Growing up with the Olsen Twins

Whatever our age, we all have that person we slightly obsess over and attempt to be more like. Right now I want to be Caitlin Moran for her witty foul-mouthed writing skills or Alexa Chung for being on the cover of three magazines at once wearing the clothes she wore the night before. When I was 10, it was Sleeping Beauty because I liked sleeping and plus, she had alright hair. At 13 it was Britney, envious of her being on the arm of Justin Timberlake and a few years later I ditched the pink scrunchies and instead tried to be an angry skater girl  a la Avril Lavigne, carrying the skateboard as an accessory, obviously.

These, of course, were the strange phases that no one likes to admit. But there was actually one duo who kind of stayed with me throughout the childhood naivety, awkward teenage years and then into the infancy of adulthood. This twosome responsible for influencing my fashion decisions through the years were, in fact, the Olsen Twins. I thought I’d take you on a little journey through their fashion history which proves that they made the same faux pas as your average girl struggling their way through growing up, making mistakes and learning how to be cool through painstaking trial and error.

In 1995, I saw my first Olsen film It Takes Two. It was drenched with denim dungarees, big socks, back to front baseball caps, jumpers tied round the waist and jumper arms so long they’d trip you up. They were my idols from day one because at this age, I was just wanted to wear massive clothes (I was blissfully unaware of the term ‘body image’) and enjoy rolling around in the mud and climbing trees.

Image via FanPop

Three years later, in 1998, I discover hair accessories in Billboard Dad. You know, the tiny little butterfly ones which allows you to explore different hair styles based on how many of the little things you can physically get in your hair. The hair trend of this year was bunches folded over with clips. You know the look I’m talking about. You’ll also notice the ‘choker necklace’ – the piece of jewellery our parents would look rather concerned about as we assured them that it looks cool and no, it’s not cutting into our necks.

Image via Listal

1999 is a very exciting time. The Olsen twins get a Passport to Paris, mingle with boys and discover shiny dresses. I am introduced to the concept of ‘dressing up’ in glittery ensembles and how awkward it looks to ‘dance’ with a boy that is taller than you. Not only this, but I also realise how amazing it would be to visit a city, or perhaps live in one. Like I do now. Sadly no riding around on boys motorbikes, though.

Image via Listal

Suddenly it’s 2002 and the Olsen Twins are all about the flower power. The bandana is on trend and I find myself buying hundreds of different types of headwear, much to my mother’s despair. ‘Do rags, head scarfs, head bands, you name it. I am obsessed. The film is set in Australia and by this I suddenly become slightly interested in beachwear, flowery bikinis and even dragging my parents away for the opportunity to balance awkwardly on a surfboard. In the rainy South of England, though, not Sydney.

In 2004, body image has crept in, the girls are noticeably thinner and considerably more groomed. They have discovered New York and the iconic NYC style of fashion. I might have gone out and bought a beret  because Mary Kate looked so chic running up Fifth Avenue in it. Unsurprisingly, my attempt didn’t really have the same effect. Hat hair.

Image via Flakmag

A mere 4 years later in 2008, our beloved Olsen twins are then offered a new role. And that’s to be on the cover of Playboy magazine. They didn’t agree to it, but still, their new look has enticed a slightly creepy, new audience. Coincidentally this was the same year I was shipped off to University to discover sex, drugs and rock and roll. (And the library.)

 Image via Bulvaros


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