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Super Special Edition: Claudia Kishi Style

January 8, 2010

(Apologies for the length of this post. I’m hoping it will leave you with a feeling of nostalgia that will force you to keep reading. Plus, it’s a Super Special!)

I’ve always been a big reader. Novels, magazines, blogs … I read ’em all. (Although lately I think blogs outrank novels. Sad but true.) One of my perennial favorite blogs to read is whatclaudiawore.blogspot.com. (Kim is so hilarious!) If you haven’t read her snarky reviews, get on it!

I think the Baby-Sitters Club books were my first “chapter books” after The Boxcar Children. Of course, my two favorite sitters were Stoneybrook Middle School’s own fashionistas, Claudia Kishi and Stacey McGill. (Ann M. Martin and her ghostwriters always described the pair as having similar style, but we all know that isn’t true.)

My 8th birthday. “Claudia and Mean Janine.” SCORE.

For those who may need a refresher in Kishi style, I’ve found a few descriptions of The Artist’s normal attire.

Today, for instance, I’m wearing purple pants that stop just below my knees and are held up with suspenders, white tights with clocks on them, a purple-plaid shirt with a matching hat, my high-top sneakers, and lobster earrings. Clothes like that are my trademark.

…maroon leggings and ballet slippers under an oversized yellow shirt. Around her waist she wore this great belt that she made herself from three thin strips of leather tied together and decorated with ceramic beads.

Pretty. Damn. Stylin’.

(Full disclosure: I tried to make a belt like that when I was about 8 years old. Fail.)

I dug around my house and came up with only one BSC book. (This made me sad. I might have to buy the collection at used book stores so my hypothetical future daughter can be inspired by Claud and the gang.) However, to my delight, that one book was #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, aka The First BSC Book I Ever Read.

BSC-induced excitement at work. Apologies for the backwards image of the book.

Since it’s the first book Claudia narrates, she describes her style aesthetic very well (and we’re not tired of reading it over and over in subsequent books yet).

Mimi knows how much I like to dress up. It’s very important to me. I think clothes make a statement about the person inside them. Also, since you have to get dressed every day, why not at least make it fun? Traditional clothes look boring and are boring to put on. So I never wear them. I like bright colors and big patterns and fun touches, such as earrings made from feathers.

(I have earrings made from [fake] feathers. A step in the right direction!)

I do have a thrifty purpose with this trip down memory lane, though. Be honest. Who didn’t want to experiment with their wardrobe, Kishi-style, when they were growing up? Imagine how Claudia might dress if she attended SMS in 2010. (We all know she’d still be in 8th grade. It was the never-ending year in Stoneybrook, Conn.)

The Flashdance, 2k10

a headband with a huge pink rose attached to it. She was wearing a long, oversized black-and-white sweater, skin-tight black leggings, pink-and-black socks, and black ballet slippers

This one took me a few tries on good ol’ Polyvore

Headband: F21, Sweater vest: tillys.com, Pink shirt: American Eagle, Ballet flats: F21, Stirrup socks: yesstyle.com, Leggings: H&M

I didn’t have a lot of success finding an adequate black and white sweater, so I went with a sweater vest. I figured pairing it with a pink shirt would match the rest of the ensemble. I also really like those two-tone stirrup socks. I just wish the other tone was pink instead of gray.

Headband: Modcloth, Check shirt: yesstyle.com, Socks: lorisshoes.com, Flats: peacocks.co.uk, Leggings American Eagle

I’m not sure I would wear either version, but I think #2 hits the nail on the head. The flower could be a bit bigger, but I imagine Claud would adore the ruching on the leggings, as well as the pink and black stripes on the socks. And animal print? Embrace it, Kishi. Embrace it.

The Poodle Doodle

I, on the other hand, was dressed in one of my usual wild outfits – a very short black skirt, an oversized white shirt with bright pink and turquoise poodles on it, flat turquoise shoes with ankle straps, and a ton of jewelry, including dangly poodle earrings. My long hair was swept to one side in a high ponytail held in place with a huge pink barrette.

(Clockwise from top left) Poodle earrings (3-pieces!): yesstyle.com, Poodle shirt: cafepress.com, Poodle ponytail holder: eleganthairacc.com, Poodle necklace: Asos, Skirt: Roxy, Turquoise flats: Modcloth

I thought this would be much more challenging than it turned out to be. I couldn’t believe my search for “poodle” on Polyvore returned so many results. I even found the “flat turquoise shoes with ankle straps!” My favorite touch? That set of poodle earrings has three pieces — Claudia could totally wear them all, since she had her ears pierced twice in one ear (and one ear only).

The Ms. Frizzle, a la the Magic School Bus

I decided that my theme for the day would be The Sea. I put on a blue skirt with brightly colored tropical fish printed all over it. Then I put on a green blouse. I figured that could represent seaweed or something. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, over to one side, and I pined it with a sand-dollar barrette I made last summer. I ran to my closet and pulled out a pair of shoes. They’re the plastic kind called ‘jellies’ that I had decorated with stickers of seahorses and shells. I looked at myself in the mirror as I slid the shoes on. Was it too much? I shook my head. I looked great.

Blouse: debenhams.com, Skirt: gracemelodic.com, Lobster pin: girlprops.com, Fish applique: laughinglizards.com, Anchor necklace: F21, Anchor ring: Urban outfitters, Jelly gladiators: Wet seal

I (not surprisingly) couldn’t find a blue skirt with brightly colored tropical fish. However, I’m thinking Claud would have had no problem at all appliqueing those fish on this skirt, and I’m betting she’d adorn it with the lobster brooch, as well. I also took the liberty of adding some anchor accessories. I figured Claudia wouldn’t mind. And although I couldn’t find blue or green jellies that I liked, I think Claudia would have been OK with the pink ones.

What do you think? Which one of these is your favorite (if any)? What’s your favorite Claudia Kishi/BSC memory or outfit?

And if another pop culture character from your childhood is still near and dear to your heart, let me know! I’ll try to write about it! Leave a comment or e-mail me at otto.shannon@gmail.com.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 4:44 pm

    Absolutely loved this — especially the first and last outfits.

    Claudia, Kristy and Stacey were my favorites. I think I had about 30 or 40 of the books growing up. The Super Specials were the best — I really liked the wedding one and the cross-country trip. I think my most distinct Claudia memory was when she had to repeat 7th Grade for awhile and then became like the Queen Bee.

    Another BSC site you might like — Babysitter’s Club Headquarters: http://claudiasroom.blogspot.com/. Lots of snarky reviews of the books.

    They also might be doing a revamp of the books to bring them into the 21st century. Like add texting and updated outfits, I guess. If they makeover Claudia, I am going to be upset.

    P.S. Love the vintage photo of you! 🙂

  2. January 9, 2010 10:05 pm

    I don’t remember much about the BSC books but I just love this post! Makes me want to go back and polyvore some of my favorite fictional characters.

    And I’m loving the new hair on you. Very flattering!

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