How many of the outdated trends on last night's episode of Project Runway have we all been guilty of? Personally, there are more than a few baggy sweaters in my past, a smidgen of neon (but only a smidgen), some dancewear, but only in the gym, and one outfit with visible underwear. My biggest crime was shoulder pads, but I think we're all guilty of that one.
In the 1980s, there was a discount clothing store in Philadelphia called Artie's. Their slogan was "Artie's is for Smarties," but I think they were the smart ones considering how much of my meager clothing budget they relieved me of during that tragic decade. But they sold cheap Norma Kamali, and I loved me my Norma, even though her dresses had football pads in the shoulders in those days. My Normas are long gone, but I found an example online of one that I had (sans shoulder pads), and which I now believe wore me proudly (I'm way too short for that dress, but you couldn't tell me that then. Besides, 3" heels can cure almost all image problems).
The only item left in my closet that has survived many years of cleanouts and this year's drastic, Tim-Gunn-inspired purge, is my Dynasty Suit. This was fashion on a large scale - big floral, puffed sleeves, 5-button cuffs, a gathered waistband on the skirt, textured fabric and . . . did I mention, the biggest shoulder pads I've ever seen.
It was dramatic, it was fabulous, and it made me feel like a Carrington female who wasn't saccharine or evil enough to make it onto the show.
In retrospect, and looking at it on my dressform, it's frightening and completely unwearable, but I can't let it go.