Fashion, Fillyjonk

Put some neon leggings in your day

In the last couple of days, there’s been a lot out there on the wild internet that’s made us want to tear our hair out. Societal insanity seems to bring out the best in the commentariat, but I thought you guys might want a break from repeatedly making my day with your informed, eloquent snarkiness. Male-identified readers may want to go make a sandwich (make sure to sneak in some vegetables for them, girls!), because this post is eventually going to make no sense at all to you.

A little backstory on why I’m posting this link. I know that a lot of fat women either never learn to dress themselves — they, or someone close to them, decide they can’t or don’t deserve to look nice — or they frump out at some point in their lives, because they’ve gained weight and nothing fits or they’re depressed about their bodies or they feel like it takes them twice as much effort to look fabulous, or whatever. I’ve actually been doing it myself lately, to a limited extent. I’ve always been a high-maintenance clothes person, and I’ve been putting a lot of energy into my outfits since I started to stop being ashamed of my body (including a goth phase and some very work-intensive hair). But lately I’ve been kinda poor and kinda lazy and kinda utterly seduced by the allure of too-big jeans and a cheap tee. A few weeks ago, I went to a huge fabulous party where about half the people were wearing highly time-consuming outfits, and I wore jeans and chucks and a T-shirt and a military surplus jacket. I kinda felt great, like a throwback to my badass days of combat boots and Thrill Kill Kult tees. But I kinda felt like a frumpaholic, too.

You’ve probably had that day, or maybe you’ve never not had that day. Well, let me introduce you to the secret ingredient for wardrobe-related inspiration: What Claudia Wore. Yes, intrepid blogger Kim is going through all the Babysitter’s Club books and teasing out the incredibly hamfisted descriptions of the gloriously 80s outfits — centering, of course, on artsy Claudia and her papier-mache jewelry. Oh my god, if ANYONE can rekindle your desire to look flashy and amazing and even ridiculous, it’s Claudia Kishi. Check it:

The best way to get this point across is to describe to you what Claudia was wearing at lunch that day. It was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it – cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. Under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. Wait, I’m not done. Claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. The hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. Attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid.

If you’re anything like me, you thought this was SO COOL at the time. (I only owned one Babysitter’s Club book — I was probably embarrassed to ask for them, or to put them near my more precocious reading material — but I remember devouring them at a friend’s house.) Well, you know what? It is cool, terrible writing and all. Claudia doesn’t give a rat’s patoot what you think of her and her absurd outfits. Girl knows she looks good. Read up on her sartorial adventures, and take this as a reminder to give your own wardrobe a shot in the ass. Remix outfits, break out the fabric paints, hit the mall, whatever — Claudia out! You deserve to be seen.

28 thoughts on “Put some neon leggings in your day”

  1. I confess to having, to this day, two holes in my left earlobe and one in my right. I had them done at sixteen, and I still LOVE them with a fierce passion – never regretted them for a second and never wanted anything else.

    I got them because Claudia had them. Seriously.

    Also, I always wanted her watermelon outfit.

  2. Man… now I want to go read the Babysitter’s club, if only to pretend for a half hour that I’m still in my third grade math class.

    Personally I’ve never seen much point in fretting overmuch about what I wear. I have an assortment of button down shirts, and pants and I wear them. On occasion I will concoct a relatively cute outfit, but I don’t really feel like I want to occupy a lot of my brain space with what I wear. I want to be like a cartoon character who wears the same outfit every day except for special occasions or something.

  3. That’s awesome :) Thanks for sharing it!

    BSC was one of my guilty pleasures growing up and as I sit here waiting for 5 o’clock, I can’t think of a better way to pass the time.

  4. Dani, I didn’t even remember where I got the idea that asymmetrical numbers of ear piercings were cool until I found that blog. I don’t know why I never did two in one and one in the other… I meant to! I ended up with two in each, instead.

  5. I STILL own my BSC books (and I’m 22!) and every so often adopt the Claudia view of dressing.

    I, too, have 2 holes in my left ear and one in my right. However, had I not yanked the earring out of the second hole in my right ear (damn shirt got caught on it), I’d have 2 holes in each ear.

  6. Fashionable nerd, ouch!

    I was sooo jealous of my friends with 2 holes in their left ear and one in their right! I only had one in each. Now I have 3 in each and I want a 4th in the left because I too like the asymetrical look.

    Thanks for the link to that site, I needed some light hearted fun =)

  7. Oh my god I tore through that website when I found it a couple of weeks ago.

    Claudia Kishi was my fashion muse when I was 11.

    I hear you on the frump. My poor gradstudent self was rocking it for awhile. Finally I decided I needed to stop being such a sad sack about my increase in size (partially thanks to this blog, love you guys!) and started really putting some effort in my appearance, went and got some new thriftstore duds, started wearing different combinations. Owning it, basically.

    Now I look great, and shallow bitch that I am, that makes me feel great.

