6th Grade Swagger

Despite a few instances of my super-hip friend telling me an outfit of mine was "on trend," I am not what you (or a New Yorker) would call sartorially inclined. I've been to several events and said out loud "I hope there are no cameras." There are always cameras.

However, my love of flannel and the cooling temperatures allow me to dance of the plaid-lined cusp of the current trend. I'm also fortunate that in Austin, flannel is always appropriate. 


In 6th grade I was blissfully unaware of... well I was unaware that I was unaware of style. Personal style, rather. 6th grade was my first time in a public school where previously I was enrolled in a very small private school. Fantastic for developing creativity... did nothing about preparing me for a graduating class of 500. For the first time I learned about trends and how different styles had the ability to identify and transform you. I learned that you could change your persona from day to day just based on your dress. I learned, thanks to Mr. Cobain, that I loved flannel.

One Monday morning I showed up to school in rockin' brand new maroon corduroy pants, a beige tank and the outfit's pièce de ré·sis·tance- a maroon and beige flannel shirt. Unbuttoned and untucked, just as Nirvana and Pearl Jam intended it. I walked up to my friends waiting for the first bell to ring with what can only be described as 6th grade swagger. 

I had barely said "hey" before Alexa could ask "What are you doing?! You might get detention!" Due to an orthodontist appointment the Friday before flannel-gate, I missed the announcement saying that all button up shirts must be buttoned-up and tucked-in. I went from swagger to splatter in a heartbeat, but thankfully stayed out of detention. 

It took me a while to try something new, at least when it came to my wardrobe. But now, many (many) years later I've figured out that it wasn't necessarily the trend that gave me the bounce in my step in that fateful maroon and beige ensemble. It was that I felt good. My still-growing-into-my-silver-smile self felt confident and great in the outfit I picked out. I took a chance with a new look and while it failed, I had tasted cool. Plus, now I had maroon corduroy pants.

Last week J and I went to see a friend in town. There was a chill in the air and it had been raining all day, but I didn't like any of my sweaters with my outfit. Right before we walked out the door I grabbed my favorite flannel and threw it over my shirt. Unbuttoned and untucked. As we walked down the street I felt something I hadn't felt in years-

6th Grade Swagger.