******I’m now on Face Book – as Peacha Lulu – mainly to let you know what I’m working on! ****

    Gazing at the glossy covers of SVH I often wondered where Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield shopped – and doubted the written poshness of their purchases,  oh sure , Bibi’s for Lila’s parties – but on a day to day – er cover to cover basis I was guessing – Sears? Maybe Benetton. Or any other department store featuring a Sporty Casuals nook. I mean check it out – on the very first cover -Double Love – Jessica , in her trademark shoulder length waves, ( she was so ahead of the times – eat your heart out Kelly McGillis! ) is wearing a black denim jacket – faded to a stone washed finish – and whats under it – probably one of her standard tank tops. As for Liz – a soft peach sweater. Not exactly the cutting edge of fashion but lets be honest for the most part none of the offerings of 1983 blazed a fashion trail – real models on Wildfire and First Love From Silhouette , Caprice and Wishing Star normally wore regular sweaters , blouses and Izods with the occasional knock-em-dead dresses glitzing up the covers.
        Was Jonna Leigh Stack , the model for the covers encouraged to dress the part of all-American girl in casual clothes? Possibly or perhaps – the artist James Mathewuse given this fab paper doll opportunity thumbed through a few fashion magazines and dressed the girls in whatever caught his fancy.         
    How I would’ve loved to have a paper doll book of SVH when I was little – even if I wasn’t the paper doll type! Oh well I can always attempt some paper doll magic via Photoshop.

Playing Paper Dolls with Jessica , Lila and Annie from Sweet Valley High 

     ( If you’re wondering why the above pic is so choppy it’s cause it was taken from a Sears underwear layout – they have lots of little pics on top of pics! – Notice I made Lila the curvy one! )
    Most Paper dolls do start this way you know.
    The inspiration for this jaunty look at Sweet Valley’s fashions was a flip through a  Sears catalog circa 1983 which offered many amazing comparisons.

Let’s start with Jessica’s top on the cover of #19 Showdown. I was positive this was a Camp shirt – they were very popular – and paired her with part of the Cheryl Tiggs collection – however if you can spot the little detail on Jessica’s sleeve the shirt actually looks part of a safari/army type collection , no pocket and no buttons. Hmmm. I’ll have to look into this.

1983 camp shirts Jessica vs Sears

Sears 1983 - Camp Shirts  


Onto Tricia Martin’s dreamy high necked blouse on the cover of #12 When Love Dies – certainly no Sears catalog would offer such an old fashioned but posh trend – not with the onslaught of Western blouses still rearing their ugly ruffles so I moved onto Woman’s Day which had a layout for Romantic Blouse kits and featured models in cascading ‘Regina Morrow’ hair wearing some of the prettiest blouses ( they certainly kicked Western blouses butts! ) – love the weathered wood paneling!

Tricia Martin and her 80's Victorian Blouse 

80's Victorian Blouses from Woman's Day 

    The Cheryl Tiggs collection proved to be a most fruitful honing of SVH fashions – recall the boat shirt? – it was one of those nautical themed trends ( stripes ahoy!)  that came out and were usually paired with clam diggers or pedal pushers and canvas slip ons.  Liz wears one several times most notably on #13 Kidnapped with pale blue stripes. Of course it’s not an exact replica ( none of my comparisons are ) the stripes on the sleeves are different, but you get the idea.

Elizabeth Wakefield's 80's boat neck shirt
    Enid unconscious and still fashionable on cover # 20 – Crash Landing , looks almost to be wearing a Sears shirt – part of the casual collection – though her’s isn’t terry cloth ( but it might have proved difficult to paint terry cloth. ) It’s a little crazy to think that Enid actually has some of the better styles on her sparse cover appearances!

Enid Rollin's blue top

80's Sears casual tops
    How about Jessica’s many bikini covers? Well there was only four but out of her 47 cover appearances that seems to be a lot – considering Liz only showed up in a bathing suit once. Her string bikini on cover #5 All Night Long is quite distinct but I found one like it via a 1984 Sears catalog. Can you imagine Jess in such a groovin print?!

