Peggy (psychopeg) wrote in little_details,

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Teen clothes/sports in mid-1990s Maine and Europe (Italy/Switzerland)

I'm writing about teenagers in the mid-90s, which is just enough before I was a teenager that I'm not sure whether or not what I remember applies; I'm also from the midwest, wondering if my high-school sports experience is applicable. I've also got a foreign exchange student, and what he'd wear I haven't the slightest clue. Anybody from those areas or who was in high school in 1996, please help?

I've been through the tags for clothing & 1990s; mostly I'm looking for regional confirmation of what The Google has told me so far.

Setting: 1996 in small-town Maine; Characters A and B are local teens, who meet C, a foreign-exchange student from Florence, Italy who has been attending a private boarding school in Switzerland.

I want C's fashion choices to stick out, if that's realistic, but I think it would be? A and B are going to give him a makeover of sorts. But for that to work, I need a better idea of what they're all wearing to begin with!

1. Cool kids in Maine high schools were wearing--what? I'd guess (based on "Clueless" and my own experience) popular boys would be wearing baggy jeans/baggy cargo pant khakis, "carpenter" jeans in light washes, baggy polo shirts, baggy long-sleeved tshirts, baggy sweaters, oversized button-downs unbuttoned over tshirts; surfer-themed stuff; basketball jerseys; etc. Nylon tracksuits?

Girls were wearing wearing crop tops and miniskirts, tight flared-leg jeans/bellbottoms? (I am picturing Spice Girl videos. This may not be accurate.) I was neither cool nor a teenager during this time period. I started high school in 1997 and wore baggy, oversized shirts with tight jeans on weekends, but I went to an all-girls' private school with a uniform in the midwest, so... I am not sure I wasn't way off the general trend.

Wikipedia indicates that girls would've been wearing leggings with oversized tops and Keds, which sounds heinous but believable. It also reminds me about belly-button piercings, babydoll dresses/babydoll shirts, and plaid. I'm actually less interested in what girls were wearing because my female character's sort of clueless about fashion herself; I'm mostly checking on regional variation.

I know it was popular to have brand names and logos on your shirts, and I know big ones were Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, Nautica, Nike, Adidas, etc. for boys and Guess? for girls. Was Abercrombie & Fitch popular yet? Were there any regional variations?

Googled various permutations/combinations of fashion, 1996, 1990s, teen, clothes, boys, and girls, and (embarrasing but helpful) Backstreet Boys.

2. Same time period, but in Italy OR Switzerland (Italian boy at boarding school in Switzerland)

I'm thinking uniform would be khaki slacks, white Oxford shirt, navy blazer, striped tie (from Googling and/or what I'd like it to be, since the school is imaginary); but what would he wear when NOT in uniform? Same as my American teens, or would European fashion have been significantly different?

Googled: same as above, only with Italy, Europe, uniform, switzerland, school uniform, swiss, italian

And, last but not least, SPORTS!

3. This one's regional, I think. I grew up in Cincinnati OH, and the cool thing for kids in high school to do was go to the football games, which were Friday nights and heavily attended, often with an informal "mixer"/dance afterward in the school gym. Soccer and basketball were much less popular but basketball had occasional attendance; neither of these sports got mixers. I now live in Indiana, where basketball games seem to be the big draw, although I teach at a high school that's too small for football so perhaps my view is biased. Also, all of my experience is from largish cities, and this would be in a small town--I assume that would make sports MORE of a draw for local teens? Anyway, would football still be a big deal, or would another sport be the big social event? Any "mixers"?

Thanks for any help you can provide! I know this is a terrible, rambling first entry, and I promise to clean up my act in the future.
Tags: 1990-1999, europe (misc), italy (misc), usa: maine, ~clothing, ~sports (misc)

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