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Preview: what claudia wore


Updated: 2018-01-02T08:05:05.001-05:00


What Claudia Wore, Almost Three Years Later


This meeting of the Babysitter’s Club will now come to order “What do you mean, you’ll be three years late to the meeting, Claudia? This is completely unacceptable. Abby, go through her watercolor kit and find me a Snickers. God, I knew I should’ve given up on you unprofessional yokels when I had the chance to kickstart my inevitable political career with a stint as eighth grade class president.” Oh, hey there.It’s been a while.Everything ChangesSince I last published an entry here I’ve been through some serious life changes. I started a new job. I got married, and didn't make anyone wear pink taffeta in the process (shout out Super Special #12, Here Come The Bridesmaids). I - like, within the last month - got a mortgage.  I mean, I get it, this blog isn’t about me. But life moves on, man! (Unless you’re a Stoneybrook-based babysitter caught in a time loop of eternal eighth grade-ing.) My point is, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans to babysit the Rodowsky boys on Friday, am I right?Graduation DayWhen serious blogs (that is, blogs that update semi-regularly, take care of their domain names, etc. . . . blogs that are not this blog is what I am saying here) finish, they typically do so with a final entry. I never wrote one for What Claudia Wore, and though this sounds like one, it’s not. Someday I’d love to point to this blog and have it be an archive of every outfit* in the Babysitters Club series. That was the goal that I had in my mind when I started the Book Index, and it’s still a goal, even if not one I’m actively pursuing right now.What Claudia Wore isn’t over. It may be on an indefinite hiatus, but I still can’t pass an Urban Outfitters without a small lol at today’s Kishi-relevant fashion trends. And even if I never write another entry, knowing that it’s here, at the original URL it launched from in 2007 . . . that’s important to me. Even if it’s kinda cheating. Just call me Shawna Riverson.Kristy's Big NewsSo what happens after graduation? Well, you move on to the next adventure. For me, that means a new medium. I have done a lot of writing on the internet. All the way back to 1997, when 'writing on the internet' was, um, mostly about whether Mulder and Scully were ever going to get together for real. I've been on the internet for more than half my life at this point, and it's a huge part of who I am. I'm an internet person. So let's talk internet. Podcast-style.Cohosted by fellow internet person Whitney Crispell, friend from the internet will take on topics we love -- some serious, some not so serious, some Sweet Valley Saga levels of serious --  always filtered through our personal lenses of feminism, intensive internet research, and in my case, Rihanna. (What? Rihanna can be a lens.)In our first recording sessions, we've explored the cult of Konmari (including the crazy amount of privilege inherent in being able to discard anything that doesn't spark joy), our internet histories and that early 2000s livejournal lifestyle, and we're even dedicating an episode to this little blog right here.We'll be launching next month and I hope you'll consider joining us -- you can sign up for our tinyletter to be notified when we're live.Enter your email addresspowered by TinyLetterFinally, I want to say thank you. I wasn't great at showing how much I appreciated every reader, every comment, every telephone cord bracelet-induced sigh of nostalgia. I loved them all and I've loved sharing this experience with you.You say goodbye, I say hello (to your friends).Friends forever,Blog Officer*** at least, of every Claudia outfit . . . I don't know how many more of Jessi's leotards I have in me.** it can be a thing.[...]

So Claudia Right Now: Sneaker Madness


If there's anything Claudia loved (besides Mallomars and Cracker Jacks), it was sneakers. At least in some of the books. I think later on in the series they stopped referencing her sneaker collection. The ghostwriters were more into Doc Martens, or something. As an incredibly un-sporty kid (and equally un-sporty adult, unless marathoning American Horror Story: Coven counts as endurance training), I was always kind of perplexed at how Claudia could be so into the most offensive footwear of all.

But even my clumsy, unathletic self has to admit that Claudia's 2013 sneaker game would be pretty on point.

I wonder if she ever had a pair of BK Knights. You know you remember those.

