I used to really love clothes and feeling stylish and funky and daring with my fashion choices. As a teen, I discovered H&M in London before the phenomenon had reached America, and I used to pick up fabulous and ‘unique’ items when I crossed the pond to visit my sister. At 17, I’d show up to class with no fear in bright orange velour bell-bottoms or blue paisley wide-leg silk trousers. I was awesome.
Or I possibly looked like Cosmo Kramer.
During free periods, I’d gingerly thumb through the pages of VOGUE eagerly anticipating an adulthood of being able to afford designer clothing (because I’d obviously be famous). Sure, the kids at my overly preppy all-dress-the-same-like-boring-lemmings High School mocked my choices and my dad called all my outfits ‘costumes’, but I knew I was ahead of the curve and didn’t care about their opinions.
Alas, for the past couple of years I have been stuck in black leggings and ancient v-neck t-shirts from Target/rotation of ratty jumpers/rotation of accidentally shrunken print dresses. I’ve only been able to fit into a thin top layer of all the clothes I own and it has depressed me and disappointed younger-cooler-Weekes. (Much of my clothing is quite literally covered in dust.) I’ve also felt fairly uninspired about dressing up to go to Poowich every day–the land of ill-fitting tank tops and inappropriate pairings of dark knee-high boots with bare legs and pastel coloured dresses and whatever British people call daisy dukes.
But you are what you wear (or something like that?), so I’ve decided to put some care back into the external expression of Weekes, in an attempt to nurture my internal reality (a slowly shriveling soul).
But before I go shopping (in my own closest), I thought it might be inspirational to take a trip down memory lane and visit some of my most influential style icons from the small screen (besides Kramer).
Clarissa Darling (Clarissa Explains It All)
Booooooooooooooooooy did I think she was the bee’s knees. Infinite outfit variation, a mini alligator named Elvis, a quirky male friend who visited her bedroom via ladder, a tofu-lovin’ mother, clueless dad, and dorktastic brother named Ferguson.
To be awesome and insulting, Clarissa called her brother Fergface and Fergbreath–so naturally I called my brother (not named Ferguson) Fergface and Fergbreath. My brother pointed out that these insults did not make sense. That they did not apply to him. That I was a nerd.
I think that Clarissa must have spurred my obsession with patterns and more specifically mixing and matching prints and plaids. To my mother’s horror.
Clarissa is also notable for her bangs, chunky jewelry, year round leggings wearing, and harem pants. All staples of my current wardrobe.
Some (my mom) might call Clarissa’s style ‘tacky’ or ‘cheesy’ but she really laid the subconscious groundwork for my future fashion choices.
Felicity Porter (Felicity)
Felicity was my tempering fashion obsession upon entering High School. This was perhaps due to my hair magically becoming curly overnight (read: frizzy) in my 14th year of life; I needed a compatriot. Of course by the beginning of High School my mind had already turned to college. I couldn’t wait to abandon pastoral Atlanta and begin my life in the wilds of New York City. Just like Felicity Porter.
To emulate Felicity’s style, it was necessary that I visited establishments like Banana Republic… the land of overpriced bland garments that were all too large for my childlike body. That’s okay though because Felicity’s clothes didn’t really seem to fit her either. (And my mother was pleased to see these more conservative additions enter my closet.)
Felicity was all about big chunky sweaters… because it is cold in New York. Although it is not cold in Atlanta, I sweated it out and rocked a fair few turtlenecks. To best channel Felicity, these would be paired with cargo pants, boot-cut jeans, or long skirts and of course black Converse for the finishing touch.
While these days I’m more apt to pair them with black (cat-hair-covered) leggings and Chelsea boots, my interest in over-sized jumpers has nevertheless endured.
Rayanne Graff (My So-Called Life)
There’s no question that this was one of the greatest shows ever and that Rayanne is
She was sort of like an elevated Clarissa, naughtier and more deviant. And I had to sneak watching the show on weekends when my parents were out.
20 years later, I still aspire to Rayanne’s pint-sized perfection. I mean, she was completely unstable and unhinged and her family life was terribly depressing. And she’s like, 16 years old, or whatever. BUT I STILL WANT TO BE HER.
Rayanne’s outfits were brilliant masterpieces with like 30 moving parts. A gagillion layers, great big baggy plaids over tiny bralettes, lace, all manner of prints, opaque tights, braids, scarves, boots, mom jeans and leotards, and a bowler hat. Again, all applicable to my current wardrobe. Again, probably sending my mom into convulsions.
These days Rayanne (or rather the real human actress who played Rayanne) is actually a duchess in Devon so…. she clearly continues to slay.
And there you have it. Another walk down memory lane. Another irrelevant rambling post. Another plea for us to never abandon the 90s. Further proof that I watch too much TV. More grasping at the straws of my youth.
I might just be an admin worker in Poowich, but dammit if I’m not going to strive to be a little more Rayanne in 2017. And Felicity. And Clarissa.
This Weekes Word is aptly clothing related and not a bit outdated.
Furbelow: from French ‘falbala’ (trimming, flounce) and meaning pleated or gathered piece of material, flounce. Ex: To her mother’s abject horror, Weekes cried, ‘Bring on the furbelows! The ribbons! The lace!’
xWG // #dazeandweekes