I would like to personally thank The OC for the 400 Canon IXUS digital pics I have that feature a myriad of fashion faux-pas.
Honestly, you might try and tell me that Gossip Girl was responsible for your tragic style choices as a teen, but it’s not true. It was The OC which truly influenced us, much like the Devil influenced Eve in the Garden Of Eden, leading us astray with a shiny red apple, except the apple was actually a fugly baguette bag.
The show had it’s premiere episode 15 years ago this week, so let’s waste an hour looking at some of the trash-fire trends the show spawned/fuelled. Hands in the air every time you spot something you begged Mum to buy you.
So the rumour was that Mischa Barton was a tall gal surrounded by shorter dudes on The OC, and had to wear flats as a result bc it was 2003 and we were not yet woke enough to accept a tall woman with a shorter-than-her dude. Anyway, Marissa Cooper therefore lived in pointy flats, and as a result we too cleared out Wanted Shoes and Tony Bianco of all their pointy flats.
Side note – could potentially return to these babies with an appropriate cropped-denim wide leg jean. Maybe.
The ’00s was an era of items that usually serve a purpose, but in a design that was absolutely useless. We’ll get to belts in a minute, but let’s just take a moment to talk about skinny scarves. They did not keep your neck warm. They were so long you became a hazard on escalators. But man, did we love them. Marissa wore hers most during her ~rock bisexual~ phase, while dating Alex. Also pls note the ever-present flat points.
BABY DOLL & LINGERIE SINGLETS
If you weren’t wearing a singlet that looked like it was for the boudoir (Summer) or a top that was essentially a dress made for a large baby (Marissa), you weren’t doing ’00s fashion right.
COLLARED SHIRTS IN THE DAYTIME
Seth‘s vest thing here was an anomaly so I will not reference it. But that collared shirt Ryan‘s repping? That was par for the course fashion-wise on this show, from every dude. Wild times that we considered what I now would say is a very corporate pinstriped shirt an acceptable off-t0-the-The-Bait-Shop ensemble.
FUCKKKKK why why WHY were we all wearing belts over things that did not require a belt? Things that didn’t even have BELT LOOPS? Why did you invent this trend, The OC? It’s rude and I hate it. I personally wore mine around my waist (!!!) while wearing fitted t-shirts (!!!!). I can’t. I hate past me so much.
Hey guys, you know how you can disguise a growing-out fringe? Not like this, please god.
Luke absolutely pioneered the shell necklace, which was technically already a trend repped by any/all rich surf bros. If you were an Aussie surf bro, you wore this. If you were an Aussie emo, you wore the metal-ball version. No exceptions.
Look head scarves are always an okay trend, if you do it right. But teaming them with POLO SHIRTS? Absolutely get fucked.
Fuck. If you didn’t wear one of these to a) your formal b) your 21st or c) the club, congratulations you missed the worst ’00s trend in history. Marissa’s one here is exceptionally long – you’d usually own one that just passed your buttocks, so you had to pull that hidden elastic edge down while trying not to spill your Cruiser down your tits in the process.
When we weren’t wearing long skinny scarves that got stuck in escalators, we had on necklaces that touched our navel. Bonus points if yours had a giant heart on the end of it. Also FUCK OFF USELESS BELT, I SEE YOU.
THESE SPECIFIC SKIRTS
Everyone had THIS specific military-detailed denim mini that was so tiny, you were either flashing your buttcrack or your purple Bonds boyleg briefs. We also all had THAT demure hipster skirt that hit the most unflattering length on all body types – right on the knee.
Guy or girl, argyle print absolutely featured in your wardrobe. Seth and Summer in particular loved the pattern, although I do recall Marissa having a vest that she wore with one of those awful tennis skirts.
EMO STYLE TUTU DRESSES
There was this weird bit of the ’00s where we all wore floofy princess skirts and dresses, but they *had* to be in ~edgy~ shades like black and hot pink. It was all very Kelly Osbourne/Avril Lavingne and Summer here is the epitome of it.
I’m well aware that Marissa Cooper has dominated this list, but really she seemed to embody the most ’00s fashion of all the characters on the show, okay? It’s not my fault Summer exclusively wore singlets and jeans. Anyway, the fucking ra-ra skirt. Shit, you guys. What were these. It was like a child’s tutu but make it fashion.
AAAGGGGHHHH I HATE CAP SLEEVES! They’re the most unflattering sleeve of all time! Even if your arms are honed to Madonna-levels they’ll somehow make them look like large sausages. Why were all our tees this length? Oh, probably bc Marissa made us do it.
TINY BOLERO JACKETS
Oh look! More normally-useful items redesigned to be completely useless!
WHATEVER THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE
Lol who am I kidding, we did NOT model our fashion on Anna. Ever.
Catch the good, the bad and the downright fuggo fashion lewks of The O.C. on Stan.