I Dressed Like Kelly Kapowski For A Week

by Francesca Castor

There's no denying that one of the quintessential dream girls of the '90s was the leader of the Saved By The Bell girl squad. That's why I dressed like Kelly Kapowski for a week — I thought it would be cool to try and emulate the biggest babe of '90s television.

Think about it: Kelly was everything — a cheerleader, a diligent student, a trendsetter, and Zack Morris' forever and always love interest. She danced, she cracked wise, and she looked rad in a high-cut '90s bathing suit. Even though I was pretty young during Saved By The Bell's reign as major teen show, I'll always have a soft spot for it; which is why I wanted to try my hand at channeling Kelly as best as I could

You'd think that dressing up in floral patterns, high waisted mom jeans and crop tops would be a blast in 2016 but trying to fit that in my office wardrobe was its own set of challenges. I knew that I wouldn't be able to pull off dressing exactly like Kelly Kapowski for the office (without putting my job on the line) so I had to try my best to channel her sense of style into something a bit less teenage dream and a bit more "I'm a former teenage babe trying to adult." This is how it all went down.

Day 1: Kelly's Slouchy Shirt & Light Jeans

I wanted to start the week off with one of my favorite looks of hers: a slouchy off the shoulder tee, light jeans, and simple white shoes. The shirt was a borderline crop top that I wore out to run some errands and hit the mall. I thought I'd get a few weird looks for wearing such an almost outdated outfit, but there actually weren't any.

I'm not one to wear low cut jeans with a crop top to somewhere other than going out so this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I just felt like this top would have looked best with another set of pants, but for the sake of this experiment I carried on.

Day 2: Mom Jeans & A White Top

Let's be real here, there is no way that I would be able to get away with wearing a white sports bra around a public place in broad day light (in fall weather). So instead, I modified the outfit in the most Kelly way I could: exchanging the white sports bra for a white tank top and sporting that around instead.

Mom jeans, $29.90,

One of the most notable things about this look is are the mom jeans. While adorable on some, this was just not working for least in my perspective. They're great jeans, but they didn't seem to suit me as well as I would've wanted them to. Maybe, for me, this is a trend best left in the past.

Day 3: Floral Pattern Top & Colored Shorts

Since it's fall now, it's a little on the chilly side to wear shorts so I had to modify this look to fit the weather (and the office). This was a super easy outfit to wear but definitely not in my regular arsenal of looks, so this was pretty different from what I usually wear to the office. That being said, I surprisingly received a compliment from one of my coworkers, who said that the outfit was quite lovely.

It was a bit chilly walking through the office with that look but I did try my best to channel, if not at least get inspiration from one of Kelly's outfits.

Day 4: A Crop Top

Going with the theme of being slightly uncomfortable for the week, while physically I felt comfortable AF, mentally I just felt extremely self conscious for wearing a grey crop top at the office. My office doesn't have a strict wardrobe rule, but they do hope that you are professional enough to know what is appropriate for work and what isn't.

I also timed this outfit to wear to a concert later on that same day, which worked out perfectly because I was wearing clothes comfy enough to dance and sing all night long!

Day 5: Green Bathing Suit

I obviously couldn't wear a bathing suit to the office, so I tried to wear an outfit that was somewhat inspired by that look.

I didn't get any comments on this look (probably because it looked pretty normal), but internally I felt like maybe this experiment was going as well as I hoped. I was hoping day six would be better.

Day 6: Tank Top, Pencil Skirt & Belt

Day six was looking pretty proper. I strolled into work thinking that I'd be all set and possibly receive some reactions. But of course irony set in and I had to wear a team shirt at work all day in the name of team spirit.

So despite the fact that this outfit was cute, day six was a fail. I thought I'd at least be able to get some reactions once I got home, but unfortunately I got rained on so I resembled a wet dog more than Kelly that day.

Day 7: Black Leather Jacket & Jeans

By the time day seven rolled around, I felt almost immediate relief. With experiments for TV characters of the '90s, your clothing choices feel so limited. It was hard to figure out what I could wear because it had to 1) look exactly, if not inspired by Kelly Kapowski, and 2) that same outfit had to be office appropriate.

That being said, day seven also felt like fail. While I did come into the office with the intention of looking like a bad-ass Kelly K, I didn't really feel like I was channeling her, you know? It turns out, transforming '90s high school fashion to office-appropriate attire wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

What I Learned

I was a huge fan of Saved By The Bell growing up and a fan of all of Kelly K's outfits, and I was super excited to take on this challenge of wearing her outfits in 2016. After going a week full of Zack's dream girl's outfits (mostly inspired), I realized that it's probably better that her outfits stay in the '90s. Not because I hated the looks, but because it was such a challenge to figure out how to make all her crop tops and funky patterns into something work appropriate!

I did learn however, that a bit of color into your outfits isn't a bad thing! I've been so caught up in that minimalist, monochrome trend that any sort of idea of color and patterns has somehow escaped by wardrobe. If I could pinpoint a style lesson from Kelly Kapowski it's that I shouldn't be afraid of color and patterns and I should sport them proudly, without fear.

Images: Francesca Castor, Giphy (7)