Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Unlikely Style Icon: 90s Nickelodeon Clarissa Explains it All

90's Nickelodeon Clarissa Explains It All DIY costume 90's style by blogger Wardrobe Conversations featuring dinosaur handbag 90's Nickelodeon Clarissa Explains It All style with blogger wardrobe conversations easy halloween costume: 90s Nickelodeon show Clarissa Explains It All with only 5 items
Let me open this by saying that Clarissa Darling has been the biggest style inspiration in my life. Literally. At age 10, watching her on TV opened my eyes to personal style, choice and pattern. Hold on to your hats for this homage!

This week we are sharing unlikely style icons from 90s Nickelodeon TV shows and let me tell you- I saw my share of them. We had cable growing up, before Sky took over, and we had the coveted second box in our house so us kids could watch a different channel in our parents' bedroom. As well as watching The Lion King every day for a year and copying the WWF (now WWE) moves on our parents' bed alongside the wrestlers, we watched Nickelodeon.

My top choices were Sister Sister, Are You Afraid of the Dark- that late night scary viewing, hitting our screens at a spooky 7pm- and Clarissa Explains It All. And, of course, Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Clarissa Explains It All starred Melissa Joan Hart and was a sort of teen diary about Clarissa Darling, a young teen living with her hippy-turned-bourgeois parents and annoying brother Ferguson, who always had a side story of some silly get-rich-quick scheme. It had some surprisingly grown up themes around dating and sex, feminism and animal rights at an appropriate level for pre-teens. She was clever, outspoken and very cool. Her best friend, Sam, climbed into her bedroom through her window and she had a pet alligator named Elvis. She even somehow made custom video games to play out solutions to her ordinary teen problems, which featured the faces of her family superimposed on characters. Not bad considering it used floppy disks and she didn't even have dial-up.

What she was really known for was her fashion sense, which featured clashing everything. It was so different from everything I had seen before- and even the way other characters in the show dressed- and didn't seem to have any rules. Even so, she looked like she was free to do as she pleased and was just so damned cool. (Or, I thought at least, but some of my earliest attempts to mash up my outfits like her were really not understood by my primary school peers. Cycling shorts worn under patterned dresses, for example, although I still maintain that was a look and probably a precursor to the not-as-excellent skirt over trousers look of the millenium).
Veronica Dearly collection of motivational pin badges subscription box 90's Nickelodeon Clarissa Explains It All as worn by Wardrobe Conversations blog Wardrobe Conversations: 90s Layering Style with Clashing Patterns
Here are the main things to pulling off Clarissa's looks:
  • More is more. Pile on any kind of colours and patterns you can. Forget colour coordinating or scaling print sizes- just throw any combo on!
  • Layer for a youthful and modest look. On the bottom this means bright tights, leggings or cycle shorts underneath shorts and skirts. On top, layer loose tshirts with either a biker, denim jacket, or sleeveless version of these two. These basics are often unisex and oversized.
  • Clarissa's hairstyle is long and natural, with a fringe. She wears it either loose, in a high ponytail or a chunky French plait. Vital accessories include puffy hairband or scrunchie.
  • Speaking of accessories- wear everything at once. Bucket hat, scarves, hundreds of gummy bands, and rings on every finger? Go ahead! Patches, pins, chokers, statement earrings? You can have it all! Clarissa is also known to wear heavy black Buddy Holly glasses on occasion. She was ahead of her time.
  • Finally, the look is always finished with a heavy pair of black Doc Martens boots. Clarissa is cool and practical. Just remember to pair with garish socks.

I had an idea of how I wanted to put this together but I felt a lot of pressure to get it right.  It all started with this amazing Dreamland t shirt, which has been giving me Clarissa vibes since I got it. I knew it had to be paired with double denim, in the form of both shorts and jacket. The bright coloured legwear was the hardest, since I personally despise it on me (check out those rugby player quads). I think Clarissa would toughen it up with darker colours but I went against her rules to match the white from the top through the cropped leggings... because I can't help matching, okay?! I wore my entire Veronica Dearly pin collection and risked my bald patch showing with this awful hairstyle.

And of course, I brought my own pet reptile in the shape of Steve the Stegasaurus.
Scottish blogger Wardrobe Conversations: Clarissa Darling from Clarissa Explains It All Wardrobe Conversations: Clarissa Darling from Clarissa Explains It All 90s Nickelodeon TV style with The White Pepper and Dreamland Clothing
I had so much fun dressing up as my childhood hero for this photo shoot. 12 year old me would be squealing with delight right now, and I am a little bit too.

Top | Dreamland
Stegasaurus bag | The White Pepper
Pins | Veronica Dearly
Boots | c/o Doc Martins
Rest of outfit | borrowed or old

Fun, Colourful 90s Outfits with Wardrobe Conversations
I hope you check out Helen's post later in the week- she has a really fun one too, from a different Nickelodeon show. Which one was your favourite?

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