Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from trying new beauty treatments to copying the most risqué runway looks of the season.
Growing up, my personal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was a pair of American Apparel Disco Pants.
I was just entering middle school when the hipster era was taking hold across the United States. At the time, I remember most of my style inspiration coming from Lauren Conrad’s outfits on The Hills and images of cool British girls splashed across my Tumblr dashboard. I was 11 and nowhere near waif thin when I asked my parents to drive me 45 minutes to the nearest American Apparel so I could buy a pleated tennis skirt using my Christmas money. To no one’s surprise, under the harsh fluorescent lights and the loud hum of The Strokes playing over the speakers, the skirt didn’t fit. More than that, it didn’t even go up past my thighs in the brand’s largest size.
Although I’m older and far removed from the traumatic fitting-room experiences that defined my life in the late aughts, my many failed attempts to fit in with the hipster generation ruled by oversize muscle tanks and Jeffrey Campbell Lolita platforms all proved futile. I still had fun, though, in my own ways. What I couldn’t wear on my body I’d reblog on my Tumblr account to fill a void. Instead of parading around my eighth-grade graduation party in high-waisted windowpane-printed shorts and fishnet tights, I’d settle for the accessories to make my outfits feel whole. A pair of Dr. Martens boots and a skinny scarf later, I felt like I could somehow pass for Alexa Chung‘s look-alike. I don’t know who I was kidding, but it didn’t matter. I felt cool.