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styleThe Croft2023

Memoirs Of A Childhood Wardrobe

Laura reflects on the nostalgia of her childhood clothing, and how our early wardrobe can influence our current style.

By Laura Hartig, Third Year, English

The Croft Magazine // Laura reflects on the nostalgia of her childhood clothing, and how our early wardrobe can influence our current style.

Even as a child, I recall being opinionated in what I wore. I think I knew what items of clothing I didn’t want to wear, rather than what I did, and I made this blatantly clear to my parents. I can remember one specific outfit I detested so vividly due to the fuss I made at being forced to wear it. Picture a swimming costume, but with sleeves and shorts attached, essentially a child’s-size wetsuit, but with a zip that went from your bellybutton right up to your neck. Fair enough the Mini Boden offender came in various patterns of polka dots or stripes, and all my mum was really trying to do was protect my ghostly pale ginger skin from the sun, but I thought this outfit was the epitome of uncool. And I made sure everyone knew that I just wanted to wear a bikini like all the other normal kids in the pool.

I can remember my mum scouring eBay in search of second-hand monsoon skirts. She’d enter bidding wars in the hopes of winning those floaty linen skirts, the type that were covered in little circular mirrors and embellished with tiny beads. I’d spend hours and hours just twirling about in them, watching them fan out around me, as the beads jangled around. Once I grew out of them, she’d pop them back on eBay to be loved by another little girl. I wonder if witnessing her determination in bagging a bargain is where my love of sourcing second-hand items stems from.

© Emily Fromant

I’d like to say that my childhood style bears no resemblance to my current style as there have been some pretty questionable outfit choices over the years, (picture pink leggings and denim shorts, or the infamous Superdry jacket with the never-ending zips), but I know there’s some items that still bring me comfort. Knit jumpers and cardigans have always been something I find comfortable and easy, and as I look back at baby photos of myself, there’s rarely a shot of myself without one. But truly my childhood style was just a projection of my mum’s style as she chose how to dress me each day; and like me, she is also never seen without a jumper.

What seems most apparent to me is that my choice of clothes as a child just represented an inherent desire to be grown up. Thinking that each new item in my wardrobe represented the next stage in my life. Thinking the first pair of heels I owned, meant I had entered womanhood. Feeling disappointed that the first time I left the house with a handbag, wasn’t the mark of my new maturity, but actually just a very practical development in life.

Featured image: Emily Fromant

Do you think your childhood wardrobe inform your current style? Let us know!