Style Steal: Old-School Paula Abdul

I once found myself in an elevator with Paula Abdul. And we got it on.


But she did say that she loved my dress. And boots. It’s not exactly a claim to fame, given that the girl looked all sorts of sloppy and sad with loads of makeup and weird pirate hooker boots. As she teetered out of the elevator a few floors below me, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness at the sight of her in that silly red coat carrying a tacky leopard-print bag. Clearly, her good days are few and far between of late, and we have to wonder what her fate will be now that she’s bailed on Idol.

But running across the video from her ’80s hit “Straight Up” the other day reminded me of a time when Paula wasn’t the hot mess that she is now. In fact, she looked kind of bangin’ and got us thinking about stealing her style. Here’s how we’d do it:

  • See that cropped jacket with the huge polka dots? It’s kind of reminding us of House of Holland last year and Marc Jacobs this year. That shiz has already been stolen.
  • We’re not in full support of aping the black, shoulder-padded blazer Abdul shakes her ass in throughout the video, but an updated schoolboy blazer is never a bad thing. We like this one.
  • Tease that hair out baby. And maybe consider a Bumpit.
  • Keep in mind that this thievery is about more than hair and clothes. No one’s going to buy your modern-day Paula act if you’re not making wild arm motions and doing the moves in the video spontaneously. It’s important to be authentic.