What Claudia Wore Returns (On The ‘Gram)*

by Kim on Thursday, September 06, 2018

So. I had a baby about a year ago. It took pretty much a full year to feel like I had the bandwidth for anything besides my kid and my job, but things did eventually settle out to a new normal. When that happened, I pulled out my book boxes and found myself at an exciting new stage of life where I RELATE TO THE PARENTS OF STONEYBROOK AND NOT THE BABY-SITTERS.

 I swear, there’s a book where one of the sitters is reflecting on how old a parent (I think Mrs. Newton?) is, and they tell us that she’s 34. L O L. I was skimming through Mary Anne vs. Logan, in which the subplot is about Jenny Prezzioso’s sister Andrea being born, and I could barely focus on the relationship drama because I was so concerned about how tired Mrs. Prezzioso was about to be.

 It’s wild, you guys.

Anyway, I’m bringing back the book snark -- though snark might not be the right word anymore because I so sincerely love these books, yes even the Mallory ones. I’m calling it Babysitters’ Cover Critiques (the Super Special that never was, I guess).

 Check it out, tell your friends, print out some flyers and put them around the neighborhood, meet me in Claudia’s bedroom at 5:30 and don’t forget your dues money.

* Who even calls instagram the gram? I think I’m attempting an ironic how do you do fellow kids thing but I’ve now aged so far out of the zeitgeist I don’t even know how to joke about my irrelevance correctly. Only 80s kids know . . . how it feels to scroll through Oh No They Didn’t and not really know who the current pop culture news is about.

What Claudia Wore, Almost Three Years Later

by Kim on Thursday, June 02, 2016

This meeting of the Babysitter’s Club will now come to order 
“What do you mean, you’ll be three years late to the meeting, Claudia? This is completely unacceptable. Abby, go through her watercolor kit and find me a Snickers. God, I knew I should’ve given up on you unprofessional yokels when I had the chance to kickstart my inevitable political career with a stint as eighth grade class president.” 

Oh, hey there.
It’s been a while.

Everything Changes
Since I last published an entry here I’ve been through some serious life changes. I started a new job. I got married, and didn't make anyone wear pink taffeta in the process (shout out Super Special #12, Here Come The Bridesmaids). I - like, within the last month - got a mortgage. 

I mean, I get it, this blog isn’t about me. But life moves on, man! (Unless you’re a Stoneybrook-based babysitter caught in a time loop of eternal eighth grade-ing.) My point is, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans to babysit the Rodowsky boys on Friday, am I right?

Like, honestly, who even are these girls. Nice try, Scholastic.
Graduation Day
When serious blogs (that is, blogs that update semi-regularly, take care of their domain names, etc. . . . blogs that are not this blog is what I am saying here) finish, they typically do so with a final entry. I never wrote one for What Claudia Wore, and though this sounds like one, it’s not. Someday I’d love to point to this blog and have it be an archive of every outfit* in the Babysitters Club series. That was the goal that I had in my mind when I started the Book Index, and it’s still a goal, even if not one I’m actively pursuing right now.

What Claudia Wore isn’t over. It may be on an indefinite hiatus, but I still can’t pass an Urban Outfitters without a small lol at today’s Kishi-relevant fashion trends. And even if I never write another entry, knowing that it’s here, at the original URL it launched from in 2007 . . . that’s important to me.

 Even if it’s kinda cheating. Just call me Shawna Riverson.

Kristy's Big News
So what happens after graduation? Well, you move on to the next adventure. 

For me, that means a new medium. I have done a lot of writing on the internet. All the way back to 1997, when 'writing on the internet' was, um, mostly about whether Mulder and Scully were ever going to get together for real. I've been on the internet for more than half my life at this point, and it's a huge part of who I am. I'm an internet person

So let's talk internet. Podcast-style.

Cohosted by fellow internet person Whitney Crispell, friend from the internet will take on topics we love -- some serious, some not so serious, some Sweet Valley Saga levels of serious --  always filtered through our personal lenses of feminism, intensive internet research, and in my case, Rihanna. (What? Rihanna can be a lens.)