Jessica Wakefield's Bikini

    And if Jess wasn’t wearing a bikini it was probably because she was showing off her sculpted arms in a versatile tank top – I didn’t find any fab Sears ads for tank tops but found this great looking model in a 1984 Glamor magazine layout – look she’s even wearing the walking shorts –  She’s a freakin’ ode to California Prep!

Jessica in one of her many tank tops

from 1984 Glamor magazine - tank top
    One of my Favorite LOL spottings was this shirt in a 1980 Sears catalog ad paired with my fave SVH book Perfect Summer – Liz in her two tone polo shirt. It’s almost an exact copy! Wild! And with her t shirt tucked in ,  she almost looks like she’s wearing one of those sunsuits a.k.a rompers.

Liz's two-tone polo

Notice how Liz was totally polo crazy – I thought Jess was Bikini crazy – out of the 47 covers she graced , eight of them featured her and her three button polo shirts! Liz  -I look just as hot as Cheryl Tiggs …maybe hotter!

 Elizabeth Wakefield's striped polo shirt_edited-1
    I could’ve gone on and on with the fashion – there were so many opportunities like Cara’s nautical top on the cover of #24 Memories , and Enid’s Bananarama inspired layering on #43 Hard Choices – Todd’s leather bomber on #23 – Say Goodbye or Steven’s velour shirt on #24 Memories? but oh well maybe another time for now I decided to stick with a manageable handful – Here’s one I didn’t want to leave out – because it was an important 80’s trend –  Regina’s purple sundress – I couldn’t find a really terrific example of an 80’s sundress – but that’s part of the problem – these dresses were light-weight practically disposable. Once the spaghetti straps were shot that was it. But the model is cheery-looking and her hair is too much! I couldn’t leave her out. 

Regina Morrow's purple sundress
    Ever wonder why Lila was dressed rather like an old lady? –she  was hardly a stylin’ teen – usually garbed in an ecru colored sweater and pearls – Sears definitely wouldn’t do for Lila – but I found this ad in a 1983 copy of Town and Country – totally posh. Pearls and a sweater! I guess Lila was actually in style!

From an 80's Mastoloni pearl ad

Lila's long side swept hair
    I was positive I could find Jessica’s striped shorts on the cover of Perfect Summer – but alas nope! However I did find this hilarious pic in an old sewing book that matches the whole vibe Jess gives off – Satin shorts with piping – hysterical!

Satin shorts of the 80's
    The easiest place to spot Jessica’s 80’s style was the obvious cover of #21 Runaway – need a hint – What a feeling! Another? What’s in the tote – legwarmers or a welding mask?! Okay, Okay  kidding aside – it’s a complete rip of Flashdance – I tried to find a pic of a model wearing a tank under her off the shoulder top but couldn’t –( that was the very hip way of wearing it because it mashed two of the hottest trends – the work-out and layered look. )

Jessica Wakefield's Falshdance style
    Just because I didn’t want to take everything so seriously here’s the possible inspiration for Jessica’s Cheerleading outfit – Dotty Dog from the Get-a-long gang. Don’t tell me you’ve never thought of it!

Jessica's cheerleading sweater vs Dotty Dog

    Here’s some hairy trends – Amy’s totally straight page boy!

    And Lila’s side swept hair  – is she modeled after Crystal Gayle?

Lila Vs Crystal Gayle

Well  long hair was the trend ( just not that long! ) – here’s a curly version in a layout labeled – Dreamy Hairdos!

Dreamy hairdo's 2
    How about Annie’s bubble do? Susan Lucci tries it out in Woman’s day!

               And now for the piece de resistance ever wondered how Jessica or Lila would’ve looked in a new wave outfit.  I mean we’re talking  not just vivid bright clothes but make-up! Well here’s to Photoshop – my favorite paper doll enabler who allowed me to have some fun with this one. Jessica with purple make-up , Lila with turquoise! Hysterical! 

Jessica and Lila in bright clothing best

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  1. Jody Kihara says:

    Oh my goodness, too funny – and I can’t believe how much work you put into this!
    Ah, I remember those SVH covers well. Even back then, when I was younger than the characters, it struck me as odd that 16 year olds would wear barettes in their hair! They certainly were not the cutting edge of fashion… mind you, in the decade that fashion forgot, it’s not like we had any good fashion role models!

