Five Style Lessons We Can Learn From The O.C

California here we come. Californiaaaaaaaaaa. The O.C was a seminal TV show if you are currently aged anywhere from 24 to 36. Although generally the early noughties are thought of as a time best forgotten in terms of fashion, there is something to be said for the simplicity of the period, sartorially speaking.

Granted although the O.C characters looked fairly ‘street’ on the show, most of the clothing was high end. Missoni dresses floated on screen and Chanel accessories were as common as take away coffee cups are today. That didn’t mean we couldn’t emulate the looks (God bless chain stores). And despite the show first airing in 2003 (13 years ago; we old), there are still many fashion lessons we can learn from babes, Summer and Marissa. In fact, we all know fashion is cyclical and maybe it’s about time we brought the 2000s back. Long live Juicy Couture tracksuits!


A Chanel bag really is for every day, and perfect for university. Just because you are carrying eight books dedicated to distinguishing the difference between common and civil law doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. Now we understand a Chanel bag is exxy (especially one of this size). You’re looking at about $6300. But consider it an investment in your future (much like those uni fees). This is a timeless piece, it goes with everything and you’ll have it forever (provided you don’t lose it on a bender in Tijuana).


Make like Marissa and wear flats with absolutely everything. That includes formal wear. Remember that time Marissa wore that puffy dress that resembled a cake to Cotillion and paired it with (you guessed it) flats? So on point. Yeah, yeah, high heels look sexy but let’s be honest, they’re rarely comfortable. Do your feet a favour and slip into something low. Flats are having a resurgence anyway, from brogues, to ballet flats to socks and sandals, there is a flat shoe for all occasions. If it’s good enough for Alexa Chung it’s good enough for us.


It’s becoming painfully obvious that we at CLIQUE Mag are big denim advocates. We spoke about it in our last style lesson and no doubt we’ll reference it again. The O.C had denim on high rotation, for both the boys and the girls. Bootleg jeans were a definite thing, and like flat shoes (see above), they too are making a comeback. There’s no better way to elongate the leg and show you have a real penchant for retro farshuns, then to pop on a jean that flares at the foot. But don’t limit yourself to just dressing your derriere in denim. It’s also a super hip fabric to wear on your top half (look to Marques Almeida for modern day inspiration), or why not kill two birds with one stone and buy a Chanel bag made of denim (yes, they exist – mind blown).


There is nothing cuter in this world than a shrunken Ralph Lauren polo shirt. Unsure if they actually still sell them (working on a letter to Ralph Lauren to rectify this now). But you can always put an existing shirt in the washing machine on hot cycle in the meantime. Seriously though, a polo shirt instantly elevates all outfits, wear them with your aforementioned bootleg jeans for casual vibes, or pop one over a skivvy and pair with your favourite rah-rah skirt for a nod to noughties retro charm.  Obviously baby pink is the colour of choice but yellow or lime green are also both solid options.


The best thing about The O.C is they experimented. Whether it was layering a million necklaces together or wearing ribbons as belts, they mixed things up in a way that was super cool rather than completely crazy. Remember that time Summer wore a bikini top over her t-shirt to school. So inspired.  Fashion is meant to be fun, and that’s where the beauty of the noughties lies. It was all systems go; clash colours, clash prints, clash fabrics. Even if you make a mistake, you never know, maybe one future day someone will look to you as a style icon and write about the lessons they learned from your choices.




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