In our first recording sessions, we've explored the cult of Konmari (including the crazy amount of privilege inherent in being able to discard anything that doesn't spark joy), our internet histories and that early 2000s livejournal lifestyle, and we're even dedicating an episode to this little blog right here.

We'll be launching next month and I hope you'll consider joining us -- you can sign up for our tinyletter to be notified when we're live.

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Finally, I want to say thank you. I wasn't great at showing how much I appreciated every reader, every comment, every telephone cord bracelet-induced sigh of nostalgia. I loved them all and I've loved sharing this experience with you.

You say goodbye, I say hello (to your friends).

Friends forever,

Blog Officer**

* at least, of every Claudia outfit . . . I don't know how many more of Jessi's leotards I have in me.
** it can be a thing.

So Claudia Right Now: Sneaker Madness

by Kim on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If there's anything Claudia loved (besides Mallomars and Cracker Jacks), it was sneakers. At least in some of the books. I think later on in the series they stopped referencing her sneaker collection. The ghostwriters were more into Doc Martens, or something. As an incredibly un-sporty kid (and equally un-sporty adult, unless marathoning American Horror Story: Coven counts as endurance training), I was always kind of perplexed at how Claudia could be so into the most offensive footwear of all.

But even my clumsy, unathletic self has to admit that Claudia's 2013 sneaker game would be pretty on point.

So Claudia Right Now: Sneakers

I wonder if she ever had a pair of BK Knights. You know you remember those.

#91: Claudia and the First Thanksgiving

by Kim on Thursday, November 28, 2013

I am posting this on Thanksgiving for those of you who need to escape to your bathrooms and scan blogs on your iPhone because you can't stand another damn minute of holiday family time. You're welcome.

Outfit #1: The Post-modernist Pumpkin vs. The Banana Republic Kishis
"I was wearing autumn colors: red, orange, yellow. I liked the effect I'd created. It was sort of post-modernist pumpkin.

Now, where was I? Oh. Right. My autumn fashion colors. I'd put on a pair of baggy pants, not blue, not black, but yellow. With these I was wearing my red Doc Martens, laced with orange and yellow laces, and this great, funky, enormous shirt that I found in a vintage clothes shop. It has a leaf pattern on it. The leaves are in a Hawaiian print design, and the colors are fabulous. Underneath I was wearing my red and yellow tie-dyed long underwear shirt. To complete the ensemble, I had on earrings that I'd made myself, shaped like pumpkins, and a fringed yellow-and-white scarf tied around my hair.

I looked (I modestly admit) pretty great. I did not look as if I belonged with the other three people sitting at the table. My mom wore a tailored navy dress with little pearl earrings. My father was wearing a navy pinstripe suit (the jacket was hanging on the back of his chair). Janine was practically a rainbow by comparison: She was dressed in a navy wool skirt and a navy v-neck sweater over a pink oxford shirt."
#91: look 1

Outfit #2: This Is Clearly The Ensemble of a Fifty Year Old Divorcee
That's because, like me, Stacey has a style of her own. But while mine is Kishi original, hers is New York sophisticated. She was wearing an oversized midnight blue turtleneck under a cropped black wool jacket with square gold buttons. She had on black suede ankle boots, the kind that wrinkle around your ankles. Her fitted black jeans were tucked into the tops of the boots. She had looped a light blue muffler around her neck and wore matching gloves.
#91: fixed that for ya, stace

Outfit #3: Poor Mallory, Part 457
Mal is medium height and sturdy and has shoulder length, reddish brown hair and a faint dusting of freckles on very pale skin. She's a jeans and sweatshirt person, which is what she was wearing today over a red checked flannel shirt. She looked as if she were ready to go horseback riding. Since Mal loves horses, it was a good look for her.
#91: mallory hearts madewell aesthetics

Outfit #4: Hold Up -- Jessi's a Dancer?
She often wears her dark hair pulled back into a ballerina's bun, as it was that morning. She had on a purple leotard with her jeans, and a big fuzzy lavender cardigan sweater.
#91: we get it, you are the dancing queen

Outfit #5: How to Look Artistic Yet Responsible, Apparently
I want to point out, though, that I was a very well-dressed graffiti artist/protestor. Just for the occasion, I was wearing my rainbow-colored crinkle gauze skirt, my crocheted vest with the matching hat, and my silver earrings (designed by me, of course). I felt that I looked artistic, yet responsible. And of course my button, with the bright red writing on it, added the finishing touch.
#91: the importance of protesting fashionably

Claudia Salts & Peppers Her Mangos

by Kim on Monday, November 04, 2013

How Claudia right now is the M.I.A. x Versace fashion line?

