I Recreated The Best Babysitter’s Club Outfits And They Totally Hold Up
If the BSC had to get dressed in 2016, this is what they’d wear.
It’s been exactly 30 years since Ann M. Martin published “Kristy’s Great Idea,” the book that launched a thousand sequels and inspired hundreds of pre-teens to join the child minding rat race.
Originally published on August 1st, 1986, “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” chronicled the adventures of seven* diverse and surprisingly fleshed out young female characters as they struggled to get through middle school,** all while running a fairly functional small business. Looking back, it’s impressive to see how well the series still holds up today.
Fans of the books enjoyed the strong female friendships and the girls’ entrepreneurial spirit, but without question, the best part of the series was the fashion. Whether you were a clothes horse like Stacey or a fashion black hole like Mallory, you looked forward to reading about every single outfit, down to the last detail (fact: nobody wears a smock like Claudia.)
Since 80’s and 90’s fashion is back, I decided to pay homage to the series by recreating an outfit for every single babysitter. So, without further ado, I present The Baby-Sitter’s Club, circa 2016.
*Nine characters, if you include Shannon and Abby, which I don’t. OG babysitters for life.
**Those girls were in middle school FOREVER. They celebrated Christmas at least three times in the eighth grade. The timeline does not check out.
Look, Kristy has been rocking athleisure since middle school, so you’ll excuse her if she doesn’t care that you recently got super into Fabletics. Her clothes come from GapBody or Old Navy, but she’ll spring for some Nike or Adidas activewear if she spots a good deal at Marshalls. She got that hat for free at a bar because if there are two things in this world that Kristy Thomas cares about, they are beer and not spending money on hats.
Claudia went through a big minimalism phase in her late 20’s and gave away almost all of her extensive wardrobe. She’s been rebuilding ever since, slowly adding pieces from her travels around the world or from vintage boutique stores that no one has ever heard of. Everything she wears has a story or reminds her of someone she’s known in another life. She claims she’s never been inside an Anthropology, but she owns at least two of their dresses.
When it comes to her hair, Mary Anne has been through a lot (Remember the Rachel? So does Mary Anne. It was a very low point in her life.) She’s since settled down and now sticks mainly to basics in neutral colors–she prefers European companies like Zara and Topshop because they make her feel sophisticated. She still wears jeans from American Eagle and for some reason, this embarrasses her.
Stacey spent her entire middle school and high school career cultivating her fashion identity and to be honest, she’s kind of over it. She still buys most of her clothes at Bloomingdales, but these days, she’d rather have a few drinks and shop online than set foot in a store. She currently works at an actuary office and nobody there really cares what she wears, so she usually just rotates through the same five outfits.
Dawn’s style hasn’t evolved much since the 80’s. Give her a chambray shirt and a loose pair of jeans and she’s a happy girl (Dawn is very sensitive to fabric and can’t bear the feeling of tight denim around her stomach, so she always wears pants at least one size too big.) She’s a huge fan of TOMS and wears their shoes almost exclusively. Dawn still worries about her carbon footprint, so she buys all of her clothes from thrift shops and online resale stores like ThreadUp.
Mallory will give up on wearing mock turtleneck sweaters when you pry them out of her cold, dead hands. After years of haphazardly assembling outfits from Forever 21 and H&M, Mallory was gifted a subscription to StitchFix by her younger sister, Claire, and has never looked back. She owns several statement necklaces that she never quite feels confident enough to wear.
When Jessi chose modern dance over ballet, she swore that she would never wear tulle again. A popular online yoga instructor (her YouTube channel has almost one million subscribers!) Jessi is most likely to be found in leggings and soft, loose tees. She owns several bodysuits and unitards that she reserves for nights spent dancing with her friends, and she did end up wearing a tulle skirt once, to a close friend’s bachelorette party.