Friday, June 22, 2007

#71: Claudia and the Perfect Boy

"You'd be amazed by the colors that go together. Take pink and gold. You might not think to wear pink socks with gold stretch pants, and then add a gold turtleneck under a pink sweater. But that's what I did yesterday, and then I added blue jewelry. It was great! I looked like a human sunset. The outfit made me very happy."

Gold stretch pants, you say? Once again, 2007 hipsters have nothing on Claud. By the way, that outfit makes me very happy, too, despite the lack of shoe description. Perhaps when you're a 'human sunset' you don't even need shoes. I don't know.

"What good was it that I'd spent hours putting together an outfit if my mother was going to make me look like an infant before the lunch even started. (I'd settled on a long white shirt under a green tapestry vest, green corduroy pants, and low boots.)"

Okay, first of all, in sixth grade I HAD a green tapestry vest. It had cute little children in all sorts of charmingly ethnic ensembles (little Dutch girls in wooden shoes, Japanese girls in kimonos, etc.) on it. Thinking back, I kind of wish I still had that vest. Damn. Second of all - HOURS? Claudia spent hours on her outfit and wound up with that? Later she mentions 'dangly Native American beaded earrings,' which I suppose makes the ensemble a little more exciting. But still. Where are the lobster earrings and fedoras of the Claudia of yore, the Claudia who was receiving Phantom Phone Calls?

"You're not going to wear those, are you?" Kristy asked as I slipped into my new brown suede cloth pants.

"Why not?" I asked. I thought they were the best thing I owned.

"I don't know," said Kristy. "They just don't seem right for a first date."

I was not about to take fashion advice from Kristy, of all people. (Good point.) "I like them," I insisted, zipping them up.

"I don't believe you're telling her what to wear, Kristy," Mary Anne giggled.

"I know what you should wear. Those bead earrings," said Stacey.

"They didn't make a big impression on Brian," I reminded her.

"Well, this guy sounds different. And wear lots of silver jewelry. Your bangles would be perfect. And put your good silver hairclip in."

I trust Stacey's fashion sense, so I took her advice. I finished the outfit with a simple yellow button down shirt and a brown and yellow brocade vest. "Perfect!" Stacey announced. "All you need is a little lipstick and mascara."

By the time I was done, even Kristy admitted I looked nice.

God, looking to Kristy for fashion consultation is like hiring Claudia to tutor your child . . . which, I might add, the Brewers actually did when little adopted Emily Michelle wasn't developing at a normal rate. Fools. That child is never going to be able to spell.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

#61: Jessi and the Awful Secret

You like me. You really, really like me. Okay, sure, you could counter that you really like Claudia, and how dare I take credit for the fictional fashion creations of Ann M. Martin (and her army of most likely bitter ghostwriters); that I am merely the snarky transcriber. But instead, I prefer to dance around my apartment, convincing myself I have achieved Blog Greatness. So, in all seriousness: thank you so much for the recent outpouring of support and Claud-love - through comments, links, etc. (Special thanks to lj user honeywar for pimping me out via blackcigarette - reading all the comments made my day a hundred times over.) You guys all rock: together, we stand united, one fashion nation under Claudia. In whom we trust. Though probably not with our outfit preparation, unless we are really into neon.

Moving on, I do have some bad news: whoever wrote this particular tome was really phoning it in on Claud's outfit. Get this:

"For example, today she was wearing a neon green tank top under a white oversized man's shirt and fuschia pink stirrup pants. The shirt was rolled at the sleeves and belted with a colorful woven belt.

Claud finished the outfit with dangly ceramic-bead earrings she'd made herself in pottery class."

Not. even. trying. Where are the produce-shaped barrettes? The telephone cord bracelets? Plus, what was she wearing on her FEET, for god's sake? Yet another pair of ankle boots? Perhaps some sandals that criss-cross up her calves? Neon pink sneakers from her vast sneaker collection? I NEED TO KNOW! I can't believe Ann M. Martin signed off on this pathetic excuse for an outfit. I may have to delve into some Super Specials to make this up to you.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

#55: Jessi's Gold Medal

"And the way she dresses makes her look even more stunning.

