Jessica Wakefield: Fashion Guru

12 Jul

Like all good ideas, it was born out of a sibling rivalry. You know, like the Jungle Prom, or the Miss Teen Sweet Valley Pageant, or the Margo-Nora contest to kill Jessica first.

On a cold Tuesday evening recently, I went over to my sister’s new place after work, [trying not to mention that the brown-walled bathroom kind of resembles the Hershey Bar]. I guess I was dressed fairly conservatively, in black wide leg pants, a coral blouse and a black cardi. Swap the pants for some chinos and add some barrettes and a lavaliere, and I suppose the outfit may have been slightly Elizabeth-an. Regardless, I was still pretty insulted when my sister gave me the once over and went “I’m so the Jessica Wakefield in this family.” Uh, scuse me? Following a fairly heated argument on the subject, we decided to put it to the test. Between us, we selected the thirteen best Jessica fashion moments of Sweet Valley High proper, and gave ourselves one Saturday morning and $100 bucks to recreate 6 each. Op shops, garage sales and grandmother’s dress up boxes were all fair game.

137 mothballs and a parking ticket later, here are the results:

[The first few belong to my sister]

#71 Starring Jessica

She moved to a rack of two-piece outfits and pulled one out.

“Jessica, look at this.”

The cropped cherry-red top had big gold buttons, a white sailor-style collar, and a matching miniskirt. Jessica fell in love with the outfit at first sight. “Oh, how cute!”

#2 Secrets

Jessica twirled before her sister. She looked stunning in a slinky red silk formal with a wide embroidered belt and black sandal heels. Long rhinestone earrings dangled from her ears. She looked as though she’d stepped out of the pages of Cosmopolitan – which was exactly the look she was after.

#55 Perfect Shot

Elizabeth whistled when she saw the dress spread out on Jessica’s bed. It was the very latest fashion, a strapless dress with a puffy skirt in a beautiful shade of lilac.

#76 Miss Teen Sweet Valley

Jessica hummed along as she admired the way the white leotard and tights she was wearing emphasised her suntan. She had to admit it, she looked gorgeous.



She hurried over to the mirror to inspect herself. ..The skirt of the gingham dress stood away from her body, held out by the crinoline petticoat. The bodice fit very close, accentuating her slim waist and torso and the neckline plunged just low enough to look good-but not so low as to raise an objection from their aunt and uncle.


#118 College Weekend [my turn to shine]

“Wow!” Zach said, looking her up and down after she had opened the door. Jessica was wearing a cropped white sweater over a very short red-and-black-plaid miniskirt, finishing the look with black thigh-highs.

#1` Double Love

Jessica was glad she’d taken the trouble to curl her hair and put on her sexiest red blouse. She had even borrowed her sister’s brand-new black sandal heels to go with her black silk-jersey skirt. She felt very grown up, wedged beside Rick.

#14 Deceptions

Jessica emerged from Elizabeth’s closet, holding her new turquoise jumpsuit.


#129 Cover Girls

It was easy to feel sophisticated with her stylish new haircut and her fitted purple blazer that was longer than her black leather miniskirt.

#98 The Wedding

Margo had loved meeting Elizabeth. She was the most beautiful girl at the party – except perhaps Jessica. But as similar as the twins appeared, Margo knew they were actually quite different. [Really Margo – have you been reading these books?] Jessica’s sleeveless turquoise dress was much flashier than her sibling’s flowing pink one.

#32 The New Jessica

Now that she was beginning to get used to her new image, Jessica had to admit that she looked sensational. She had tied her dark hair back in a loose ponytail, and a few tendrils curled in wisps at her cheeks. Her eyes were darkened with lavish makeup-definitely sultrier than her usual look. White powder helped achieve the ethereal, pale effect she was striving for. And her outfit! Everything she had on belonged to Lila. Jessica was wearing an olive green leather skirt with a slit up the back. The skirt was so straight it was hard to walk. Matching hose with a lacy pattern and three-inch heels made Jessica’s legs look longer and slimmer than usual. She felt very tall and elegant, and the silky, oversize blouse and green leather belt worn on her hips made her feel incredibly glamorous. Ordinarily, Jessica didn’t wear much jewellery – just her lavaliere necklace. Now, or course, the lavaliere had been removed.

#5 All Night Long

“This halter top would look really sexy with my red shorts,” Jessica said, holding up a scrap of lacy white cloth as she smiled sweetly at her twin.

Who is indeed the Jessica in our family? Neither us nor our eldest sister [the voice of reason] could decide. But on looking over these disasterous outfits that to my 12 year old self sounded so glamorous, one thing’s for sure – a golden lavaliere and a polo shirt don’t sound half bad after all.

8 Responses to “Jessica Wakefield: Fashion Guru”

  1. Shannon July 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I love this post! I love everything about it. I think the Runaway picture is my favorite.

  2. mangaedition July 17, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    This made my month. The olive green skirt that she wears in the New Jessica is something that I lusted after for way too long.

  3. saucytemptress July 19, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    Um, this is AWESOME.

  4. longtimelurker July 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Oh wow – can you do another one for all the d-list characters [lynne henry, dana larson etc?]I want to see lynnes linda rondstant jumpsuit!!!

  5. Svugirl90 August 4, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    This post made my day!

  6. That Kind Of Girl August 6, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    The only thing I can’t decide is whether this post is the best thing I’ve ever read or the best thing I will ever read.

  7. Laura January 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Totally awesome. Had to pass this on to some of my friends at work. 🙂 also – I was totally the Jessica in my family… denied it for YEARS -desperately wanting to be like little miss perfect Liz. But after my sister was school captain, got into an awesome uni (I’ve dropped out twice) and was just generally the golden girl – I totally embraced my inner Jessica. (Messy room and acting classes already accounted for!) :p


  1. When Lila Met Stacey, Chapter 6 “The New Jessica”, or, “Karen’s Tattletale” « WHAT WINSTON SAW - September 20, 2010

    […] that she was beginning to get used to her new image, Jessica had to admit that she looked sensational. Her hair was very short, in dark, choppy layers, […]

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