The year was 1991…Nirvana and Pearl Jam owned the airwaves, stocks and the economy were shaken by the Savings and Loan Crisis, and a young Chris Farley taught us how to laugh every Saturday Night.
And oh yeah, we were all wearing flannel shirts.
The flannel shirt trend came out of the Seattle thrift store culture and it accompanied the Grunge music wave that swept the nation. It seems that pre-Starbucks, Seattle only had one other employer of note, Boeing, which was having a tough time of it’s own back then. When the dismal state of Seattle’s employment picture combined itself with our national hangover from eighties excess, the stage was set for the emergence of Grunge as nineties teens sought to own their moment, recession and all.
Two recessions later, it appears that the flannel shirt is coming back (see below):
The children of the the eighties and early nineties are now grown up homeowners and they’re cutting back on the allowances they give their now-teenage children. With teenage unemployment in the 20 percent range, what once was old is new again as that grungie feeling is coming back.
The kids of this generation are being offered the flannel shirt look from just about every teen-focused retailer in their rapidly-deteriorating local shopping mall.
Below are some examples from Gap, Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister…I probably could’ve found many more but then my eyes and ears started bleeding from prolonged exposure to these websites.
Take what you’re being given while I call a few hospitals:
The cool kids will hit the vintage and thrift stores like mommy and daddy did back in ’91. The rest will take mommy and daddy’s maxed-out credit cards to the mall and miss the point of grunge fashion entirely.
Oh well, I have other things to worry about.