Anni is a twentysomething fledgling photographer with a serious case of wanderlust, a tiny Chicago apartment she shares with her wonderful fiance (and whole slew of pets), and a serious affinity for fashion, food, and wine. She blogs about a little bit of everything - including plenty of BSC references - here and you can keep up with her photography here. If you held a gun to her head, she’d admit to being a Stacey more than anything, except for the math part.
I was so excited when Red Velvet and Funfetti asked me to be a part of their summer series, and even more so when they wooed me with the suggestion of a BSC-themed post. Regular readers of my blog will remember that everything I know about fashion, I learned from Claudia and Stacey. I’m not joking when I say that I had all the Babysitter’s Club books, Super Editions and Mysteries included. I didn’t buy the Little Sister ones (what was up with those anyway? Karen was so annoying!) but I did read the California Diaries when they came out, even though I was far too old to be reading kids’ books at that point.
Stacey, Claudia, Kristy, Mary Anne, Dawn, Mallory, and Jessi taught me a lot about life. For instance, I knew the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes waaaaay before anyone else in the second grade. And I’m fairly certain that I can blame my love for upper-end department stores on Stacey. Bloomingdale’s is a gateway store, I’m telling you. I desperately wanted to be artsy like Claudia, but I had to settle for our mutual love of Nancy Drew. And Mallory - well, she was a fellow horse crazy girl and writer. If only she had access to the Saddle Club books like I did, I think she would have been a lot less angsty.
Lest you think I’m joking, I’ve done a fair amount of prep work leading up to this post. It’s a hard life, doing research for a fashion-oriented guest post on the BSC, but someone had to do it. A note: if you’re going to re-read your favorite childhood books, it’s best to have a glass (er, bottle) of wine and someone to read aloud particularly hilarious descriptions to and laugh with about the careful way Ann M. Martin presents such politically correct gems as “I guess another thing you should know about the Walkers is that they’re black. There aren’t too many black families in our building. You know what’s funny, though? When I’m with the Walkers I don’t think of them as black, just as people.” Deep thoughts from city girl Stacey!
So, the first holy grail of BSC fashion? When accessorizing, go big or go home. Subtlety is NOT your friend here. Take this flower pin via Emerson Made:
The dress is all Stacey, aka Miss Sophistication, but that flower is pure Claudia. Bright, big, impossible to miss. If it screams look at me, you’re probably good to go. Because what’s fashion if you’re not taking a risk?
Next rule? Tights and/or leggings can and should go under almost anything. Bonus points if they’re neon! But if you want to work a little BSC in your life and neon’s not your scene, feel free to prep it up a little. A get-up like this would even get the seal of approval from Stacey’s New York best friend, Laine.
Of course, when choosing an outfit, the brighter the better. This can be applied to colors, patterns, and the general boldness of an outfit. Anyone remember Claudia wearing her dad’s shirts with funky get-ups? Well, Rag and Bone totally stole that. I’m sure Claudia thought up boyfriend jeans, too. Except in PG Stoneybrook, they would have been dad jeans. But unlike mom jeans, they still would have been totally rad, because Claudia would have taken a pair of scissors to them, or maybe just ripped them in some way that Urban Outfitters was years from figuring out. So, if you think about it, all those celebrities should be thanking Claudia. Something to think about, Reese.
But seriously, back to accessories. Dangly earrings are a MUST. Even Dawn, with her California Cool style, knew this. Come to think of it, Dawn probably would have been all over boyfriend jeans and shirts, too. She was always wearing all that chambray. If she waited long enough, she could have modeled for J. Crew. But back to the accessorizing - nothing says free-spirited like a good pair of really oversized earrings. You can find these pretty much anywhere, but bonus points if you find a really cool, unique pair. My favorite go-to is Gabrielle Zwick, who designed these:
Last but not least, when in doubt do as the Kishi would: throw your hair in a side ponytail. You, too, can look this awesome.
That concludes my nuggets of wonderfully funky-yet-sophisticated fashion wisdom from the world of the BSC. I hope you read the books, too, otherwise this probably made me come across just a little bit crazy. I have to say, it was a lot of fun revisiting my childhood faves. Some of my fondest memories from childhood were centered around entire days spent buried under piles of books that were hand-me-downs from family friends, or scored from a garage sale. I think I eventually ended up with the entire collection, although I have no idea where they are now. A big thank you to Funfetti for lending me a few of hers! Any other diehard BSC fans out there
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Claudia Chic - a BSC Approved Guide to Summer Style is part of our Summer Series.