I’ve been there before. I’ve made those mistakes. Take my advice: here’s how not to dress.
We live in a digital age. It’s no secret that most things we do eventually end up on the internet. This is awesome for events like New Years Eve, birthday parties, and charity events or functions.
Then there are the events involving a face plant in the street running to catch the late bus that your friend HAD to document.
To put it bluntly, not everyone is photogenic. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to throw common sense out the window with the baby and the bathwater.
What I’m saying is, there’s going to be pictures of you girls circulating the internet for the rest of your lives. You need to take preventative measures to ensure that when you do land your dream job interview, a picture of you in seventh grade wearing a Ronald Regan mask and your grandmother’s bathrobe doesn’t surface during the process.
So you should not do any of these things before or during taking a picture that will represent you for the rest of your life at that age, and your friends and family will also see it and that is how they will remember you forever.
A general rule of thumb is to not wear your grandmother’s tablecloth when taking a photo.
A nice pink embroidered doily collar may seem cutesy and innocent, but in reality it will only make your co-workers and peers question whether or not your mother took outfits off your life-sized Raggedy Ann doll and dressed you in them in an effort to save money.
Also a good thing to remember is to not do dangerous activities before a known photo-op. Going on a two-wheel bike adventure when you aren’t the most confident rider isn’t the type of activity you want to roll into when your third grade yearbook photo is right around the corner.
If you’re just too adventurous and crazy to avoid indulging in extreme sports, you’ll inevitably be the girl wearing long underwear because you can’t fit regular sleeves over your cast.
REMEMBER: THERE ARE ALWAYS RETAKES. ALWAYS.
Borrowing argyle sweater vests from your youngest brother is not only frowned upon, but in some countries it’s illegal. I don’t care how flawless your hair looks that day, or if you were an ombre pioneer before ombre was a ‘thing,’ you do not need clothes that badly that you resort to rummaging through your brother’s drawers to find an outfit.
(But I mean look at that blonde to light blonde fade, it’s totally magnificent, right?)
Make sure your shirts fit you.
A good way to determine if a shirt fits is by making sure it is not two sizes bigger than every other shirt you own. Or that is not your mom’s.
Don’t wear choker necklaces, even if that dangly bead in the middle is the most jaw-dropping plastic gemstone you own, and it makes Rose’s sapphire necklace from Titanic pale in comparison.
Seriously, don’t get bangs in puberty.
I don’t care if they look great on Sabrina, the cool girl, you will ultimately end up gluing them to your scalp with a can of Rave hairspray every morning and consequently looking more like a guido-gremlin hybrid than a fifth grade girl.
Oh yeah… and braces. There are no rules about braces except that it’s required to change the rubber band colors to coordinate with the holidays.
Don’t set the tone for your middle school reputation by wearing a floral v-neck from Limited Too.
Also, practice your smile extensively before taking any pictures.
Photographs aren’t forgiving – neither are parents when it comes to allowing you to hang out with their children.
Creepy smiles will not get you very far. It definitely won’t get you a babysitting job.
Puberty is the worst time in your life. Try and make the best of it.
Wearing half-turtle neck argyle sweaters is not a way to make the best of it. At the very least, if you’re going to do it, commit to a full neck or at least a scarf.
It’s imperative that you never, ever let your mother attempt to tame your pubescent mane by straightening it with a curling iron. You will end up with tresses shaped like a voluminous frizz triangle and have people asking if someone rubbed a balloon on the back of your head to create static electricity.
Wearing your hair in a half-up, half-down fashion is completely acceptable, if done correctly.
Wearing half of your hair in a bun from gym class and the other half down as the remnants of last night’s botched straightening job is a big, big no no no nononononoNO.
Plus, wearing a collared shirt with a lace-up neckline is one step shy of actually going cookoo for Coco Puffs.
And again, with the smile. Please, for the love of God, practice your smile.
Avoid shopping at Aeropostale, Wet Seal, or Rave.
Don’t take two tiny tresses located at the widow’s peak section of your hairline and wear them in a bang-like, accessory fashion, not pulling them into your ponytail or headband.
You will regret this. Mostly because you will slightly resemble a dinosaur.
Last, but definitely not least, if your friends ever tell you it’s okay to take sweatshirts from lost and found and parade around claiming them as your own, please ignore them and immediately question their intelligence.
By not doing these things, and following my instructions, strangers will not have to wonder – even just a little bit – if you grew to develop an odd affinity for fedoras or played the tambourine in a traveling band.
Ultimately, fashion consciousness is not always second nature with every girl, clearly it wasn’t my strong point. At the end of the day, if you don’t do or wear what makes you happy, you’re missing out on a lot of what life has to offer. Do what you love, and wear what you want.
Unless it’s a lace up, argyle, v-neck polo. Please, please, please avoid those.
UP NEXT: How to NOT apply make-up.
Meg (President of the Late Bloomers)