I Dressed Like 'Beverly Hills: 90210' Characters For A Week & This is What Happened — PHOTOS
I'm a child of the '90s and, in my memory, it was truly a golden time. The fashion was transitioning out of its crazy multi-colored '80s funk and into more nuanced, edgier territory. In my mind, the perfect nod to '90s fashion is Beverly Hills, 90210 — which is exactly why I made the decision to pretend like I was headed to the Peach Pit and dressed like 90210 characters for a week.
The style on the show was quintessential '90s. They embraced the aesthetics of the early parts of the decade, and each character's personality shined through their clothes — from Brenda's take on menswear to Kelly's fashion-forward choices that only a '90s Beverly Hills blonde (and possibly Rihanna) could convince us were cute.
From simple white tees with floral patterns, to rocking deep red lipstick with off the shoulder tops, this show is a glimpse into a decade with a destiny to come back as major fashion inspiration in 2016. The challenge of dressing like these characters was one I was ready to take one. Armed with a Brenda attitude and that classic Kelly smile, I replicated outfits from their high school glory days. Let the mixed patterns, soft pastels, and blazers begin.
Day 1: Brenda's Blazer
I started the experiment off with Brenda because we both love menswear-inspired outfits. Since blazers were such a key piece in the 90210 high school universe, I sported mine with a white tee, dark pants, and dark lipstick.
I felt very Brenda Walsh. I would definitely wear this outfit in my everyday life so I wondered if anyone would actually say something about it or not. I got a compliment from my mom, who asked where I got my white tee from and said that she liked my outfit. I later met up with a friend who commented on the fact that I was dressed "so fancy" by wearing a blazer to dinner. But I took it as a compliment rather than teasing, so day one started off with quite the ego boost.
Day 2: Andrea's Vest
Day two was definitely an interesting one. I sported one of Andrea's signature pieces: The vest. I figured that this would be an interesting look because I usually don't go out with my glasses on and I would never usually incorporate a vest into my wardrobe.
I met up with a friend for lunch who halfway through paused, looked at me, and asked if this was yet another experiment. He guessed that perhaps it was an experiment of dressing like a pirate since I was wearing a white shirt and vest combo. I don't think it's a particularly swashbuckling look, but I'll admit that Andrea's style is incredibly far from my own, and that this look is just not me.
Day 3: Donna's Off The Shoulder Style
After I channeled Andrea for day two, I wanted to spice things up a bit for day three. I got this outfit inspo from the ever-controversial character, Donna. I wore my hair in Donna's voluminous, tousled style, along with a pink off the shoulder top, a statement necklace, and dark lipstick.
I decided to go with this look because she always had an outfit exposing her shoulders in a super bright color, along with some '90s statement accessory. I met with a friend for dinner to catch up. A part of me anticipated a comment, perhaps on the lipstick and pink top combo, or the fact that this look was a bit too much for dinner. But, to my surprise, I heard nothing. Maybe Donna's style simply wasn't that shocking?
Day 4: Kelly's Florals
I walked into day four wanting to channel Kelly. Sporting a floral skirt, white tee with rolled up sleeves, hoop earrings, and a half-up, half-down hairdo, I felt ready. Kelly was always in oversized white tees, along with something "girlier" like a floral pattern or softer colors.
This time around, I thought my outfit would get some sort of comment especially in the form of playful teasing with friends. Between my friends and I, this is fairly normal behaviour when we notice something new with each other. That day, my friends and I did an escape room — it involves solving puzzles to escape a room within an hour. Perhaps a short floral skirt was a bit of an odd choice for this activity?
To my surprise, I didn't get any reactions from my friends. Instead, I felt like it hindered my experience a bit because it made me feel self-conscious to squat down to retrieve puzzle pieces, and not to mention everybody else came extremely casual to this activity so I felt overly dressed up for something I could've done in sweatpants!
Day 5: Brenda's All-Black
Yes, I dressed like Brenda again for day five. I like Brenda, okay? But I went with something a little different: an all black ensemble and a belt. It was the edgier Brenda.
I personally would wear this look again (much to my own surprise). I had dinner with a friend who complimented the outfit saying how nice it looked. There was obviously no correlation to 90210 at all to her even noticing it was supposed to be 90210 inspired, but it was nice to get a genuine compliment on a simple all black ensemble.
Day 6: Brandon's Jeans
I went into day six thinking that I would absolutely hate the outfit and how it looked on me. I went from channeling Brenda to dressing like her twin, Brandon.
I didn't think the baggy jeans and denim jacket would garner any reaction. However, My mom immediately commented on my pants and how they looked very "raggedy", which didn't really have anything to do with my Brandon Walsh look overall but thanks for the comment, mom. I guess it's a testament to how your mom will always have something to say about your outfit (good or bad) even when you're well into your twenties.
Day 7: Dylan's White Tee
By the time day seven came around, I was just getting used to the fact that no one was really saying anything about my outfits. It was almost as if I became a member of the 90210 crew. I finished out the experiment with a look I would normally wear: Jeans and a white tee.
I rarely wear my boyfriend jeans these days, but for the sake of this experiment, I knew I had to. Rocking this outfit says something about 90210 for today's audience. Jeans and a white tee are still considered trendy — it's simply a classic look that will never go out of style. A girlfriend even complimented me on the look and said it was cute.
Would I do this again?
OK, so I know I declared my love for all things 90210 fashion related early on in this experiment, but after going through seven days of 90210 outfits, I've changed my tune. If I had to dress up like the characters for another week, I wouldn't jump at the opportunity. Well, maybe I'd dress like Brenda. Trying to channel these characters' outfits in 2016 seemed like a good idea, but maybe the better move is to take '90s pieces and make them our own. The next time I decide to channel my inner Brenda and Kelly, I'll definitely put a bit of my own flare on it before even thinking about heading out to Beverly Hills.
Images: Francesca Castor, Giphy (6), Spelling Television (1)