Bingo (now I'm hitting the six).

Blast From the VHS Past

by Kim on Monday, October 28, 2013

If this doesn't bring you back, you and I were NOT watching the same video cassettes in the 90s. Check the source for more BSC gif sets, including Kristy's first monologue of the series. I can still hear the actress' smirky tone during that line about loving animals and "sitting for Little Miss Piggy." Line read of the century tbh. 

Also, please note: Claudia hung her neon yellow sunglasses from her hoop earrings so she could more easily access her snacks. So inspiring. 

Everything About Sweet Valley University is Amazing

by Kim on Friday, October 18, 2013

I am about to turn 30*. What better time could there be to reflect on the important literature I was reading a decade and a half ago? This is adulting, people. Forget figuring out your 401k: real adult behavior is tracking down as many early Sweet Valley University books as you possibly can, and nearly weeping with joy over their trashy perfection.

I mean, there’s implied sex in these books. Drugs. Sociopaths obsessed with Elizabeth Wakefield. Although I guess you’d be hard pressed to find a Sweet Valley series that DIDN’T have sociopaths obsessed with Elizabeth Wakefield. Maybe the one where they’re seven and in second grade, but I wouldn’t bet my apartment on it.

 In case you don’t remember this amazing series, a few highlights (not in order, ‘cause who can keep all this nonsense straight?**) from the first ten books:

  • Elizabeth gets ‘fat’. Fat just means that she gains, oh, twenty pounds, but the entire campus reacts as though she’s morbidly obese, and of course once she puts her mind to it the pounds magically go away. 
  • Jessica becomes a waitress. Hilarity ensues. 
  • Enid changes her name to Alex and becomes an alcoholic. 
  • Todd and Elizabeth break up. He also becomes an alcoholic. 
  • It’s never clear how all these 18 year olds are getting so much booze so easily. I guess it’s like Dillon Texas, where 15 year old football players are more than welcome at every bar in town. 
  • Elizabeth is nearly murdered. Multiple times. 
  • Jessica gets married. The marriage eventually gets annulled. 
  • Lila gets married to an Italian count. The marriage ends in a fatal jet ski accident.*** 
  • Elizabeth has a crazy Southern roommate who seduces a biology student and gets him to release a ton of fruit flies in Elizabeth and Jessica’s dorm room. By the time this happens, they’re both so immune to the insanity of their lives that they’re like ‘oh, look, fruit flies.’ 
  • Winston gets assigned to a girls dorm and ends up learning a lot about Womanhood And Himself. 
  • Sorority drama. It’s pretty much just the Unicorn Club all over again. 
  • Elizabeth and her new boyfriend are so fucking obsessed with themselves that they make a big damn deal about their one week anniversary, to the point that all their friends end up planning a surprise party for them and they all eat ice cream together. Really.
  • Bruce and Lila are involved in a terrible plane crash. They fall in hate-love. It is awesome. 
  • Stephen Wakefield shoots Jessica’s husband. Or he shoots himself during a dramatic scuffle. Something soapy like that. 
  • Jessica is almost raped. She is saved by Elizabeth and a mysterious stranger. 
  • Aggressive racists. 
  • Lila, wracked with grief over the death of her husband, gives away all of her clothes. And not to me. There’s real tragedy for you. 

I mean, it goes on and on. That’s not nearly all of it. I advise you all to quit your jobs immediately and dedicate your lives to reliving this awesomeness. Totally worth it.

 It kinda makes me wish there’d been a Babysitters Club: The College Years. I bet things would get real wacky over at Stoneybrook University.

* in two days. I feel like this about it.
** I could. 
*** I bet you don’t believe this is real.