Monday, 3 March 2014


Yes, season 1.  This post is just my pick of the outfits from the first 13 episodes of Clarissa Explains It All.  There are four more seasons available for dissection, and I think I might have to do them all.  *POSSIBLE SERIES KLAXON*

Most of you (I hope) will remember Clarissa Darling from 90's TV, when she was an inspiring, wacky, smart and funny girl who brightened up every Saturday morning.  She was played by Melissa Joan Hart, an actress who managed to have two extremely likeable, successful and family-friendly TV shows under her (probably floral) belt by the time she was 27.  The other being Sabrina The Teenage Witch.  Like a lot of people I felt like I grew up with Melissa, or rather the characters she portrayed, and I loved everything about her.  Including her outfits.  

While Sabrina Spellman was more conventional in her clothing choices, Clarissa was out there.  She displayed tastes and a personal style that was highly developed for her age.  Even as a clueless 12-year-old I knew this girl had something going on.  And looking back over her looks now I can't believe the creativity of the wardrobe department on the show.  I love how much personality they gave Clarissa through her clothes, she had an identity, and I remember finding the idea that girls could dress in a way that was different and exciting very empowering and aspirational.  Am I going too deep for a programme I used to watch on Live & Kicking with messy hair while dressed in my pajamas?  Whatever.

Some of you of course will have no idea who I'm talking about.  So let's introduce Clarissa. Here are her likes and dislikes:

That last drawing there is a pool of "barf".  

How does a girl like Clarissa spend her time?  Well luckily she has provided this handy (pizza) pie chart displaying the percentage of her life she spends thinking about her three favourite activities. 

In terms of working out her fashion rules Clarissa is also very instructive.  She likes accessories, including these ones below:

She is also not afraid to point out her (sometimes dubious) style inspirations:

She has a pet caiman, a small crocodylian called Elvis who lives in her room in a sand pit.  

She programmes the coolest computer games in the world. 

She is brave.  She'll stand up to bullies which makes them inevitably fall in love with her and appear at the kitchen window to serenade her with flowers. 

Clarissa isn't the kind of girl who'll just wear an ordinary bomber jacket and baseball cap.  She's the kind of girl who will turn that bomber jacket inside out so its orange lining shows, and will wear an embellished baseball cap, twisted to the side. 

She loves floral patterned tights, and will wear them under everything.  Shorts, skirts, sometimes even with other patterned socks on top. 

She also loves cycling shorts.  Either knee or three-quarter length.  Again, preferably worn under shorts, skirts, or the most amazing patchwork dungarees you've ever seen in your life. 

(Above: those dungarees)

Love those socks. 

Clarissa and her friends are very keen on headbands.  Thick headbands worn low on the forehead.  

Yes, that is a plait with a miniature fish attached. 

Oh I forgot to say, Clarissa has the coolest friend in the world.  Sam.  Look at him in his tie-dye below. I had such a big crush on him as a kid. 

Also I assume you guys are as jealous and in awe of her bedroom as I was/am.  The hubcaps!  

I also covet these watermelon cups, below. *trawls eBay for three hours*

As well as a large collection of hats, a whole wall-full in fact, Clarissa also has a penchant for braces (or suspenders in the US). 

Layering is also a key outfit rule for Clarissa, and not only with her leg wear.  She is fond of oversized shirts and waistcoats/vests.  And she often wears a long dangling necklace.  In some shots I think she's wearing her house keys...

I love so much about this outfit above.  The shoes, the ankle bracelet, the different polka-dot patterns and the pop swatch. 

Leopard print chiffon shirt, flower brooch and coloured laces in her DMs.  APPROVE. 

Something else she does very well is a tunic over leggings or trousers.  See below.  

R-r-r-red converse!


This woman is also not afraid of mixing animal prints with florals and pinks. 

Urgh she's so dreamy, I'm very into this black and lime green mixed with floral below.  Notice how she ties it all together with her black and lime green hair tie?

So thank you Clarissa for your wisdom, your LOLs and your clothes.  God, what I wouldn't give to go through this pile she's throwing out.  


  1. Clarissa was what you got when ex-hippies were still making television for kids. She has the late 80/early 90s flower power look with a juvenile edge (a good example of this is the people dancing at the beginning of the Groove is in the heart video). Clarissa was a proper free thinking programme that encouraged individuality and creativity. Glad to of grown up with it.

  2. I loved this show & this post is marvelous! I tend not to wear such bright colors & patterns but Clarissa's style is undeniable. Also, isn't her name the best? Clarissa Darling. Fabulous.

  3. Have you read Melissa Joan Heart's autobiography? Amazing.

  4. ah, Clarissa. The reason I dressed weird as a child. Still giving big style inspo to this day!