#91: Claudia and the First Thanksgiving


I am posting this on Thanksgiving for those of you who need to escape to your bathrooms and scan blogs on your iPhone because you can't stand another damn minute of holiday family time. You're welcome.Outfit #1: The Post-modernist Pumpkin vs. The Banana Republic Kishis"I was wearing autumn colors: red, orange, yellow. I liked the effect I'd created. It was sort of post-modernist pumpkin.Now, where was I? Oh. Right. My autumn fashion colors. I'd put on a pair of baggy pants, not blue, not black, but yellow. With these I was wearing my red Doc Martens, laced with orange and yellow laces, and this great, funky, enormous shirt that I found in a vintage clothes shop. It has a leaf pattern on it. The leaves are in a Hawaiian print design, and the colors are fabulous. Underneath I was wearing my red and yellow tie-dyed long underwear shirt. To complete the ensemble, I had on earrings that I'd made myself, shaped like pumpkins, and a fringed yellow-and-white scarf tied around my hair.I looked (I modestly admit) pretty great. I did not look as if I belonged with the other three people sitting at the table. My mom wore a tailored navy dress with little pearl earrings. My father was wearing a navy pinstripe suit (the jacket was hanging on the back of his chair). Janine was practically a rainbow by comparison: She was dressed in a navy wool skirt and a navy v-neck sweater over a pink oxford shirt."#91: the post-modernist pumpkin by kiminimal Outfit #2: This Is Clearly The Ensemble of a Fifty Year Old DivorceeThat's because, like me, Stacey has a style of her own. But while mine is Kishi original, hers is New York sophisticated. She was wearing an oversized midnight blue turtleneck under a cropped black wool jacket with square gold buttons. She had on black suede ankle boots, the kind that wrinkle around your ankles. Her fitted black jeans were tucked into the tops of the boots. She had looped a light blue muffler around her neck and wore matching gloves.#91: fixed that for ya, stace by kiminimalOutfit #3: Poor Mallory, Part 457Mal is medium height and sturdy and has shoulder length, reddish brown hair and a faint dusting of freckles on very pale skin. She's a jeans and sweatshirt person, which is what she was wearing today over a red checked flannel shirt. She looked as if she were ready to go horseback riding. Since Mal loves horses, it was a good look for her.#91: mallory hearts madewell aesthetics by kiminimalOutfit #4: Hold Up -- Jessi's a Dancer?She often wears her dark hair pulled back into a ballerina's bun, as it was that morning. She had on a purple leotard with her jeans, and a big fuzzy lavender cardigan sweater. #91: you are the dancing queen by kiminimal featuring a silver headbandOutfit #5: How to Look Artistic Yet Responsible, ApparentlyI want to point out, though, that I was a very well-dressed graffiti artist/protestor. Just for the occasion, I was wearing my rainbow-colored crinkle gauze skirt, my crocheted vest with the matching hat, and my silver earrings (designed by me, of course). I felt that I looked artistic, yet responsible. And of course my button, with the bright red writing on it, added the finishing touch.#91: the importance of protesting fashionably by kiminimal[...]

Claudia Salts & Peppers Her Mangos


How Claudia right now is the M.I.A. x Versace fashion line?

Bingo (now I'm hitting the six).

Blast From the VHS Past


Source: maycove.tumblr.comIf this doesn't bring you back, you and I were NOT watching the same video cassettes in the 90s. Check the source for more BSC gif sets, including Kristy's first monologue of the series. I can still hear the actress' smirky tone during that line about loving animals and "sitting for Little Miss Piggy." Line read of the century tbh. Also, please note: Claudia hung her neon yellow sunglasses from her hoop earrings so she could more easily access her snacks. So inspiring. [...]

