Fashion & Beauty

Welp, Laura Ashley Dresses Are Back, So Your Grade-School Closet Was Officially Chic

When the things your mom dressed you in as a kid are cool, has the ’90s revival trend gone too far?

A model wears a white and blue toile print dress in a field of yellow flowers for the Urban Outfitters Laura Ashley Dresses campaign

Laura Ashley UO Exclusive Amelia Toile Poplin Midi Dress, $124,

Peek into the Instagram-inspired closet of a woman in her twenties and what you’ll see might have you thinking you took a wrong turn and ended up on the set of Saved by the Bell. Chokers, fanny packs, high-waisted mom jeans, crop tops—has anyone seen Kelly Kapowski? Because I swear these are her things.

In early April, Urban Outfitters took the retro trend to a new place of niche with the launch of an exclusive Laura Ashley capsule collection. A quick primer/reminder: Laura Ashley is the British brand known for modest dresses covered in mumsy floral prints, dainty, Little House on the Prairie things that look like the tea set at your grandmother’s house. The capsule collection has everything a ’90s baby dreams of: ruffled dresses and tops, whimsical bows for your hair, baby tees, puffy hairbands, high-waisted jeans and high-cut swimwear. For the particularly nostalgic, there’s even bedding and wallpaper. If it’s easy to picture it on Hailey Bieber, it’s probably even easier to remember wearing it yourself.

What’s most exciting about this capsule collection is that it signals a shifting tide for the 1990s fashion wave, one that harkens back to a time that was a little more innocent. Let’s face it—the things your mom made you wear when you were a kid are considered cool now. I may regret some of my own youthful fashion missteps, but I’ll never be mad about how my mama dressed me.

Here are five other trends that someone else probably made you wear when you were five, making you the most prolific trendsetter ever.

Baby Barrettes

A pearl barrette

Tasha Crystal & Imitation Pearl Embellished Barrette, $34,

From your kindergarten class photo to the red carpet, baby barrettes and clips are a must-have hair accessory this spring. For an elevated take on the classic plastic snaps, try a pin embellished with pearls.

Denim Overalls

A model wearing denim overalls

Old Navy Straight-Leg Denim Overalls for Women, $54,

Before Will Smith wore his with one strap unfastened, your mom had you running around in an adorable pair of overalls. If you’re up for a hunt, vintage shops have plenty of OshKosh on their racks.

Bucket Hats

A multi-colour bucket hat

The North Face Sun Stash Hat, $35,

Any mom worried about UV rays slapped a bucket hat on her babe. This enduring staple has been seen at Prada and on Rihanna, adding a welcome cool factor to its existing sun protection factor. (Here’s your friendly reminder that UV rays increase your risk of skin cancer.)

Ankle Socks

A pair of polka dot ankle socks

Ganni Classon Dots Socks, $27,

One of my earliest memories is of getting made fun of in kindergarten for my wardrobe of floral-print dresses and dainty white ankle socks. First of all—how rude! Secondly, how cute was I? And third, you better believe I’ll be wearing some adorable ankle socks this summer.

Colourful Corduroy

A model wearing a pair of pink corduroy pants

Frank And Oak Corduroy Wide-Leg Pants in Pink Lemonade, $78,

Corduroy’s always had a bit of an adorable dorky vibe to it, which was co-opted by the fashion set when Gigi and Zayne wore matching Prada sets in a 2017 issue of Vogue. Bonus points if you decide to rock a matching suit. (Eight-year-old me had one in mustard.)


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