STYLE

Style Lessons We Learned From 'The Beautiful Life' (PHOTOS)

09/16/2014 12:01 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:52 EDT
Barbara Nitke / CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collecti

Five years ago on Sept. 16, "The Beautiful Life" premiered on The CW... and then it was unceremoniously cancelled after just two episodes.

But in the words of Joy Behar, so what! Who cares? Just because only we seemed to appreciate an Ashton Kutcher-produced TV show about spoilt models starring Mischa Barton doesn’t mean we’re about to let this anniversary go forgotten. That’s why we’re going to commemorate it with the style lessons we learned.

The first lesson: 2009 may have seemed like just yesterday, but wow: we sure dressed differently then.

Story continues below slideshow:

1. Don’t Fear Shorts And Ankle Boots

Or shorts and boots in general. Ultimately, 2008 and 2009 sparked the “Don’t you hate pants?” era in which jeans were replaced by short-shorts (maybe worn with tights, and maybe not), which were then paired with anything from boots to sneakers to Oxfords. The trend still continues today (thankfully), but here’s to Raina Marrinelli (played by Sara Paxton) proving we could do the same thing, even if we weren’t, like, American Eagle models.

2. Mix And Match Fearlessly

It’s true! If "The Beautiful Life" taught us anything, it’s that a singular way of dressing is boring and lesser than all of us. Thankfully, the “off-duty” look of Raina encompassed how to pull it off without looking like some of us did in 2009 trying to pull it off. After all, distressed denim shirts with a formal blazer and tuxedo blouse might seem like a standard option now, but five years ago? It seemed almost exclusively model chic.

3. Everything Going On In This Photo (Plus Sheer Fabric And Gold)

The day we can’t apply our love of gold into a post is the day it’s time for us to pack up the Internet and go home. But horray: thanks to Mischa Barton a.k.a troubled supermodel Sonja Stone and her gold eighties throwback (a Versace, btw), we learned that there’s essentially no wrong way to do metallics. Also, Ashley Madekwe (whose character’s name was Marissa) and her sheer black overlay is both everything and a reminder that we all deserve to dress like witches.

4. Speaking Of Black Sheer Witch-Wear, Never Pair It With Uggs

Never wear Uggs, if we may be so bold, unless you’re wearing them on a beach the way they are meant to be worn. But especially don’t wear Uggs with a sleek, borderline gothic ensemble that would otherwise be perfect. Get it together, Raina, we mean seriously.

5. Incorporate Denim Into Your Outfit At Least Once A Day

Is this just an excuse for us to justify now owning two denim jackets and a denim vest (that we made ourselves, thank you very much)? Absolutely it is. But Raina and whatever is happening in this moment in Teen Vogue is really helping to sell our case (so thank you, cancelled TV show we probably all would’ve enjoyed today). Denim, a sundress, many bracelets, and a bicycle: you can wear all those things or just one of those things, but please let the one thing be a denim jacket.

6. The More Hardware, The Better

Look: few things say 2009 like a really thick belt, but let’s focus instead on the amount of hardware that’s embellishing the belt – as well as Mischa Barton’s chunky jewelry and abundance of rings. Ultimately, we are all Homer Simpson and "The Beautiful Life" was the devil, minus the doughnuts: “So you like accessories, do you? Well! Have all the accessories in the world!” (That would actually be great.)

7. Capris Aren’t Necessarily The Worst

And this is a big deal for us to say because it took us over ten years to buy a pair of capris this year. However, had we watched "The Beautiful Life" more closely during its short, tragic run, we would’ve known that it’s possible to dress them up with, say, six-inch heels, a short-sleeved jacket and every shopping bag in the world. Marissa channeling Marissa Cooper – as if "The Beautiful Life" and "The O.C." were on the same networks or something.

8. Velvet Is Better If Made Of Gold

Obviously, Raina’s dress is not made of actual gold (that we know of), but it does evoke a very Old Hollywood vibe thanks to her hair/makeup and the heaviness of the fabric. (Because here’s a fact: if you wear velvet, you will either look like a witch – if you’re lucky – or like any number of classic movie stars, so take your pick.) And the gold, of course, makes it even better because gold makes everything look better (and oh my God, we're a Mike Myers character).

9. Vests! Sometimes They Happen

And when they happen, well—as seen via Raina’s outfit—we understand why so many Kim Kardashian Hollywood characters aren’t wearing sleeves. (Did you guys notice that, by the way? That game hates sleeves.) Of course, "The Beautiful Life" erred on the side of the future: if this show was made even two years earlier, the vest would be cropped and we would burn it ceremoniously. But alas, 2009 was the dawn of a new day: longer tops, higher rises, and generally more wearable pieces. A waist-length-or-longer vest is proof of that.

10. None Of Us Looked Good In Fedoras, Though

Not even Mischa Barton who, by no fault of her own, was forced to pair one with that gold Versace dress. And we all tried to make them happen, you guys. And for the most part, we all failed. Do you know who can make fedoras happen? Hat people; people who love and wear hats all the time – and absolutely, 100% of the time, only those people. Thank you for reminding us, "The Beautiful Life."