Everything About Sweet Valley University is Amazing


I am about to turn 30*. What better time could there be to reflect on the important literature I was reading a decade and a half ago? This is adulting, people. Forget figuring out your 401k: real adult behavior is tracking down as many early Sweet Valley University books as you possibly can, and nearly weeping with joy over their trashy perfection.I mean, there’s implied sex in these books. Drugs. Sociopaths obsessed with Elizabeth Wakefield. Although I guess you’d be hard pressed to find a Sweet Valley series that DIDN’T have sociopaths obsessed with Elizabeth Wakefield. Maybe the one where they’re seven and in second grade, but I wouldn’t bet my apartment on it. In case you don’t remember this amazing series, a few highlights (not in order, ‘cause who can keep all this nonsense straight?**) from the first ten books:Elizabeth gets ‘fat’. Fat just means that she gains, oh, twenty pounds, but the entire campus reacts as though she’s morbidly obese, and of course once she puts her mind to it the pounds magically go away. Jessica becomes a waitress. Hilarity ensues. Enid changes her name to Alex and becomes an alcoholic. Todd and Elizabeth break up. He also becomes an alcoholic. It’s never clear how all these 18 year olds are getting so much booze so easily. I guess it’s like Dillon Texas, where 15 year old football players are more than welcome at every bar in town. Elizabeth is nearly murdered. Multiple times. Jessica gets married. The marriage eventually gets annulled. Lila gets married to an Italian count. The marriage ends in a fatal jet ski accident.*** Elizabeth has a crazy Southern roommate who seduces a biology student and gets him to release a ton of fruit flies in Elizabeth and Jessica’s dorm room. By the time this happens, they’re both so immune to the insanity of their lives that they’re like ‘oh, look, fruit flies.’ Winston gets assigned to a girls dorm and ends up learning a lot about Womanhood And Himself. Sorority drama. It’s pretty much just the Unicorn Club all over again. Elizabeth and her new boyfriend are so fucking obsessed with themselves that they make a big damn deal about their one week anniversary, to the point that all their friends end up planning a surprise party for them and they all eat ice cream together. Really.Bruce and Lila are involved in a terrible plane crash. They fall in hate-love. It is awesome. Stephen Wakefield shoots Jessica’s husband. Or he shoots himself during a dramatic scuffle. Something soapy like that. Jessica is almost raped. She is saved by Elizabeth and a mysterious stranger. Aggressive racists. Lila, wracked with grief over the death of her husband, gives away all of her clothes. And not to me. There’s real tragedy for you. I mean, it goes on and on. That’s not nearly all of it. I advise you all to quit your jobs immediately and dedicate your lives to reliving this awesomeness. Totally worth it. It kinda makes me wish there’d been a Babysitters Club: The College Years. I bet things would get real wacky over at Stoneybrook University.* in two days. I feel like this about it.** I could. *** I bet you don’t believe this is real.[...]

Updating the outfit: Mary Anne Misses Logan


I can't get enough of the delightful scene on this cover, which unfortunately appears nowhere within the book. Look at those joyful babysitters! Updating Claudia's outfit was pretty easy and fun until I realized it was getting way too classy and coordinated, at which point I threw in some neon accessories. Gotta keep it real Kishi style. 

Here's the original book entry, which is formatted kinda funky and missing its image, but hey, close enough, right?

Shameless self promotion: I'm running a giveaway at my job right now and I've grown addicted to promoting it. So, uh, consider entering my contest? The prize is 12 artisan candles and my eternal love and devotion. Fuck, if one of you guys wins it, let me know when I email you from my super-profesh work email (I suggest 'have you found my red ribbon?' as our code) and I'll smuggle a BSC book in there or something. It'll be like Babysitters Chain Letter, but with ethically made candles. 

Get Ready to Have Your Childhood Ruined


I was touring the internet and came across this. I . . . don't know how to feel about it.

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I searched for this show but found nothing else about it online, so I guess it never came to fruition. Maybe Ann M. Martin issued a cease and desist, who knows. 

A couple other administrative updates:

1. I kinda accidentally lost the domain and the company sitting on it wants $$$ to get it back, so, um, we've returned to the super fetch url. I own (small comforts) so maybe I'll set that up one of these days. 

Just more evidence that I'm the most dedicated blogger out there! 

2. Sometimes I see things that make me think of Claudia and I add weird captions and put them on Pinterest. It's like a mini-dose of Stoneybrook fashionz. Enjoy! Or don't. Don't let me tell you how to live your best life.

