This week I am reminiscing about 1997, that glorious year when Tori Spelling was still hot and Tara Lipinski was headline news. Why 1997, you ask? Why not? But seriously, it’s because "Titanic" is opening at theaters in 3D Wednesday and I’ll take any opportunity that allows me to be on the clock while Google image searching Leonardo DiCaprio as a street urchin.
Yesterday I revisited the music I listened to back then. Today, I’ll touch on the fashions of 1997. I’ll keep doing this all week until we’ve also covered 1997 movies, heartthrobs and slang… or until someone offers to take me to see "Titanic" in 3D and sneak in their own Sour Patch Kids.
To begin, a quick list of things I remember wearing in 1997.
A Catholic school girl uniform. Chill, brah, it was for school. “Hit Me Baby One More Time” didn’t come out until the next year.
Oversized Cat in the Hat-style hats. Similar to the one in Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” video, MTV’s 1997 Music Video of the Year.
Overalls. Sharecroppin’ is sexy, ya’ll! Who would have thought that the early 1990s’ trend of MC Hammer pants—which made the stylish boys of America look like pimply, soiled-diaper-wearing genies—would not be the worst pants look of the decade?
Gluey glitter lipstick. Oh, gross stuff. My “LYLAS”s and I thought this was so cool but looking back the lipstick seemed to enhance nothing but a snaggletooth.
Braces. See above.
Flower-print dresses with flannel tops. The cool (read: rich) kids paired Doc Martens with these.
A blue dress with a suspicious white stain on it.
Now for two 1997 style analogies that will bring us back to today. Because style is nothing if not re-inventing something it’s done before.
1997 is to baby doll size clothing trend as 2012 is to Zooey Deschanel.
1997: “Wah! Look at me I’m little and a baby! But you should still respect me as a grown woman!” Spot the look: Mini backpacks, platform sneakers, baby doll dress, Beanie Babies, Lisa Frank, pigtails.
2012: “Wah! Look at me I’m quirky and like uber-girly things! But you should still respect me as a grown woman!” Spot the look: Cupcakes, jumpers, indie flicks starring manic pixie dream girls, Hello Kitty!, cats.
1997 is to Starter jackets as 2012 is to designer varsity jackets.
Starter jackets. Dang. Kids wore those until the coat was falling apart and looked like they didn’t have parents. And they were still cooler than anyone who didn’t own one. People died for Starter jackets! Or at least got robbed for them. The designer varsity jacket trend (read about how to style it without looking like That Guy here) is sort of just a version of Starter jackets in an age when the more minimalist your allegiance to any label, the better. Designer letterman's jackets' popularity will die as soon as your parents finally get you one, too. It’s funny to think how absolutely uncool Starters are in 2012. Such a fast fall from the public’s grace. This must be how Gwyneth Paltrow feels.