We thought we were only gorgeous. Whether we actually were or not is up for debate.
Anyone who made their Confirmation in Ireland will remember how important the ‘Confirmation outfit’ (if you got to have one) was to the whole occasion.
It was different to your Communion, where you had to wear a white dress and that was that. The Confirmation was your chance to show off your personal style to all of your classmates. But well… what 12 year old has style?
So that’s how we end up with this.
I made my Confirmation in 2004. At this time in my life, I was into Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park and Sum 41, and wanted my outfit to channel that ~vibe~. Throwing a spanner in the works was the fact that there was exactly one clothing shop for young people in my hometown (RIP Rawhide Ballina), so I had to try and find a whole outfit there. I selected a pair of beige cord flares and a red/denim hoodie – the thing that would tie it all together though was a pair of red Converse high tops, which I had to order in to the local shoe shop. These weren’t cool back then, so I got a load of flack for my “clown shoes”. Life was hard, you know? I had to wear my uniform to the church, so I got my hair done in an elaborate twisty upstyle that did not at all go with the Avril Lavigne feel of my post-ceremony outfit. But I was very excited to get to wear black eyeliner and a bit of olive-green eyeshadow, AKA my first ever makeup products. (That little dove glinting on my chest was from Newbridge Silverware, nice bit of Confo swag.)
Looking back, I’m actually not too mortified of this outfit? There is simply too much flare there, and I still don’t fully understand the concept of a denim hoodie, but at the time I felt REALLY cool and went on to wear those Converse into the ground. But I’m not just content with subjecting myself to this trip down memory lane – I asked four other women to do it too. And the stories are brilliant.
Laoise’s outfit was a noughties dream, from the platform shoes to pleather jacket:
“I remember I was delighted to get to go shopping with my godmother… She brought me to Blanchardstown Centre and I got the trousers in what I believe was called ‘Magic’ in what was then Roches Stores. I saw the trousers immediately and loved them and needed them. I got the shoes in Barratts – they were all the style back then because of Baby Spice but I reckoned I was cooler and edgier with dark purple than with baby blue. I had the task of matching a jacket and top with lilac to dark purple ombre glittery jeans, so I said screw it I’m all in and bought a bright purple jumper with a glittery love heart on it.
I paired it with a sh*t brown pleather jacket to offset the purple. [On the day of my Confirmation] I found out I was allergic to tinted moisturiser. A beetroot face really set the whole outfit off.
I genuinely thought I looked amazing and I wasn’t the only one! One of my friends who went for zebra-print trousers and a grey jacket said she was jealous. Now I laugh to myself about the choice and share it with people to let them know there’s photographic proof of how bad fashion can go. Part of me is still proud of that trouser choice though!”
Too right, Laoise. Those ombre trousers are a masterpiece.
Yes, Shannon here wore a t-shirt with Nick Jonas on it to her Confirmation. But wait! She can explain!
My mam and I went to Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge with my cousin Cheyenne and my sister Kerry. We went into Bershka and once I spotted the shirt I had to have it. I’m pretty sure I nearly cried tears of happiness over it. I was that much of a saddo.
The day of my confirmation, all the other girls were dressed in pretty dresses and skirts and I rocked up in denim shorts, leggings, and the Nick Jonas top – not a bit embarrassed though!
I look back now and think, oh my god, what was wrong with you? Although I’m sure that nearly everyone has those thoughts about their 12-year-old self.”
Truly, this was a Confirmation outfit of its time. Shannon has confirmed to STELLAR that she still wouldn’t say no to Nick Jonas “if he knocked on the door”, which is good to hear.
Sharon went full 90s chic – the cast of Dawson’s Creek would be proud.
“I went shopping with my mam – floral button down dresses were all the rage at the time (1995, American TV played a part).
We found one in Dunnes Stores in Longford town, and she insisted on sensible navy court shoes to go with it.
I wanted a wicker hat! I loved the outfit at the time, but I hated the shoes and never wore them again.
I also never got my hair scrunch dried again after three days of tears trying to detangle it!”
Scrunch drying! We haven’t thought about that in a very long time…
Catherine made her Confirmation in 2000 and the brand Pepe Jeans featured heavily in her outfit, which seems about right.
“I’m still traumatised from my Confirmation clothes shopping excursion to town with my mam. Kids these days have so much choice, but back then there was practically nothing for 12-year-olds. I was a complete tomboy who would rather die than wear a dress, so my mam dragged me around every shop in the city searching in vain for a nice pair of trousers and a blouse. I think I ended up getting it in Arnotts… I still get a shiver when I walk in there today. I wore grey Firetrap flares, a white Pepe Jeans t-shirt, a pale pink sleeveless Pepe Jeans hoodie with a big pocket on the front, and a pair of navy slip-on platform runners. I’m pretty sure at least six of my friends had a variation on this exact outfit too. I paired this ensemble with my best attempt at ‘the Rachel’ and a silver hairband.
At the time, my mother and I were so relieved to find an outfit I didn’t hate that we were delighted with it. Now, I just have to laugh. The outfit perfectly sums up the tracksuit loving tween that I was. (I wore black office trousers and a shirt to my auntie’s wedding the same year, FFS!) The flares were my ‘good trousers’ for a while afterwards and as for the platforms… well… the platforms remain at the back door of my parents’ house to this day as the emergency ‘running out to grab the washing in the rain’ shoes, 18 years later.”
Amazing. Thanks to Laoise, Shannon, Sharon and Catherine for sharing their Confirmation stories. It can’t have been easy. If you want to hear more people remembering their outfits, check out the Twitter thread that inspired it all here. And tell us about yours, if you dare…
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