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desertflower

90210 Fashions: High Waist Heaven!

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I thought this would be a fun topic. What fashions do you love to snark on? Which ones do you actually like? Have you been guilty of any of our show's fashion crimes in your own life?

There are so many bad ones and I will leave some for the rest of you to bring up, but I will say Donna is always an easy target. The short shorts at the tree trimming party always come to mind, as does the skin tight "dress" she wears to the Pigskin Prom. I put dress in quotes because I'm convinced it was actually a Spanx undergarment.

For the good, Brenda in Paris. Her outfits are super cute.

And I will admit to having my fair share of high waisted denim shorts and belts with huge buckles. I fondly refer to them as my Brenda Walsh look!

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I remember early in S1, maybe even the pilot, Kelly wears this outfit that actually hurts my eyes. White cycling shorts with blue spots over orange tights, clunky black shoes and a little denim jacket I think. It is genuinely difficult to fathom what on earth made that a popular look.

 

And Steve with his dad's silk shirts. Brenda's body suit/denim short combo when Dylan appears from under the car in their first date ep. Donna's buttcheeks at Christmas. Cindy's flowery potato sack skirts. All the trainers (sneakers to you yanks ;P) and jeans combos. The clunky black boots with dresses. Ugh, my eyes - they burn!

 

The one cute outfit I remember is a dress Brenda wears at the beach, maybe in the first summer ep of S2. It's waist fitted, flowery and so cute I want it right now. 

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I like a lot of what they wore in season 3, but before and after, a lot of the clothing is just horrifying (Kelly, pilot. Steve, most of the time) to meh. I still want to know why post-rehab Dylan was walking around in 3 piece suits all the freaking time, and why Kelly and Val thought they could bring the business suit look to the college campus, because, really?

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I'm around the same age as the gang, so I have to cop to many of their fashion faux pas.  Body suits, babydoll dresses with white socks and Doc Martens, chokers, big belts holding up high-waisted denim, bike shorts with no bike in sight, and the grunge uniform of white tank/tee, open flannel shirt, jeans and Doc Martens.  I rather miss that last one, actually; it was nice being that comfortable yet still considered fashionable in most settings. 

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I rather miss that last one, actually; it was nice being that comfortable yet still considered fashionable in most settings.

It really was. I miss that one too. 

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I think Dylan wore the 3 piece suits after rehab because it was a way of shielding himself from the dirty/down on your luck/don't wash or shave or change your clothes but just bathe in your unwashed stink vibe that druggies have. If you dress like that, you can be more susceptible to falling back into the drug scene, sounds silly but it's true.

As for flannel shirt white t shirt and jeans being a grunge look, hell that was what half the kids at my high school in Rockville Maryland were wearing in 1984.

That isn't a grunge look.

To me grunge style is an overall greasy oily stinky unwashed look, you deliberately only bathe once or twice a week and only wash your hair once a month if that. Your dress is deliberately sloppy, that is, you spend 30 minutes very carefully putting together an outfit that looks like you threw it on after the alarm clock didn't go off and you literally had a minute to catch the bus. Jeans were ripped semi strategically and had paint splattered on them, shirts were wrinkled and raggedy, if you had a sweater that was distended or pulled out of shape that was great, wearing leggings under jeans shorts, and of course CORDUROY.

The thing that strikes me about the clothes on the show was ZOMG!!! so much acid washed jeans and the guys clothes looked so HEAVY. Very thick materials. It must have been hot as hell wearing those for 14 hours a day under those lights.

Question for y'all: which guy had the best fashion sense, and which had the worst. Same thing for the girls on the show? I 'll weigh in later with my thoughts.

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I think Brandon was the most consistent with his fashion, and usually looked decent. He had very few outrageously ugly outfits. I loved Dylan's look at certain times. They put him in some hideous things early on, but sometimes they got it just right with him. Cool shirt, jeans, black shoes. That along with his sideburns was a classic 50's throwback look. James Dean-ish. 

