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I was 12 years old in 2003 and nothing made me feel like more like an adult than staying up every Tuesday night to watch how life would unfold for Ryan Atwood, Marissa Cooper, Summer Roberts, and Seth Cohen — especially given the fact that my mom said I wasn’t allowed to. But, I wouldn’t be a pre-teen girl at the time if I wasn’t slightly rebellious and a little dramatic — that said, I’m not over exaggerating when I say that, like the invention of a camera phone, ‘The OC’ legit changed my life.
Seeing the relationship dynamics not only between high schoolers (rolling my eyes that Ben McKenzie was 24 during the first season) but parents and like, actual adults was something I had never really witnessed IRL let alone a TV show. But honestly, what really stole my attention was whatever Marissa and Summer were wearing in each episode. I wanted to dress like them whenever I got the chance to, and TBH, I still strive for that effortless coolness both of them exuded during the first three seasons (sorry to say this but the fourth season just wasn’t the same). Summer Roberts was the OG cool girl, and I will die on that hill.
Considering there were 92 episodes in total, it was really f*cking hard to narrow down the most iconic ensembles (IMO) but somehow I was able to manage. Here are the 5 most iconic outfits from the show and where you can shop the styles (or something similar) to get you ready for the ultimate rewatching marathon.
Summer’s Fashion Show Dress And ~Low-Key~ Makeup
I remember seeing this dress and thinking how much I wanted it. Looking back, seeing this 70’s print dress on Summer really taught me that fashion can live through different decades and that maybe holding onto my Juicy tracksuit wasn’t such a bad thing considering it’s bound to come back around eventually. Something I’ll let stay in the early 2000’s though? All that eyeshadow.
Marissa’s Red Dress For the Most Unholy of All Unions
I always thought it was a bold choice to wear red to a wedding, but TBH, Julie chose it for her bridesmaids and Marissa absolutely rocked it despite it being the biggest nightmare of a wedding. It’s pretty much inspired me to find a dress just like it to wear to every event for the foreseeable future.
Summer’s Roadtrip outfit
If I looked like this on every roadtrip, then I’d likely be a much more put-together person. When Summer shows up to the Cohen’s in this outfit and refuses to let Seth touch her stuff, I knew this would forever be my summer uniform even if it’s not to wear while driving to Tijuana.
Marissa’s Rainbow Cardigan That Can Only Be Classified As Carnivalcore
I know I’m going to get hate for this one but IDGAF. Marissa taught us all not to be afraid of color — I don’t make the rules. This outfit screamed, “I’m fun and flirty” and was the only choice for the Kickoff Carnival. I personally would update the silhouette a bit and toss blue for black denim and call it a day.
Marissa’s Chanel Dress That Had Everyone Wearing White To Prom
When I say my jaw dropped when Marissa showed up for prom in this dress. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Ryan had been the one taking her, but I digress. Unfortunately for us normies, a Chanel dress likely isn’t in the cards but the rosette detail is back and better than ever thanks to Sofia Richie. Here are some options that will have you feeling like you’re at prom in 2006 all over again.