Recently there has been a slew of New York Times articles that attempt to dissect the “mystique” that the 20-something year old generation has somehow developed (“They hate work and go on Facebook all day long instead!”, “They wear fancy sunglasses that just don’t protect your dang eyeballs!”, “They’re all doomed!” etc, you know the type). I read one article recently that claimed we’re all a bunch of weirdos who get prematurely nostalgic about things that are still too young to cry over. I actually think I may know what they mean.
About 5 years ago my mom called me to announce a recent housecleaning operation, and demanded to know whether or not I needed all 8,000,000 ripped and tattered copies of Seventeen magazine and Alloy, sitting on the bookshelf in my untouched childhood bedroom. I (foolishly) let her toss Leelee Sobieski’s first Seventeen cover appearance and Aaliyah “playing it cool” (RIP bbgrl), HOWEVER I insisted she keep one and only one copy of my favorite preteen catalog – dELiA*s’ summer 1999. Actually, should we get really 90′s and call it a ‘magalog’? Yes, I think we should.
I don’t know why I decided to keep it, but I’m so glad I did. This thing has really made the rounds – I definitely brought it to college after a holiday break so my friends and I could pore over it. Dare I say it’s one of my most prized possessions? Still, I (somehow) forgot about it until Meg asked around for scans of Alloy/dELiA*s catalogs from the 90′s. Since it’s from 1999 it just barely makes the cut, but it is still so, so good.
Check out these low-res scans (I have no excuse..pretend the quality makes them fit in more with the era, ok?) from the catalog and have THE BEST TIME getting super nostalgic over chunky shoes and toothy models. Also, I uploaded the all 47 pages, plus insets!!!, here. There is just so much to say, from the models (yes, I remember them like they are my family. How old are they in this and where are they now?) to the trends (MAXI SKIRTS), to the music (B*WITCHED).
Did you all have a dELiA*s store at your local mall? Because I grew up in the mecca of all that is mall-y, I SURE DID. I remember many, many hours spent inside those weird “oh is the curtain closed all the way, I can’t tell because it’s silver and metallic and has a tiny magnet to keep people from looking at you” dressing rooms, squeezing my baby fat into Paul Frank tees (yup, I was a fan, go ahead and hate) and shelf bra tank tops, listening to my mom exclaim, “$45 FOR A SUNDRESS?!”. Also, please do state your favorite model, and if you had (have?) any of the clothing featured on these pages, because I sure did.
You bet I had that star baseball tee. I loved it with my entire being, and think dELiA*s is to blame for my obsession with stars. I had the shirt until I spilled a weird sauce on it at some point and it had to be retired.
The striped tank I coveted, but I can’t remember if I had it or not. Looking through the catalog, I’m having trouble remembering what I owned for sure, and what I only tried on in store (let’s be real, it was EVERYTHING OMG).
Obviously, half of my closet was Roxy. Who do you think I am? I really wanted the dress at right, but I’m sure it was “too revealing” for school. Additionally, I love that already, only a few pages in, this season is shaping up to be all about the revival of the hawaiian print.
Ok, time to get real. Here’s where I really went wild at dELiA*s. I remember seeing A, B, F, and G in the store – SO VIVIDLY that it’s alarming. I had J (of course), recently acquired bobby pins very similar to to O, and wish dearly that I could still buy C.
SO MUCH. FROSTED. MAKE UP. I owned the glitter nail polish until it hardened into sparkly solid goo. I never bought shoes like the above in middle school because I was already entire feet taller than the boys and had no intention of looking down on them even more. BOOOO.
I think this terrible era in fashion is why I could never really get into Threadless when it got big. Graphic tees…ick.
Ok, what is up with those bib halter tops?! I guess it’s a nod to 50s/60s fashion, but looks seriously weird. The top sunglasses on the right are the only part of the catalog that I would absolutely refuse to wear today.
Thought I’d include an order form in case ya’ll want to get some glitter lip gloss. Keep in mind that if your mom won’t give you her credit card, you’ll have to send your allowance via money order because you’re 12 and can’t open a bank account yet, and then wait approximately 20 days for your order to be processed and delivered.
Remember the weird, short matte paper insets with sales and ads? I want pretty much every skirt on this page. Meagan, I know you want the Lunar skirt – be honest.
Infernal inflatable furniture. Our parents worked hard to provide a nice, classy homestead and we went and turned it into Andy-Warhol’s-factory-on-bad-90s-ecstasy. Shameful. I had an inflatable chair and rainbow peace sign bead curtains from Claires. I must find pictures of this.Fashion, old, Uncategorized | Tags: 1990s, alloy catalog, bead curtains, claires, clothes, delias, maxi skirts, middle school, nj, seventeen magazine, suburbia, teen fashion, teens, tweens | 39 comments