Feeling a little nostalgic? Us, too
This one’s for the nostalgic among us. For those who know what it’s like to cringe at old photos that depict a simpler yet more emotional time. The ones who used to save Tumblr and LiveJournal quotes on a family computer. Those who screamed, jumped and cried at lyrics like “I got a closet filled up to the brim with the ghosts of my past and the skeletons,” “Invitation's only grand farewells” and “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?”
This one is for the kids-turned-adults who still don’t quite feel like adults yet, and who felt a little something—finally—when the lineup for the When We Were Young concert was announced. Fellow OG emo kids, this is our survival kit for the concert targeted at our nostalgic souls.
The nostalgic eyeliner and side bangs
Were you really an emo kid if you didn’t sport some heavy black eyeliner, complemented (and hidden) by a heavy side bang?
Let Gen Z keep their flattering white eyeliner and strange middle parts. This October is all about a stylistic throwback to when we were cool.
Nostalgic skinny jeans
Baggy jeans and high-waisted bottoms might be all the rage right now, but the OG emo kids know where it’s really at: low-rise skinny jeans. It just wasn’t enough until our butt cracks were almost showing and if our thighs could still breathe.
Band merch, particularly wristbands
You know the ones. Those sweat-inducing plastic wristbands we used to collect and call arm candy, and differentiated us from our peers based on the logo or text. Plus points if you mixed in some wristbands that told the world what you believed in. Anyone else remember To Write Love On Her Arms? Looking back, it’s really no wonder why our generation is so passionate about supporting fellow humans.
To this day, I still do not know why we called them sex bands. But they were a staple, anyway.
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A hoodie and anything checkered or plaid
Despite not needing the layers, our closets were full of hoodies and checkered or plaid long sleeves. Our shoulders, stomachs and heads were always hidden beneath heavy fabric.
While Converse shoes have definitely not disappeared throughout the decades, the fine and nostalgic art of penning lyrics, notes and drawings with multi-colored pens has not survived as gracefully. We were far less interested in the longevity and pristine condition of our sneakers then, and I am nostalgic for it.
Literally anything studded: belts, bracelets and even shoes—if you were crafty enough.
Black or white nail polish
And I do not mean clean and dainty nail polish. Back then, we exclusively painted our nails with a Sharpie or correction fluid. Don’t blame the kids—these were the easy-to-remove options, perfect for the inevitable moments teachers would make us put our hands on the table.
OG emo kids, this is our time to shine. I know we’ve all been feeling nostalgic—and not necessarily in a good way. We might not all make it to the front of the When We Were Young stage in October, but at least it can still act as a reminder of a time when we let our hair down and truly let ourselves feel something.
So, anyone want to share their When We Were Young playlists? We might have all grown up a little, but sharing is still caring. Dump the links down in the comments 🖤
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver