When I look back on pictures of my '80s crew, I can't help but cringe. Pleated corduroy pants, mock turtlenecks, and suspenders were all the rage. That's why I've carefully tucked away the photographic evidence of my cousins and me sporting the fashion trends of our childhood. The clothes we wore weren't what I would call flattering. Most of them were oversized and baggy and the graphics were flashy and far from sleek. I can just hear the comments from my kids as they check out my awkward elastic-waist acid-washed jeans paired with a screen-printed sweatshirt with an image of Big Bird so big, I looked like a walking Sesame Street advertisement.
As my 4-year-old son rocks his stylish slim-fit jeans and t-shirts every week, it's hard to think back on the fashion trends of my childhood. I wish slimmer jeans were a trend back then, but most of all I wished the empowering and funny quote t-shirts kids can choose from today were around when I was growing up.
When I was a kid, expressing myself through fashion meant wearing t-shirts with cartoon or video game characters, cuffed pants, and leather or denim jackets. Today's quote t-shirt trend is not just a chance for kids to rock their favorite sayings, it's a chance for kids to send a message to their peers and remind each other about what's important in life.
As a child, it was hard to verbalize some of the things I felt and, if I'm being honest, it didn't feel like it was "cool" to encourage others to practice kindness or understanding either. The quote t-shirt trend of today is the perfect way to make a positive statement without having to gather the courage to stand up and say something. It excites me that my son has this trendy fashion option I didn't, because it fills one of the biggest voids of my childhood — that ability to proudly share what you believe in without worrying about the possibility of a harsh response from peers.
My son's closet is fully stocked with shirts and sweatshirts displaying all types of quotes. From motivational to event themed and even some awesome quotes from back in my day, these kids have a lot of options when it comes to expressing their thoughts with their outfits. My son's favorite black sweatshirt reads "Kindness Is So Gangster." My personal favorite is his three-quarter-sleeved raglan tee (with a simple rock, paper, scissors graphic) that questions "Can't We All Just Get Along?" And my husband loves my son's vintage tee that says "Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe."
My kids might look back with regret on some of the outfits they sported some day, like I have. I just don't think these quote t-shirts will be something they'll want to hide. In fact, I hope this fashion trend continues to be popular years down the road when they have kids of their own.