Embarrassing Mummy - Teenage Fashion

Realising that you embarrass your children on a daily basis is a hard pill to swallow - but at least they call me on it, and I try to learn from my mistakes



Teenage Fashion? OMG is that really what this kids are wearing these days? I'm at a loss for words... nothing is what I wish I had said in the episode that follows.

Last week, I gave my son's friend, Luke, a lift to rugby. This is a regular affair and I'm used to seeing them all in identikit uniforms when I drop them off. However, all the boys change afterwards into white shirts with ties, and their own choice of trousers and footwear. My son, Fred, came out wearing his usual ripped jeans and trainers. Luke came out wearing pink pumps (I think they might be called plimsolls - I'm learning the lingo as I go), long white socks and a pair of rolled up golf trousers, I swear he pinched the ensemble from my Dad.

The judging gaze

Other parents stared at Luke, and I felt sorry for him. Maybe he had been in a rush that morning and forgotten his clothes? Or perhaps there'd been a mishap in the changing room and he'd had to raid the club's lost property? It didn't dawn on me that he might have chosen to wear this outfit on purpose, I made a judgement in my head that it was some strange rugby ritual and Luke had to wear this as a dare. He had after all, had an incredible game and scored the most tries in the team.

Then I put my foot in it

So, when I got to the car, I asked him...

"Luke - why are you wearing those clothes?"

Fred, sat next to him, visibly started shrinking into a ball.

"It's just what I am wearing these days."

I'm not having that. "REALLY??"

One look at Fred's face made me realise I had made a mistake and had embarrassed them both. I tried to recover:

"Good for you for having your own style!"

I quickly started to drive before I could fluff up any further.

Role reversal, my turn to be told off

Later at home, I had a lecture from Fred for humiliating him. He showed me photos of Luke on Instagram. He and his brothers have their own style, oversized silky patterned shirts, golf trousers... they call it the vintage look.

Macklemore sang about wearing your Grandad's clothes and looking incredible. In this instance I'm not sure I agree that Luke and his brothers pulled it off. Vintage to me brings to mind memories of going to Camden market and buying 501's and tiny washed out t-shirts? Mind you, I haven't been for decades, and maybe the definition of vintage has moved parallel with the times. For all I know, Camden market may be full of tie-dye, global hyper colour and shell suits. I really hope it isn't!

Reality time

Ultimately, I felt bad for embarrassing Luke. But, more disappointed in myself for not embracing his own individual 'unsold in the charity shop style', no matter how much I dislike it. If he wants to look like my Grandad, from 20 years ago, then I applaud him. Not only because he coolly ignored the stares, but for being brave enough to try something different.

In future, I will be careful not to assume, even if they look like clowns, that they are wearing clothes for a bet, dare, or initiation ceremony. I need to accept that they may have put that combination together on purpose. I know I tried some interesting looks when I was a teenager - floaty dresses and big boots, Oasis grunge, long socks folded repeatedly at the ankle (everyone at my school was doing it, I swear). But, as I got older, I have opted for the most normal, average looking clothes I can find. I'm too old and scared to do anything different now, and I'm a little jealous of Luke for trying something different. While I initially judged him - I think all kids should try something different, break the mould, be brave, be bold and have some flair.

That being said, Fred is getting a perm this afternoon. Me and his dad are going to get some mileage out of this one.

Becky, Embarrassing Mum of two teens

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