Michelle Loewenstein
2 minute read
13 Mar 2014
7:00 am

Smells like teen spirit

Michelle Loewenstein

Even though I was at the Eminem concert last week, it was a song by My Chemical Romance that kept playing on a loop in my head.


The chorus for their song Teenagers includes the line “they say all teenagers scare the living sh*t out of me”, and for the first time, I agreed. While quite a few of the under 20s at Ellis Park were clearly getting wasted for the first time in their lives, it wasn’t their behaviour that caused me to sympathise with the “they” in Gerard Way’s rock anthem. It was the fashion choices of the hormonal hoards that had me, and a couple of my friends, cringing.

If we’d asked any of the kids at the concert what they thought of Nineties fashion, they probably would’ve laughed out loud. Or said “lol”, because that’s a lot cooler. And yet, there they were, imitating looks that Jared Leto rocked long before he realised that he could sing.

Here are a couple of ensembles that were spotted:

Hammer time!

The starting point for this look is a vest. In addition to being so baggy that it shows off more chest than Janet Jackson at a halftime show, these vests are paired with pants that look like something MC Hammer would wear – low crotch and tight around the calf. Apparently Justin Beiber has sparked this trend. That explains a lot…

Crop tops

The interesting thing here is that kids seem to be fairly on-trend with this one. Crop tops have made an appearance on quite a few international runways, and are usually worn with high-waisted pants to avoid too much belly-baring. On a lithe model that lives on grapes and water, this look can work. On a normal, healthy teen, they look like something out of an episode of Blossom. Especially when worn with jeans that have been fashioned into shorts a la singer and sometime exhibitionist Ke$ha. My father would probably have handcuffed me to the front door if I’d tried to go out in that when I was 16.

So why do teens have no concept of what is flattering? The term “tag hag” comes to mind here. It refers to someone who wears a label or look regardless of whether it looks good on them. Perhaps this is a bit harsh coming from me, since when I was a teenager, I owned dungarees…