Family · Kids · Parenting · Pop Culture

The Fashion Gene is Real

When I was growing up, I decided very early I wanted to be a fashion buyer. I lived just outside of Columbus, home of world-famous brands such as Express, Abercrombie and Fitch and Victoria’s Secret. I had the best of both worlds, I could live in the Midwest and have a ton of career options.

B.C. (Before Children)

I drove my parents crazy with the fashion I felt I needed. I would go on shopping sprees with my father twice a year and come home with a brand new wardrobe. Once I graduated with a Fashion Merchandising degree, I had my first job as a new store coordinator for Express. Did I mention access to 40% off and semi-annual sample sales? I once picked up 13 leather jackets for a meager $75.

A.C. (After Children)

After children, I could still afford my fashion and kept up with it regularly. Womens Wear Daily was read every morning. My children didn’t care their shoes came from Payless or their entire wardrobe was from Old Navy. Not to mention doting grandparents, always giving them new clothes. I could still afford my fashion.

Once middle school happened, P (my 12-year-old) suddenly needed to be on trend, at all times. During 6th grade last year, he was interested in Under Armour which was marginally more affordable than Nike. I could hit up the outlet mall 30 miles away and find some good deals for him.

Then 7th grade happened and holy fuck. It’s like this fashion gene has been dormant in his body until now. I imagine it jumping out of a cake saying,


I don’t think I realized how serious it was until P began to tell me about the brand Supreme. So the story behind it (according to P) is each line “drops” on Thursday, it sells out in minutes then you find the price jacked up on Ebay and morons buy it. Do I sound like a parent yet? Great, lets keep going.

He even recognizes luxury brand logos. We were in BW3’s yesterday, picking up our takeout when he leans over and whispers,

“That guy over there has a Gucci belt on.”

I look over to find a 6 foot, 89 pound thug in a tank top (it’s December in Ohio) and baggie jeans with a faux Gucci belt holding them up.

“That’s fake,” I assured him. Not because of my preconceived notion but because the “gold” was pealing off of the belt buckle.

Tonight I walk into his room and find him on his Chromebook.

“What cha’ doin’?” I ask.

He takes his headphones off. “I’m just watchin’ this famous YouTuber. He’s showing his line. It has Louis Vuitton and Gucci in it.

People, why am I having these conversations with my son? How does he know about Louis Vuitton? I didn’t even know about Louis Vuitton till I was in my late teens. I mean, I’m over the moon that he doesn’t want to look like a couch potato and I love that his style is what I like to call urban sport chic but man, this is killing me.


Oh you’ll love this, he has a new hobby. What is it? Collecting shoes. No seriously, he is beginning to collect shoes. I collected stamps at his age. For Christmas he wants drop-front boxes.

“What the fuck are drop-front boxes Hot Mess?” 

Excellent question gentle reader. It’s display cabinets for your shoes. I shit you not. He wants display cabinets…for his shoes. Here you go:

drop front  boxes

I rarely buy clothing for myself anymore and I miss it greatly. I keep classic items and “get creative” with them until they have holes. I don’t feel I’m out of style but I certainly couldn’t tell you what the trends are these days. I guess I’ll defer to my son on that.



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26 thoughts on “The Fashion Gene is Real

  1. One of the students staying with my work family is all over the brand names! He just turned 15 and he only buys $300 Nike shoes (which the new dog loves to offer as gifts for anyone entering the house, or just takes them outside and pees on them) and he has Louis Vuitton sweaters and Calvin Klein underwear (a few pairs got mixed up with the kids’ laundry).

              1. A lot of them are in technology or cars. But prices are better there too. I bought a pair of gucci sunglasses (authentic real ones!) For about $250 from a department store and the website was selling them for almost $500 lol

                1. I wonder why it’s cheaper there? I always wondered that b/c it seemed like vacationers from that area always had designer brands and I’m like, “what do you do for a living?!”

                    1. For the English thing: if you spoke English really well, then you were able to study it a lot. So your parents probably had good jobs to pay to send you to after school programs. And then the more you were able to study as a child meant that you would get higher grades on your entrance exams for middle schools and could get accepted into the best middle schools, and then the same for high schools and universities, and then the better jobs.

    1. Yeah, no idea. He never seemed to notice my love of fashion and never cared then one day he woke up and was like, “I CARE NOW MOM!” Ugh! I liked him better in his Payless tennis shoes.

  2. What the actual fuck!? When I was his age, I was gloating to all my friends that I found a bomb ass strapless maxi tie-dye dress from Goodwill for $5!! Wait, no, I was 16!! This is coming from a girl who got in a fight with her dad over a pair of $15 moccasins- I wanted them terribly bad to replace the ones I wore into the ground, and he refused on the bases that he wasn’t paying $15 for a pair of ‘fancy house slipper.’ Do we live on different planets??

    1. Dude…it’s like living with a fuckin rapper. I want to be like, “you know I drive a 2003 Corolla right?” He asks for shirts that are around $75 and I want to be like, that was my entire clothing expenditure for you and your brother in 2014!

      1. That’s almost what I make in an entire day’s work (minus taxes, insurance, retirements, et al) and that’s with a state job!! Maybe he needs some of that kind of perspective.

        I would worry that you will get him to a point where he’s used to these expensive clothes and once he’s out on his own with credit cards, he’ll get himself into a bunch of debt to keep up with his lifestyle. Scary thought!

        1. Well I’m glad you are playing devil’s advocate b/c you are right. He did ask for more jobs today to make money so that’s good. At least he knows he has to work for some of this stuff. Credit cards are the devils currency!

  3. One of my favourite classes in school was about semiotics, because designer, fake, real and intentioned and implied worth are such a thing, and as for why kids are learning about brands so early: targeting. If they catch them early on shoes and small handbags and clutches wallets and belts, when they grow up they will use their ‘real money’ for ‘big’ purchases. They focus on indoctrinating with small bits- and fragrance…. so that they can be embedded when disposable income becomes a real thing. I think. It doesn’t explain why I lust after Frye boots when I have never really held them in my hands.

    1. Ah, Frye boots are so buttery and smooth! That’s probably half the reason you lust after them. But what you are saying makes complete sense! I think my family should just become Amish, it would save so much money.

      1. I have some Frye open toe shoes that I bought because they were the only Frye I had ever seen in Canada and were only 100 dollars and I was graduating so I indulged. But they are open toe. That’s off limits at least half the year here. So they have lasted 7 years. I guess that’s the upside. The reality is I want Frye boots. Because I want them .

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