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OMG, Silly Bandz are everywhere

Jenna Johnson

My friend Erin and I escaped to Ocean City for the holiday weekend -- and within minutes of arriving, we purchased our first package of Silly Bandz (which, just our luck, are probably knock-offs).

Silly Bandz, for those of you who do not know any cool elementary schoolers, are colorful rubber bands that come in all sorts of miniature shapes: Neon green dollar signs, red cowboy boots, aqua blue dinosaurs and glow-in-the-dark pink unicorns. And they stretch out into crinkly, funky bracelets. And they are not too expensive and available nearly everywhere. And everyone is wearing them. And they are awesome.

sillybandz.jpgThe craze seems to have hit the Washington area towards the end of the school year and boomed this summer. Every 'tween I know has an armful of 'Bandz. Even one of my co-workers came to work sporting one of his daughter's bracelets. (Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary-Kate Olsen are also partaking in the trend.)

But now college students, 20-somethings and even hipsters are wearing them. This is a generation that has lived through pogs and Beanie Babies. They are old enough to wonder aloud, "Hmm, I wonder if these are the new slap bracelets?"

The New York Times had a story last week about how the popularity of Silly Bandz has seeped into adult fashion. The president of the Toledo company that manufactures the bracelets (you know, the guy everyone wants to be right now) told the NYT that Silly Bandz were developed as a "great fashion accessory for all ages. Kids just took to them first."

unicorn.jpgEverywhere we went in Ocean City this weekend, people were wearing Silly Bandz. My friend and I loaded up on bold-colored hip-hop-themed bands to wear to the beach and boardwalk during the day and pastel-colored glow-in-the-dark princess-themed ones for going out at night. On the bus, on the boardwalk, at bars and on the beach, one of these two conversations played out over and over:

blob.jpgCONVERSATION #1
Stranger: Oh my gosh, are you guys wearing Silly Bandz?
Us: Oh my gosh, yes!
Stranger: What are they? Can I have one?
Us: You can have this one. We don't want it. (Hand over an ameba-like blob that no one can identify.)

CONVERSATION #2
Us: Hey, we really like your Silly Bandz. What are they?
Stranger: This one is a microphone! And this one is a dinosaur!
Us: Wow, that's awesome. Silly Bandz are such an awesome conversation starter.

But now that I am back from the beach, I am spotting fewer Silly Bandz on the arms of 20-somethings and adults (although my editor is now the proud owner of an orange break dancer band).

Are you or your friends wearing Silly Bandz? Any funny stories from the Washington area?

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students (and interns, too). So, make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  July 6, 2010; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Night Life  | Tags: Fashion, Silly Bandz  
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Comments

My kids love silly bands , so we decided to manufacture some swim bands called www.morphbandz.com they are really cool and totally unique and come in a pack of 24 . They retail for $5.95 and are in 6 different colors and tye die's . The folks in Kentucky are wild for them!!

Posted by: morphbandz | July 6, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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