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It can get scary in here ("here" being the Fashionista offices and our adjoining Slack channel) when Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen come up in conversation. If history serves, there is nothing — and we do mean that earnestly — that we collectively feel as passionately about as the two women who now spend their days smoking bowls of cigarettes and designing $4,450 cashmere capes. One day last week, we went particularly off the rails as we screamed about such cinematic triumphs as "Winning London," "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "New York Minute," and the capital F Fashions each film presented. 

This got us thinking *intolerable Carrie Bradshaw voice* back to all the clothes we bought because Mary-Kate and Ashley at one point owned them — and further, all the fashion and beauty items we bought because other celebrities did, too. An ensuing group round table proved that, as well-defined as our own individual styles may be, we are all just sheeples.

Read on to learn about the bags, lip glosses, swimsuits, boots, skirts, T-shirts, hair products and more that we purchased over the years out of devotion to some celebrity power. 


Though I have a strong (and probably stuck-up-sounding) aversion to owning the same thing as people around me that dates back to elementary school, there are a few memorable instances in which I've bought something because I saw a celebrity wearing it. The first and least cool was probably a knockoff Balenciaga motorcycle bag because I obviously idolized the Olsens in the mid-aughts. Then they became more obscure, maybe because I didn't want it to be too obvious that a celebrity had prompted my purchase. 

I remember a Samantha Pleet romper that looked like one Jenny Lewis had worn and a Charlotte Ronson blouse that her half-sister Annabelle Dexter Jones had worn with denim cut-offs — an outfit that I still think looks super cool, though I sadly no longer have that blouse. My most consistent sources of style inspiration are probably Alexa Chung and Sofia Coppola; I've even said that when I get dressed in the morning or consider buying something, I ask myself, "Would Sofia Coppola ever wear this?" But the most immediate Sofia-inspired purchase I made was actually a lipstick: After Emily Weiss posted a thank-you note from her in regards to Glossier's Generation G in crush, I promptly bought a tube.

My most recent celebrity (if you'd call her that)-inspired purchase was a Staud bag that I'd already seen and liked on the brand's site, but the same day I saw French "It" girl Jeanne Damas wearing one in a street style photo, I bought one.


When I sit down and think about the sheer amount of clothing purchases I've made after seeing a celebrity wear something, I feel incredibly sheepish. The earliest recorded example is the shell earrings and black headbands I bought inspired by (early!) Lauren Conrad. There's my "Nice as Fuck" shirt I bought after seeing St. Vincent wear one (and I do like the band, I swear), as well as my "Future is Female" sweatshirt she shared with then-girlfriend Cara Delevingne. Most recently, I bought a pair of high-waisted, light-wash denim jeans because that's the style Dakota Johnson favors and a vinyl skirt I wanted because Bella Hadid wore something similar. And just about everything I wear is in some way inspired by Alexa Chung, from my A-line denim skirt that buttons up the front to all my Mary Janes to the pair of Burberry wedges I wore exactly once before shipping off to The RealReal.

Then there's the stuff I bought because a member of One Direction wore it: A sweatshirt that cost me more in shipping than it did itself inspired by Niall (and I still get compliments on it!); the olive-green boots, white Converse sneakers and black skinny jeans inspired by Harry. My black glitter boots, nearing the end of their life, were purchased seeing them on Maura, who was in turn inspired by Harry.

But by far the most embarrassing celebrity-inspired purchase I have ever made was the fox sweater. You see, Taylor Swift wore a brown sweater with a whimsical fox on it for her date with Styles in Central Park — were we ever so young and innocent? — and I needed to have it. Through the powers of the internet, I found a pretty similar version at Old Navy. The redeeming factor of this story is that one of my best friends loved it so much, she bought one for herself, and we had a fun matching moment when I was fresh off a break up.

I worry that maybe my personal style is actually just a mishmash of other people's personal styles. Still, I get inspiration from plenty of other places — the runway, editorials, movies, TV shows, vintage photos — and find a way to put them together that, I think, is all my own. So who cares if I'm eyeing a pair of sunglasses because Gigi Hadid wore them? (Guilty.) When I put them with my Dakota Johnson jeans and my Alexa Chung flats, they'll be all Tyler McCall.


By this point, you're likely well aware that I more than admire the way in which Harry Styles wears clothes. I love the physical pieces he picks out, yes, but it's the supposed intent behind the action that really charms me. I would go so far as to presume that he wears burnt orange floral suits because he has fun with fashion and likes the way it makes him feel, or that he wears a flower neck bow or black nail polish for the same reasons. He doesn't care about how men and how rock stars "should" dress; what about how he could dress, with just about every resource at his disposal? 

