Gems From the Delia’s Catalog

If you’re products of the 90s like us, you remember that we actually got catalogs in the mail – catalogs that offered clothes, toys and unnecessary items in bulk (Oriental Trading, I’m looking at you). I actually remember hearing my mom order certain clothes through JCPenneys over the phone while she leafed through the pages to make sure she got everything. That’s something kids these days will probably never encounter.

One of my favorite catalogs to receive in the mail (besides the American Girl one) was Delia’s.

delias cover

DeLiA*s (<- which is the proper way to type it) was a clothing and accessory catalog specifically for tweens and teens who were hip and totally into fashion.

While I was neither hip nor into fashion at the time, I still yearned to acquire all the clothes that lay inside the pages of this precious bible of cool.

Fast forward to 2013 and I frankly, am embarrassed that we as a society of young girls ever thought some of these outfit were appropriate. But hey, every generation has that style remorse, right? Here are some of ours…

Tank tops. Tank tops were a thing that people just wore out. Nothing over it, just a tank top. Am I crazy for thinking this should be reserved for sleeping/pajama purposes or undershirts only? These gals need to put more clothes on.

The bucket hat. Oh good LORD the bucket hat. I’m guilty, I had a few of these that I thought looked spectacular on me. I was wrong.

Overalls and camo? Sounds about right – for kids who were actually farmers or went hunting. I can’t believe we ever wore those overall out in public. Like to the mall. Where people you went to school with went.

Remember when dressing like a boy was in? Yeah, I tried this fad. I shouldn’t have.

Wallets with chains available at Delia’s or Hot Topic (if you’re brave enough to go in)

Nevermind the velour long-sleeved shirt and track jacket – why does the caption at the top say “Name that tune – whistle while you work?” Is this secret code for child labor?

Ah yes, the maxi skirt before it became a fashionable maxi skirt. Otherwise known as some genius decided to take the kahki with one million zippers and pockets and make it into a skirt. And then pair it with a sweater, because that’s a good look.

And then the 90s kind of channeled the 60s/70s for a hot sec. You’ll see the pants version of this later…

If you didn’t own a sweater vest you are lying. While I don’t suggest just wearing a cropped sweater vest on its own, pairing a sweater vest with an approved blouse was my go-to for our school uniform in high school.

BANDANAS. I legit owned dozens of these. Why???? Because headbands just weren’t enough? I thought I looked so cool – I even had bedazzled ones. NOT BETTER, TRACE.

Remember those 70s pants I was talking about – yeah bell bottoms were HUGE when we were growing up. Lit’rally huge. Like it made everything below my knee look 10 times bigger.

Of course you have to have the pop star/Britney look. I was obsessed with stars, so those pants would’ve been on my wish list.

Velour and iridescent clothing – a staple of the 90s. Also a little taste of the Chinese trend that swept the nation. I, of course, had to be the Asian girl with the chopsticks in her hair. Whatevs.

“Let’s mix the tank top with velour and a printed pant and stick a girl in a nondescript venue with blue streamers protruding out of the empty hallway.” Delia’s designers

That blue dress is what I still picture in my head when I think of our middle school and high school dances. So much sheer and floral – in the woods, no less!

Were people really into fairies (faeries?) back then or was that just the freaks I hung out with at my middle school?

And let’s not forget our accessories! Platform shoes were all that and a bag of chips. I enjoyed these because it made my short stature look even taller, especially with my bellbottom jeans.

Makeup for 90s girls was all about color and glitter. But why would anyone ever buy makeup from a Delia’s catalog?

IMPORTANT: FREE E-MAIL AND FREE HOMEPAGES?!!?!? Shutting down my Angelfire account right now and starting up again here.

Delia’s was also known for its rando items, especially the inflatable furniture. Did Delia’s think they were the leader in selling inflatable furniture to clueless teens? Yeah, probably.

(In Future Ted’s How I Met Your Mother voice) Kids, it was the summer of 2000. I just came home from Seabreeze (the local amusement park) and I retrieved the Delia’s catalog from the mail. I sat down with my gel pens, drinking my Sunny D and turned on TRL. I filled out that catalog order form, hoping one day – one day, I’d have enough money to buy it all.


12 thoughts on “Gems From the Delia’s Catalog

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  2. Fairies were huge in the late 90s/early 2000s. My sister, when she was a senior in high school, had her whole room redecorated in a fairy theme. Everything was purple. Purple was really big at the time.


  3. Delia*s is still around. I worked there last summer and we still do catalogs. There is also a website. I love the fashions displayed here. I wish we had some of those same styles now.


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