About a month ago, a very rollicking dinner of ribs and beer with a dozen or so friends ended with an excited remembrance of our favorite Y.A. books. Other bar patrons were probably befuddled and annoyed at a group of us trying to recall the title of a certain book- "you know, where they move to an old house next to a graveyard, and then that girl tries to drown the other girl, and then she bikes to the library, and then the floor caves in!"- until finally, someone yelled at top volume "Wait Til Helen Comes"! It's good to be friends with other book-dorks.
There seems to have been a dichotomy in other girls' lives as to whether they read Sweet Valley High or the Babysitter's Club series- one or the other, but never both. Ann M. Martin and Francine Pascal held equal sway over my bookshelf, but I did get annoyed with those blonde twins and their "perfect size-six figures" after a bit. (Way to instill body insecurity in a nine-year-old, SVH!)
I don't remember many pertinent details from the BSC series, but I do remember Claudia's outfits. Oh, how I wanted to be like Claudia when I was a kid! Photographic evidence of me in hot-pink high-tops, black leggings, a gigantic men's dress shirt, and a tapestry vest shows just how much I took fashion cues from a fictional Japanese junk-food fiend. (Someday, I will find these photos and scan them. There may also be photos of a ten-year-old me wearing a big fisherman's sweater over a ruffly bridesmaid's dress, in what I call my "Marc Jacobs totally ripped this off for Perry Ellis" look.)
And then I found What Claudia Wore. It is a public service, really, to catalogue Ms. Kishi's wardrobe choices for posterity. Kim does not update the blog on a schedule, but each little installment of Claudia's sartorial splendor is worth the wait. Go, reminisce, and break out your tie-dyed legwarmers in celebration.