The girls are harder, because they were all across the board. They all had their moments of awful 90's outfits mixed with moments of looking really great. I think I will go with Brenda for best fashion sense; she had some cool looks. She could really rock a black vest. Val always looked great, but she did not have to endure those early 90's fashions.

For all the talk about Donna being a fashion designer, I wasn't very impressed with her look. I liked her toward the end with the red hair. But they all looked good in season 10.

Oh, and Steve was the worst for me, hands down.

Edited by desertflower
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Andrea was the worst. There was something about her, that even when she was wearing something that should be okay (say, plain old jeans and a not too embarrassing blouse, if that's possible) she still made it look awful. Her shape wasn't the worst in the world, but it was the worst for the clothes they put her in. You'd think given that she was approximately 40 when she got the part she'd have been secure enough to argue with the wardrobe department when they tried to dress her as a human sausage. There should be a 90210 drinking game: if Andrea has camel toe, drink!

 

Best was probably Jim. Hear me out. Yes, he wore boring suits and occasionally some truly awful khaki shorts and the like, but the likelihood of him sticking out in a crowd nowadays is minuscule compared to the way the rest of them dressed back then.

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I'm around the same age as the gang, so I have to cop to many of their fashion faux pas.  Body suits, babydoll dresses with white socks and Doc Martens, chokers, big belts holding up high-waisted denim, bike shorts with no bike in sight, and the grunge uniform of white tank/tee, open flannel shirt, jeans and Doc Martens.  I rather miss that last one, actually; it was nice being that comfortable yet still considered fashionable in most settings. 

I dearly miss the plain white tank with jeans, with or without a flannel shirt over it, and a pair of very well worn sneakers.

Steve-Worst fashions of the guys, Donna for the girls. Oy, the pigtails. Although honorable mention goes to Andrea. 

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Andrea was the worst. There was something about her, that even when she was wearing something that should be okay (say, plain old jeans and a not too embarrassing blouse, if that's possible) she still made it look awful. Her shape wasn't the worst in the world, but it was the worst for the clothes they put her in. You'd think given that she was approximately 40 when she got the part she'd have been secure enough to argue with the wardrobe department when they tried to dress her as a human sausage. There should be a 90210 drinking game: if Andrea has camel toe, drink!

 

Best was probably Jim. Hear me out. Yes, he wore boring suits and occasionally some truly awful khaki shorts and the like, but the likelihood of him sticking out in a crowd nowadays is minuscule compared to the way the rest of them dressed back then.

She was 29 when she got the part.

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Loved most of the fashions in season 4 but then I'm a sucker for floral prints and maxi dresses. Brenda looked gorgeous in seasons 3 and 4, loved the flippy skirts, striped bodies and leather waistcoats.The college years post season 4 featured some pretty dreadful fashions usually worn by Donna and Claire. The two of them seemed to be competing for who could wear the most hideous fabrics in one outfit. Anyone remember the horror of Claire's bin bag dress at that concert? I think she was wearing a pink feather boa with it as well! Or when Claire wore those black PVC trousers with some sort of Chinese embroidery style top. 90210 is the perfect time capsule for all of those hideous 90's trends - black strappy platform sandal anyone?

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Since Soapnet is gone, one of the things I miss about watching the show regularly is spotting crazy outfits that I had forgotten about. I still remember a lot of them but I know I am forgetting so much!! A few of the particularly bad ones are burned into my brain, though. Remember Cindy's shirt with the huge playing cards on them? And I could not forget Steve's low hanging tank top/short shorts combo that he sported at the beach club. And of course Andrea's prairie nightgown she wore to the slumber party, just so the audience was completely clear on the fact she was a nerd.

I must make a confession...I always thought Brandon looked hot in his Peach Pit shirt. 

