Clarissa (and the Gilmore Girls) Explain It All

Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog

The sitcoms we grew up with explain our fashion choices today…

Clarissa Explains It

Clarissa Explains It All was quirky, fun, and zero F’s given about what you thought of the clothes, and she was totally ahead of her time. That is what made this Nickelodeon show so endearing and inspiring to me as a young fashion mind, oddly enough. The idea that you could be totally mismatched and in style was brilliant. I still remember some of those outfits as if I had owned them myself. They were amazingly mismatched in a perfect way, totally inspirational, and gave a young girl something to aspire to. The idea that that Clarissa had the confidence to stand up to her parents rather than being diminutive like most other little girls portrayed in sitcoms are, someone who could cleverly push back on sibling rivalry, and still take boxing lessons to challenge a bully picking on her brother Ferguson showed me that being multifaceted is okay.

The show made you think that as a girl you didn’t have to be matchy-matchy all the time. You could express yourself and wear what you want. I remember watching Clarissa Explains It All with my best girlfriend Alissa just down the street and thinking she was the coolest ever. She was like our style idol. That worked out well since we looked like twins. There is a photo of us together and people would confuse us all the time. We totally looked up to Clarissa for her sartorial choices. I remember having flowered blouses, acid wash jeans, and an oversized denim vest. Just really making clothing choices that were completely controversial at the moment and embracing the idea that clothing was an expression.

Looking back, Clarissa’s choice of dress was incredibly impressive.

Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blogClarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog

The 90s revisited, left to right: Madewell denim jacket, Dr. Martens boots, OASAP sunflower dress, OROBLU leggings.

Breaking down her typical outfit you consistently get patterned leggings, socks sticking up above her Dr. Martens, and a pair of socks pulled up over those. She would usually have an oversized blouse of some sort, with an equally oversized jacket or denim vest. Sometimes, she would add an oversized soft headband along with oversized earrings. A lot of her clothing was oversized and I suppose it was the trend at the time.

I didn’t really realize till now how on point my clothing choices were back then. And I’d like to thank my mom for not trying to dress me like a total doofus and instilling some style in me at an early age.

-Amanda Johnson, Glamhive Creative Director and master accessorizer


Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices (and the Gilmore Girls too) | Glamhive blog

The Gilmore Girls Explain It

Where you lead, I will follow anywhere that you tell me to…

The 2000’s (a.k.a. the aughts) were a crazy time for fashion. Rhinestone statement tees emblazoned with ANGEL or PRINCESS, zebra print cowboy hats, and glittery butterfly hair clips were considered casualwear. I considered all of these things completely normal school attire. Glitter was my uniform.

I’m re-watching old episodes in preparation for the Gilmore Girls Netflix reboot later this year and it’s bringing me back. Lorelai Gilmore (much more than her daughter Rory) had an affinity for the kind of kooky flair that could be found at your nearest Claire’s in the mall. You know, feather boa, bedazzled accessories, and rhinestone statement tees. And when Rory’s grandma tries to bond with her by decorating her room, I spotted the very same fuzzy pink “Princess” pillow I had in my own pink and zebra themed teen bedroom.

In this era of girl groups in matching outfits,  the end of TRL, and sitcoms like Gilmore Girls, Lizzie McGuire, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, girly-ness and quirk were qualities meant to be expressed… LOUDLY! I unapologetically wore rhinestones above my eyebrows like Gwen Stefani (who was my hero) with sparkly pink ombre flared pants, among other things. The Spice Girls taught us about girl power and set the stage for the decade. The fact that Gilmore Girls, a wholesome show about a mother daughter relationship (it was more about relationships than fashion), not only existed but thrived was telling of the era. The boys weren’t the main characters and they came and went. This one was for us girls.

Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog Clarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blogClarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blogClarissa Explains All Our Fashion Choices | Glamhive blog

The 00s revisited, left to right: Topshop feather crossbody bag, Milly tee, Jeremy Scott by Linda Farrow zebra sunglasses, Jennifer Zeuner choker.

At this time, minimalism was in hibernation. Now, minimalism is the base theme for my wardrobe. I still hold on to the quirky era that allowed me to develop my style as a girl, but this time it’s pared back. My spring uniform is Levi’s jeans and a button-down shirt with no accessories but my Ray Ban sunglasses… And a voluminous, blooming red and pink flower crown atop my head.

You know, because girl power!

-Alexis Sargent, Glamhive Content Editor and quirky minimalist

Main photo: © The WB / Scott Humbert. Gilmore Girls photo via Style Caster.


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