  8. I so wanted to be Claudia, but I felt more like Mallory because my mom wouldn’t let me pierce my ears or get contacts.

    I need some Claudia in my life these days! Thanks for the reminder.

  9. When I was thin, when I am fat, I never had a clue about fashion. I just don’t care about it!! I wish we all wore uniforms, it would be so much easier!!! But, for some reason, I love to wear makeup!! :)

  10. FJ – my cousin (the one who got me hooked on BSC in the first place) did the two in each ear thing too.

    At first I thought it was AWESOME I could wear leftover single earrings, but as I got older I realized that if I want my holes to match, I have to buy two pairs of everything. (Or, you know, just not wear an earring in the third one. Which I also do.)

    I was a fashion disaster as a kid. I’m an addict now. I tell people my sartorial obsession is “the shallow end of an otherwise deep pool.” :)

  11. Oh lord, I feel old now. Babysitters Club didn’t come out until I’d already outgrown Sweet Valley High and moved on to more intelligent, highbrow stuff… like Sidney Sheldon.

    I did, however, have the 2/3 ear piercings for many years.

  12. While I am about the same age as Kate (1 yr younger), I devoured BSC, even after Sweet Valley High. What can I say, I was a late bloomer. And I have two holes in my left ear & 1 in my right also, but I haven’t worn an earring in that extra hole for at least 10 years.

    I always liked Stacey because she got to go to New York and other cool stuff – like diabetes. That’s so cool.

  13. Kate, sugar, I can’t even remember Sweet Valley High. Put that in yer young pipe and smoke it. :D

  14. The title of this post made me think of those luscious bright pink tights they’re selling on the Torrid website. Oh for a working credit card (and something to wear them with)!

  15. I was so into Sweet Valley High- and have no clue what you are talking about with Babysitter’s Club. Does that make me old? ;)

  16. Being very old, I predate BSC. In fact I’d never even heard of them until I was in my early 30s. I was working for an illustration agency who happened to rep the guy who illustrated all the BSC covers in the UK.

    I did have a particularly fab shirt in the 80s though. It had a chequerboard pattern on it and over the black and white squares were pictures of beautifying equipment such as hairdryers, make-up brushes and pots of rouge. I’m sure Claudia would have approved.

  17. I was so into Sweet Valley High- and have no clue what you are talking about with Babysitter’s Club. Does that make me old?

    Krista, since we’re about the same age (which is a few years older than Fillyjonk), I think it might. :)

  18. I used to collect the old Bobbsey Twins books — back before they rewrote them to make them dumber. I also collected the less-stupid Nancy Drews. And I devoured the first 50 BSC books quite quickly, pretty much as they came out. After that, I was soooo too old. :)

    I wanted to be Claudia SO BAD. And now I have 3 holes in 1 ear and 2 in the other, but I look symmetrical because the extra hole is in my cartilage, not my earlobe.

  19. I don’t know if this has enlightened me about fashion at all (I’m not frumpy, I’m COMFORTABLE!), but it has definitely clued me in to why I got all of the wierd looks for reading The Lord of RIngs and Shakespear’s plays when I was 10.

    I saw people reading those series, they just looked far less interesting than epic fantasy and olde English. I guess I should stop swearing I’m not a geek ;)

  20. twilightriver, probably at least some of use were reading both BSC and SVH *and* some epic/geeky stuff. I know Fillyjonk had a preternatural affinity for Shakespeare as a kid. :-) And my grandma had a rule that when we went to the bookstore, for every book that I picked out, I had to read one that she picked! It was an awesome system, actually: I got to read my Nancy Drew but also the good stuff I didn’t know about.

    Reading is awesome. :-D

  21. SVH fan chiming in here–artsy old Olivia Davidson may have had a mane of brown curls swept up off her face with her usual thinly twisted scarf, but hell if I can remember any papier-mache jewelry; I don’t know if that’s how they rolled in that little jewel of a Southern California town. I think she did wear a lot of oversized men’s shirts though, sometimes with the thinly twisted scarf as a belt. Man, I wanted to be her. (My other 80s fashion icon was Star from the Lost Boys).

    When I was about eleven I wrote like a twenty-page story that was basically a catalogue of the wardrobe of this perfect girl character, and that of all her friends. I READ IT ALOUD to my long-suffering mother, who must have been rolling her eyes pretty hard at my shameless attempt to con her into buying me some turquoise Reebok high-tops and a pair of Jams.

  22. Okay, I’m sure you don’t even read comments on posts this far back, but I’m working my way backwards through the archive. And I just had to say this made me so happy, because I never READ Babysitter’s Club but a friend recently informed me that I was “SO Claudia,” and I wasn’t entirely sure what she MEANT.

    Now I will be beaming all day. Thank you.

  23. spuffyduds, the most recent comments show up on the sidebar to the left, so it’s possible to revive a post for a while. :-) Being SO Claudia is awesome.

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