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I think Donna's ass cheeks should be considered a fashion accessory since they were hanging out pretty regularly during seasons 5, 6 and 7. They were at the Christmas tree trimming party and even showed up when Donna spoke to a nun. I think they're as important as David's beret of meth and Kelly's pants suits of superiority.

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I'm sad to say that I'm sure I rocked an oversized men's shirt-giant vest combo like Emily in the Halloween episode during junior high. And sometimes the vests were patterned. Eek.

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I had quite the vest collection for a time.  I must say, there is one that if I could have it back - and enlarge it several sizes - I would find a way to work it into my wardrobe.

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Anything Donna wore was awful even some on trend items looked almost altered to be too short and too tight. She always looked ridic. Valerie, Brenda, and Kelly sometimes wore things that were the shit. Janet, Toni, and Celeste dressed cute.

I didn't like how Susan or Ahhhndrea dressed since it seemed like they were trying too hard to make them look different and serious.

Dylan I think they tried to make him dress a little like James Dean.

Edited by Petunia13

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I remember the vest look too. You could find some good ones at the thrift store in the men's section.

I always thought Susan had old lady hair. I'm not sure what exactly about it looked old, but it somehow made her look a lot older than 20 or whatever age she was supposed to be.

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I remember the vest look too. You could find some good ones at the thrift store in the men's section.

I always thought Susan had old lady hair. I'm not sure what exactly about it looked old, but it somehow made her look a lot older than 20 or whatever age she was supposed to be.

Well the costume department went full on old lady haywire toward the end of the college episodes. Valerie was wearing business suites to class and everybody had soccer mom hair.

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Well the costume department went full on old lady haywire toward the end of the college episodes. Valerie was wearing business suites to class and everybody had soccer mom hair.

 

*raising hand quietly* We all wore business suits to class in my HS in the 90s. It was... unattractive and so nonsensical, but I will at least stand up for the costume department in saying that I at least knew people who dressed like that. Business suits with belly shirts because that's classy. 

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Speaking of soccer mom hair, am I alone in thinking that Cindy's proscenium-arch perm was waaaaay better than that helmet-head thing she had going on in season 4?

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Lisin was the real life Cher Horowitz.

As if! Hahahaha!

 

Now I want to find a picture because it's totally not that... ok maybe it is. God. I just can't believe how many blazers and crop tops there were! And I can't believe we were allowed to wear them to high school in East Texas. 

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Anything Donna wore was awful even some on trend items looked almost altered to be too short and too tight.

 

Donna did look good in season 4 (freshman year of college). She looked much more natural and not overdone (hair, makeup, and clothes).

 

Valerie was wearing business suites to class

 

I think this was just their shorthand way of saying SHE IS A BUSINESS MAJOR SHE STUDIES BUSINESS OK? to the viewers? Granted, business students at my university did wear suits, but only on days where you were giving some type of presentation/case study...

Edited by AndySmith

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Sooo best looks (IMO):

Brenda: Summer of love. They were putting her in a lot of those little Addicted to Love cocktail dresses at the point and she knocked them out of the park. SD has the perfect body for that sort of thing: she was super petite, but curvy with surprising long legs. Once the 90s fashion took a turn to retro-hippie I thought her teeny frame could get overwhelmed in all the flower dresses.

Kelly: just the opposite. That late 1980/early 1990s super short, tight body conscious look was never great on her. It really emphasized how pear shaped she is. However once the got to college. Oh my god, she looked great freshman year! That girl was born to wander around Southern California looking like the second coming of Michelle Phillips. That hippie-chic thing was her look. I never liked Kelly with short hair though. It was all over for me when she cut her hair.

Donna: I'm going to go with, I think it's sophomore year? It's when she had the short platinum hair and they were doing sort of a club kid thing with her wardrobe. It's such a skanky look to begin with, but it kind of worked in its on strange way on TS. I don't think "natural beauty" is ever going to be her wheel house and this look at least showed off her long frame. Plus TS can actually do goofy well and you need a certain amount of goof to pull off the 1990s kinder-whore look without it just going into stripper territory all the time.

