I Love Your Style: Clarissa Explains It All

Who or what inspires your style? Many of us use celebrities (like Zooey Deschanel or Sofia Coppola) as style inspiration, even though, most of the time, they are being dressed from head to toe by the best stylists. Which we don’t have. And sometimes it’s damn near impossible to work their Hollywood looks into our not-so-Hollywood lives. I’ve made it my mission to tap into the mind of a fashion stylist and show you how to take your style inspiration – whatever it may be – and make it more you!

I know, I know – blast from the freakin’ past, right?  I think we all remember sitting in front of the boob tube as a ’90s kid watching Nickelodeon like it was our job (well, it kind of was besides sandboxes and swing sets).  I didn’t know it then, but those childhood TV shows I was obsessed with, like Clarissa Explains It All, would later serve as my style inspiration as a college kid.

OK, at first glance Clarissa’s wardrobe choices remind of something Ms. Frizzle (The Magic School Bus, come on people) would wear if she suddenly joined the biker gang, Hell’s Angels.  She’ll mix a striped shirt with polka dot leggings and add a leather jacket on top.  Now, I wouldn’t dare try that because I’m sure people would consider checking me into a mental institution, but Clarissa could pull it off because she wanted her style to represent the only person she wanted to be: herself.

Now, as we have noticed, Clarissa’s style is borderline impossible to pull off if you don’t do it perfectly (hell, it was nearly impossible to pull off in the ’90s, when it was actually happening!), which is why I kind of, sort of love it.  Because it’s a challenge.  It mixes everything wrong and turns out right.  It’s bold and risky and makes you wonder, “How are you leaving the house like that?” which is exactly what we all look for in a style icon. And the fact of the matter is, you can do it right and look cute and  unique.

ShirtShorts, Lace LeggingsSunglassesShoesEarringsBracelets

The basic idea here is to just start basic with some fun ’90s-inspired pieces, but then add a bit of you to the outfit so you stand out and look chic in the process. The good news for Clarissa style fans is that ’90s style is back this year. And what was big in the ’90s? Denim on denim. This chambray button-up is perfect – it’s light, soft, a bit oversized and looks like you nabbed it from your moms closet in ’93. Throw it on with an pair of cut-offs (style classics that will work no matter the year) for a very casual-cool Summer look.

Now, most people would stop there. But not Clarissa, and not you.

Layer lace leggings under the shorts to add that rocker edge Clarissa tried on for size as a teen, and is still very much wearable today.  Tossing in some fun accessories, like the white wayfarers, braided blue bracelets and lips earrings, add just the right amount of quirk and fun to the outfit without getting you sideways looks across campus.  And the floral low-top sneakers tie the entire look together. (Because it’s pretty difficult to wear chunky black boots in the 21st century) If floral sneaks aren’t your thing, a bright flat would stand out (in a good way!) as well.

This look is easy, it’s cute and it’s very ‘now’. And who knows? Rock this with Clarissa’s confidence and you might find your very own Sam climbing through your window.

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