The Column: Return of the Peter Pan Students

Don’t want to grow up? psychoanalysis the 90’s fashion revival in York


A trend has been engulfing the teens and twenty-something’s of York recently with a somewhat ‘Peter Pan’ vibe. No, hoards of students have not been donning green tights. They have however been revisiting their childhood style thanks to many 90s trends hitting the runway. Simpler times, the Golden Years, the 1990s, call them what you want, we each have scrapbooks full of memories from that decade, but many now have wardrobes full too. These hipsters all take Peter’s phrase ‘I’ll never grow up’ quite literally.

All it takes is a Friday night visit to The Duchess to notice it – you may well feel like you’ve opened the wrong door and stepped into an urban school disco. Scrunchies, platformed trainers and high-waisted Levi shorts all seem to be style staples. As are 90’S band t-shirts, usually purchased in Topshop (with a like totally believable story about mummy and daddy having their one year anniversary at the gig so its totally relevant and soo vintage.) You can see more double-denim ensembles than those teeny tiny white plastic cups that they hand out. There are even crop top and leggings pairings, as impossible to forget as the Destiny’s Child lyrics on the tip of their tongues. Some unfortunate ‘fashion’ followers revert so far back to their school days that they brand themselves with playground taunts such as ‘Geek’ and ‘Nerd’ on their t-shirts. And there, through a crowd of Phat-goers, looking remarkably like extras from Saved By The Bell, you see a couple huddled in the corner and you cannot quite work out if they’re exchanging numbers or swapping Pokémon cards. You are now fully submerged in a weekend Neverland of sticky floors and jelly shoes.

And of course, this trend does not just stop on the dance floor. A visit to JB Morrell library shows its continuation, with students carrying back packs. They seem useful enough but peer inside and they are filled with nothing but a solo can of Tizer and the broken promises of an on-trend term, rather than a pile of books.

So why is it that so many of us at the start of our journey into adult-hood seem to think it’s appropriate to dress like our 6 year old selves? I, admittedly, whilst watching Friends repeats in the heat of procrastination have admired Monica’s dungarees. This sent memories of me visiting the hairdressers with a clipping of Rachel Green and ‘the do’ on a Saturday morning, all flooding back to me.

Deadlines, work experience, bills and *gasp* hangovers getting far, far worse have sent us running in the opposite direction. What’s wrong with emailing your tutor about a very important matter with your freshly manicured Pac-man nails? So beat Monday morning blues and the reality of the real world by grabbing a Lunchable, and don’t you dare forget your Walkman. We are all but a Tamagotchi I-phone app away from a complete childhood revival.

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