Tube Tops Make Me Miss The Flannel 90s

My mom had it easy. So did my dad.

I mean, for starters they only had me. That was it. They had one kid to keep an eye on. And that kid grew up in the Midwest in the 90s.

Do you have any idea what that means?

It means I never wanted to wear a tube top, despite the prevailing “In Living Color” trend. Although, I loved that show. I took dance, so, the Fly Girls were just everything.

What I’m saying is, as a tween and teen, I never wanted any clothes that actually fit. Unlike today’s tween girls, I wanted everything two sizes too big. Flannel. Plaid. Khakis (somebody should have talked to me about that look). Oxfords with ironed collars.

No skin. Ever. Maybe a little, around my neck. Because, you always wore a white t-shirt under the oversized oxford to make doubly sure you were absolutely covered.

Massive sweater and a flannel. It was our uniform. Miss you, 90s.

I swear. What in the world were we thinking? Ugh. I mean it was cold, but not that cold.

And now, the 90s are swinging around again. But, as I raise West Coast girls, it is coming around in a totally different way – a way that is very cheeky, very midriff-y, very…exposed. It’s a very off-the-shoulder, Whitney Houston, DEB/UNITS flavored renaissance.

OMG DEB. Remember UNITS, though?

This was the business plan:

“Let’s sell stretchy bands of fabric in a shitton of different colors, put them in bins and tell girls they can wear them as a tube top, a skirt, a headband or as a parka…if they really stretch it.”

Literally genius. Also, so thankful it failed decades ago. Because if it existed today I’d be so tortured. SO TORTURED.

As it is, I have to ask the girls to raise their hands when they put a shirt on and try to go to school in it.


That’s what they say. As if I’m new to the planet. Because, in school you answer questions and you have to put your hand up. We also ask them to grab something off the ground, just to see how much cheek is visible.

fly girls
How they try to go to school. And they don’t even know who the Fly Girls are!

This is today’s 90s-influenced West Coast girls. That’s the reality. They like shirts that don’t go past the top of their pants. If it happens to cover their butt? Unacceptable. Because, then no one can see their phone in their back pockets.

The shirts need to be short and tight. Off the shoulder is preferred, and a crinkly-elastic-y fabric is everything. They’ve even taken to making their own tube tops, using scissors to reconstruct old tees they have that are “way too big…”

We try to meet in the middle, somewhere between a handkerchief tied in a knot and a full muumuu. But it’s hard. Their stuff needs to fit perfect for them to like it, which means it fits them for about five minutes since they’re still growing.

Wish we could ‘throw it back’ to flannel.

OMG. Tube tops and Missy Elliott’s video make me long for the 90s. The flannel 90s. Not the DEB 90s. Here’s hoping this whole thing comes around again for them, when they have kids.

Girls, they need to have girls. So they know.