At that meeting, for example, she was wearing these sharply creased, pastel-green, cuffed shorts; a wild Hawaiian shirt tied at her waist, with vibrant colors that perfectly picked up the green; and sandals with crisscrossing ankle straps to her knees. Her hair was swept to one side and held in place with a long, fake-flowered barrette that looked like a Hawaiian lei."

and, how to dress for success at the SMS Sports Festival:

"Sure enough, the kids who lined up were . . . well, definitely not jocks.

Take Claudia. She was wearing electric-pink track shorts with a turquoise racing stripe, a matching top with cut-off sleeves, brand-new high top track shoes with no socks, and floral-print suspenders! Her hair was pulled up on top of her head and held in place with a silver barrette in the shape of the Olympic symbol. If it had been an athletic-wear fashion show, she would have won."

Friday, June 08, 2007

#53: Kristy for President

(in which our Valuable Lesson is about not overextending yourself. I feel like I should have paid more attention to this book as a youngster.)

"Today, for instance, Claudia was wearing lime green bicycle pants, a long, long bright pink shirt, and a cropped lime green striped shirt over that. She was also wearing black hightop leather sneakers with pink butterfly barrettes clipped to the laces. She has two feather earrings in one ear (lime green, of course), and a tiny pink heart in the other. Claudia's gorgeous - she has perfect skin and she's Japanese-American, with dark eyes and shining black hair (today it was pulled up on top of her head and fell down on one side). But even so, not many gorgeous people could get away with some of the outfits Claudia pulls together. But that's how she always looks. Pulled together and gorgeous."

Well, I guess after Dawn's Big Date, Claud had to find a way to out-80's New Dawn. Notice that she ripped off Dawn's feather-earrings-in-the-same-ear style? Claudia is out for revenge. I can only picture her journal entries: 'deer diare: its bad enouf that Stacey steels my thunder. now that damm hippy Dawn is doing it two!'

"Claudia was dressed fairly conservatively: white jeans, red shoes with big bows, a tropical jungle shirt with each button shaped like a piece of fruit, and her hair pulled to one side with a banana barrette."

Totally Tropical Claud. Awesome.

"Claud's hair was down, but she was wearing a hat. On the green hat ribbon was pinned a 'Kristy+' button. Her tights were orange and her dress was tie-dyed every color you could think of. She was wearing her feather earrings, and she'd drawn a star on her face next to her right eye."

Sorry Dawn, it looks like Claudia's back on top. I guess your only solution is to just give up on this East Coast thing and move back to California.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

#50: Dawn's Big Date

Whew! Never in my life (and by life I mean 'since I started this blog') have I been so drenched in BSC fashion. The majority of it is pretty Dawn-centric, and this is supposed to be what Claudia wore, but I think Dawn's ventures away from "California Casual" will bring - quote-unquote - the lols. So sit back. Unearth a Twinkie from the secret stash under your bed. Enjoy the identity crisis of a fictional thirteen year old girl.

"Claudia wears super-trendy clothes, and she puts them together in ways that are uniquely Claudia. Today, for example, she was wearing 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. For the final touch, Claudia had swept her hair over to one side and tied it up with another thin leather strip that had the same kind of beads on it. She looked great - and she was just hanging around her own house!"

"In the next few minutes, Stacey and Claudia arrived. Naturally, they both looked gorgeous. Claudia had tied her hair up in a high ponytail with this silver netting around it. She was wearing wide black pants and a top with a silver moon appliqued on the front.

Stacey wore a form-fitting purple dress and pink tights with black stripes. [Seriously, Stacey?] 'Wow! You guys really got decked out!' I said as they walked in. (I was dressed for comfort, in black leggings and a big blue top lined with fleece.)

