Fashion Flashback…Ghostwriter

For 90’s kids, one of the best shows was Ghostwriter, the series following a group of Brooklyn kids who solve mysteries and crimes with the help of a grammar-happy ghost that floats across the screen as a ball of light. What better way to develop an affection for reading, writing and being mini-Nancy Drews? Not to mention, making nerdy kids like me feel cool.

Photo: Children of the Nineties

Two decades later, most of Ghostwriter‘s wardrobe is still cool. Perhaps Ghostwriter is even the precursor to the modern day hipster? If anything, it shows that fashion hasn’t evolved much in New York’s hippest borough. So let’s take a look at the fashion triumphs and fails of Ghostwriter. WORD.

Photo: Nostomanic

What’s still hot in this photo: Bold prints, color-blocking, red pants, spandex, leggings and suspenders (Not that suspenders and prints should be worn together). Not so hot: Camouflage cargos, sleeveless drawstring hoodies and anything Alex is wearing. As this post goes on you’ll discover that Alex was a disaster then and would still be shunned today. His little sister Gaby gives him some street cred as does his crush on Tina, who is so chic in this photo she could do guest spots on Pretty Little Liars. And one last note: LENNI, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WEARING HERE GIRL?! 

Speaking of Tina, this girl knows how to work some color. I love the pink on pink here. And I also like that her shorts are a little roomie in contrast to her more form-fitting top. We should also give props to Gaby.

Tomboy chic isn’t always easy to pull off, but she’s working the leggings (maybe even jeggings) and the army green oxford with Converses.

How about Gaby’s little parka with patches of bright orange? Loving it! Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen something like this on the runway. Pairing it with a yellow boy’s t-shirt is a risk, but one that even Jenna Lyons would take. The problem? That scrunchie. I know, it’s 1992. But still, it makes her look like I Dream of Jeannie. If her hair was down and she paired some red-orange lipstick with that outfit and those hoop earrings, I would think girlfriend was heading to a party in Bushwick.

Tina, honey, no. While I love the way orange looks on you and I find it interesting that orange is back again in 2012, that tank top layered over it is a no-no. By that same token, while turtlenecks are back too, Jamal, brother, take that sad turtleneck off. I’m kind of feeling the vest though. Jamal always adds some kind of Afro-centric attire to his outfits. It’s part of his charm. So is being the computer genius who communicates with Ghostwriter.

Photo: Rickstv

Dynamite indeed.

Photo: Nostomanic

Speaking of African influences, let’s take a look at Lenni here. In my opinion, Lenni was the most stylish person on the show. That does NOT mean she always looked good. But she had style. Here, she looks good and stylish! White hipsters in tribal prints is so 2012. And the thing that really sells it as both hipster and masterful? The hat. That hat took it to the next level. Any aspiring songstress, like Lenni, who can pull that shiz off without question will one day rock Coachella.

Photo: Nostomanic

Now this photo is all kinds of wrong. First of all, Lenni. That shirt. That hat. That vest. WHY? Gaby, while I love repeating clothing, that shirt does not go with your Cosby sweater. Now Rob, I love your wankster vibe. Really, flannel shirts and bandanas on your head are great! But khaki pants? Life is too short to wear khakis. The only real cool factor here are the pens around the neck. They always wore them so they could scribble down clues and they’re positively spiffy. Yes, that means I wore a pen around my neck for at least two months.

Photo: Nostomanic

Speaking of sweet, poetry-writing Rob, I just had to take a second to appreciate his dedication to faux-gangster-dom. So many flannel shirts and baggy pants! So many bandanas! And here: a do-rag. Seriously, he’s wearing a do-rag! This boy would grow up to be Eminem.

Photo: Nostomanic

Who knew that in addition to be a dynamite computer dynamo, Jamal was also a chic young man? Look at his great color-blocked shirt! And how about those sleek black pants? I’d also like to mention he had a great box-cut with a fade and his house was the place to hang. Meanwhile Alex was wearing heinous silk shirts like this one. And I’m pretty sure those are red sweat pants. He wore sweatpants in public. Generic exercise sweatpants. And he didn’t exercise. That’s a sin against humanity.

