Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.
This week’s Hindsight Fashion is: Raver Bracelets.
Raver Bracelets were a trend borne out of the Rave Scene. The bracelets themselves were most often made from large, colourful, plastic pony beads available at craft supply stores. Wearers would often make these bracelets themselves. In order for a pony bead bracelet to be considered a Raver Bracelet, it had to be worn in combination with hundreds of other similar bracelets, spanning the wearer’s forearm nearly up to their elbow. A single pony bead bracelet is simply not a Raver Bracelet.
Back in the day, my best friend and I began an obsession with Raver Bracelets. We wore so many Raver Bracelets that we had reverse farmer tans on our arms. We probably would have worn the bracelets all the way up to our shoulders had that not significantly limited one’s range of motion. My teenaged bestie and I would sit for hours in my bedroom at my family’s Muskoka cottage, a gigantic bag of beads in front of us, making bracelet after bracelet for each other. We would invent contests: Who can make the best solid colour bracelet? Who can make the fastest bracelet? Who can make the ugliest bracelet? (That one was a personal favourite because then the recipient of the World’s Ugliest Bracelet would have to wear it for a determined amount of time. Or else.)
Though Raver Bracelets looked super hip, they did have their drawbacks. They were very heavy. I often felt as though I was building my arm muscles simply by wearing all those bracelets every day. They were very bulky. This made it difficult to wear any long sleeve shirt that was tight in the forearm. They garnered the same stupid comments Every Single Day (“Hey. You sure do wear a lot of bracelets.” Duh.). They were very hot in the summer time because the beads covered so much surface area that the skin on your arms couldn’t breathe. This also meant that the bracelets took on a distinct smell by the end of the summer, similar to that of the Twine Necklace.
For all these reasons (and maybe a couple more) there came a time when I decided to retire my Raver Bracelets for good. I remember the day vividly, painstakingly chopping off each one, reliving with it each memory from whence it came. I was probably about 15, but I remember feeling painfully aware of the fact that the removal of my bracelets was a (albeit small) step toward maturity and adulthood and not really feeling ready yet to make that leap. But away I snipped.
There were days where I wish that I could strap them all back on again just to remember all the fun and friendship that came with my Raver Bracelets. But then I remember that special brand of stink and decide to settle for the photos instead.