Monday, March 28, 2011

Sam Explains It All: Unsung Fashion Highlights from a Beloved Nickelodeon Show

I still remember the chilly, second-grade morn when I fearlessly wore my first Clarissa Darling inspired outfit--a pair of pink tights under some cut-offs that (much to my mother's dismay) I'd made the night before. Sadly, Clarissa's brazen style--her vests, headbands, green Dr. Martens, floral leggings, lobster earrings, etc.--were so over the top, that the sartorial genius of Sam (Clarissa's platonic bestie) was almost entirely overlooked...

until now. 

1. Neon Father-Son Bonding Surfer Ensemble
On a whim, Sam's single father decides to take him surfing. Being the well-adjusted child of divorce that he is, Sam not only indulges his dad, he dresses the part--adopting the style of a 1990s-beach bum-fanny pack-enthusiast.
Note the shock of gelled-up hair protruding from his neon green backwards baseball cap. This is no accident, my friends. Sam always knew how to maximize his sexy. While most people would have paired those pink shorts with a solid colored top, Sam subverts expectations and flouts social mores by wearing a tie-dyed shirt.

2. 90s Pirate Ensemble
Ah, the 90s! A time when you could go to your local, suburban department store and find a pair of striped harem pants. Can't you just see Johnny Depp, circa now, wearing something like this while chilling with the fam in the South of France? And then John Mayer wearing it in an embarrassing attempt to look like Johnny Depp? This outfit shouldn't work but for some reason it does. As a hardcore bandanna proponent, I applaud Sam's choice of cranial accessory.  

3. Carrot Frenzy Shirt
I think Sam wore this shirt, which reads, "Carrot Frenzy," in deference to red-haired Ferguson. Honestly, I don't know what a Carrot Frenzy is (a drug-fueled veggie binge? a song by The Presidents of the United States of America?) but there's something kind of esoteric about the shirt, and I'm into that. I don't know that I'd be able to pull off something like this with as much panache.

4. Futuristic Coach Potato Shirt Ensemble
How is this futuristic, you ask. Well, this episode of Clarissa Explains It All probably aired around 1992...HOWEVER...the baggy shorts-calf-high socks combo is an authentic 1997 look (See Blink 182).
The "Couch Potato Shirt" is also somewhat futuristic in that it foreshadows our current century's obsession with ironic graphic tees. Sam was so incredibly fashion forward, right? I look at these pictures and wonder how Clarissa was able to resist him. I mean, he's sitting right there, on her bed, wearing the couch potato shirt, and she was somehow able to not make out with him. 

5. The My-My-My Music Hits Me So Hard Makes Me Say Oh My Lord Thank You For Blessing Me With A Mind To Rhyme And Two Hype Feet Ensemble
Words fail me. But I guess if I had to say something it'd be...move, slide your rump, just for a minute let's all do the bump, bump, bump, bump...yeeaaaaaaaaaah.

6. The Amber Ensemble
This outfit might not be noteworthy if it weren't for the fact that I was dressed exactly like this a couple of days ago--Batman shirt, cuffed blue jeans, friendship bracelet, etc. And yes, at the time, I was climbing up a ladder on my way into my neighbor's bedroom. Yes, a little guitar riff could be heard as I hopped through the window. No, I'm not BFFs with my neighbor, nor do I technically know her. But I strive to live life as Sam would, and I'm not going to let a little thing like "breaking and entering" stand in the way of that.  

7. Proto-Hipster Geek Ensemble
Nowadays, it isn't uncommon to wear your geekdom on your sleeve. But this wasn't always the case. In my humble, Trek-loving opinion this is the coolest thing that Sam, or anyone on the show, ever wore.

...although, I'd kill for this watch...
...and those brontosaurus earrings aren't too shabby either.

10 comments: said...

This post brought a smile to my face. I used to watch that show all the time. And I admit, I thought Sam was cute. With his (lack of) style and all.

Miss Kitty Boo said...

wow. I have not seen, or heard of this show since the 90s! amazing. I once bought a bag full of plastic dinosaurs and made them into necklace charms... perhaps this where I subconciously remembered it from?

Gwen said...

lookit that stylish...i miss this show, apparently they're bringing it back along with a few other Nick faves from the 90s

melydia said...

Poor Melissa Joan Hart. No matter what else she's in, I always refer to her as Clarissa. (This also is the case with the actors from Parker Lewis Can't Lose. My husband always gets confused when I refer to that one guy on ER as Kubiac.)

I was sad to discover that both Ferg and Sam did basically nothing after this show. I'd love to see what they look like now.

Megs said...

I always wanted to be able to dress like Clarissa, but I had to wear a uniform to school until like 1995, so I had to express my Clarissa like fashion sense through jewelry alone.

I never realized how far Sam was ahead of his time (sartorially speaking) until now. But it's totally true. ALL of those looks became popular much later...well, except the satin harem pants and cropped jacket combo. I think that had already been done.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

dude, why did I never notice that unibrow? I think the 1990's pirate look is my fave, though I have to say, I do enjoy the Amber. <3

Climb in my window any day, girl.

I mean, what?


Simon said...

I want those earrings. That is all.

Amiee said...

Neon hurt my eyes.

tee said...

Your eye for fashion is almost as keen as your eye for screenshots. Keep up the good work, kiddo.

aladdinsane12 said...

OMG!! Clarissa! Once, in 2nd grade, I found a hubcap on the street and brought it home so I could put it on my wall like mom threw it away when I was asleep...