You Can Always Count On Me, And I Can Count on Boo


Bunheads, you guys. Bunheads. You gotta get on this ABC Family train.Come to think of it, ABC Family is also the reason I had this weird three year obsession with the Gilmore Girls at an age too embarrassing to report (still think Jess Mariano is the DREAMIEST).  And then I had that shameful two year obsession with Gossip Girl (Dan, you guys? Really? Dan fucking Humphrey?) and then this year I got oddly obsessed with how badly the show ended and then eventually I found this finale recap and it strangely made everything better.And now I kinda love Bunheads and I'm really embarrassed about it, but apparently not embarrassed enough to not talk about it on a completely public blog. Sometimes I watch adult tv shows* too. Really**.Which led to this email:Which leads to this post.So, you know, if you're not into this cotton candy puff of a show, there's really nothing for you here. Sorry dudes.Onward. Let's contemplate together.The amount of girl power in this image is overwhelming.Kinda sensitive and naive. The emotional center of the group. Got in trouble with her friends for her boyfriend situation. Just livin' her Mary Anne lifestyle, haters.Blonde. Boy crazy. Super possessive of her bestie, just like when Claudia became BFFs with Ashley Wyeth. Child of divorce. Weirdly good at/into random adult things -- the real estate agent to Stacey's mathematician.Sibling trouble (although with a dense, terrible-at-acting brother instead of a scoliosis-suffering twin sister). Kind of adrift until discovering her kickass side. Roller derby is way cooler than soccer, Abby, get with the times. Also, amazing crushed velvet dress on that cover.Most likely to benefit from some serious time in therapy. Most likely to get drunk at a high school party and throw up in the bushes. Most likely to run away from home. To be honest, I can't figure out whether Sasha is Sunny Winslow or Cokie Mason or Stephanie Green from Sleepover Friends (because as Lauren pointed out, they both have their own houses).Millie Stone is obviously adult Kristy Thomas. If you disagree you're just not paying attention.* Speaking of totally adult tv shows: I have a lot of concerns about Girl Meets World, the first of which being that I totally conceptualized that show on my elementary school playground and I think somebody owes 8 year old Kim a LOT of money.** Sometimes I also read adult books. But not very often, apparently.[...]

BSC Style Alive & Well on What My Daughter Wore


Just randomly found the most amazing style blog you're not reading (or maybe you are, I'm often late to the game on this stuff) called What My Daughter Wore.  I got so into it I started thinking that some kids would be cool to have until I remembered that they cost money and require a lot of, like, maintenance and whatnot.  Or so I hear.Anyway, whether or not these cool young ladies know it they are totes channeling the Babysitters Club and I'm loving every second of it.  Am I wrong here?ClaudiaDawnKristyMalloryStaceyMary Anne[...]

Yumi Sakugawa Gets It


Just found the most amazing illustrated essay: Claudia Kishi: My Asian-American Female Role Model Of The '90s. Yumi Sakugawa is my favorite person right now. Go read the whole thing immediately, adult Dawn Schafer is portrayed as a tanorexic wearing a pot leaf necklace. Can't even handle the greatness of that image.

The Most Claudia-Ass Shit on Urban Outfitters Right Now


The most Claudia-ass shit on Urban Outfitters right now. by khuttDr. Martens bootsI saw these on Miley Cyrus because I have the internet surfing habits of a 15 year old.Dr. Martens buckle bootsAs part of her exploration into buckles as self-expression. New garage art show theme!Jansport backpackLet's be real though, Claudia doesn't mess around with tie-dye. She does that shit herself.Ecote handbagThis is a fannypack and you know it, Urban Outfitters. A VELVET fannypack, no less.Cooperative mini bagAs part of her Miss Frizzle underwater motif outfit.Urban Outfitters snake ringI mean, obvi.Post earringsThey're, like, a statement on materialism, you know? Stacey doesn't get it.Urban Outfitters snake ringStill obvi.Chain jewelryClaudia Lynn Kishi and earcuffs: like peanut butter and dyslexic jelly.She Colors Way Outside the Lines bangleTribute to Mimi's impassioned defense of her butterfly self-portrait.Cooperative knit glovePaired with her dangly jointed skeleton earrings.Spitfire vintage style eyeglassStolen from Janine. Gave her a headache.Cooperative Animal Beanie - Urban OutfittersSheep are out, pandas are in.Highline Round Sunglasses - Urban OutfittersTo hide her eyerolls while co-sitting with Mallory Pike.Betsey Johnson Bird Heart WristletShe would.[...]

Updating the outfit: Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO!


