Welcome to the latest edition of Looks from Books, which aims to prove that you can look smart, while still being book-smart, too. Fashion inspiration can be found between the pages of your favorite stories, on well-designed book covers, and in your favorite characters… if you read closely enough.
This week, we’re preparing for spring by taking inspiration from a California classic and the spunk of a very special ’90s fashion heroine. Here’s Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat!
Book Cover via Amazon
1989′s Weetzie Bat was the first novel published by contemporary author Francesca Lia Block. As of 2013, the novel has spawned seven other books in its series.
The first of the Dangerous Angels series, Weetzie Bat follows the eponymous heroine through parts of her young life growing up in California. Through the dreamy lens of her own magical take on the world, she transforms the city of Los Angeles into her own heightened Shangri-L.A. She lives in a fairy tale, complete with a genie that grants her three wishes… though the effects of them may be more than she bargained for.
In 2009, twenty years after its release, the work was awarded the Phoenix Award from the Children’s Literature Association for its status as a quintessential young adult novel.
A Fashionable Literacy
Weetzie Bat has never been adapted into a movie or a TV show, but has served as a means of inspiration for music and fashion, including magazines like Nylon and Paper, and the online magazine, Rookie.
In 2010, Wildfox Couture featured an editorial inspired by the novel, a tie-in with a promotion for the live reading of the screenplay. The brand also partnered with the novel’s author to make a mini-collection based off of her characters.
The Dangerous Angels series has had a long string of controversy with book banning groups. This is due to depictions within the series of gay teens, blended families, premarital sex, and other examples of “alternative lifestyles,” as well as the inclusion of AIDS and suicide. However, the book is also considered to be a young adult classic for gay and lesbian teens, and while the material is highly suggestive, the dialogue raised by such material is well worth it.
How to Add Weetzie to Your Wardrobe
By integrating key elements of the novel into your own looks, you can dress just like you belong in that fairy tale cottage with Weetzie and her friends!
Weetzie lives in Los Angeles, but not the gritty metropolis you’re probably used to reading about. Retro and neon, Shangri-L.A. is an idealized and heightened blend of the ’80s punk movement and the Golden Age of Hollywood, with a deep affinity for surfing and Marilyn Monroe. These contrasting sensibilities – and alternative fashion sense – make Weetzie’s world a unique and open-minded take on the fairy tale for contemporary culture.
Utilize this meshing of the hyper-feminine and boldly alternative in an outfit that brings together L.A.’s golden retro idealism and its punk rock grit… just like the Shangri-L.A. of Weetzie’s dreams. Dangly floral earrings, wide-eyed sunglasses, and a Peter Pan-collared shirt bring out the sun, while dark lips, a skeleton bracelet, floral creepers, and a neon scuba skirt edge out the look.
Dirk and Duck
While the first book in the series primarily focuses on Weetzie, it also follows two of her housemates, Dirk and Duck. The biker boy and the surfing stud who fall in love, Dirk is Weetzie’s best friend since high school who sports lots of leather and a mohawk, while Duck is the blonde-haired, bright-eyed man of Dirk’s dreams. Brought together by one of the wishes from Weetzie’s genie lamp, Dirk and Duck’s relationship is most often cited by critics as a reason the book should be banned. Funny enough, of the three relationships in the book, Dirk and Duck are the best functioning couple.
Bring together Dirk’s leather edge and Duck’s surfer sensibilities with a look that perfectly captures the old saying, “opposites attract.” A palm-tree-bedecked cap, a breezy neon tank, and high-waisted shorts get roughed up with a leather-sleeved denim jacket, winged eyeliner, and classic Vans slip-ons. A hot dog phone case calls to mind one of the novel’s most frequently remarked upon establishments, L.A.’s Oki-Dogs.
Weetzie Bat doesn’t just follow the titular heroine’s exploits, but also those of the people she loves most. Tutus and taffeta, fringe and feathers all come together under the roof of the fairytale cottage Weetzie and her family lives in. From Weetzie and her Secret Agent Lover Man (yes, that’s his name), to Dirk and Duck, to Weetzie’s daugther, Cherokee, and Secret Agent Lover Man’s daughter, Witch Baby, their fairy tale cottage is bursting with lots of people and lots of love. The family that makes indie films together, stays together.
