Monday, 17 October 2016

Unlikely Style Icon: Barb - Stranger Things

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Barb Stranger Things costume, Stranger Things fashion style, blogger favourite halloween outfit, easy 80s style, Halloween 2016 costumes, unlikely style icon, barb stranger things style, Stranger Things Barb hairstyle
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We are ramping up the ridiculous with this week's Unlikely Style Icon edition. The hit Netflix series Stranger Things has been successful thanks to its throwback 80's Goonies meets Stephen King vibe and I'm just about in the right age bracket to fully enjoy it. Normally with these, I quite like a subtle nod to the main elements of an outfit but you can't do Barb without going the whole hog.

I really commit to character.
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Barb Stranger Things costume, Stranger Things fashion style, blogger favourite halloween outfit, easy 80s style, Halloween 2016 costumes, unlikely style icon, barb stranger things style, Stranger Things Barb hairstyle
Brown Office boots, 80s mom jeans, Topshop peg leg trousers,
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Barb isn't a main character in the series, but she's captured everyone's heart with her Molly Ringwald attitude, skepticism and those ridiculous trousers. (Spoiler) She isn't in the series for long but has prompted the strongest reaction from fans, spawning #JusticeForBarb and the promise that she will have a tribute in series two. It's quite clear why she has struck such a chord with the public- the show is dripping with nostalgia for classic coming of age films and Barb is us as teens. She's the dorky side character; friend of the attractive lead, largely ignored by her high school peers, who has spunk and personality (under those frilled layers). People are going crazy for those 'the actress who plays Barb is actually really attractive in real life' photo stories because it's like seeing a 'here's what that hideous kid actor looks like now!' article in real time. Barb is our 'before' in the high school ugly duckling story and it resonates with us all.

And let me tell you- I am one of those girls. I sometimes forget that what people see now is not the girl I think I am. That chubby, bad haired, nerdy teen in school with the gap teeth and granny hobbies. In a really non-ironic way. I accidentally ended up with Barb's haircut (and colour) in high school, at a time when it was definitely not cool. There was no glamorous makeover montage for me either, I just kind of grew up and into myself. Now I have the confidence to wear this frankly ridiculous ensemble without giving too much of a care... Although I'm not sure even Wardrobe Conversations has what it takes to pull this look off.
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Here are the elements to perfecting the signature Barb style:

1.) The glasses.
Gotta have a huge pair of plastic grandma glasses and these pink oversized ones I bought years ago have been waiting in a drawer for their moment to shine. I've been channeling my inner Barb for some time, it seems.

2.) The hair.
Oh, the hair! I think most people would just go with a short ginger wig but I thought I'd try the 80s Diana style. It's my favourite part because I personally find it hideous. I wasn't born in the wrong era where this bouffant is concerned. It possibly doesn't help that I happened to have a grey toner through my hair when we shot this- I still can't decide if it's as much Barb as it is Deirdre Barlow but it's certainly a look! #FreeTheWeatherfieldOne

3.) The frill.
You need frill. Barb actually favours a fetching patterned pussybow shirt with huge ruffles (more is more) but I had to compromise with what I had. Yes, I had this jumper. I've had it for years, and I actually wear it too. Not with a big collar and tie underneath, obviously.

4.) The trousers.
Our Barb is a BIG fan of the mom jeans shapes. But in the way we remember 80s mom jeans, not the slimmed down 2016 version. Big, baggy and rolled up at the ankles. She's also fan of a similarly shapeless pair of cargo trousers. The closest I had were these old brown Topshop carrot top trousers with a questionable crotch pouch area. For my Victorian gentleman look.

5.) Sullen expression.
This one is a talent that comes naturally to me. It was really fun to relax into a miserable face that goes even beyond my usual Resting Bitch Face to complete the Barb transformation. An eye roll, pout and look of disdain are all a must.

So there you have it. Easy 80's ugly duckling style with Barb. For extra points you could accessorize with this season's puffa jacket and a Friends Don't Lie pin from Punky Pins.

Blouse | Urban Outfitters
Jumper | H&M
Trousers | Topshop
Boots | Office
Glasses | Pie in the Sky
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RIP Barb.
 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

3 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I'm half way through Stranger Things at the moment and definitely agree with you on Barb being that character that we all were at that age, and your outfit channels her so well. The glasses especially are brilliant! My mum had some just like them in the 80s which I would steal to recreate this look too, but her eyesight was terrible then :D
    I've just come across your blog and am scrolling back through this series of unlikely style icons now - brilliant idea!
    Sian xx Rebel Angel

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  2. Ha i love the idea of this post! Big up Barbs . x

    edp-fashion.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I know dressing for school was definitely a case of following the trends but not quite hitting the mark, that and just being very, very awkward.

    I love the outfit, I think I wore something very similar in 2011/2012. And the last photo made me giggle :)

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