    • peacharino says:

      Oddly enough I don’t recall wearing anything like the twins wore – but back in 1983 I was seven years old and stuck in corderoy knickers! – however in the very next year – 1984 I was eight and recieved from my grandmother – a stack of velour shorts with white piping – those split side shorts – in every color imaginable – yet I can only recall a really terrible burgandy and a really cool sky blue! My memory was joggled after I watched my favorite movied called Lord Love a Duck with Tuesday Weld who needed 12 cashmere sweaters to join a clique at school and they all have groovy colors like Midnight A-go-go and Grape Yum Yum! That was the height of my fashion movement – velour shorts paired with t shirts and those velcro strap shoes with a little plastic smurf emblem! Later on it got worse – short sets and jogging outfits! So in my fashion warped mind I actually thought the girls looked rather cool! Preppy but cool. You’re right about odd role models – I mean who were we supposed to follow Cyndi Lauper? Madonna? Punky Brewster? possibley the girls from Facts of Life? My fashion sense was based on the sales rack at the local Woolcos!

  2. Nancy says:

    Do you have a collection of old magazines? I have a small collection of 1979 Glamour issues, some of your pics remind me of them. 🙂 They’re in terrible condition, but one has a Maybelline ad and a fashion spread with the late Gia Carangi, so they are keepers. 🙂

    Lila looks great in that lingere! And those striped shorts Jess is wearing, I’m sure are Dolphin shorts. I had about 3 pairs I wore around 1982 or so….but stores like KMart did sell knock off versions. They had stripes. solids. and some had contrasting colors on each leg. I almost forgot about them!

    And ahh….Crystal Gail. How did she manage to make her hair look so healthy and not dry and damaged like the average woman’s hair would if they grew it that long?

    • peacharino says:

      I have a pretty decent sized collection of old magazines – mainly Woman’s Day , and knitting books some Y&M and a couple of Seventeen I collect anything from the 70’s to about 1994- But I wish I had more fashion magazines from the 80’s – I’ve been looking for some teen magazines from the 80’s and some woman’s fashion mags like Glamor and Cosmo from the 80’s. They can be a little hard to find or outrageously priced on Ebay! I love the old ads! Food , make-up everything – I even read the articles! It’s fun to see how people viewed things and what their focus was back then. When I saw the lingere ad in Sears ,which you can see the original if you want on my Facebook page – Peacha Lulu , I imediately thought it would be great to turn the ad around for the twins but I decided on Jess – for the skinniest model , Annie in black – because she had a risque background and Lila for the voluptuous one. I thought the shorts were Dolfins too! I looked for an ad but couldn’t find much – I so wanted to find a striped short ad but had to settle for the satin shorts. I didn’t have Dolfins exactly I had a pile of velour shorts! with piping! I know what you mean about Crystal Gayle didn’t her hair always look amazing! And I remember woman back in the 80’s who had looong hair but it always looked rather dry and flyaway.

  3. Jenna says:

    I wore a lot of shirts like Liz did – striped boatnecks, khaki shorts, and knits with collars. I was definitely NOT the height of fashion. The “popular” girls wore stuff from The Limited when I was in junior high and we just didn’t have the kind of money it took to shop there. Plus, I never could get my hair to spray up like everyone else’s did – I wore it like Lila’s. I guess I was ahead of my time. 🙂

    • peacharino says:

      Hey, your look is timeless. I was a little young to go for the Sweet Valley High look – I was more into the Sweet Valley Twins look – I’ll definitely have to do a fashion spread on them – We were always envying Jessica’s cool hair because Dirty Dancing came out at the same time and we all ran out and got chin length perms! Lol!

  4. Hey,

    I know this is an old post but I can’t stop myself for commenting on your post.
    All the pictures are very beautiful. I must say that you have a great collection of photographs.
    I love to watch pictures of Sears catalogue as it reminds me the memories of my childhood.
    Before this blog I was considering the site http://www.cravegossip.com/ which too provides great pictures of the Sears catalogue.

    Thank you for sharing this blog!!

    Looking forward for more posts 🙂

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