"Anyway, I wore the coolest tuxedo I'd recently bought in a thrift shop, including a silky, piped shirt and a bright red velvet cummerbund. I removed the shoulder pads from the jacket, which made it really slouchy (I love that look). Then I bought a pair of white socks with silver glitter. I decided to wear a pair of red sneakers to match the cummerbund. I swept my hair up and fastened it with a rhinestone barrette in the shape of a musical note."
Love it.  Seriously, she's fabulous, and Ashley Wyeth better recognize.  2012 Claudia (also Trust Fund Claudia -- I recognize that her Helmut Lang pants and Marc by Marc Jacobs duds aren't likely to be obtained on a babysitter's salary) would rock a clear musical score umbrella with her version.  Even if it wasn't raining.  That's just the kind of free spirit she is.     

Marc by Marc Jacobs black shirt / Paul Smith tux jacket / Helmut Lang wool pants / Converse pointy shoes / Swatch red jewelry / Tatty Devine teardrop earrings / Brooch / Felix Rey see through umbrella / Ring

Also a red wraparound Swatch she probably borrowed from Stacey and forgot to give back, and red Converse that she stayed up all night studding.  She'll explain her technique on the radio show, don't worry.

Read the original book entry.

#123: Claudia's Big Party


I think the most important takeaway from this book is that Claudia has a seventh grade boyfriend who gets nervous about going out to dinner with members of the Babysitters Club.  Think about it.  Imagine being nervous about dinner with Mary Anne Spier."I'd worked hard on my outfit - a long black skirt, a white shirt with full sleeves, and a short vest that I'd covered with bright-colored buttons and bows.  My hair was braided with strands of ribbons that matched the decorations on the vest."Once you de-Seinfeld the "white shirt with full sleeves" aspect of the outfit, this actually sounds pretty bomb.  Get it gurl.Claudia's big party by khutt featuring silver shoes[...]

That time I got a new job and forgot about the blog again


Okay, I zoned out a little bit, like Claudia after a serious Hershey's Kisses sesh. It's not my fault. I started a new job in September and I'm like really busy you guys. I got babysitting jobs for days if you know what I mean (you don't, and neither do I. I'm in marketing. The only babysitting I'm doing is of our Google Analytics account -- my personal Jenny Prezzioso.).  But! As penance, I have lined up three weeks of outfit updates for you, and until those start going live please feel free to nod thoughtfully at all of the things I would've purchased for this job if I didn't have to do things like 'pay rent' and 'buy food'.  Yeah, you know how it goes by khutt featuring fryeFrye / Frye / Balenciaga / Sterling silver jewelry / LowLuv gothic jewelry / Elizabeth and James / LowLuv necklace / Tech accessory / Wildfox Couture / Tokyo Milk perfume / Frye Regina Studded Ballet / By Boe Open Studs Also, if you want to know what I'm up to during daytime (and, yeah, sometimes nighttime too) hours, you can follow Prosperity Candle on twitter, facebook, and pinterest. In fact, I encourage you to. There's less swearing but more doing good things for the world and stuff. Also, we sell candles. I'll let you know when I figure out how to successfully pitch a BSC tribute candle.[...]

So Claudia Right Now: Jessa Johansson


It's not just the kimonos.  Okay, maybe it's mostly the kimonos.  And the hats.  And the billowy printed pants.  Whatever, she's just fabulous.  And hiding joints instead of candy.  In Shosanna's bedroom, because it makes sense that an adult Claudia would be a total couch crasher, you know?  She'd show up with an easel and a guilty smile and offer to braid your hair every night and when she finally left there'd be glitter and candy wrappers everywhere.  It'd takes months to recover, and then she'd show up again, offering an only-slightly-melted Milky Way bar and drinks-on-her . . . when she gets back on her feet, of course.     "Oh, Claudia," the Kishis would murmur to themselves in despair, "why can't you be more like your sister?"That is, until Janine's inevitable nervous breakdown.        So Claudia right now: kimonos by khutt featuring kimono topsGlamorous floral blouse, $40 / Athena Procopiou kimono top / Glamorous floral top, $56 / Dorothy Perkins chiffon top / Floral Print Kimono / DV by Dolce Vita bootie boots / House of Harlow 1960 ring / House of Harlow 1960 bracelet / ASOS oversized cateye sunglasses / Essie nail polish, $22  allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">(This post is dedicated to Lauren McAllister, who has been pestering me for weeks to update this thing. She waits until I've had a couple beers and then pounces with ideas like "what if we watched the entire Canadian tv series RIGHT NOW?" and "so, what do you think would be the theme song for each babysitter? Just asking. Update your damn blog.")[...]

