The early 2000s are having a moment in fashion right now, and I really want a pair of baggy cargo pants. Yes I know I’m a thirty-two year old woman. I still want them!
They brings me back to the early 2000s, when I was just a high school kid. Along side the rise of Avril Lavigne and her song Sk8er Boy, I went through a phase of obsession with skater boys. They were just so cool. With their Vans shoes and baggy workwear inspired pants, they seemed effortless and fun. They were mischievous in a way I could never pull off. In an attempt to get their attention / lure them to me, I tried dressing like one, despite the fact I’d never skateboarded a day in my life.
I’d attempted to do it once on the living room carpet, but could never balance my grown teenager’s weight on the child-size skateboard that the kid from the family that moved out of my apartment left behind. I was too uptight to try and do it without proper knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet, and also too thin-skinned to embarrass myself in public. The result is yours truly never took a step outside with a skateboard in hand.
Despite not having any street creds, I begged my mom to get me a pair of cargo pants from the men’s section at Walmart. I’d pair them with a an old white T-shirt that had “Duke University” written on it, which my dad used to wear. It did nothing for my figure whatsoever.
I thought I was being very cool for discarding all the girl rules out the window and dressing like a boy. Except I didn’t really, I totally cared about being attractive to guys! I just had a warped sense of what that was.
I walked down the street in my Walmart cargo pants with a confidence that'd rival Kanye. Who cares if I can’t actually skateboard? It totally looks like I could! The boys should swarm around me like bees to a wad of honey.
It didn’t work, by the way. They were much too invested in their own skateboarding and video gaming to bat an eye.
But no matter they didn’t like it, I grew to like it. My baggy clothes were comfortable and spacious and made me un-self conscious. I was confident that they made me look good in an unusual way that only I could pull off. Too bad for the boys, not having the guts to talk to such a cool progressive person, it must be sad to be them. I thought, haughtily.
Looking back, I am absolutely baffled. Where did I get so much blind confidence? Was it the raging testosterone that you get when you are going through puberty? To think that that kid would go on to have days where she'd stand in front of the mirror, obsessed about how to look skinnier, is absolutely unfathomable to me.
Maybe it’s not the cargo pants, maybe I just want to channel a bit of that me back into my life.