For Rollick's very first blog post, I figured I would stray from the typical fashion post, and tell a story about how one pair of pants and one mean little girl had a lasting impact on me and led me to my purpose and passion behind Rollick.
There are some pivotal childhood moments, good, bad or ugly, that we remember and hold with us all of our lives. It could be the first time you meet your best friend, the day you move away from your childhood home, or in my case, a very specific encounter involving pleather pants.
It was 7th grade and I remember so clearly buying them at JCPenney (oh yes) and being SO excited to show them off to my friends and classmates. With their flared bottoms, and long-enough length for all my gangly-ness, they were a thing of beauty. I wore a plaid-skirted uniform to school every day for 9 years in elementary school, so any chance to show off my “style” was not taken lightly.
Naturally the best place to show off these bad boys was at the 7th/8th grade dance that happened every few months. They made their debut at the first dance and were a smash hit with the squad, so naturally a couple months later when another dance came around, out they came as my party go-tos.
Girls on one side, boys on the other, KC and Jojo playing in the background; the scene was set for night worthy of a 90s rom-com. There I was, standing with a couple friends, no doubt figuring out which boys we were going to ask to dance, when one of the 8th grade “popular” girls started coming up to us. I was trying to play it cool and not get too excited that she wanted to talk to us 7th graders. She came right up to me and what she said, and her catty little face while saying it, will forever live in my mind in perfect clarity: “You really like those pants, don’t you?”, and she walked away.
Mortified, crushed, probably purple-faced from embarrassment. This girl who I always hailed as the coolest, basically just told me my pants suck and that I’m a joke for wearing them to 2 dances. Whatever confidence they had given me was immediately deflated into a pile of pleather-filled shame and dejection. My friends tried to reassure me that I looked great, but the damage was done and when I got home, I angrily shoved those pants in the back of my dresser, never to see the light of day again.
When thinking about creating Rollick, this story, long hiding in the good ol' brain archives, came rushing back to me. It hit me that clothing can have such a bigger impact on our lives than for just superficial reasons. Our style can give us confidence and leave lasting impressions of events throughout life (good or bad in this case).
Looking back, I wish I could grab awkward, gangly, 13-year-old Kelly and tell her who the hell cares what that brat thinks?? Those pants make YOU feel great, and at the end of the day, that’s all that should matter.
In my mind, the idea of fashion exists so we can express ourselves, feel like the best version of ourselves, and have a little fun while doing so. So why is it that most of the fashion industry exists to foster comparison, self-doubt, and a “if you’re wearing the wrong thing, you’re not cool” mentality?
My hope is that Rollick will give all of you out there - who have your own version of a pleather pants story - the confidence and freedom to be unapologetically you, however gangly and awkward that might be.
P.S. - Pleather pants are TOTALLY back...so joke's on her ;).