Want Her Wardrobe: Claudia Kishi

If you are a lady of a certain age (i.e. 30, or thereabouts), there are a few things that remind you of childhood. For me, they are: American Girls dolls (I had Molly and Addy – one from each set of grandparents), Gak (and other Nickelodeon brand toys), and my very favorite book series: The Baby-Sitters Club.

If you must know, I was a member of some sort of club where I got three BSC books (plus swag!) per month. It was AWESOME. By the time I outgrew the series, I donated approximately 80 or 90 books to my summer camp‘s library. I knew the girls of the Club like they were my own friends, dude. And, more than anything, I wanted Claudia Kishi’s style.

Claudia, who was an aspiring artist, had style described probably in every book as “funky.” If she were a house on HGTV, she’d be described as “eclectic.” Girl threw some shiz together and just Made It Work. Here’s a description of one of her outfits from Super Mystery #2:

Claudia was wearing leggings, too – purple ones – with black Doc Martens, red slouch socks, black bicycle shorts over the leggings, a big t-shirt with the words “This Might Be Art” scrawled on it in purple (I knew she’d made it herself), and an old black suit jacket of her father’s, with the sleeves rolled up… Claudia’s earrings were purple feathers (she made those herself, too).

She made everything herself. I wished, fervently, that I had the time/money/resources/creativity to do that for myself, but that generally resulted in outfits that looked like I’d chosen the pieces at random. Turns out, with a bit more intent, you can pull off Claudia’s look with three rules:

  1. Pick your colors and stick with them. Don’t wear a thousand hues. In the above description, she’s picked red, black, and purple. The earrings are purple. The shorts, shoes, and jacket are black. Bold colors, but restrained in breadth of selection.
  2. Proportions, y’all! If something fits like it was built for you, it looks intentional. That usually means a trip to see your tailor.
  3. Choose one wild piece and temper it with classics. Claudia’s statement t-shirt is the focal point; the rest is pretty basic and versatile.

With a nod to the (seemingly revamped) What Claudia Wore as the be-all, end-all of worshiping Ms. Kishi’s style, here are my Rule #3 choices for Claudia-esque additions to an outfit:

Big, Wild Jewelry

Even if she wore jeans and a plain white t-shirt, Claudia would accessorize the hell out of it. Big earrings, statement necklaces, and bold cuff bracelets make any outfit a little more Kishi. Check out these winners:

kishi jewelry

Clockwise from top right: Aoko Su | Vince Camuto | Melinda Maria

Fur and Leather

Let’s take a moment to accept the fact that, if Ms. Kishi were a real person who was our age and living in The World Today, she’d be one of those Brooklyn kids the NY Times is always harping on. She’s basically a version of Girls‘ Jessa that’s appropriate for pre-teens. So you KNOW she’d be rocking fur and leather in her look. Faux or real – that would be up to her and her own set of values. I can totally see her wearing one of these jackets with the best of them:

kishi jackets

L to R: Burberry Prorsum | SAM.

Man, I wish I had loads of money to spend on fabulous accent pieces like these.

Boots and High Tops

Homegirl is wearing boots in basically every description; when she isn’t, she’s wearing high top sneakers. What I learned, at a young age, is that you have to cover your ankles to be chic. Whether or not that’s actually true, it is for Claudia. Check these out:

kishi shoes

L to R: Dr. Martens | Converse

Claudia has a documented love of red and of Doc Martens; there’s no way she didn’t have these boots. And the sumptuous leather on these limited-edition Chucks would snag her right away.

Try any of these out with your standard, every day outfit, and say hello to your friends!

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