Wearing docs or similar flat lace-up shoes was pretty normal for us in our late teens (I was 15 in 1990). You often wore sneakers with your jeans but a plain pair of black lace-ups was a smarter look. Many girls the same age these days wear fancier shoes, even heels, to school - though I have noticed the classic lace-up school shoe seems to be making a comeback.
I often feel sad for teenage girls these days. Such tight, revealing, uncompromising fashions give them nowhere to hide. And even when they can get away with wearing a big baggy hoodie, the jeans or tracksuit pants have to be tight and low slung.
When I was passing through those ages, at first it was the late 80s and your jeans and t-shirts were both baggy and oversized. Not super attractive but very practical at an age where you are not necessarily very confident in your body. Granted, there was that white scoop neck bodysuit-with-jeans fad. (Erk. I had no interest in wearing a top with crotch fastenings.) But even those bodysuits didn't show off your bra straps like the now ubiquitous spaghetti strap tanks do.
Then in the 90s came grunge and the op shop look - anything goes, some quite ugly combinations, but certainly no need to be revealing. These fashions didn't require a big emphasis on femininity. And looking back I think that was a blessing. I was sensitive about my very small bust and I was in my early 20's before both changes in fashion, and in my own confidence, had me starting to wear more fitted clothing.
Does anyone in my age group remember it differently? I guess being a teenager always has its challenges, but it does seem the pressures on girls to be sexy (ie exposed) have increased a lot.
In this vein, The Butterfly Effect is doing wonderful work in the area of body image and self esteem for teenage girls. Taking it a bit further, if you have an appetite for some serious radical feminism - check out I Blame The Patriarchy. Twisty is brilliant, cutting and often hilarious but at first I had to take this in small doses - the truth of it all and how mired we are in it, can seriously get me down.