A Tribute To Jay Jays, The Holy Grail For Every ’00s Emo Teen
Growing up in the ’00s in Australia was truly a blessed time.
We had shows like Australian Idol that we’d lose our minds over, desperately wasting our credit to SMS in a vote for Dean Geyer or Matt Corby. There was nothing better than an after school trip to Wendy’s, and as you moved into high school you’d spend time sorting through Supré trying to find the perfect layered singlet top look, teamed with a thick material belt, flared jeans, and Ugg boots.
And the mid-’00s was a time where Emo music was truly taking over… well, for some of us anyway.
This brings me to an important store that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves: Jay Jays.
Jay Jays was the holy grail for any teen who had given up on Supré’s neon coloured short shorts and singlet tops, and wanted to try expressing their angsty ‘alternative’ side. Jay Jays took on the role of being every blossoming emo teen’s clothing home, with its array of flannel shirts, skinny leg jeans, slogan tees, fishnet gloves, and black baker boy-style caps that you could stick emo band badges onto.
Never heard a song by the Ramones? Doesn’t matter, the grungey t-shirt would look perfect with your new black skinny leg pants and high-top Converses.
Jay Jays was a safe place for ‘alternative/emo’ teens
In Australia, we didn’t have Hot Topic or anything overly edgy, especially if you grew up in rural Australia. Jay Jays provided a certain look for the teens who weren’t that keen to deck out in Supré or, God forbid, Just Jeans or Target Country.
Picture this: it’s a Thursday afternoon and post-school you venture into the city centre for late-night shopping, like so many of your fellow teens.
First off, you stop at Sanity because they have a two for $40 deal, and you can finally pick up Fall Out Boy’s third album Infinity On High and Paramore’s second album Riot. You flick through the posters and decide on a huge 30 Seconds To Mars one. You ask the guy behind the counter if they’re EVER going to get in Bullet For My Valentine’s The Poison, because, like, it should’ve been in two years ago already.
After that trek, you stop my Macca’s where other teens are slumped around obnoxiously, grouped by their school uniforms, pretending not to check out people from the opposition (any high school that wasn’t yours). You get a frozen Coke because it’s not cool to get a Sundae anymore, and finally make your way to the holy grail.
Here, they have it all. A studded belt to go with your jeans, but there’s also a deal where you can buy two pairs of skinny leg jeans for about $60. You already have black, denim, and red – but maybe you should add purple and hot pink to the mix? Then you could team the look with the studded black belt, a black hoodie, black nails, and fingerless gloves.
You dig your way through one of the many chaotic specials bin and land on an oversized white and black flannel that screams ‘Scene kid’ and also some random Emily The Strange mini badges – you won’t do anything with them but you can buy a few for $5. A studded bracelet to go with the belt? Chuck it in. A pair of brightly coloured tights to go under the flannel? Absolutely.
And for some reason, you’d probably just buy a shirt like this on sale just because it’s the ’00s and that’s what we did.
All of this will probably cost you less than $100 and your emo kid look is complete. You’ll come back again soon of course – you’ll need the black tunic for going to Sam’s house party next week and there’s a black and red striped shirt that will go perfectly under it to match your new black and red hair.
So thank you Jay Jays for dressing all the scene and emo kids of the ’00s and making us look back at photos with sheer horror teamed with desperate nostalgia.
What a golden era. Take us back!