Back in the early ‘90s, if you asked any teenage girl to choose a style icon, there’s a good chance she would have said Kelly Kapowski. The Saved by the Bell character, played by Tiffani Thiessen, was pretty and popular—not to mention, she was also dating the cutest guy at Bayside High, Zack Morris. All the girls wanted to be her, and all the guys wanted to date her. Plus, she had the coolest clothes. From her matching floral sets to her seemingly endless supply of crop tops and miniskirts, Kelly Kapowski embraced the best and worst fashion trends of the decade—and she inspired us to do the same.
But while we were undeniably obsessed with Thiessen’s onscreen ensembles, the actress—who now hosts her own Cooking Channel series, Dinner at Tiffani’s—doesn’t necessarily miss stepping into Kelly Kapowski’s fashion-forward threads. “I can’t say that I really loved any of the wardrobe, because I just wouldn’t wear it again,” Thiessen recently told InStyle. “There were moments of the show that I loved and enjoyed, but the wardrobe was a lot of florals and tight skirts with t-shirts tied to the side with a knot. I can’t say that I’d bring any of those trends back.”
The sole ’90s staple that Thiessen rules out ever wearing again? “A scrunchie in my hair,” she said. “Or a banana clip—that’s another one.” While she might not be rocking Kelly Kapowski’s signature half-updo anytime soon, Thiessen is embracing a few past trends that have recently returned. “You know, not all of them look great on me, but I’m pretty happy with the higher-waisted jeans that are back, and the old Levi's that I used to wear in the '90s,” she said. “Another one that’s really big right now is the Keds—I mean, everybody’s wearing Keds again. Mostly, I’m just glad that the neon is starting to go away. I’m sorry, but neon just doesn't look good on anybody!”
Luckily for Thiessen, one of her most classic outfits on the show was neon-free. Yes, we’re talking about her iconic off-the-shoulder grey Bayside Tigers sweatshirt. You know, the one that launched a million Kelly Kapowski Halloween costumes for years to come. But while fans of the show can still buy replicas of the comfy staple today, you won’t catch Thiessen running errands in the look anytime soon.
“I actually never had one,” she said when we asked if she still has the sweatshirt today. “That was a wardrobe thing, so I never had my own. But what I do still have is an old pair of Levi's that I had the whole cast sign and make drawings all over. And that’s pretty cool.”
We think Kelly Kapowski would agree.