How To Dress Like Clarissa Darling As An Adult, Because The '90s Are Always In Style
We've seen a killer comeback from the '90s this season, both in the fashion world and beyond. A sequel novel to the Clarissa Explains It All series entitled Things I Can't Explain: A Clarissa Novel by Mitchell Kriegman releases Nov. 10, satisfying all the Clarissa cravings of '90s tween queens everywhere and making ladies everywhere wonder — how do you dress like Clarissa Darling in 2015 without looking, well, dated?
In the novel, Clarissa's flashing forward to 2015 with a New York zip code, furry feline, and a can't-kick caffeine addiction that seems to come with city living. Despite dramatic changes in scenery and social circle, Clarissa fans can expect to catch up with old friends, tie up lose ends, indulge in informative diagrams, and obsess over her evolved, but still unique, style.
The '90s were an experimental time, but although individuality was encouraged in the fashion sphere, there were few like this charismatic character who fully embraced the trend. The art of dressing oneself is an act of self expression, and it was through her unique clothing choices she exerted a sense of confidence that young girls and women to this day admire.
In theory, I think we're all in favor of individuality, but when it comes to style, many would rather stay on-trend than deviate from the norm due to fear of judgement. I can only speak for myself, but I admire those who can pair neon leggings with a leopard skirt and somehow make it stylish. The idea of dressing out of the box is intimidating as an adult, but as an adolescent, experimentation is not only embraced, it's almost expected in a way I wish it were as a 24-year-old.
"Clarissa's style is less intimidating because she was so young," costume designer Lisa Lederer, who worked on the original Nickelodeon series, tells me. "She just wants to be herself out in the world. She has a strong sense of self [that teens have today]."
It's true that teens today are maturing rather quickly, and have a greater sense of self at the ripe age of 13 than I had even at 16. The difference, however, is that the influence media has over a young girl's sense of style has shifted. While Clarissa's character encouraged a unique, true-to-oneself look, shows like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars offer distinct style guides to adhere to. We are still inspired to have fun with fashion, but more often than not we fall into specific categories that require particular pieces.
Before catching up with Clarissa myself, I had my predictions regarding her signature style's evolution into adult hood. Considering every fabulous mix and match of crazy colors and opposing prints, I had her pegged for a street style star with runway-esque ensembles, or a thrift store-savvy spender.
I wont spoil her shopping secrets; you'll get your fill from this spectacular novel. However, I can provide you with a Clarissa-inspired how-to-guide so you can better your alternative-era buys, based on these three very grown-up scenarios depicted in Kriegman's novel.
To An Interview:
Tahari Black Stretch Knit 'Gemma' Fitted Maxi Skirt, $26.97, bluefly.com
Shell Pink Laser Cut Out Hem T-Shirt, $23.00, polyvore.com
Shimmy Disc Necklace Set, $13.00, charmingcharlie.com
Yves Saint Laurent Vintage Velvet Blazer, $975, farfetch.com
She keeps the class with the slightest hint of sass to ace an interview in true Clarissa fashion.
To The Office
Rotation Suede Jacket in Blush, $44.90, shopakira.com
ASOS Relaxed Wide Leg Pant, $45.00, asos.com
zeroUV Small Retro-Vintage Inspired Round Metal Glasses, $9.85, amazon.com
Always dress to impress, but before you consider outside opinions, make sure you have your own approval.
To Be Fired
IZ Byer California Boyfriend Blazer, $34.99, kohls.com
BDG Herringbone Button-Down Shirt, $29.99, urbanoutfitters.com
Stretch of Timeless Skirt in Noir, $24.99, modcloth.com
Go out with your dignity, and with a bang.
Want more '90s style? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Nickelodeon (2) Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books (1), Courtesy Brands (10)