"Wow, it's the Babysitters Club dolls!"


Dude, remember these?

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"I want to be like Dawn!  She's so natural, right down to her jean jacket!" Yeah, okay kid. . . . wait, what about a jean jacket is natural?

According to Madewell and Claudia Kishi, sheep are totes in for fall


You guys.  I'm innocently browsing the Madewell fall catalog when suddenly I find myself staring at perhaps the most Claudia-approved sweaters of all time.  I had to drop everything for this one.

Read about the infamous sheep fight in Kristy's Great Idea.

Updating the outfit: Jessi and the Dance School Phantom


A while back -- you know, when I was actively updating -- some of you suggested I use polyvore.  Some of you also suggested I re-create Claudia's outfits myself.  I assume that subset had been dipping into Sharon Schafer's special brownie stash or something.  I mean, what were you thinking? I can't pull off a high side pony!  But I CAN try to create less offensive versions of Hodges Soileau's attempts at fashion through the magic of online collage sites.  So: updating the outfit begins with book #42, Jessi and the Dance School Phantom.

What a cover.  Jessi looks more stankface than scared, and then there's Dawn.  With that hair.  That hair*.  It's so bad that the first update I made to her outfit was a VO5 hot oil treatment, because there's no excuse for that situation on top of her head.  Her Texas Tuxedo would be slightly more acceptable if she was wearing grey jeans, and when I think California Casual I think Swedish Hasbeens.  Mostly because the early books kept mentioning Dawn's affinity for clogs and it just stuck.  And orange slice earrings because California.  Obvi.

* little Lucille Bluth nod for you there.

Claudia re-emerges; got lost in closet in pursuit of Chunky bar



It's been a while, huh?

So, what's new with you?  Things are cool over here.  I live practically across the street from an Urban Outfitters now, which is kind of troubling for my wallet.  Also I haven't bought any new Fryes in a really long time but that doesn't mean I haven't made all sorts of other terrible purchasing decisions.  But you're probably not here to read about me, even though the fact that I'm a blogger means I'm inherently kind of narcissistic and you're gonna end up reading about me anyway.  We both know who you're really here for.  And she's back.  At least for a little while.  I've got some entries queued up and some strange outfit descriptions for us to ponder together and I just vacuumed the floor of my bedroom so BSC meetings are gonna be a little less dusty.

Also the adverb abuse will continue.  That I can absolutely promise you.



How to Put Together Your Totally Dibble Claudia Kishi Halloween CostumeDude, how is it almost Halloween already? I guess my hectic babysitting schedule has kept me too busy to realize that summer's long over. Damn those Pike children and their loveable* hijinks!I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years (unless 'sweatpant-wearing twentysomething' counts as a costume as well as my daily wardrobe**), but I'm sure some of you are looking to put together a fabulous throwback costume. Why not our super acute vice president?Below, please enjoy your guide to a dibbly fresh Halloween costume (almond-shaped eyes not included) that you'll inevitably have to explain to almost every male at the party. Side ponytail Scrunchy optional . . . you could also choose to weave a ribbon into your hair, divide it into five braids and pin them to the top of your head, or just throw a fuckton of barrettes in there and see what happens.Homemade earrings Get yourself on Etsy and search for 'dollhouse earrings' -- you'll hit the motherload of Claudia-inspired crafts. You might want to pick a theme and gear your costume in that direction, like the time Claudia dressed like she was traveling under the sea with Miss Frizzle. Bonus points if you get a pair of earrings where one is a fork and the other is a piece of cake.Telephone cord bracelet You know, assuming you can actually find such a thing out in this brave new world full of iPhones. Do you realize our kids aren't going to understand what cassette tapes are? And floppy disks? Oh god, my youth is collapsing all around me. Neon EVERYWHERE I don't like American Apparel as a company (cause, you know, skeevy and awful?) but, yeah, basically look for clothes so bright you're in danger of burning out your friends' retinas. Hit up welovecolors and buy some tights that practically glow in the dark.Mix your patterns with wild abandon Maybe get drunk first, twirl around for a while (try not to vomit in your closet), and then put on the first couple of patterns you find. Plaids with stripes! Herringbone and polka dots! Instead of asking why, ask why not! Pockets You want as many pockets as possible in your Claudia-costume, because an important element of her personality is candy-hoarding, and you can't carry a bedroom/club headquarters around with you. Hide that shit all over YOURSELF. Maybe find a tiny copy of a Nancy Drew book (Nancy Drew's Guide to Life comes to mind) and stuff that in there, too. Then, every time someone asks what you are, just pull out a mini Mounds bar and treat yourself. Bonus points if you create a miniature work of art out of the candy wrappers. Leave it for your host -- they'll totally appreciate it!Even more pockets . . . because you should also get yourself a cheap flask and bedazzle the shit out of it. Or cover it in stickers and rick-rack. Basically, this is your personal Kid Kit. Fill it with peach schnapps or some other diabetic coma-inducing liquor. Practice 'poisoning' your friend Stacey.Ankle and/or cowboy boots No explanation needed.If you're bored by the party, you might consider bringing props (a cabbage patch kid as a sitting charge, or an easel that you set up in the middle of a high traffic area just because) to entertain yourself with. Or walk around your friend's apartment, squint at the grease stains in the kitchen, and say to no one in particular "this might be art." This will get easier the more time you spend with your personal Kid Kit. Drink plenty of water before you g[...]



