#1: Kristy's Great Idea
Back in 2007, I excerpted a passage from the book that started it all. Makes sense, right? The very first book of the series, my very first entry. Today, we revisit. No fashion left behind, that's my promise to you.
Kristy (who is so awesome in this book, especially during the incident that leads to a 100 word essay on decorum in the classroom) tells us that "Claudia has never been a close friend, and this year, the gap between us seems to have widened just since school started. Even though we're all seventh-graders, Claudia suddenly seemed . . . older. She talks about boys, and spends most of her time adding to her wardrobe and talking on the phone. In the short time since school started, she's become a different person." Aw.
The outfit from this scene "short, very baggy lavender plaid overalls, a white lacy blouse, a black fedora, and red high-top sneakers without socks. Her long black hair was carefully arranged in four braids."
Poor Kristy is baffled by Claudia's experiments with makeup:
"'Are you going to wear that' - I pointed to her face - 'to school tomorrow?'
'If I can get away with it.'
I nodded. Claudia's parents are very conservative. They don't understand her taste in clothes at all. They're pretty nice about the fedoras and stuff, although they won't buy any of those things for her. (That's why she has to baby-sit - to earn money for all that stuff.) But I didn't know how the Kishis would react to Claudia's day-glo face. I didn't know how our teachers would react, either."
I dig this bit of characterization, too -- that babysitting for Claudia is a means to an end. And that end is glittery slouch socks and spandex bike shorts. Love this bitch.
"Claudia answered it again, this time wearing a baggy yellow-and-black checked shirt, black pants, red jazz shoes, and a bracelet that looked like it was made from a telephone cord. Her earrings were dangling jointed skeletons that jumped around when she moved. I noticed she wasn't wearing any makeup.
'Mom and Dad wouldn't let me,' she said.
'Well, you got away with the skeletons.'
Claudia grinned. 'I didn't put those on until I got to school,' she whispered. 'Mimi's the only grown-up home now and she doesn't mind if I wear skeletons.'
'Oh, very sneaky!' Claudia knows every trick."
Damn straight she does.
When Stacey McGill is introduced to us, she's wearing "a pink sweat shirt with sequins and a large purple parrot on the front; short, tight-fitting jeans with zippers up the outsides of the legs; and pink plastic shoes. She was very pretty, tall and quite thin with huge blue eyes framed by dark lashes, and fluffy blonde hair that looked as if it had been permed recently. I glanced at Mary Anne. She and I were still in our school clothes - skirts and blouses*. I was wearing white knee socks and loafers. Mary Anne was wearing short white socks and saddle shoes. Mary Anne's hair was, of course, in braids, and I was wearing a blue hair band.
We looked like second-graders. Stacey and Claudia looked like models."
I like this Stacey much better than the Stacey of later books -- the 'classy' Stacey who insists on wearing turquoise trousers and shopping in sections called 'Young Sophisticate'. Come on, Stacey. More jellies and skinny jeans, please.
When Stacey meets Sam Thomas, she's "wearing a matching top and skirt made of gray sweat shirt material with big yellow number tens all over it. Her hair was pinned back with clips shaped like rainbows. Little silver whistles were dangling from her ears. It was all very cool, but it seemed kind of young-looking."
But Sophisticated Stacey is already starting to emerge . . . or at least, her wool pants obsession is: "'I went shopping at Bloomingdale's and bought this." She indicated the plaid wool pants she was wearing, which were held up with bright red suspenders. 'I got a matching hat, too.'"
First fight . . . and it devolves into fashion theory!:
"'Well, how do you think I feel, being lied to?' I shouted. 'Talk about tact. It made me feel like a little kid.'
'You are a little kid,' said Claudia. 'Look at how you're dressed.'
I looked. 'What's wrong with the way I'm dressed?'
'Really, Kristy, a sweater with snowflakes and snowmen on it? You look like a four-year-old.'
'Well, you've got sheep barrettes in your hair,' I yelled. 'You think they're adult?'
'Sheep,' Claudia informed me witheringly, 'are in.'
'Who cares? Everything's in sometime. First it was frogs, then pigs, now it's sheep. Maybe next week it'll be snowmen. And how do you expect me to keep up with that stuff, anyway? I don't have time for it.'
'That's because you and Mary Anne are too busy playing dolls.'
'Doll!' I yelled. (Mary Anne looked as if she'd been slapped in the face. I knew she was going to start crying soon, and it only made me angrier.) 'We do not play with dolls!' The thing is, though, that we just gave them up over the summer."
Seriously, Kristy is so great in this book! I can't believe she only got 42 votes. You guys have been blinded by your desire to hide candy all over your bedroom and not get caught.
Later in the series (book #89: Kristy and the Dirty Diapers was the first release with the new design, and hell yes I remember that from being a kid) they re-released the books with new covers. The original image can be seen in What Claudia Wore's header, but I kind of love the new artwork as well. Let's take a look.
Kristy is wearing the outfit we expect her to wear (turtleneck, sweater, jeans, visor) with a modern twist: Chuck Taylors! So fetch.
Mary Anne is very O.G. Mary Anne: blouse, skirt, loafers, braids.
Claudia is amazingly Claudia. Why couldn't the illustrators be this accurate on all the covers? We've got a side ponytail, three sets of beads (red, white, and purple), a black choker with a heart charm, two bangle bracelets, a yellow flowered tank dress, and sheer black tights. And let's not forget the candy bar. Frickin' magnificent.
Stacey is the worst of the bunch. Sure, she's sporting some Swedish Hasbeens, but she's also wearing some weird floral pants more suited to Mary Anne's Little House on the Prarie stylings. Whatever. Please note that her soda is clearly labeled DIET. This illustrator was not skimping on the details.
* So weird to think of Kristy in anything other than those damn turtlenecks, but I do think she looks very cute (and very young) on the original cover. That's definitely the kind of look I was rocking when I was her age. I remember I had an overall dress and pink mock turtleneck that I thought were so grown up.