Celebrate Weetzie’s blended family with pieces inspired by its various members. Weetzie’s tutus are a little strong for the street, so a tulle skirt works just fine. Cherokee’s bohemian sensibilities come together in a fringe shirt, Dirk’s edge comes in a leather vest, and Duck’s laid-back attitude calls to mind a floral headband. Sleek sunglasses are perfect for Secret Agent Lover Man, while a handful of rings brings the whole family together.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever read Weetzie Bat, or any of the other books in the Dangerous Angels series? Have you read any works of fiction or poetry by Francesca Lia Block? Do you think this post should have had more sequins in it? (I do.) Would you want a Weetzie Bat movie? What do you think of the outfits and styling tips? Let me know, in the comments below!
Official “Replay” Single Cover
The latest pop princess to emerge from the Disney clique made a huge splash in mainstream music with her infectious song, “Replay.” Zendaya Maree Coleman, known mononymously as Zendaya, is a singer, actress and dancer. Originally from Oakland, California, this 17-year-old started her career off as a model before landing the role of Rocky Blue in Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. The starlet gained more popularity when she entered Dancing With The Stars as the youngest-ever contestant and finished runner-up.
Always a songbird, Zendaya has been releasing music for a few years now, but didn’t hit it big until her self-titled record debuted alongside the monster single “Replay.” Check out the video below:
“Replay” encapsulates Zendaya’s music style: the song, which she co-wrote, has a pop-R&B and dance fusion vibe. Not only is the video shot in a dance studio – very reminiscent of Cassie’s “Me & You” – but it really is an awesome song to amp you up when breaking a sweat or getting ready for a night out.
Here are three looks inspired by “Replay” – you’re going to want to wear them over and over again!
Beating For You
Aside from acting, Zendaya is loaded with dance repertoire. She was a member of Future Shock Oakland, a hip-hop dance crew from Northern California, and shows off her moves in the video for “Replay.”
Channel the dance vibes and look like you just walked out of a studio with this perfectly choreographed ensemble. Throw a slouchy off-the-shoulder sweater over some leatherette shorts, then add shiny sandals and a heartbeat ring.
Play You Everywhere I Go
On a casual day, Zendaya goes for urban street-wear with a sweet touch. This outfit takes the R&B rhythms of “Replay” and funnels them into a totally comfy look you can wear anywhere you go. A printed crop top goes perfectly with embellished joggers – just plug in cute headphones, put on some grey sneaker wedges, and you’re ready to bounce!
Listen To You All Day
Zendaya channels Aaliyah’s “More Than A Woman” about halfway through the video with a head-to-toe white outfit. Here, we turned the look into the perfect daytime getup. Pair scalloped shorts with a mint green top and neon purse to evoke the glitch-pop features of the song. Kick it old school with pristine white high-tops, and set the tempo for the day with this bright spring look.
On the last installment of Music Inspiration, we featured YouTuber Kina Grannis, with whom Zendaya performed in a Capital Cities cover. Here’s Zendaya’s must-see rendition of John Legend’s “All Of Me” that’s raking in online views.
What Do You Think?
Are you a fan of Zendaya? What’s your take on her debut single? Are you into her sweet urban style? Let me know in the comments!
In Northern California, spring has sprung! The birds have come out of hiding, sweaters are being put away, and nothing makes me happier than visiting my home state during this time of year.
On a lunch outing, I ran into Olivia, a girlfriend from high school. She has worked at a boutique in town since we graduated a few years ago, so her fashion is always on point. On this particular day, Olivia looked so effortlessly adorable – I knew I had to interview her for Looks on Campus!
College: Sonoma State University
Major: Child Development
Hometown: Windsor, CA
Let’s Talk Fashion
Who or what inspires your style? “I work at a boutique, so the clothes in my store and my co-workers constantly inspire my style. I specifically love dressing this time of year. We have different days of the week at work where we like to get dressed up, which always keeps things exciting and fun.”
Where do you like to shop? “I like Forever 21 a lot. They always have something that catches my eye. I also am a big fan of going into the city [San Francisco] for the weekend to shop around Union Square – such amazing shopping! Also, like I said, I work in an adorable women’s boutique, so I tend to spend at least a portion of my paycheck in the store. Whoops!”
How would you describe your style? “I think my style is very laid-back. I [like] to keep things simple and comfortable, especially when I am standing for hours or rushing around to class. I do love to really dress up on the weekends though when my girlfriends and I go out dancing! That is the time for something a little more high maintenance.”
