Other authors heading back to school on Figment include: