IN ORDER TO effectively rule a school, you needed the right accessories.
Being cool was everything in our school days – and let’s face it, every teenager needs a little bit of material help in that department sometimes.
Here’s a breakdown of the weapons you needed in your arsenal in order to reach the top of the pecking order.
1. The correct schoolbag (with the correct signatures)
This varied from school to school and era to era – not to mention amongst cliques.
In general, you couldn’t go wrong with a Jansport or Billabong or Roxy Quiksilver bag, covered in Tippex signatures from your own gang.
(Unless someone put a swear on it and your Mam saw. Then it was distinctly less cool.)
2. Signed school shirt
Sob. The last day of school was an emotional one, with hormones and fevers running high.
In order to cash in on your year’s cachet, you’d have to get the most signatures or be in the most demand to sign everyone else’s. Only to put the shirt away and never, ever bother thinking about it again.
3. Hair braid from holidays/Sun-In locks
If you came back from holidays with hair braids, you were automatically the talk of the lunch table.
Image: Life & Luxury
Ditto the guys who bleached their hair at the first sign of sunshine. We salute your noble dedication to orange hair.
4. The right shoes
Striped Adidas runners? Dubarry boat shoes (or Dubes)? What was en vogue all varied from school to school.
This picture of Dubes comes courtesy of social networking site Bebo, which was also a school essential for a certain age-group among us.
Are we alone in thinking that, for girls, one of the most exciting things about starting secondary school was being allowed those chunky black shoes with heels?
When they were in, they were in. Inexplicably.
6. Bottle of So? or a can of Lynx
Forget just looking good. You also had to smell good. For girls, that meant a bottle of So? or Exclamation! because evidently perfume companies were quite into punctuation back then.
For boys, that meant a hearty spray of Lynx in the morning, before lunch, after PE and whenever else you felt the need to stink of pubescent desperation.
7. Rocking tracksuit bottoms
If you hurt your leg, you might have been allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms into school for a bit instead of your school trousers or skirt. Halcyon days.
They had to be Kappa rip-aways, highlighted Cantos or O’Neills with the waistband flipped up. Nothing else would do.
8. Mood rings
The coolest, if practically defunct, piece of jewellery going. It was worth wearing a mood ring into school for the cool points it garnered, even if it did mean getting a stern talking-to from the vice principal about the school dress code.
9. Getting your cast signed
Break your arm during PE and cry in front of that girl you fancied? Oh well, at least you got a kick-ass cast.
Image: Flickr/Aaron M
Perhaps the whole thing would have been worth it, if only your best mate didn’t draw crude renderings of genitalia on it. That you were then stuck with. For 3 months. Sigh.
10. The haircut
If you didn’t have curtains, the Rachel, rat’s tail, feathered front bits, streaky highlights, chunky lowlights… Who even were you?
“Shave the head, pal, leave the fringe.”
11. Hair mascara
And what would your haircut have been without the relevant accessories?
We’re talking Dax Wax, tiny hair clasps, weird butterfly inserts, glitter spray and copious amounts of hair mascara applied to your fringe.
12. Markered nails
If you were into rock music, you almost definitely painted your nails black with permanent markers.
13. Friendship bracelets
If a friendship existed without friendship bracelets in the 90s, did it truly exist at all?
14. A Friends ring-binder
Or a BoyZone pencil case.
An essential past-time for the cool school-goer. Either you’d write about your fictitious romantic exploits on the jacks door, or studiously transcribe Nirvana lyrics to a desk.
16. Tattoo necklaces
The be-all and end-all of fashion statements. Never mind the fact that these looked vomit-worthy with your school shirt. They were cool, and so you had to have them.
Did you have any of the above back when you were in school? And did they help you in your eternal teenage mission to achieve street cred?