Anyone who grew up in the ’90s can tell you that Nickelodeon cartoons played a big part in shaping our generation. Everything we know about life, love, and yes, fashion, came from two-dimensional animated characters. Here are 10 of the most valuable style lessons we picked up from watching too much TV!
1. Don’t be afraid to mix controversial colors.
How much did Angelica Pickles from Rugrats care that orange, purple, blue, and green aren’t considered an attractive combination? I’ll tell you how much: NONE. She worked those contrasting colors and patterns like she owned the joint.
2. Anyone can rock sneakers with skirts.
We’ve seen plenty of celebrities follow in Patti Mayonnaise‘s footsteps, and it’s easy to see why. Her white socks and pink tennies stole the show on Doug.
3. Don’t fight the thing that makes you unique.
Would Helga Pataki even be the same woman without her signature unibrow? Half the point of Hey Arnold was watching her rock that black line above her eyes. Sometimes your least favorite feature is the coolest thing about you.
4. Classic black and white will never go out of style.
True, Oblina from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was a weird umbrella creature, but she always looked banging. And those red lips! Damn. Keeping your palette simple can really make your makeup pop.
5. Gender bending is a great way to express yourself.
Phil and Lil from Rugrats weren’t here for your normative bullshit. He was proud to wear his sister’s bow, she was proud to wear boyish shades of green. Do what you want.
6. Never wait around for other people’s approval.
Dodie and Macie from As Told By Ginger never achieved their dream of being popular kids, but they walked into school each day like life was a runway.
7. Always let your personality shine through.
She may have been shy, but Phoebe always dressed in a way that let the other Hey Arnold cast members know who was in charge. From her bright glasses to her sweater dress, she was all about that Geek Chic.
8. Choose comfort first.
You can dress appropriately for an adventure and still make a fashion statement, as evidenced by style icon Dora the Explorer. Did she worry how other people would perceive her frilly yellow socks? No. Did she let her clothes get in the way? Hell no.
9. Grunge isn’t dead.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Kristen Stewart‘s street style is influenced by Debbie from The Wild Thornberrys. Cutoff jeans, crop tops, men’s shirts. If it’s your thing, wear it with pride.
10. Don’t dress for anyone but yourself.
Doug‘s Judy Funnie was too much of a thespian to fit in with some of the more banal students at school, but she wore that beret like her life depended on it.