Grown Up: My advice: Don’t rush it

I could spend the next 500 words dissecting what style truly means. And that it doesn’t have anything to do with clothes. (Spoiler alert: it’s being comfortable in your own skin.)

So let me save you 10 minutes of reading (or 20, if you’re a slow reader, like me) and jump to the end first.

Let’s Tarantino this column, if you will.

Style is confidence. However you choose to express yourself, go nuts.

Care about the latest trends? Awesome. Don’t care about designers? Good for you.

Want to rock crazy high heels after drinking a few martinis and attempt to navigate the cobblestone streets of the Old Port? Swing out, sister. If I see you, I will probably give you a golf clap out of respect.

Want to sport something totally trendy that won’t last more than a season? Or pull off a summer palette when you know you’re totally a winter? God bless.

While I am onboard with self-expression, even if that includes comfort over style, or no style at all, I am a little bummed when I see young women pushing the boundaries into adulthood.

Like Madonna says, “Express Yourself!” But for the love of all that is holy, don’t rush it.

Enjoy that blissful ignorance of not knowing what a thong is and stick to that six-pack of very reasonable briefs while you can, my tweens.

(Never did I think this column about the musings of the thirtysomething would be subtitled, “Why I’m glad I grew up when I did and how I weep for the generations today.”)

I grew up in the age of The Gap and Old Navy. Bootleg jeans, T-shirts and sweaters were the dress code of the day. I remember the battle with my parents over purchasing an acrylic, swamp-color sweater blasted with the logo of Abercrombie & Fitch. Or saddle shoes with a 4-inch platform heel from Delia’s.

Yes, I grew up in the ’90s and ’00s – and while it was a bleak time for fashion, it was awesome for pop music.

I guess nostalgia can add a rose hue, but I don’t remember feeling like fashion was overly sexualized. We were growing up in the age of Hammer Pants and Umbro soccer shorts.

Kids today are growing up faster than I remember when I was that age. Have you seen kids go through awkward phases anymore? Is that no longer a thing? Braces have been replaced with Invisalign and instead of adolescents having just three frames to choose from for glasses, designers now cater to youth eyewear. Just the other day, I saw a gaggle of middle-schoolers with shoes I couldn’t afford.

And in the age of cell phones, selfies, online bullying and with all the horrible things happening with the Internet, I wish for kids to simply enjoy being young and without the burden of adult responsibility for as long as they can.

It’s a tough line to walk. Young women are told to be free, but not too free. Young celebrities are idealized and body shamed simultaneously.

I would not like to add to the contradiction of voices that young women feel.

So, please dress how you want, as long as you feel comfortable and confident.

And maybe you wait to sport those thong underpants until you understand what a FAFSA really means.

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