Mandy Miller Comes CorrectY'all remember The Unicorn Club series? I loved it so much. Then they broke up the club in book 6 (The Unicorns at War) and didn't even include a preview of the next book and, dude, my adolescent heart was so broken, thinking the series was over. Then I randomly stumbled on #7 (Too Close for Comfort) while on vacation with my family (treasured memories: going to bookstores in other states) and all was right in the world again but the books weren't really that great after that bitch Kimberly Haver came back to Sweet Valley and ruined everything. . . . Obviously I had a very tough childhood. This is the cover of the first book, which I studied INTENTLY because there was no way the illustrator was pulling a fast one on me: that was clearly Tiffani Amber Theissen on the front cover. It's like "oh, hey! The Wakefield twins! Maria Slater, former child star! Lila Fowler, looking sadly weasely! Mary Wallace, as exciting as a sack of potatoes! And right in the middle -- Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell! Why not!"Anyway, Mandy Miller* is totes the Claudia Kishi of the Unicorn Club. She's not strapping dollhouse chairs to her ponytail or anything, but she is definitely the wacky dresser of the series. In the first book, she tells us that "my family doesn't have much money, so my mom and I have always had to be creative when it comes to clothes. I get most of my clothes from the thrift store. I guess you could say I was the grunge pioneer at Sweet Valley Middle School.Take today - I had on wide-legged striped pants, a knit cap, and a long vest over a T-shirt. Not to brag on anything, but I do have sort of a flair with clothes. Even Lila Fowler tells me she really likes the way I put things together." Even Lila Fowler, people.By book 2, Mandy is such a fashion superstar that she starts a thrift store makeover trend at school, which leads to the director of some teen rom-com hiring her as an apprentice costume designer when he happens to wander into the thrift store mid-makeover sesh. He also casts Maria Slater in a bit part, uses the Unicorn Club as extras, and decides to film some scenes at Sweet Valley Middle School, because this is apparently what life is like in California. And here I had the misfortune of being raised in suburban New York. (Seriously, how many times did a model scout or movie director or former rock star or star journalist wind up in Sweet Valley? There must be something in the water there. Like cocaine.)"Mandy walked up and down, like a general inspecting her troops. She had really gone all the way today. She was wearing a pair of men's paisley pajama bottoms under a short tartan kilt, with a ribbed poorboy top and a paisley scarf worn like a sash. On her head was a tam with a big pom-pom. She looked great -- sort of like a punk bagpiper.We all stood up really straight as she passed us by. Mary had on a forties vamp outfit. Flowing pants and a floaty top. Her fine blond hair lay flat all around her head in spit curls. And the only makeup she wore was dead white powder and red, red lipstick.'Good', Mandy said approvingly, and Mary blushed with pleasure.Lila had on a white crocheted vest over a black body suit and jeans. On her feet were saddle shoes.Mandy smiled and shook her head. 'Great.'On to Jessica. She was wearing faded jeans and a blue, pink, and purple floral-patterned vest. Underneath the vest was a white oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a[...]