Andrea: oh fuck, I don't know. The costume department hated her. Maybe her last season? I feel like her clothes get less awful, if not actually good.

Edited by FozzyBear
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I have coveted Brenda's hair (well I guess really SD's hair) for basically as long as I can remember. I tell my husband his whole job is to not let me cut bangs because I look terrible with bangs, but Brenda's bangs are on point. Her hair just gets so good. Obviously in season 1 it isn't that great but by the time Brenda leaves her hair is my ideal hair. I don't even care that it isn't in style anymore. I'd rock it. I like it best longish. Not so much when it's short and flippy.

 

Also? I was google imaging Brenda's hair and I came across the homecoming dresses that she and Kelly wore that matched and I was shocked and kind of appalled that I didn't remember until now that I wore almost that exact dress to prom in 94 (mine was blue with the white off the shoulder thing but still). Man. I really liked this show apparently. 

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Donna: I'm going to go with, I think it's sophomore year? It's when she had the short platinum hair and they were doing sort of a club kid thing with her wardrobe. It's such a skanky look to begin with, but it kind of worked in its on strange way on TS. I don't think "natural beauty" is ever going to be her wheel house and this look at least showed off her long frame. Plus TS can actually do goofy well and you need a certain amount of goof to pull off the 1990s kinder-whore look with it just going into stripper territory all the time.

 

 

I particularly enjoyed the looks of utter shock on Joe's and other people's faces when they saw Donna's post-apocalyptic kinder-whore look in the Powerman 5000 video. What exactly is blowing your minds, here, people who see Donna every day? It's the same fit and cut as her normal wardrobe, just a few more rips and slightly cheaper fabrics. 

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I particularly enjoyed the looks of utter shock on Joe's and other people's faces when they saw Donna's post-apocalyptic kinder-whore look in the Powerman 5000 video. What exactly is blowing your minds, here, people who see Donna every day? It's the same fit and cut as her normal wardrobe, just a few more rips and slightly cheaper fabrics. 

 

YES! For someone who was supposed to be super virtuous she certainly liked to show off a lot of skin in her everyday wardrobe. 

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YES! For someone who was supposed to be super virtuous she certainly liked to show off a lot of skin in her everyday wardrobe.

Can we talk about the outfit Donna wore when she found her mom slutting it up in the same hotel as Color Me Bad(God that's an awesome episode!)? Those aren't shorts! Those are straight up knit panties!

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My personal favorite of Donna's booty shorts are the ones she wears while trimming the Walsh Xmas tree. Because nothing says Christmas Spirit like showing off your butt cheeks.

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YES! For someone who was supposed to be super virtuous she certainly liked to show off a lot of skin in her everyday wardrobe. 

 

I guess an intact hymen is all the coverage Donna needed. Because she was a virgin. I don't know if you guys caught that, on the show, that Donna didn't have sex and also was a virgin. They barely mentioned it. Little known fact, so to speak. ;)

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Besides that was the constant compliments of Donna's looks. That got old.

I have to agree with the poster who liked SD/Brenda's hair. The color and styles she wore suited her face shape and complexion well.

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My personal favorite of Donna's booty shorts are the ones she wears while trimming the Walsh Xmas tree. Because nothing says Christmas Spirit like showing off your butt cheeks.

"That's not mistletoe." "Sorry." "I didn't say stop kissing."

 

In light of all the terrible fashions the 90s gave us, let us all bask in the sobering thought that Brian Austin Green is currently the best looking of the male cast.

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In light of all the terrible fashions the 90s gave us, let us all bask in the sobering thought that Brian Austin Green is currently the best looking of the male cast.

 

In light of all the rumors and gossip about his relationships with Vanessa Marcil and Megan Fox, he's actually gotten less hot to me. Then again, I'm still saving myself for Luke Perry, so...

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Someone just posted a picture of me at Prom in 94 in "the dress" to facebook. It's too funny not to share. Guys? Why did we think this was a good look again?

