by Unknown on Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Super Special #8: Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake

I bring: more pictures. Because it is a snow day and I've yet to even change out of my pajamas. There really couldn't be a better time for me to update. I feel very close to you all after witnessing the dance attire of the last entry together. And I bring better news this time.

And slightly larger.

Seriously, doesn't this cover just embody the spirit of the whole series? Girls around a campfire staring lovingly at each other, holding flashlights under their faces, toasting marshmallows, and wearing some extremely intense American Apparel-style glasses frames? Plus, for once they are all drawn fairly true to what they looked like (in my ten year old mind, anyway). Sure, Dawn's hair still isn't nearly long enough, but at least it's not the same damn shade/style as Stacey's. And of course, they all look approximately 27 years old.

With that said, can we talk about Claudia? Because I feel like I see this outfit on my campus everyday. Minus the side ponytail, that is. I'm starting to think that Claudia was actually some sort of bizarre idiot savant who secretly constructed a time machine and spent a lot of time checking in on 2007/2008. I almost kind of love the cowboy boots. I don't think I could rock them, but our heroine is totally pulling them off.

Thoughts on the other ladies: Now, I'm a big fan of mustard yellow. However. What the hell is Stacey wearing? Why did she think yellow gold was a good jewelry choice? Sam spends the entire book pining after this?

Surprisingly, I'm totally behind Mallory's outfit choice. I don't know why, I just am. I think it's those damn big glasses. They somehow make the safari-reminiscent double breasted shirt okay. With the right pair of shoes (I would probably want to tuck the jeans into some campus boots, but that's me) this could somehow be a good outfit. I find myself quite bemused by the whole thing.

The only other sitter worth noting is Kristy, because she is also surprising me by being almost adorably cute. I always picture her in baggy, ill-fitting stuff, jeans with the bottoms rolled up (why did the illustrators rely so much on that detail? It looked horrible!) and turtlenecks with lots of pills. She is practically L.L. Bean ready in her little preppy sneakers and khakis! Cutie.

And now for some text.

"On that particular day, Claud was wearing a pink tank top over a white tank top and a pair of neon pink-and-black bicycle shorts. Also, she was wearing three pairs of flop socks [ you know what simile is rapidly approaching, don't you], arranged so that her ankles looked like multicolored ice cream cones. Her sneakers were Day-Glo yellow. [cause why not?]

Stacey was wearing a simple (for her) outfit - black leggings [there they are again. Say it with me now: leggings are not pants. Except if Claudia wears them. I'm cool with that.], a long black t-shirt with brilliant [I know she means colorful but I prefer to imagine that the starfishes' SAT results were printed on the back of the shirt] starfish swooping across the front, black flop socks, and high-tops.

'Doesn't black absorb heat?' I asked Stacey. 'Isn't that why people wear a lot of white in the summertime? Because it reflects the sunlight or something? You must be boiling.'

'Yeah, but I look good,' she replied [up for debate, sweetheart], and everyone laughed. Sometimes Stacey says things like that just to annoy me, since I couldn't care less about clothes."

They're all out to get you, Kristy.

"It's four o'clock," said Claudia.


"The dance begins at eight."

"Yikes!" I cried. I sat up fast. "Boy, do we have a lot to do."

"Thank goodness we don't have to get too dressed up," I said.

Oh really? Then why do you need four hours? I can't be alone in thinking this is a totally irrational amount of time to spend preparing for a dance in a lodge with a bunch of vacationing families. Even for these two. Oh! By the way, while packing for the babysitters' overnight on Shadow Island, Dawn calls out Claudia for packing her makeup. I think this book takes place not too long after Dawn's Big Date. Maybe she's still bitter.
And finally, I would like to close with another illustration, presented as further evidence of my time machine theory. She's wearing buffalo plaid and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Somebody's been reading a lot of Nylon.


I have wanted ice cream cone socks ever since I read this book. I tried to pull off this look by wearing 3 pairs of socks once, but it got painfully hot and none of my shoes would fit.

by Mehreen on 3:14 PM. #

Mallory looks eerily like my mother did at age 23.

by Jessica on 4:45 PM. #

Did anyone else notice that there's a boy sitting with them? No wait, that's just Jessi.

by laurakburchell on 4:55 PM. #

What is this "flop sock" business? I do not understand.

But enough of this. You're in Amherst, I'm in Amherst. There is no reason we should not be mocking real life Claudia wannabes together.

by shegotzen on 6:26 PM. #

i thought that was a boy, too! poor jessi.

the starfish comment was hilarious.

by Carina on 8:11 PM. #

I think the four hour thing is supposed to be a joke to the readers. Who are nine. Never mind.

by Michael on 5:58 PM. #

I absolutely thought Jessi was a man in that picture. And that she was perhaps being the entire BSC back in Stoneybrook while the remaining members sat round the campfire with a random guy who would tell them campfire stories (first thing that popped into my head, I swear.)

Claudia is totally a savant. Neon, ray-bans, plaid, tight pants and cowboy boots...