Damn England, What Happened?*A while back, Alexandra sent me a series of images so horrible that I think my brain short-circuited. U.S. readers, are you aware that other countries have defaced these classic works of literature with cover images like the ones you see below? I can only imagine that this is payback for the Revolutionary War. I ended up taking an unplanned sabbatical from blogging (and honestly, that may resume after this entry, who knows) and never got around to sharing these monstrosities. Then I woke up around 3:00 a.m. this morning thinking about them. So here they are in all of their poorly-drawn glory.And there are more. Many more. Alexandra told me she has a near-complete set of these things**. It's almost too much to process. Claudia and the Genius of Elm StreetNot too much to complain about here -- dude did a real hatchet job on Rosie Wilder, who was super cute on the OG cover, but Claudia looks passably human. And she's got some sort of groovy Woodstock-inspired ensemble going on. Respect.Grade: E (Excellent amount of jewelry)Dawn and the Older BoyThere's a lot that's wrong here, and I'm not just talking about Travis. (I didn't think he could be more creepy than he was on the original cover, but here we are. There's a light in his eyes that suggests he's contemplating where he's going to bury all the bodies.) Why is Dawn suddenly sporty? She's wearing some crazy jersey that clashes with her turquoise shirt and pink pants -- so not California Casual, y'all. Is she having another identity crisis? And there's no way Dawn would ever drink a Coke. We all know Dawn is perfect and her body is a temple and she has no vices whatsoever and she exists solely on sprouts and self righteousness.Grade: S (Shenanigans)Mary Anne and Too Many BoysShit just got real. Why did they put that ugly little boy in a dress? Oh, that's supposed to be Mary Anne? Really? 'Cause that face looks like, I don't know, bad Justin Bieber fanart. Swear to god, even the bird on the pier is giving her side-eye.Grade: G (Gender confusion)Claudia and the Middle School MysterySo maybe I've been watching too much Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but I'm mildly concerned about Mr. Zorzi's creeper status. I know, I get it, she's taking a retest and he's suspicious or whatever. But. Doesn't it kinda look like he's checking her out? Watch yourself, Zorzi. Grade: C (Consider calling Stabler and Benson)Stacey's ChoiceShe chooses to wear Chuck Bass-style silk pajamas, and that's all there is to it, okay?Grade: I (Intense eyebrows)Keep Out, Claudia!What's scarier, the mutant racist children in business casual or the clown (?) on Claudia's shirt? Mad props for rockin' the fringe vest like she's a nastygal model, but the orange sweatshirt has got to go. She's definitely considering killing those kids, by the way.Grade: R (Reconsidering babysitting as a viable career choice) Kristy's Big DayI saved the best for last, folks. I'm so horrified by this cover. Crazy Mary Anne is back, raising one eyebrow and wearing a hat for no real reason. There's probably a joke about the royal wedding and British people wearing hats somewhere in there, but I am so tired of hearing about that wedding that I can't bring myself to make it. Anyway, Kristy is straight up busted here (not to mention badly in need of some Alberto V05 hot oil). Maybe the illustrator couldn't meet his deadline and outsourced this job to hi[...]



Sweaterpants: So In Right Now
Lovers of sweaters, crazy prints, and cozy layers should check out Elizabeth Spiridakis' Style Guide for H&M. I was really digging the whole feature, but one look was throwing me off. It nagged at me: where have I encountered this concept before? It's so familiar.

Oh. Right.

"'For heaven's sake. Why are you wearing your sweater on your legs?' I asked. Karen had put each of her feet through a sleeve of her sweater and was now struggling to hold the bottom of the sweater around her waist.

'It's a new style,' Karen replied. 'Sweater-pants.' She hobbled over to my desk. 'Can you button me up the back, please?'

'I have a feeling,' I said as I fastened the buttons, 'that this isn't what Nannie had in mind when she knitted this sweater for you.'"

Super Special #7, Snowbound

Karen Brewer, fashion visionary. Who knew.