Fashion Focus: Childhood fashion revisited

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The Spice Girls may have been around 18 years ago – but some of their fashion influences haven’t gone away!

Are there fashion faux pas from your childhood that you would rather forget? Sharon Irvine looks back on some of hers and also remembers some of the better memories…

Everyone has fashion memories from their childhood, some fond and some that make us cringe.

Obviously growing up in Fermanagh, or in my case on the boarder of Fermanagh and Tyrone, our fashion sense would not have been as cutting edge as kids in the big cities.

To us all the hottest fashion was held not here but in the big cities Belfast and Dublin. When I was growing up in Fermanagh there wasn’t a great selection of shops, at least not cool shops anyway, but now look at the selection we have.

My childhood hate was being dressed like my sister, not having my own individuality), Fruit of the Loom sweat shirts and being dragged around M&S and Dunnes Stores (which back then were not full of selection).

When I was a child, believe it or not, I hated shopping and hated getting clothes as gifts because it meant my sister would also have the same outfit. I do however remember the big dressing up box at my granny Mac’s house which my aunt used to dress us up from.

All those old clothes, hats and bags that belonged to my great granny are probably the reason why I love vintage clothes so much today.

Some of my happiest childhood memories were during the summer holidays and when I look back I only ever remember long hot summer days, living in shorts and t-shirts, being permanently tanned and freckled and my jelly sandals getting stuck in melted tar.

The 1990’s seem like a million years ago but with all the 90’s fashion coming back around again it seems as though we are still there.

Although I wouldn’t like to go back I do have many fond memories of Fermanagh in the 1990s and lately it seems as though I am being constantly reminded of the good old days. It has been eighteen years since the Spice Girls first came on the scene and I remember getting Spice Girls badges in Smash Hits magazine and running around pretending we were pop stars.

Another memory from my past, which seems to be everywhere at the moment, is Jelly sandals. As far as I can remember I had a pink glitter filled pair and I remember them being pretty uncomfortable. I have seen lots of different versions of the classic jelly sandal in the shops across Fermanagh, even some glittery numbers.

It’s not just the high street that’s loving this trip down memory lane. Designers also have their own high end take on the jelly sandal. Prada teamed cute ‘flatform’ jellies with sports socks, Stella McCartney teamed hers with strapless beach dresses and Sophia Webster went for a much more grown up ladylike look with her high heeled strappy Jellies.

Who would have thought that our childhood fashion loves and hates would come back to bite us a second time around.

Although, as they say it takes around twenty years for a fashion trend to come back around again. I’m just hoping those dreaded Fruit of the Loom sweatshirts don’t come back to haunt me again.

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