Mary Anne looks reeeally good on the cover. I wish I looked like that when I was a shy thirteen year old girl.

by Laura on 1:32 AM. #

I think this was the reason that high school was so weird to me. When you watch TV and see high school kids played by 20- and 30-somethings, and read books that make early teenagers look like 20- and 30-somethings, you get this whole different perspective of what middle and high school should be like.

by Kait on 5:32 PM. #

OH! You've said what has been nagging at the back of my head since I started seeing the ads.

Namely: When I stop and look at it, I really feel like American Apparel has been consistently mopping the looks of the Baby-Sitters Club since day one. (I say this to their credit?)

Such a revelation! THANKS WCW!

by Jory Dayne on 5:35 AM. #

I also have wanted ice cream socks ever since I read this book. When I was finishing up fifth grade, we had a "mixer" with fifth graders from the other town elementary schools so that we would all be prepared to enter middle school together. Obviously my friends and I had to spend a very long time getting slutted up for this mixer because it was our chance to make a good first impression. OF COURSE I layered three pairs of socks in a pathetic Claudia-mimicking attempt. This didn't actually help my middle school popularity standing as much as you might think.

by Leila on 6:35 PM. #

I really heart your blog, first off.

The illustrations really are inconsistent, especially when you consider reprints and what not. Did you know that there is now a graphic novel of 'Kristy's Great Idea?' I saw it at an English bookstore in France and had to page through. The girls are super cartoon-y and it is the worst rendition of the BSC I have seen yet.

Most of the illustrators have it in for Mallory, too...

by Natasha on 4:46 PM. #

I spent sooooo much of my young life aping Claudia's style. Unfortunately now I wish I had kept those clothes! Particularly all the vests. Who knew hipsters would embrace BSC style?

by maebetonight on 11:00 AM. #

I call every girl with redhair a "Mallory". Is it just me?

by So@24 on 3:49 PM. #

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

by Richard Morgan on 3:23 PM. #

I love you for creating this site. Claudia is my favorite of all time. And I aspired to be her at the age of nine. Didn't really go over too well...nobody could pull off quite like Claud.

by Shenanigans on 6:26 PM. #

what`s funny is that what claudia is wearing in that picture really *is* what you would see nowadays...but usually, on people who are fifteen or older~ i see it all the time on my campus [but substitute the side pony for one of those rihanna/katie holmes-esque bobs] & it really makes me wonder.
fashion sure does go around in circles, huh? -jae

by a side order of style on 10:35 AM. #

This is one of my new favorite blogs! You are so hilarious. I read all of these books...

by Nora on 4:37 PM. #

the outfit descriptions were by far my favorite parts of the BSC books !!! thanks for revisiting the transparent plotlines and spot on analyses of the other members of the BSC. i think i stopped reading around book # 80 something, because i moved onto goosebumps, but i still really enjoy your blog! keep it coming!!

by camille on 7:18 PM. #

This blog is completely amazing.

I am from Boston, and the recent upsurge of 21 year olds (i am nearly 30) who think they're so original because they're ripping off my favorite outfit from 3rd grade has started to make me laugh.

to the point that when i worked at the garment district i believe i made a few comments to the "high fashion concious" massart girls who made fun of me for not adopting the 80's look resulted ina few babysitters club 9and/or Jem) comments itself.

nicely done!

by aimee on 1:25 PM. #

hay! we were inspired by your blog to create historical reconstructions of what claudia may have actually looked like. have a gander.

by Sally Tempo on 3:11 PM. #

I just found this blog through a comment on ONTD on a SVH post and holy fucking shit I love you! I still have every single BSC book, but now I subscribe to Nylon so Claudia gets much more respect.

by Joan [] on 4:27 PM. #

oh my god im so glad i found this! i loved these books - i love what you are doing here!

by Karma by Morgan on 8:40 PM. #

"I know she means colorful but I prefer to imagine that the starfishes' SAT results were printed on the back of the shirt"

Ha! For me, you are the funniest thing on the internet.

by Julie on 8:14 AM. #

what is up with Claudia's hand in the second pic? she looks like her hand go caught in some sort of machinery!

by boppo on 12:26 PM. #

I agree with boppo, also Dawn's arm looks like it was drawn on at the last minute...

by stace on 5:18 PM. #

What are flop socks? I even went to my dear friend Google to no avail.

by Mama Bee on 10:40 AM. #

I too remember reading this book and thinking 4 hours was a ridiculous amont of time needed to get ready. Even now as an adult it doesn't take me 4 hours.

And btw - did anyone else wonder how Claudia was able to fashion "the Lake Monster" using only towels???

by lljljljljj on 7:30 AM. #

I really think it looks like Jessie is a 30 something male.

by Kikizoo on 9:42 PM. #

According to wikipedia, they're slouch socks. I think.

I agree, Jessie looks like a dude.

by Mary on 6:28 PM. #

What happened to the second pic?

Claud's "Member's Only"-style jacket makes her look like a Mafiosa.

I think everyone else's outfits are just fine for an evening by a campfire. P.S. what's wrong with yellow gold? It looks like she's wearing a delicate chain of some sort (timeless), not a huge heavy one with a gaudy medallion attached.

by Libellule on 2:48 PM. #

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