Harriet the Spy: My Childhood Hero

Harriet the Spy

Growing up my favorite movie was an adaptation of Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy, which is the story of Harriet M. Welsch, an adventurous young girl investigates the lives of those around her while learning lessons along the way. When I was a junior in high school, I regretted not reading enough as a kid so I spent the whole summer reading books for kids and pre-teens including Harriet the Spy. As a kid and even as an adult, Harriet embodied everything I wanted to be: Bold, daring, risk taking, emotional. Then and now, Harriet is my role model.

The first time I read the book, I underlined parts that stood out to me including those about Harriet’s willingness to take chances and the endless opportunities she sees in live.

What is too old to have fun? You can’t be too old to be a spy except if you’re fifty you might fall off a fire escape, but you could spy around on the ground a lot.

Just because we grow up doesn’t mean we have to leave our childhood heroes behind and even writing this post makes me want to reread Harriet the Spy! I’ve also been thinking about how to incorporate aspects of Harriet into my every day life, which, of course, means dressing like Harriet. You’re never too old to be an explorer!

How to Dress Like Harriet the Spy

BDG Crossbody Buckle Bag, J. Crew Collection Toggle Coat, TOMS Wisett Desert Botas Chukka Boot, Mystery Stylish Theater Top,
Vert Bracelet Trio, J. Crew Garment-Dyed Ankle-Zip Toothpick Jean

Being Harriet is all about being comfortable and putting your own spin on your look. Though your Harriet outfit should ultimately be about functionality, that’s no reason to neglect style. Play up colorful pieces that mix well together and don’t be afraid to add feminism accents in with a more athletic style. We all remember Harriet with a knapsack, but a cross body saddle bag may actually be more useful as an adult.

Did you love Harriet the Spy as a kid? Who was your childhood hero? What aspects of them come out in your everyday life? Share your thoughts!

  • Kate

    Thrilled to see this Courtney… Harriet the Spy is one of my all-time favorites. (I think the movie is not a worthy adaptation–it’s set in a different time and dials back on her intellectual development.)

    My favorite quote from the book, which I used to have taped in my locker, is:

    Harriet never minded admitting she didn’t know something. “So what,” she thought, “I can always learn.”

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