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Style B*tch, er, Icon: Brenda Walsh

So who’s up for a little blast from TV past? Personally, I love all those “remember that outfit?” and cheesy theme song memories from back in the day, even if they do make me feel, you know, a little un-young.

Who can forget the fresh-faced, wide-eyed “innocence” of Beverly Hills newcomer Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty)? Certainly didn’t take her long to go from sweet, conservative-yet-trendy gal to fierce, my-way-or-the-highway vixen (not that she was Ms. Good Girl at the onset anyway–remember the whole “I’m a college student” hot-for-a-lawyer lie? And that was just the first episode of “90210”).

There always seemed to be a direct correlation between what she wore and what she was up to. Whether rocking boxy blazers with satiny hair bands or flirting it up in washed-out denim short-shorts and a bikini top, her style was like her character: full of attitude and bound to get everyone talking.

Let’s relive some of Brenda’s styles and enjoy a dose of “good ol’ days” nostalgia.

The Style of Brenda Walsh

Hair & Makeup

Hair & Makeup

Credit: Marie Claire

With the exception of her disastrous blond attempt to catch Dylan’s eye after she heard he had a thing for lighter locks, we loved her ability to stay hue-true through the episodes. The striking contrast of her dark, long hair—and of course, those classic Walsh bangs—against her minimally- made-up face, made her features pop–most notably, those eyes and her (often) red pout (matte, matte everywhere).

On-Trend Cuteness

On-Trend Cuteness


Her preppy, cute styles like oversized shirts, blazers and adorable babydoll dresses were always right on with what was in, if not a step ahead of the times. For crying out loud, the girl even managed to make menswear feminine in a funky way. Gotta say, outside of high school Spirit Week when everyone dressed in a different style every day (Pajama Monday, Rock ‘n’ Roll Tuesday—my personal favorite, Def Leppard fan that I was—and so on) I was never one to do the menswear thing. In any event, Brenda’s preppy look was the epitome of a fashion-forward good girl, a mix of breath-of-fresh-air sass and cutting-edge trendiness.

From there, that wide-eyed gal summoned her inner bad(der) girl. Which leads us to . . .

Brenda, Only Sexier

Brenda, Only Sexier

Credit: Socialite Life

Off with the body-hiding blazers, ladies—it’s sexy time. Soon, everything was all about Brenda’s flirty bikini tops paired with super-washed-out jeans. Of course, there was her classic black tanks or crocheted sweaters worn with high-waisted jeans (“Mom jeans” today, but the coolest thing EVER back then) or low-cut denim shorts.

These outfits, together with her “I’m having bad, bad dreams about bad, bad things I wanna have happen to Kelly” attitude, dark hair, come-hither eyes and plump lips, had men drooling and girls wrapped up in a jealous/intimidated/bring-it-on frenzy.

Accessories are Everything, Kelly

Accessories are Everything, Kelly

Credit: Socialite Life

How could anyone possibly forget when Brenda and Kelly wore the same dress to the spring dance? It was like a ‘90s “who wore it best?” battle (although we know the answer, right?) With her killer long gloves and classic pearls, Brenda won with her sweet-yet-bold look. Okay, so the hair was a little librarian/Lilith-from-“Cheers” (yes, I’m dating myself with that one and yes, I’m okay with it) severe, but it all worked out in the end. The message? Accessorize, ladies! The right extras will always make you stand out.

What were some of your most memorable Brenda Walsh styles and moments?

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Friday 3rd of August 2012

Oh, boy!!! I watched every episode of this show, and I was even taping it every week! I loved Brenda, and I never knew that she was a bad kind of girl. Lately I saw her in a TV commercial, and she still had the "vixen" type of look. Thanks anyway for writing about her and her show :-)

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