Kelly Kapowski wasn't just a fictional teen sitcom character. Oh, no, she's ascended to much more than that today. She's basically the perfect poster girl for the high school crush. She represents every name ever chiseled into the surface of a desk and every blank-stared hormonal homeroom daydream. She had the brains, she had the beauty, and most notably, she had a style that was so impeccably cyclical that she's kind of becoming a fashion icon 15 years after graduating from Bayside High... because if you couldn't tell by all the high-waisted, neon-accented, color blocked crushed velvet popping up on your favorite Instafeeds lately, the 90's are back, and they are back in a big way; it's time for the queen of the hallowed high school halls to reclaim her throne (in 2018). I've spent the past 18 hours on my laptop (what else is new?) reviewing every single episode of Saved By The Bell and cataloging the most amazing and creative Kelly Kapowski looks to ever outshine Zach Morris' iconic hair. I hope you appreciate them as much as I did (because you certainly should).
15 Creamsicle From Top To Bottom
Kapowski loved to match her tops and with shorts, which is why this is such a great place to begin this list. This is such a great look simply because anyone with access to a closet could make it happen, but
proceed with caution because this can go from zero to 90's mom quickly if you're not careful.
Notice how she doesn't lose her figure even though both garments are baggy? Tucking in your t-shirt came rushing back in style maybe two years ago, and it's finally starting to pick up speed outside of fashion culture. She wears her shorts high which allows her to accent her waistline. Toss in a handful of bonus points for pleats and rolled-up sleeves, and we've got ourselves a bona fide winner right here.
14 Big Belts > Big Hair
I'll be honest. I'm not sure if I 100% agree with the title of this one, but it should be noted how well she pulls off a look that would have only been acceptable in a dusty yearbook up until a few months ago. The denim skirt isn't necessarily an outstanding piece, but let's be honest,
when you add that belt it, becomes a high-waisted gem that would stand out today.
Kapowski was never a stranger to the crop top or a colorful print, and that's for a good reason—she looks stunning in both. How many times have you seen someone pull off a plunging neckline covered in pictures of fruits anywhere other than a vacation in the tropics? Yeah, that's what I thought. Some may say Kapowski owes thanks to crop tops and colorful prints, but frankly, I think it's the other way around.
13 The Layered Tanks
I'm aware that this may look like nothing more than the cutoff you made for spirit week at your high school, but consider this: you spent nothing more than a few minutes whipping something that looked that good together. When you compare that cost to any and all workout attire sold at Lululemon, it's tough not to recognize the crafty advantages that a good pair of scissors can award you. If you look at Jessie, it's clear that she's doing all she can by matching her undershirt with the school's logo, rolling up her sleeves and tying it all together with a headband, but
Kapowski has added a dash of playful edge to her shirt.
Knotted at the shoulders to show off her arms, she proves again how you don't need to be spending top dollar to be the best-dressed person in the locker room.
12 This Perfect Summer Look
Obviously, it's easy to look amazing in everything when you're in perfect shape, and crop tops like the one above are no exception. White tennis shoes, no socks, and coral-colored shorts that look like they belong on a spring break postcard, this girl makes you realize how a simple outfit
that would cost you approximately $18.50 at H&M can still be a standout,
especially when you're with someone who dresses as blandly as Jessie. I know this article is about Kelly's style, but Screech's "nerdy dad on laundry day" look needs to be addressed because he's dangerously close to being the most fly person in this screenshot by 2018 style standards. He looks like the coolest clout rapper at Coachella you don't know about yet.
11 Off The Shoulder
I love how this look is so unapologetically 90's it almost hurts my feelings. It's difficult to really call that a crop top when her jeans are so absurdly high-waisted (only an inch of her midriff is technically visible), but dammit she pulls this look off, doesn't she? I can't quite tell if those jeans are acid wash or not, but I'm confident that they have an elastic waistband which, up until I saw the queen of Bayside in them, I thought were exclusively for aging mothers. Boy, was I ever wrong, though! Even the front pockets are working for her, and this off-the-shoulder top with the elastic sleeves is great because it allows the garment to breathe and would be the perfect thing to toss on without any hassle once those summer months roll around.
10 The Baggy Sweater
Not to be confused with "the baggy sweatshirt" which will be making an appearance later on, this outfit is a shining example of how to properly manage a tight miniskirt—with a baggy top, of course. We've mentioned Kelly's adoration for floral prints (or prints in general for that matter) before, so this sultry little above-the-knee number should come as no surprise at this point, but I think we can all agree the true eye grabber of this is the sweater.
She isn't afraid to mix textures which is admirable and that belt is really daring you to try this at home,
but I advise you to proceed with caution. It takes a lot of confidence to look this good in something so fabulously retro. In fact, Kelly is doing the room so many favors here that the cup of soda should apologize for wearing even close to the same color.
9 Because This Skirt
I've been staring at this one for a while now and trust me, it was difficult enough to just capture this gem with limited blur in a screenshot, but it was worth it. Out of all the outfits Kelly wears during the series, her skirts and dresses are relatively limited to patterns or dark denim. Here, she's showing off a little creativity by adding some fashionable lace to the pocket trim and hem of the skirt, and it's adding that dash of Kapowski flare we've grown to love.
This isn't a Pinterest post, but you could easily do something like this at home
with nothing more than a trip to the hobby shop and a hot glue gun. We've seen the off-the-shoulder tops before, so I don't need to stress how well she's making this entire ensemble work seamlessly, but it shouldn't go unnoticed either.
