Claudia Kishi: Fashion Idol

I have always been into fashion. While my current fashion icons range from Anita Pallenberg to Kate Moss to Oscar Wilde and even (admittedly) the dreaded Olsen Twins, my first and most important fashion icon was Claudia Kishi.


Claudia, as some of you may remember, was a member of the Babysitters Club. She was Asian, a quirky fashionista, a bad speller, and BFF with the other cool member of the BSC, Stacey McGill.

 She was the shit.

I remember reading Ann M. Martin’s descriptions of Claudia’s outfits and thinking “Oh wow, Claudia is sooooo cool.” What can I say, I was eight years old and a huge nerd.  But Claudia seriously took fashion risks. Granted, it was the 80s, and there were a lot of nasty fashion trends that she and the rest of the BSC participated in (stirrup pants, rolled socks, side ponytails, tie-dye, white overalls, etc).

Still, she always was wearing the craziest getups, and they all sounded awesome.  She was known for her wild accessories: bird hair clips,  mismatched earrings, t-shirts as dresses (belted, naturally), multi-colored hair, polka-dot tights, SPANDEX, purple high-tops. She once envisioned a whole outfit to appear like a head-to-toe WATERMELON. Claudia was brilliantly ahead of her time. Especially since she was a middle-schooler. 

Here’s one of my favorite descriptions of a Claudia Kishi ensemble, from the brilliant website What Claudia Wore 

“That afternoon, for instance, I was wearing a man’s paisley vest I’d found at a yard sale, over a striped button-down shirt with tuxedo-stripe black Spandex stirrup pants, held up with pink-flecked black suspenders. My hair was pulled straight back with a paisley comb, and I was wearing electric-pink ankle boots. The boots really set off the formality of the rest of the outfit, sort of like the punchline of a joke. I think you can tell a lot about people from the way they dress. If you saw me, you might think: artistic, fun-loving, good sense of humor. At least I hope you’d think that.”

Ah. She was so fierce.  

If you want more of a trip down memory lane, visit the BSC Headquarters.

Who was your favorite member of the Babysitters Club?

13 thoughts on “Claudia Kishi: Fashion Idol

  1. LOVE it! I found your blog using the “tagsurfer” and was thrilled to see a post on the BSC.

    Claudia was my favorite… I even tried making my own jewelry like her until someone told me being “crafty” was for old ladies… UGH!

    Anyway, great blog. I’ve added it to my blogroll so I can check back often!

  2. Well I’m glad you found my site!

    I loved Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn. I always hated Kristy, and I thought Mary Anne was totally boring. Her boyfriend Logan was a hottie though.

    I even had the Babysitters Club tv series AND the board game. I was such a dork.

  3. Claudia was definitely my favorite, and I, too, was obsessed with her courageous fashion efforts. I remember distinctly when I was in 3rd grade I wore a neon green knee-length sweater, belted, over black stirrup leggings. This was directly influenced by Claudia. But my classmates thought I was a freak so I was too afraid to do it again. haha That ended my attempt at dressing awesomely. I’ve been a tshirt and jeans girl ever since.

    LOVED BSC. Thanks for the links!

  4. Wow, I used to be such a fan of psycho-jello and happened upon here as a result of looking up my old favorite sites because after a long hiatus, I decided to start up web design again. Sadly, most have left the web, so it was refreshing to find a piece of psycho-jello still remaining.

    And to answer your question – Claudia by a land slide. But that might be my half asian biased self. Wow, I was obsessed with these books! I can vaguely remember actually reading your posted description of Claudia’s outfit before and thinking it brilliant! Alright, well I’ll be sure to check back.

  5. I was a big Claudia fan as well, though I didn’t really identify with her. I honestly can’t remember who I liked best, but I remember thinking Logan was an awesome name for a boyfriend. 😛

  6. Hey, Meg. It’s Jess. Remember me? Yes, I still visit the Buffalo and Monkees site, like every day.

    Huge, huge Claudia fan. Also, fan of Jessi! I even had the games and basically everything else. I wanted to be them. I was such a dork.

  7. OMG, I guess just about every girl our age was equally obsessed with the BSC. I must have read the whole series, and was even a member of their “fan club”, receiving BSC memorabilia and posters in the mail. I loved them. I could never choose a favorite honestly [I never can], but I remember always liking Dawn because she was from CA, Mary Ann because she was sensitive, and Claudia because she was an artist and creative. I just recently Wiki-ed them, and was surprised to read a lot of the series was ghost-written. But then again, you never know how accurate Wikipedia is.

    BTW, I started using this wordpress blog again for my site. We’ll see how it works out.

  8. Pingback: Claudia Kishi or celebrity outfit? | PW Style | A blog about style, fashion, beauty, arts and culture by Philadelphia Weekly

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