'You have to get dressed up on New Year's Eve,' said Claudia. 'That's part of the fun.'

I shrugged. I guess everyone has their own idea of fun."

Yeah. For some of us, fun includes lecturing the readers on the virtues of healthy living every time we happen to be narrating. You're such a killjoy, Dawn.

"'Have you gone nuts?' Mary Anne gasped, when she saw what I was doing to my wardrobe. A bunch of clothes were laid out on my bed. I was completely revamping everything with the help of Mom's sewing kit and a pair of sharp scissors.

All my jeans needed to be taken in. (I ripped one more pair above the knee and left one pair unripped.) I made several off-the-shoulder tops. I even created a miniskirt out of a pair of gray sweat pants. I cut off the legs, opened the inside seams, and then patched up the gaps with some flowered material. (It was left over from a flowered t-shirt I'd cut up.)

'That's pretty cute,' said Mary Anne, holding up the sweat skirt. 'You should get Claudia to help you.'

'Nah,' I disagreed. 'Claud has her unique style. I want to create my own style.'"


"Claudia's reaction took me by surprise. 'The look is all wrong for you,' she said. 'It's not who you are.' Can you imagine Claud - of all people - saying that? I just shrugged. (Cool kids shrug a lot.) But inside I was steaming. I guess Claudia thought it was okay for her and Stacey to be stylish and cute, but not me. No. I was just plain, wholesome Dawn, and I was supposed to stay that way.

I decided she might even be jealous. She might not want anyone looking more 'unique' than she herself did.

So, by the time of our Wednesday afternoon BSC meeting, I was pretty angry at Claudia. I slumped on her bed, chewing hard on a wad of pink bubble gum. (It was sugarless.)

'I've never seen you chew gum before,' Stacey observed.

'There's a first time for everything,' I replied."

Let's review what we've learned so far. 1. If it isn't oversized, it isn't fashion. 2. sweat skirts = height of fashion. 3. Cool kids shrug a lot. 4. Claudia can drive a person to gum-chewing with a few fashion critiques. GUM CHEWING, people.

"On Thursday afternoon I took all my baby-sitting money and went to Zingy's. It's this great store that sells very trendy clothes. I didn't even take Mary Anne with me. I wanted to go by myself.

The salesperson at Zingy's had short maroon hair and four holes pierced in each ear. [5. the more holes in your ear, the cooler you are.] At first I was very intimidated by her hair, but she turned out to be very nice. She helped me put together a great outfit, which was what I was wearing as we waited for Lewis.

Here's the outfit: black ballet slippers; black lace capri leggings; a short metallic silver skirt with all this crinoliny stuff underneath that made it poof out; a stretchy, tight, black-and-white-striped top with long sleeves. I'd bought six rubber bangle bracelets, and a new pair of feather earrings that reached down to my shoulder. (I wore both earrings in the two holes in my right ear. I put a pair of small black hoops in the two holes on the left.) This time I didn't set my hair; I piled it on top of my head, then made six braids."

. . . oh, okay. This outfit is beyond mockery.
and, finally, the pinnacle of New Dawn glory:

"Everyone looked at me. I'd spent Sunday tie-dying a pair of white tights and some of Richard's old t-shirts. Today I was wearing the dyed tights, my new sweat skirt, and one of the t-shirts belted over a leotard.

I'd spent the rest of the afternoon putting my hair in tiny braids all over my head. The I gelled the braids. This morning I'd unbraided my hair up to about chin-length. I left in the braids along my head. It looked cool. The top was in braids and the bottom was all crinkled and frizzy."

Of course, I think we all know that Dawn learns a valuable lesson about Being Herself and returns to her own style. But just think of it: wouldn't it be fantastic if the rest of the series featured Bad-Ass Totally 80s Dawn and her ever-expanding sweat skirt wardrobe? I hope you have enjoyed the first (and most likely last) installment of What Dawn Wore, which could be subtitled Or: What Was Dawn Smoking?