I have very little interaction with high schoolers. It has been six years since I was a teenager and seven since I walked the halls of a secondary school. The crowd I run with now is more apt to discuss books, jobs and what Downton Abbey episode they are currently watching than, well, whatever teenagers discuss these days. But, on occasion, I have a high schooler sighting at church or Druber’s or in Pizza Hut. And, as should be expected, they dress differently than my friends and I used to—pants are tighter, unflared and even high rise (mom jeans, as we used to call them); high-top shoes are back; flannel is all the rage; Ugg boots are out; robin hood leggings and leather, pre-civil war looking shoes are in; bright, unmatched colors and hats are in; and, of all things, cardigans are making a comeback.
Now, I have no judgments to make about current fashion trends in Newton or around the world; any judgment will be out of date in a year anyway. But, the other day I stumbled across this tweet by author and singer Andrew Peterson that speaks foundational truth to an industry that knows only change. I think every Newton high school student who aspires to be super cool—or super boss, or whatever they say now should read this tweet and take it to heart:
“What I learned while looking at old family pics this week: the cooler you think you are now, the more embarrassed you'll be in 15 years.”
You rarely hear people mocking plain, practical clothing like black suits, simple summer dresses or jeans and a white tee-shirt. People laugh at the trends twenty, thirty, forty years down the road—parachute pants, tie-dyed shirts, Doc Martins, eighties bangs, platform boots, earth tones, tinted sunglasses and those shirts in the seventies with giant pointed collars.
So if I had to give fashion advice to the youth of Newton—and for that matter, the nation—I would just do what all smart people do when giving advice: quote someone smarter than I. I would say with Mr. Peterson and the old poet, Rudyard Kipling, “Don’t look too good.”
R. Eric Tippin
In The Study on 8th Street
 Rudyard Kipling, “If” Line 8