Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The girl who thinks for herself

I read a hell of a lot when I was younger.  I think by the time I was about 9 or 10 I had read most of the books in the kids and teenage section in the library.  Don't get me wrong I wasn't a whiny little nerdy priss, but I was constantly reading everything I could get my hands on ever since I could read , which was before I even got to school.  Enid Blyton was my favourite, and Lois Lowry, and then  I went through a John Steinbeck phase in primary school.  So when I got over my pretentious self, I started my career on reading absolute tooty shite, except for Anastasia, which I maintain were the best books I have ever read as a child, and Adrian Mole, which are my favourite books of all time.  I had every babysitters club book till some new bird came in it and I stopped reading,  point horror, Anastasia Krupnik, St Claires and Malory Towers.  These books I could read over and over like some kids watched films over and over.   I was also one of those lucky kids who had cable and sky.  So I was totally addicted to Nickelodeon from a young age.  I religiously watched Melissa Joan Heart mature from Clarissa Darling the dungarees freak to Sabrina the teenage witch, who's clothes were not that impressive, except that series where she was at uni and wore questionable red leather get ups. Without fail I watched Tia and Tamera grow up learning life lessons like don't smoke with Brittany Murphy in fluorescent leggings to some fierce twins in Sister Sister.

Now I was in Topshop the other day, taking full advantage of the freedom sale, where necklaces that are usually the ludicrous price of £14 for about £3.  Wandering around, I saw these AMAZING oversized rainbow lurid sunglasses, possibly the best sunglasses I had ever seen, which I showed my friend and she just rolled her eyes.  It was then I questioned myself, why on earth do I want to wear things that look like a mish mash of unicorn rainbow vomit over 80's staples like leggings and slouch socks and massive earrings?  Then I realised, all of my style icons, from my impressionable young age were Claudia Kishi, Anastasia Krupnik, Clarissa Darling and Tia and Tamara.

I always wanted my ears pierced like Claudia and Stacey, one of which had two in one lobe and one in the other, so she could wear a monkey earring and a banana earring directly on top of it.  How amazing and innovative is that?! When I worked in Claires, I pierced my ears loads of times and bought loads of little earrings to try and recreate this, but I think I ended up looking like a walking talking Claires advert, the type of person who bought loads of chocolate flavoured chapstick and lip balm shaped in the style of a cupcake HOW CUTE AND ~QUIRKY~!

My sister Alex rocking amazing boots, high waisted shorts with tucked in t shirt and a hat that we used to fight over
Clarissa was renowned for wearing crazy outfits, I think my favourite was this yellow dungarees get up, and always with coloured converse that you could not get in England.  I remember when I found that buffalo did pink converse in the early 2000’s, I was looking online and I saw them, overcome with joy I rang up their Camden branch about 4 o clock, they had my size in stock, so I made the trip from the home counties to the store in a record 35 minutes.  I wore those things to death, with footless tights (as leggings at this point were very very hard to find) denims skirts and Mickey Mouse hoodies, with bright pink sweat bands.

  I really loved a hat and I am envious of my own long blonde hair

In the 90’s I wore a lot of velvet, and hats and leggings and tights.  Always with slouch socks over the top of my boots or shoes.  Failing that I wanted to look like Sarah from the Labyrinth, her flowey white hippy shirt over jeans a loafers, she always looked effortless and stylish despite running through a Labyrinth towards David Bowie in a panic.  As I couldn’t really ever get my hands on the clothes I would have liked to wear, I used to express my fashion desires through Barbies. My sister and I also used to play barbies every single day.  Looking back now, I have no idea why we always made the story lines so gritty and hard edged, but a few that come to mind were, Stacie and Ken sneaking out for some sexual encounter at the make out point (the top of our stairs) in my red Ferrari Testarossa hand break came off and them plummeting to their deaths, or if they were lucky paralysis from the neck down, teen pregnancy resulting in them becoming homeless, and countless affairs that broke home up.  I think we watched Biker Grove too much to be honest.  We had so many barbies, but the arguments always came down to what clothes they wore.  Never did they don ball gowns or bikinis, we wanted to achieve a grungey/Clarissa look, and we only had one lumberjack shirt and one pair of baggy jeans, and the Robbie Williams doll had small feet, so we could get our barbies into his big boyband lace up boots.  I think I punched my sister over those jeans once.  I look now and those big manga eyes bratz dolls wear every type of style you could imagine.  I think my sister and I would have died and gone to heaven if we could have got a kilt and Dr Martins on our barbies.

from left to right: Alex my sister, my mum and me rocking slouchy socks, chunky knit and bomber jacket 

On twitter someone linked me an utterly hilarious tumblr, called Incredulous Kristy.  The head babysitter from the babysitters club books. In the same format as advice dog, insanity wolf and paranoid parrot, these memes are hilarious, but really only going to be that funny for those of you that read these books as much as I did.  Linked on the website, is a fashion blog called What Claudia wore, where the blogger has recreated outfits that Claudia wore.  I am totally in love with this blog, and if money was no object, I would be scouting through those books right now trying to recreate those outfits.  I am glad that clearly, other people feel the same way about the way these eighties/nineties kids dressed and how I try and recreate it on a day to day basis, in some tiny way. 

Just a quick plug for my friend Blair's blog over at Blair on a Budget, she is having a christmas give away, to enter you just have to follow her amazing fashion blog and or retweet her!


  1. OMG Charlotte, LOLOLLOL! This is hilarious and I used to wear all these things. Lots of velvet, tie dye, floppy hats with roses, total 90s chic!!

    PS, how cute were you? Am totes jealous of your hair!! You need to go back that colour stat!!!


  2. we did play some strange barbie games, amazing post! thanks for the dodgy photos though! x

  3. @ gogog123 remember how those boots had polar bears on the bottom and we both had a pair?! You look so lovely in both those photos do not worry!, how blonde was our hair back then? why did we dye it?!

  4. I swear, hands down, most of this was me in the 90's! I loved Clarissa and was obsessed with dungarees because of her...I still kind of am I think! xx

  5. This post is THE BEST. As someone who was obsessed with Clarissa and Anastasia and Claudia as well i totally remember coveting all these clothes and trying to recreate their outfits. And i had one of those hats - it was dark blue velvet with a flower on the front. All those books were my favourites too :D

  6. wicked post, sorry i have only just seen it! LOVE IT, love anastasia, love clarissa, yes yes yes just yes. x

  7. Haha LOVE What Claudia Wore, have you seen this other blog with funny reviews of the books... it makes me laugh so much

  8. oh wow i hadn't seen that review website, it is so funny, i saw this the other day as well.....

  9. This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. Full of useful resource and great layout very easy on the eyes.
    Barbie Games


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