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Why The O.C Defined 2010s Fashion

Why The O.C Defined 2010s Fashion

Why The O.C Defined 2010s Fashion

Recently, the iconic teen drama The O.C celebrated its 15th anniversary. There has never been a better time to look back on a show that defined a generation, with the sometimes questionable but always memorable 2010s fashion especially worth a revisit.

Indeed, one of the best tidbits to come out of the retrospective celebrations was the confession from season one costume designer that dressing the shows trendy leading lady and early 2000s train wreck Mischa Barton required some real hustling. Those Chanel moments we all obsessed over during the first season were actually knockoffs!

High-Low Shopping!

“We started with a little tiny budget, which was a challenge because everything had to look super high-end,” Season One costume designer Alexandra Welker told Page Six.  “There was absolutely no borrowing [from brands] involved either, because nobody had ever heard of us, so they were very leery of loaning anything.”


Welker provides some serious 2010s fashion inspiration for aspiring it girls on a budget. It turns out all you need to look like Marissa Cooper as she waltzed through the Orange County school hallways is a bit of creativity and your best local knockoff outlet – an approach she calls “high-low shopping”.

“I’ll be honest: Those Chanel bags that she carried, those weren’t something I could have on my budget,” Welker said. “But I found this amazing store in Downtown LA that sold the best-looking fakes I’d ever seen! So we used some really, really good knockoffs.”

California Here We Come…

As someone who struggles to dress well on seriously limited funds, this is something I think we can all take inspiration from. No joking guys, I own like three pairs of shoes! Plus once you’ve built your profile, you’ll hopefully be able to pull an O.C and upgrade to the real thing.


“I’ll always be grateful to Mischa Barton: She started doing a lot of modeling because of the show, and the folks at Chanel loved her. They actually loaned me a couple of samples, and once we started using real Chanel, of course, I had to let those fakes fall by the wayside,” Welker said. 2010s fashion glow up!

We must admit, some of those 2010s fashion moments the show gave us were highly questionable. Tube tops in multi-coloured zig-zag? Mini kilts? Little brown kitten heels? Shudder!

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R.I.P 2010s Fashion Icon Marissa Cooper

Looks like we have another reason to fall in love with a series that made indie music cool again, taught us the value of looking past the class divide and made us all weep uncontrollably when Marissa died at the end of season three.

Of course, the leading lady looked stunning during her dramatic death scene – still a true 2010s fashion MOMENT. I lived for those tight fitted jeans and white California girl beach babe shirt as Ryan held her surrounded by flames to the tune of Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek. Whilst Jason Derulo RUINED that track but nothing can ruin the impact of the noughties most essential teen soap!

I Just Wanna Go Back, Back to the Mid 2000s!

Honestly, if Marissa Copper can look great on a budget, why can’t you? Here at Society19, we think it’s time to honour the 15th anniversary of the O.C by adopting it’s “high-low shopping” 2010s fashion aesthetic! With Mischa Barton set to star in the reboot of another noughties classic, The Hills, 2010s fashion is about to make a comeback in a big way!


What are your favourite 2010s fashion moments from the O.C? Reminisce about it all in the comments below!

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