‘Somewhere Yonder’ is a personal blog by Róisin, an Irish girl in London, who shares her fun, frolics and festivities in a uniquely humourous and vivid way…
When Metro Chica asked for a guest post on something I’ve worn but look back on with a mixture of mortification and nausea (I paraphrase) it was hard to know where to begin.
Being a child of the 80s/ 90s, there are a quite a few outfits of mine that should never have seen the light of day. Picking just one was a bit of a Sophie’s Choice but without the trauma of having to save one of my children over the other… First up, there was the awful cowgirl-motif top with fringing that was purchased during the heyday of the country’s love affair with all things Western, the teeny tiny dress my friends bought me for my 17th birthday (backless and very nearly skirt-less) and then there was the canary yellow denim jacket I bought with my Confirmation money. But the one fashion boo-boo that probably sticks with me most was my Confirmation outfit itself.
Confirmation in Ireland is a fairly big deal, or at least it was in my day. It’s the first time many of us got to exercise a degree of control over out sartorial choices for a big occasion. For your Communion, religious nut jobs traditions dictate bridal wear of the miniature variety (which, on mature reflection, is really weird). Your Confirmation is different. You’re about to go to secondary school. You’re a mature, fashion-responsible young woman who understands the significance of making such an important choice. Photo upon photo upon photo was going to be taken of you. If you’re mother is anything like my mother, you even went for the professional photo, which hangs on the living room wall and will do so until the end of days. The point I’m trying to make is that your Confirmation outfit is an outfit that refuses to be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.
So why do I regret mine so much? Well, my outfit was the shhhtyyyyle of the time, you understand. It was a black and cream pinstripe number. The wide leg trouser was big at the time-voluminously so. A matching waistcoat, a cream blouse and a big floppy hat replete with matching corsage completed the look. I can even remember where we bought it-a distinctly middle-aged ladies boutique in the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick. Alarm bells should have been ringing in my twelve year old ears. Alas, like many a maiden at the time, I thought I looked grown-up and fierce fancy. Unfortunately, I looked like Blossom.
I do happen to have a photo of outfit in question because my father, in his infinite wisdom, decided to put it on Facebook. Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for making that possible. (Incidentally, underneath this on Facebook, my brother Ger [@midnightcourt] has left this comment: “Can’t see Roisin in that photo, but isn’t that Blossom from off the television?” Because he’s funny like that you see.)
Some choices – fashion or otherwise – live on in memory, some on easily-destructible film and most, nowadays, on the bloody internet. I wish I’d never bought an outfit for my Confirmation that made me look like a teenager from an early 90s sitcom. I wish people hadn’t taken so many photos that day. I wish my dad had never learned how to use a scanner. And, not for the first time, I wish Mark Zuckerberg had gotten out more in college.