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By Michelle Woo
I don't like going out because it requires putting pants on.
There are a number of rituals that girls perform once they finally arrive back home after a long day of cubi-work or classes. For me, I peel off every inch of skin-tight, formfitting, confining clothing and trade it in for a big, ugly T-shirt I got for free at some event. Every piece of jewelry comes off. The hair that was whipping around my face all day goes up. And pants? Nope.
But there's one thing I won't even touch, even within the confines of my apartment: the hair scrunchie.
A cloth-covered, elasticized hair tie symbolic of the '80s and early '90s, several supposed trendsetting celebs were photographed within the last few months wearing them: Sienna Miller, Mary-Kate Olsen . . . and in public. Small, petite, solid black and red ones. Several times. And they didn't look bad, I guess. But then again, they're Sienna and Mary-Kate.
In 2004, Nicky Hilton inked a deal to design a line for hair accessories giant Scünci.
At London Heathrow, I spotted a tall, leggy blonde in a black-on-black-on-black head-turning outfit waiting for a transfer with a tiny black scrunchie holding back her hair.
I saw this girl looking cute in Costa Mesa with her scrunchie holding back a messy ?ponytail.
And the stores with the usually not-so-bad selections are carrying them again, such as the leopard-spotted and solid fuchsia pair I spotted on the counters of H&M.
But really, I don't even know if schoolgirls wear them anymore. As a kid, we all had 'em, and in all sizes and colors. Remember the big, floppy ones with charms and dangling sparklies that ended up tearing out entire sections of your hair? Bet you thought you looked real cute back then.
And you're probably thinking it, so I might as well mention it: Remember that Sex and the Cityepisode where Carrie argues with boyfriend #23 that no real New York woman would ever be seen with a scrunchie in public? (Let's just put it out there that I've never seen the episode, nor have I ever enjoyed an episode. Ever.) Yeah, well, there you go: even Carrie Bradshaw hates them.
I haven't really formulated any solid opinion on the alleged scrunchie comeback yet. I don't find them to be personally offensive or anything, but then again, I haven't seen them on your average girl, either. First inclination is disgust, but then I see it executed pretty well. We'll see how it pans out.
If you're feeling bold, just be sure to turn down the possible trash factor as much as possible with your outfit—think clean lines, solids and coordinating separates. But when and if the sorority and clubbing crowd picks up on it (Wet Seal and Claire's following soon after), I'm sure we'll all despise it as much as Juicy Couture terry cloth "running" suits and chunky blond-and-black highlights.
But pants? Avoid them. As much as possible.
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