 

GUxxNOY.jpg

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For all the talk about Donna being a fashion designer, I wasn't very impressed with her look. I liked her toward the end with the red hair. But they all looked good in season 10.

 

        Does anyone else think that's because by then the characters were supposed to be young adults, and 1999/2000 fashion in general was pretty low-key and hasn't really aged as badly as early 90's and mid-90's stuff has? Unless you were doing the Ricky Martin or boyband look, people from 1999 aren't really going to look all that bad by modern standards.

 

     Shannon Doherty was at peak beauty in season 3. I thought she looked absolutely beautiful during the break-up/cheating arc. The hair was just on-point. And I loved that slutty little outfit she wore to school when she came back to school after finding out about Kelly and Dylan.

 

     Anyway, high-waisted shorts and acid-washed denim are back. Pretty funny. Flannels had their comeback like 6 years ago.

Edited by methodwriter85
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Yes, I think by 2000 fashion in general definitely calmed down a bit. Early 90's still had remnants of the crazy 80's stuff, and I also think the show probably pushed the envelope to make the kids look like "cutting edge" fashionable teens. I'm curious if some of those outfits they wore early on actually seemed cool to the viewers watching at the time. The funny thing is I actually was watching at the time, and I was about a year ahead of the gang so pretty close in age, but I honestly can't remember if I was impressed or repulsed by Dylan's denim trenchcoat back then!!

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Shannon Doherty was at peak beauty in season 3. I thought she looked absolutely beautiful during the break-up/cheating arc. The hair was just on-point. And I loved that slutty little outfit she wore to school when she came back to school after finding out about Kelly and Dylan.

 

Yes. All of this. I'm pretty sure that's where my hair obsession started. And her outfit in the "I HATE YOU BOTH! NEVER SPEAK TO ME AGAIN!" scene is perfection. I don't think I'd be able to wear it today but back then? That look was flawless. 

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Yes. All of this. I'm pretty sure that's where my hair obsession started. And her outfit in the "I HATE YOU BOTH! NEVER SPEAK TO ME AGAIN!" scene is perfection. I don't think I'd be able to wear it today but back then? That look was flawless. 

 

Add me to this list. Also, I think Shannen's hair during the time she got all activist, especially in the episode where they did that flashback, to the Woodstock era, her hair was FANTASTIC. I was super jealous.

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I always crack up during the scene where Brenda is told by Kelly and Dylan about the summer affair. She's wearing a leather vest, then grabs and puts on a...leather jacket to go outside. Leather on leather! Ok then.

 

Granted, I've only rewatched that scene on Youtube, so the top might not be leather, but it sure looks that way.

Edited by AndySmith
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Bumping this thread to page 1 because the awesome podcast has sparked interest in discussing the overall fashion. 

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Preach, sister. I admit it, I owned stirrup pants. Multiple pairs even. And they were frequently worn with the attractive options of either A) A man's XL polo shirt, B) a man's XXL sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up so many times it's like you had giant, fluffy doughnuts on your wrists or C) a gigantic sweater that Bill Cosby previously owned. I'm not sure why we felt we had to be a size 2 (ah, the glory days before zeros existed!) and yet the goal was to wear a tent around your upper body -- and, honestly, down to about your knees given the sizes -- but it was the look. The same reason we pegged our jeans perhaps? Because who doesn't look amazing with denim bagging around their thighs while cutting the circulation off at your ankles? The same applies to jeans so tight they had to have ankle zippers to get them over your feet. Guys, those are back. I've seen them. And, why? FOR THE SWEET LOVE OF GOD, WHY?!?!

Looking back, all of the '90s clothes were very infantilizing. Crushed velvet bodysuits anyone? What ever made me think that having footed pants or a top that snaps around my crotch was a good idea? And, yo, I freaking LOVED my emerald green scoop-neck, crushed velvet bodysuit tucked into high waisted, likely crotch-eating, mom jeans. (Mostly because I thought it made my waist look really flat and my boobs look really huge; neither of which was particularly true.) The shame. The terrible, burning shame.

