Jul 11, 2014

Nostalgia: A Fashionable Birthday Ode To Claudia Kishi

It's a little bizarre to be celebrating a birthday of a fictional character, but I'm always bizarre so... *throws glitter in air*

Today is Claudia Kishi's birthday! Who is that you ask? Well, if you had your nose stuck in a book and salivated over a book fair during the '80s and '90s, you know all about The Babysitter's Club book series by Ann M. Martin which followed a close-knit group of friends who started a babysitting business in the fictional community of Stonybrook, Connecticut.

I was obsessed with the books back in the day. I also watched the short-lived TV show, saw the 1995 movie in the theaters, joined the "super secret club", wore the gold charm necklace --- you get the idea. If this all sounds precious, believe me young adult fiction and the fandom surrounding it has gotten a lot more intense in the last decade or so thanks to stories about post-apocalyptic worlds, sparkly vampires, and John Green writing tomes for a whole new generation of emotional Kleenex clutchers. Books about young girls eating pizza, joining forces to babysit brats in their community to make bank off it was about as philosophical as it was gonna get for an '80s and '90s kid.

Out of all the members of the Babysitter's Club, Claudia Kishi stands out as being one of the most memorable, and for me, she was the one I identified with the most right down to her habit of hoarding junk food, her love of art, her obsession over Nancy Drew books, and also her flair for being horrible at math. Also we have the same closet. Yep. Soulmate.

Another (obvious) reason why I adored me some Kishi was her fashion sensibility which was detailed in the pages of the books, shown on the fabulous paint-brushed book covers, and seen on the actresses who played Kishi on screen (I preferred TV version Claudia). Scrunchies, vests, boots, leggings, bangles, and vivid colors --- Kishi brought some much needed panache to the circle of babysitters, and I'm not the only one who took notice. A Google search will lead you to other lovers of Kishi fashion, most notably the sometimes active, What Claudia Wore and Tumblrs like the defunct, The Claudia Kishi Diaries and Claudiavore.

I admit to wearing some badly printed sweaters and t-shirts, as well as jellies, overalls, and stirrup pants from way back when, and as much as some of that stuff should remain in the '90s, somehow I'm finding myself leaning back into the fold of a Kishi wardrobe. Pretty much because clothing stores and Pinterest keep telling me so. So I'm rocking the blue jean tops, buying the lace up boots, wearing printed shorts, and always and forever topping everything off with some funky cheap ass jewelry. Though I've ditched the scrunchies, my style is still somewhat rooted in Kishi Koture, as I just cannot get away from floral prints and weird earrings, and well, proud of it I am.

So in honor of the Babysitter's Club most stylish occupant (sorry Stacey McGill) and her birthday, I provided a run-down of outfits and accessories that would get the Claudia Kishi approval. I hope the list inspires you in to think outside the box --- or just worship at the alter of floral prints again. So let's all raise a candy bar to celebrate because well...

Gotta have the blue jean shirt. Paint splatter is optional.
Floral leggings. You betcha by golly wow.
Let the garden grow on your tights
The fishnets are would shock the moms of Stonybrook, but the high-waisted shorts and the bowl hat are for when Claudia wants to upstage Stacey
Eve Kaplin Memphis must've had Kishi on the brain designing these
Claudia would SO own these Frieda Kahlo socks from Hot Sox
These funky necklaces could be made from all the materials in the Kid Kits
Speaking of Kid Kits, you bet they'd be carried in this patterned tote. Even though this tote hails from Anthropologie, Claudia's would for sure either be a thrift store find or something she made herself. 
One of my fave fashion bloggers, Christina Caradona is the Claudia Kishi for the Millennial set
It's not the '90s unless you rock the 'ralls
Next to boots, oxfords are Claudia's next shoe of choice, and yep, I own a pair myself because of peer Kishi pressure
Bonus reference: Yes they had BSC dolls and of course I owned the Claudia one. Ruffled shirts, overalls and neon
tights --- yeppers, it looks like the '90s to me.

[Photo Sources: The Babysitters Club Tumblr + Trop Rogue]

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