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Why Are We All Dressing Like We’re In Middle School?

Last month, I turned 26. I pay bills, rent, and hold a full-time position as the Deputy Editor at my dream job. Yet, for some reason, I cannot stop dressing like an middle schooler that’s obsessed with the color pink. In the last year, I’ve gone from trying my hardest to dress more “mature,” to exclusively spending my money on any headband that catches my eye. Yes, these trends of the past are back in style, but I can’t ignore the nostalgia that is so clearly making my friends and colleagues sport beaded purses and tie dye scrunchies on the regular. 


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If I could give my twenties a theme song, it would hands down be “I’m Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman.” Your early to mid-twenties are, honestly, weird. While I’m doing all of these adult-like things (read: understanding what a 401K actually is), I don’t feel old enough to be doing any of them. And so, it’s become clear to me why on a stressful day I prefer to throw on a pair of jeans and my hot pink tie dye shirt over anything else. This keeps me feeling like a (stylish, thank you very much) kid, while dealing with my very grown up situations.

I even asked a few coworkers why they find themselves rocking these old-school trends, here’s what they had to say: 

“There’s something so liberating about dressing super young and fun and not really giving a shit, because, like, life is short! Why the hell not if it brings you a little joy.” —Felicity

“It’s fun to have that childlike feeling when you’re dealing with the stress of being an adult in the real world. These trends are back in such a high-fashion way that it’s the perfect cross-section of dressing like a kid and an adult—and that’s where I’m at in life. Kind of a kid, kind of an adult.” —Maddie

“I love rocking my headbands and other middle school trends because it brings me back to middle school—but in a good way. I feel like my middle school self, but better, because I have the confidence, maturity and attitude of my adult self. It’s almost like rewriting that period of my life!”—Windsor

“I love embracing style trends that bring me back to more carefree times. I love using the nostalgia of these looks to remind me to still have a fun and carefree outlook on life every day, no matter what is thrown at me!” — Madeleine

“I believe in living life like you’re stuck in a Lisa Frank drawing, and enjoy wearing bright colors that allow me to stand out and make my mark. Also, my hair is bleached blonde so scrunchies are the perfect solution for hairstyles without causing damage—I’ve ditched all other hair-tie solutions. Not to mention, I worked at Limited Too for over five years, so that very much has something to do with me never giving up on the 90s-00s.”—Danielle K.

I mean, really. Paying bills? I’d certainly rather be at recess. But, since I have to be at my desk working, you’ll find me right here in a headband. 

Shop my favorite middle school-inspired trends: 

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Danielle was previously the Deputy Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw social and content strategy, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, news, and entertainment. Prior to joining Her Campus, Danielle worked at House Beautiful as Senior Lifestyle Editor, directing and producing feature videos and stories. Danielle also served as Snapchat Editor at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the brands daily Snapchat Discover channel. In 2016, she launched Cosmo Bites — which is now the official food and beverage vertical at Cosmopolitan. That same year, Danielle was named as a Rising Star in the digital media industry by FOLIO Magazine. Danielle got her start in digital media by launching the Her Campus chapter at Fairfield University in 2014, where she acted as Campus Correspondent for 2.5 years, before graduating with a degree in English and creative writing. She enjoys wine, food, and long walks through HomeGoods. Follow Danielle on Instagram! 
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