In other news, this is one of those early 90210 episodes I really distinctly remember, unlike the season finale from last week which I have ZERO recall on. That scene where Cindy finds Brenda's pregnancy test and confronts her and then Dylan shows up for their date and she's still holding it, is legit, great and super funny. Luke Perry really sells it. Also, the bit about Brandon's Littlest Lifeguard training ™ is comedy gold. As brayful as Brandon still is, this is still a really good ep, but, yeah, even at 14 I was hella' confused why Brenda would leave her boyfriend for "loving him too much," though I admit it did make me question having sex. Ever. So, kudos to the PTC, mission accomplished ... At least with this one teen, who had zero possibility of having sex anyway. Come to the think of it, maybe that was also what the bodysuits were for. Kind of hard to fool around when your shirt is snapped around your ladybits.

 

Lord yes. I'm a child of the 1990s and even then I thought the little girl aspect of 90s fashion was super creepy. Although I didn't start to get truly grossed out until everybody lost their minds over Marc Jacobs baby doll collection (1994? 1995?). OH MY GOD that was all kinds of wrong. Hated dressing like a 6 year old stripper then, hate it now. I actually like the big sweater and tight pants/leggings/tights looks, but I'm a sucker for ballet street wear. Every time it comes back into fashion I have to remind myself that it actually looks pretty bad on me. It's one of those looks I love, but don't have the body for. *sigh* it's the closest I'll come to being a prima ballerina.

 

 

*i moved this over from another thread so the formatting is a little funky. STOPSHOUTING makes a comment and then I reply.

Edited by Lisin · Reason: Fixed formatting :)
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The "appeal" was that they never came untucked back in the day when everybody tucked their tops into their high waist pants.

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Show Creator Darren Star went to the same high school my sister did (and I did for a year) in fancy-pants suburban Maryland. Since I know she doesn't read this site I can say this: My sister dressed in a way that made Andrea look chic, and this was in 1985. (As for me, being plus-sized means I don't exist in the 90210 universe. ) She was a straight A AP student, yearbook photo editor, and captain of the math team. Back then as long as she was clean and her clothes were clean, that's all that mattered. If Brandon Walsh were to bray at her, he'd get a swift kick to the nethers.

 

 

Edited to add: At the hippie-dippie private HS I went to, clothes went from thrift store to Benneton and everywhere in between.  Andrea Zuckerman would have felt at ease there.  

Edited by EAG46
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Show Creator Darren Star went to the same high school my sister did (and I did for a year) in fancy-pants suburban Maryland. Since I know she doesn't read this site I can say this: My sister dressed in a way that made Andrea look chic, and this was in 1985. (As for me, being plus-sized means I don't exist in the 90210 universe. ) She was a straight A AP student, yearbook photo editor, and captain of the math team. Back then as long as she was clean and her clothes were clean, that's all that mattered. If Brandon Walsh were to bray at her, he'd get a swift kick to the nethers.

 

I didn't go to that school (NOVA private Catholic school here, but I'm from PG) but I will agree with you 100% on this point. Andrea looks terrible now and probably did then too, but she dressed like a lot of people I knew back then (those who weren't relegated to wool plaid skirts and blue oxford shirts that is) so I never noticed that she wasn't fashionable. No one dressed like Donna/Kelly. The guys did all dress like David Silver though. Until I moved to Texas and then the guys dressed like cowboys, because Texas. 

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Well, I graduated in 1985, so I missed a lot of these 90's fashions. But I did rock the legwarmers, and pegged jeans were a thing back then too. As were Izod shirts, Polo shirts, neon, and perms to get the highly coveted big hair. Guilty on all counts. It wasn't as bad at my high school because I went to a tiny boarding school in California, and the prevailing style for all of us was "stoner chic."

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