I spent most of last summer in a Hawaiian shirt, though, perhaps, that can be chalked up to a broader trend within menswear. His style encouraged me to wear a vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt that I previously kept for display purposes only. (I did not, however, purchase a banana costume because he wore it on-stage once in 2014. Even I have my limits.)

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But the real kicker here are the glitter ankle boots I already wrote about at length last week. I have been so thoroughly obsessed with my black and gold pairs that I feel like they've become some extension of my — barf!!!!!! — "brand." I wear the black ones pretty frequently (which is to say: once every other week or so), but I've probably only worn the gold pair around five times. I've had them for a year and a half now, though I reserve them for really, really, really special occasions.

Also, this is unrelated to absolutely everything I discussed above, but I once brought in a PHYSICAL VHS COPY of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's cinematic triumph "Winning London" to a salon in suburban Chicago to use as inspiration for highlights. (They messed it up and I didn't color my hair again for a decade.) And I wore the exact blue swimsuit Annie James-as-Hallie Parker had in "The Parent Trap" almost exclusively for about four years. 


The year was 2002. I was a sixth grader with clear braces, a deep devotion to my flatiron and an abiding love of lip gloss. Ah, the formative years of a beauty editor. Because I was a 12-year-old girl in suburban America and it was practically illegal not to, I religiously watched the (certainly not) renowned, (in no way) critically-acclaimed TV series, "So Little Time," which starred Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Cool Teens With Cool Teen Names (Chloe and Riley, ugh, does it get any cooler????).

Though it lasted only one season, this show played a crucial role in shaping my pre-teen aesthetic, and that extended to my lip gloss collection. I distinctly recall begging my mom for a mocha-colored Bonne Bell lip gloss (it was also ~*mocha-scented*~, of course) on a Target run, the direct result of having seen Riley and Chloe wearing a similar hue on the show. Clear braces, be damned, I looked like a Cool Olsen Twin!*

Just a few short years later, I'd go on to purchase a sketchy knockoff Balenciaga City bag in China Town during a trip to New York — another Olsen-inspired style choice. Early 2000s, I miss ya.

*I did not, in fact, look anything like an Olsen Twin.


In college, I spent countless hours reading through The Fashion Spot forums, toggling between celebrity style posts of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Alexa Chung. It's hard for me to think of only a few specific fashion items that I bought after a celebrity did because about 90 percent of my wardrobe was dictated by what these women wore. (Hey, I was fresh out of private school and wore a uniform almost every day of my life until then; figuring out my own sense of personal style was a whole other feat.) I scoured thrift stores and the mall (the mall!) to re-create their outfits on a student-friendly budget. 

One particular item that I was on a constant hunt for was a pair of skinny jeans, which was during a time when skinny jeans didn't take over every denim section of every brand and retailer. At Urban Outfitters, I found the perfect pair of jeans in the perfect dark gray wash but it was a too-big boot cut that I for sure knew wouldn't jive with a Moss or Mary-Kate-worthy outfit. I took them to the tailor to get the ankles tapered, which, at that time in my small college town in Pennsylvania, was a random request. The job was done and from then on, every pair of jeans that I purchased was taken in at the ankles, which I often paired with Havaiana flip-flops (thanks to the Olsens), black ankle boots (h/t Chung) and black ballet flats (à la Moss).

On the beauty side, I would say my first memory of buying a celebrity-driven product was a bottle of Bumble & Bumble's sea salt spray. It was mentioned by either Mary-Kate or Ashley in a magazine interview, and all I ever wanted was for my bone-straight hair to have the slightest bit of undone beachy waves. Back then, the beauty brand wasn't as easily accessible as it is now, and instead I had to find the nearest hair salon that carried the Bumble & Bumble line. Unfortunately, my hair still didn't budge after I doused it with sea salt spray, but I managed to come up with a concoction of products (and a diffuser!) that helped me achieve MK&A waves. My morning routines were long and brutal and involved way too much time "scrunching" my hair with my own bare hands. Thank God I got over that.


The first CD I ever bought with my own money was Avril Lavigne's debut album "Let Go." In the album insert and the "Complicated" music video (not to mention, basically every public appearance from that time), Lavigne would wear some combination of baggy pants, those arm-sock things and neckties. (So. Many. Neckties.) Keeping that fully in mind, I can be found in my fifth grade school picture wearing a red ribbed short-sleeved sweater-and-shirt situation with a striped necktie (complete with useless safety pin charms) that my mom lovingly bought for me at Limited Too. Thanks, Mom.

Homepage photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images

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