Throwback Thursday: High School Style

Aah High school: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

……..But mostly the worst of times. At least when it came to my fashion sense.

What I WISH I looked like in high school

Looking back on the years 2001- 2004, there are many outfits of which I’m not proud… and by that I mean all of them. But who wants to peak in high school anyway? As Ashley Cardiff puts it in her book “Night Terrors: Sex, Dating, Puberty, and other Alarming Things“:

“As soon as anyone ever says that high school years are the best of your life, you should just X them permanently. They’re done; they don’t have anything to offer you”.

True dat. Here are just a few of the things I wore in high school that make me never want to relive those years:

1. All Puma Errthang

So back in high school I had a slight (ok, huge) obsession with Missy Elliot.


My love for the irreverent female rapper manifested itself in several different ways – all of which equally unfortunate. Like my desire to, despite being a white girl from small-town Nova Scotia, collect and wear as much Puma gear as humanly possible.


I had at least half a dozen puma handbags and several track jackets; all of which I saved up for and bought with the money I made working as a cashier at a Sobeys grocery store (which mostly involved taking extra-long breaks and flirting with the tattooed parcel pick-up guy). I would get decked out in all my Puma and drive to school in my parents huge Dodge Ram truck, blasting Under Construction at eardrum-shattering decibels.

….uh, yeah. I was THAT cool.

2. Sk8Er Shoes

My fashion identity as a teen (if you could even call it that) was schizophrenic at best. Despite being a hip-hopapotamuswanna be, I also fancied myself as a bit of a skater girl. (What can I say, Avril Lavigne was big at the time).


Luckily, I kept it skater-light, so this mostly involved wearing skater shoes and the occasional pocket chain. I had a pair of baby blue suede Vans with maroon V’s that were my prized possession. I used to clean them every night meticulously with a toothbrush. I also had a pair of black Etnies with bubblegum pink accents.


I told you I am not proud of this.

3. Hawaiian Ginger Body Spray

If there’s one thing every 16-year-old girl needs, it’s more self-esteem a signature scent- and Calgon Hawaiian Ginger body spray was mine.


Though I dabbled in both Satsuma from the Body Shop and Gap Dream, Hawaiian ginger was my tried, tested and true.


A pungent mix of exotic fruit, white orchids and broken adolescent dreams, the stench was enough to put hair on your chest.


 I can’t even smell this sickeningly sweet concoction without being transported back to a time of secret parties, bottles clinking in backpacks (sorry mom & dad) and Pony by Ginuwine.

4. Low-Rise Jeans

If there is one thing I have learned in my old age, it’s that low-rise jeans flatter no one. Except for maybe pre-2007 Britney Spears.


Now, if I just had that DeLorean I’ve been asking for, then I could go back in time and tell my high-school self this and save us all a lot of embarassment.

Dear 17-year-old BreezyK: Hip Hugger flares have never been, nor will they ever be, your friend. Love: 27-year-old BreezyK.

5. American Eagle

I grew up in a small town where, aside from a sad Sears department store and a Northern Reflections, there was no clothing shopping whatsoever.

After 16 years of wearing nothing but Point Zero jeans and sweaters with loons on them,


I was stoked when an American Eagle Jeans store opened up about two hours away in Halifax.


For the rest of high school, I wore nothing but graphic tees and pre-distressed jeans.


I remember once while shopping, another customer asked me if I worked there. It was hands down the best moment of my life.

6. Chunky Highlights

Why, pray tell, did anyone ever think THIS was a good idea?


I could go on- but I think we’ve all suffered enough. Oh, and don’t even get me STARTED on my prom dress. That’s a whole other post right there.

Question of the Day: What embarrassing things did you wear in high school?


18 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: High School Style

Add yours

      1. Unfortunately for the world, there is no photographic record of me in those weird 80s sweatshirts with the cut-off sleeves. Did they have a name? And if they did, was it a worse name than “goucho pants”?


  1. Ha Ha ha this is awesome!
    I totally loooooved that Hawaiian Body Spray too!
    Embarrassing high school fashion for me included Juicy tracksuits (head-to-toe velour??) and low-ass jeans with no pockets on the back.


  2. Since I went to high school in the eighties about twenty years before you, everything we did and wore is embarrassing today. 🙂 All people in high school are just walking, talking hormones. I believed I was cool because, I played sports, I liked Bruce Springsteen, I disliked authority, and I had a lot of hair. It was like wearing a helmet. Honestly, I just wanted to fit in so I wouldn’t get beat up. In a small school in Maine there was not a lot of tolerance for different. Unfortunately we all are different. 🙂 Where are the pictures displaying this fashion? Thanks for letting me think about being 16 again, and I am grateful I will never be that age again!!


  3. I hated everyone’s chunky highlights in school. I thought it was so odd. Although, I totally still want a pair of skater shoes. Because they look so COMFY. But maybe, that’s just me. I also have a positive association with skater shoes because my boyfriend wore them all the time when we first met (almost 10 years ago. Yup.)


  4. We wore a uniform to school, but god help me outside of school my style inspiration was Courtney Love. Actually I tried to take a little bit of Courtney style to the school yard by deliberately wearing ripped stockings under my school skirt.


  5. This was hard to read, my memories are a little too painful and reading this made me FEEL the fashion.

    Baggy jeans with massive skater long-sleeved t-shirts. Constant hoodie around my waist because it was “flattering”. High heeled shiny patent Skechers (DAMN YOU SPICE GIRLS). Hair up in a tight ponytail with two long strands out to “frame my face”. A denim handbag. Oh god.


  6. Love this! I was in HS around the same time, and sadly fell victim to many of the same trends.

    Looking back at the photos, though, I’m most ashamed of how often I just wore my athletic clothes to school. 2-a-days are no excuse for being in sweats and jerseys for 4 years! I couldn’t even rock them a la Britney in “Baby One More Time.” For shame.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


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