When I was a kid my mom made all of my clothes. I think I was ten years old before I got my first t-shirt. Mom just sewed everything I wore with the exception of my panties and socks. This was great in the sense that as a preschooler no one ever had the same outfit as me; I worked circle time like Gisele on a red carpet. Sometimes mom even made my Cabbage Patch Kid matching outfits. This was exceptionally cool back in the 1980’s.
The unfortunate side effect of having your mom make all you clothes though is that none of your clothes have tags. At first you may think this an advantage, no itchy tags irritating your skin. You are clearly not a four year old. If you were, you would see lacking tags in your clothes makes it simply impossible to know if your clothes are on backwards. Every morning I would lay out my clothes on the bed, flip them around a few times, then make a stab at putting them on.
About half the time I wandered into the living room with my clothes on backwards. It went the same way everyday. Walk out into the house, mom giggles, shamefully walk back to bedroom to flips clothes around. Those were the good days. Somedays I made it all the way to a school backwards. I would wonder why all day it felt like my shorts were awfully constricting in the ass, or why I couldn’t reach my arms farther than a foot in front of me. I spent so many days looking like a baby t-rex with arms I could only move from the elbows. Of course, these were the days I discovered when I got home I had been sporting my clothes backwards again. Unfortunately, this was waaayyy before the famed rap group of the early 1990’s, Kriss Kross, made putting your clothes on backwards cool.
Mom could not understand why I had so much trouble. “TAGS, woman, I need TAGS!” I screamed. Ok, so maybe the conversation was a little more subtle. But eventually I did tell mom how all the other kids had tags in their clothes and could tell the front from the back. I had total tag envy. Mom’s solution was to take a little strip of seam binding, because it was prolific and cheaper than ribbon, and sew it into the back of my shorts, shirts, and dresses. I was saved. This drastically reduced the number of times I went backwards. I would say it stopped it completely, but I was not that smart as a kid and there were still incidents.
Years later when I became a teacher I realized mom had given me an accommodation similar to those I would provide to my special education students. Yup, that’s about right. I was pretty special when it came to dressing myself. I’d like to think I have gotten more proficient over the years. Let’s be honest though, I may have my clothes on the right way, but my fashion choices can still be questionable from time to time.