anne_mikolay_120According to my kids, I am neither “hip” nor “with it.” I am, however, “old fashioned,” “out of touch,” and “behind the times.”

Perhaps I am. Sometimes, when my boys (ages 17 and 20) speak, I don't know what they are talking about. I don't understand the lingo, and I'm not as technologically advanced as they are. But I can identify a fashion faux pas when I see one.

The other day, I was in the donut shop when a young lady and a young man, both approximately seventeen years of age, came in. She was wearing a white t-shirt and black leotards. I swear she forgot to put her pants on! In my day, leotards were worn underneath a skirt or a ballet tutu, and were not designed as pants. But I digress.

Despite what my kids' believe, I am “with it” enough to recognize that such leotards pass as fashion these days, and paid little mind to the young lady's apparent lack of pants. When I saw the young man's attire, however, I quickly turned my face away so he would not see me laughing. The boy was wearing a baseball cap backward, not an uncommon sight these days, and a wind-breaker, hardly unusual...but his trousers were literally falling down. I am well aware that for some unfathomable reason today's young men like to let the waist band of their underwear show above the belt of their jeans. Whoever made that initial fashion statement ought to have their head examined, and so should the kid in the donut shop. His jeans hovered around his knees, exposing his entire boxer shorts, not just the waist band. He struggled to walk, and shuffled along like a toddler. The kid's attire was the funniest – and dumbest – fashion faux pas I have seen in years.

His Joe Boxers gave me pause. What ridiculous fashion choices did I make when I was a teenager? Quickly, I conducted a mental inventory of my teen closet: mini-skirts, platform shoes, braided belts, Indian hand-bags, gauchos. Now there's a laughable image: my skinny teenage “chicken legs” in a mini skirt! Add platform shoes that looked as though they were stolen from Herman Munster's closet, and you have an utterly ridiculous, yet common, adolescent fashion statement of the 70s.

I shouldn't have laughed at the boy in the donut shop; he was merely expressing his individuality, testing his place in the world, searching for an image he is comfortable with. We have all been through similar teenage angst. Thankfully, I eventually traded in my platform shoes for tasteful pumps. Eventually, the young fella buying donuts will pull up his pants and get on with his life, too.