What is it with this boy and red pants?! Yes, red pants are cool every once in a while. Not everyday! I will say this is the best outfit Alex has ever worn. A nice red and blue stripped shirt a la The Fresh Prince and a denim jacket. Smooth. And it works too because Alex and Tina have a kiss in this episode! I mean, she’s wearing red tights, a red parka and a bold orange t-shirt. That screams “I’m in the mood for love” if you ask me.

Way to work some yellow Tina! And lately I’ve been tying my oxford shirts like this too. Maybe that means I have no fashion sense. Or maybe it means this trend is back. After all, Eva Mendes did the same just the other day!

How about Lenni’s cute sheer blouse and high-waisted shorts? I’m loving it! She’s also wearing green combat boots. Seriously, Lenni, you are so chic right now. That’s why everyone is staring at you. As for Alex, that shirt is so sad and faded, it’s a wonder Tina even goes to the library with you.

Let’s ignore Jamal’s one fashion misstep — possibly ever — on the show. And I don’t want to talk about Rob wearing a weird blue driving cap. I do want to talk about Gaby’s super chic outfit! Not only is she coming off a witty remark that embarrasses her brother, she’s also working biker shorts like it’s her job. I love the matching peach shirt with a black stripe. I also love the fit; no one should wear biker shorts with a tight shirt. Baggy is always the way to go. Did we mention she too is wearing funky boots? In red no less? Me likey.

Gaby may have been the queen of tomboy chic — just check that red, green and rust hoodie she’s wearing — but she also had a feminine side. For example, when she dreams of being Galaxy Girl:

Hey girl hey! Talk about super cute! If I was daydreaming about Galaxy Girl — whoever the hell she is– this is also what I would imagine wearing. It’s so Zenon meets Star Trek! And this time, the scrunchie works.

Photo: Nostomanic

Dear Lenni, lose the top Selena wore while singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and give me those sunglasses. Xo.

Dear Lenni, you may have more hats than Blossom and Alex Mack combined. Xo.

Nice maxi dress Lenni! And in such a flattering color too! I also love the sweater tied at the midriff to add some play on proportions. I could stand losing the green necklace though. Please also notice that Rob is in a smooth jazz phase, which has eliminated the do-rag (tear). And as per usual, Jamal is just the coolest.

Photo: Nostomanic

I saw this photo and had to include it somehow. Because Jamal is having a rapper dream sequence. AND I LOVE IT. Gold chains! Orange pants! A black polyester jacket with a six pack for a t-shirt. Seriously THIS KID HAS A SIX-PACK. AND HE’S LIKE 12! WHAT? I also love the hat and sunglasses. The whole outfit is very Bobby Brown “My Prerogative” meets Naughty By Nature. All hail the fashion king. This outfit still gets ladies.

I also just wanted to point out that every kid on this show had the best handwriting ever. Either it was all written by the same former Catholic school teacher on set (which I imagine is what went down) or they were beaten with rulers until they had uniform handwriting worthy of gods, earning them rope pens. If it’s the latter, that explains why the costume department worked to create some sense of independence and uniqueness through fashion.

Photo: Rickstv

Did you guys watch Ghostwriter? Who do you think was the snazziest dresser? Do you still wear a pen on a rope around your neck? Sound off below! And remember: Don’t fool with the cool.



Filed under Fashion Smashion, Throwback

3 responses to “Fashion Flashback…Ghostwriter

  1. lol, who ever said the 8oties were the worst of the worst??

  2. Grethel

    Wow I love your post, I´m totally agree with every word that you write.
    Ghostwriter was one of my favorites tv programs and I was fan of all outfits that Lenny wore.

  3. Pingback: Ghostwriter (1992) | Bib Overalls Film Blog

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