8 The Floral Blazer
The urge to poke fun at this look is as overwhelming as it is fantastic. If I was a snarky critic, I'd make a joke about how it looks as though she shot, killed, and skinned an old sofa to make that outfit. However, she's somehow, yet again, pulling this look off, and I'd be a fool not to award bonus points for going out on a limb.
In an age of neon fabrics, Kelly dared to be different and ends up looking like the fourth member of Migos before any of them were even born.
This type of pattern is commonplace today (if you frequent any Urban Outfitters, you already know that), but even now if you saw someone wearing a matching top and bottom floral print outfit, you'd whip your head around so fast to do a double take you might hurt yourself. That's how ahead of her time this girl is/was. She's causing neck injuries of people in the future.
7 Puffy Ski Jacket/One Piece
I feel as though this image deserves a little explaining. This was taken from the episode in which Kelly is the weather girl for the Bayside High morning news. Although this may look odd, she's merely demonstrating the recommended attire for the upcoming week due to the bizarre fluctuation in temperature, which is probably inaccurate due to her only being 16 years old and having absolutely no prior meteorology experience. Anyhow, not only is this one of the coolest ski jackets to ever grace my eyeballs but the bathing suit she has on underneath is exactly whatever hip swimwear company is trying to achieve in modern times.
Both are effortlessly retro without seeming too in-your-face about it, fashionable, and functional.
The coolest chick on the slopes and on the shore... in the same day.
6 The Baggy Sweatshirt
I told you it would show up on this list soon enough. As we saw earlier, Kelly can be pretty nifty when it comes to wielding a pair of scissors, and this time, she took them to an old oversize Bayside High School sweatshirt, which is not only the description of the most comfortable thing in the entire world but also the Kapowski staple of relaxed-cool.
She's cut the waist off, the collar, and rolled up the sleeves which gives us a quick shot of lighter gray.
Pair all of that with a pair of snug fit, high-waisted jeans, and we've got ourselves a cute little look. This was taken at their prom, by the way. The next time you begin to stress over what to wear to some fancy event, just remember Kelly Kapowski went to prom in an old sweatshirt and jeans.
5 Shoulder Pads And Light Wash
The cut of the front of this jacket is bizarre. It looks like a puzzle piece which is odd, and yet somehow, it doesn't even matter because she's killing it down those stairs. Zack is literally about to suffer whiplash if Kelly doesn't make it into his line of vision in the next .5 seconds. Kelly always did know how to pick out a skirt and match it with a wide belt, but her stint with blazers and jackets was shorter than we wished it had been. The mixing of the dark and light acid wash is making this look even slicker, and of course,
the shoulder pads are making a huge comeback these days (see Saint Laurent Fall/Winter collection)
so yet again, we're able to take fashion trend tips from a girl who was fashionable almost 30 years ago.
4 Cheerleader Uniform
And if we're talking about high fashion, then we're talking about the picture above. I realize that this may just be your typical everyday Bayside High issued cheerleader uniform, but it still looks great. The polo shirt looks both preppy and vintage-looking enough to transcend decades of style,
and that pleated skirt is easily one of the most perfect cuts I've ever seen.
A few years ago, the varsity jacket trend began to dwindle down; I thought I had heard the last of that type of look for a while, and yet here I am not only seeing it pop up on every street-style blog on the internet, but also on the most beloved style icon of the early 1990's. Also, if you think her sling perfectly matches the shade of gray in her skirt and on her patched "B" accidentally, then think again, pal. This girl may not have invented color coordinating, but she mastered it before she could drive.
3 Scarf Belt
We're back on the acid wash jeans. We've seen these before and we're not impressed by them. However, we are still more impressed than we are with whatever Jessie is trying out. The reason this image was even screenshot was because of the tucked-in hot pink tee shirt and of course, the scarf belt. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love the baggy tucked-in top, and I love how simple just a t-shirt is. The fact that she's using a scarf as a belt makes all the more different because it shows us, yet again,
how creative Kelly is when it comes to the world of discount fashion
and because it's very similar to what Bella Hadid used to accessorize her waistline at the Jimmy Choo dinner in New York City this year, proving that Kelly Kapowski's style is timeless and will never fade from existence.
2 Baggy Chic
Believe it or not, the baggy look is back in a big way.
After years and years of forcing legs into the narrow and constricting tunnels of skinny jeans, we're finally free to let our legs breathe again.
So, turn up Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" and strap on your roomiest pants because it's time to take some style cues from our girl up there. Yes, this is maybe the third time I've posted an outfit of hers that includes a baggy tee with cuffed sleeves. But this is the first time that she let them hang so low on her arm, and although that may seem like a minute detail, it actually makes all the difference. Those pants look like they could very well double as pyjamas, which isn't a problem due to the way she tied the whole thing together with that matching belt. I'm not entirely sure that the baseball bat isn't a fashion accessory being used as some sort of juxtaposition, but if it is, it's working.
1 Floral Overalls
Why not end it with a combination of everything Kelly Kapowski does best? Baggy tee? Check. Floral print? Check. Unmerciful 90's style paired with exaggerated reaction face? Check and check. Overalls are doing what they can to make a comeback in 2018, but I'm not sure if they'll ever be able to reach the height of popularity they attained back in 1991 when everyone and their out-of-touch mother was wearing them. Even back then, you never really saw them in any other color other than blue denim, but somehow, I'm not surprised that Miss Kapowski managed to find the one pair with a pattern on them and completely make it her own look. This, along with nearly every other look presented here today, is exactly what you should be seeing the moment April pulls into 2018, so be prepared.