Why did you choose this look? “Today it was beautiful out and one of the first days where there was no need for a jacket! I wanted my top to reflect my mood for the day, so that’s why I loved all these colors. In general, I am a big fan of beautiful prints, such as flowers or patterns.”
What advice would you give to college students looking to improve their style? “Hmm, advice? Definitely be comfortable! That is my number one piece of advice. If you feel good and beautiful in the outfit you are wearing, you will shine all day long. It sounds cheesy, but it’s so true!”
What are your favorite trends right now? “My favorite trends are usually trends having to do with lots of accessories. For example, big bangles or long necklaces. I also like trying cute new hairstyles.”
Who are your favorite designers? “I am not huge into designers and don’t like only buying things because of a designer label. I do really love Free People, Splendid, and Hudson. Hudson jeans are the best thing ever.”
What do you like to do for fun? “My friends and I like to go out dancing on the weekends. It’s such a great way to let out stress from the week and get some exercise while having fun. In the summer I also enjoy going to the river or Lake Sonoma, a lake close to where I live.”
If you could raid anyone’s closet, who’s closet would you raid? “This sounds funny Tay, but I would raid your closet! We haven’t seen each other in a while, but I know I would love to check that out. I also would love to raid the Nasty Gal showroom closet. [It's] the best website for adorable looks.”
Elements of Olivia’s Look
1. Feather Print Top and Navy Blue Bag
Olivia’s feather print blouse is covered in beautiful colors that are ideal for springtime, and I especially like the way her navy blue bag matches the top. I am obsessed with this chain strap bag – the pattern adds texture and interest, while the large bow detail is an adorable touch.
2. Boyfriend Jeans and Black Sandals
Olivia’s boyfriend jeans are perfect for busy college girls on the go. They’re comfy and casual, plus the cuffed legs are a great option for a warm spring day. The cropped length also showed off Olivia’s braided black sandals. Now that the weather is nice, these flat sandals are a versatile option to wear throughout spring and summer.
Do you like Olivia’s casual spring look?
What do you think of her cuffed boyfriend jeans? What about her patterned top and navy blue bag? What have you been wearing this spring? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below!
White Jeans – $19.95 at H&M
Whether you live in them or are apprehensive to wear something that could get so easily stained, one thing’s for certain: white denim is a huge spring trend. If you haven’t tried this look yet, now’s your chance! Grab a Tide to Go pen and rush out to find a pair – they are surprisingly flattering and versatile.
For this week’s installment of Outfits Under $100, we are spotlighting the many ways to wear white jeans. Whether you want to wear them dressed up or down, this post will give you oodles of inspiration on how to wear your bright whites. The best part? Each outfit rings in an under $100 total! That way, you’ll keep your pocketbook and wardrobe happy.
Scroll down to see four cute ways to style a pair of budget-friendly white jeans:
This season, the only thing trendier than white jeans is rocking a monochromatic ensemble. So for this look, we combined the two trends to create this chic, all-white getup. The key here is to wear the same color top-to-bottom, but to glam it up with bold gold accessories. Don’t forget to add a pair of strappy hot pink sandals for an extra pop of color.
Pretty in Floral Print: $75.73
Sometimes bright whites need to be broken up, so try pairing white denim with a colorful button-up. This floral print blouse pairs perfectly with the jeans, and is on sale for just $20. Trendy mint-hued flats are ideal for spring, while a cool fringe bag helps to keep this look grounded.
Weekend Casual: $74.04
White jeans look so fun and fresh on the weekend, and unless you’re at Home Depot buying gigantic bags of soil, you don’t have that much to fear. A breezy, brightly-colored tank is ideal for running errands, and we paired it with these darling glittery sandals from Target. Keep the accessories minimal, but don’t forget some pastel nail polish.
Bright & Classy: $98.42
If you have a casual dress code at work or a relaxed Friday policy at your internship, try wearing white jeans at the office. The stark white hue makes this bold magenta button-up pop even more. Pair them with jade green pumps, then grab a black-and-white satchel for your necessities.
Do you love white jeans?
Or have you yet to jump on the bandwagon? Which look above is your favorite? Do you wear them casually, dress them up, or both? Whatever your thoughts are, we want to know! So drop us a line in the comment section below.