Friday, September 16, 2011

Golden Girls.

I haven't been sewing much lately. Instead, I've been spending my evenings watching reruns of "The Golden Girls." Yeah, probably not the most productive occupation, but everyone needs to relax and do nothing sometimes, right? And you know what? That show is unique. I mean, can you think of any other show that centers around a friendship between four independent and lively older women? I'm not saying there are no bad or tasteless jokes, because that would be stupid, but even twenty-five years later, the idea that older women might have active lives (even sex lives!) outside of their families is still radical, isn't it?

And it's funny!

But of course, the best/worst part is the clothes, right?

These are really sedate compared to the clothes on the actual show.
The clothes! Dorothy's outfits are the best/worst. At least once per episode, I find myself exclaiming, "What is she wearing?" Not simply as in, "Wow, that's ugly." No, actually, what is that? A shirt? A caftan? A dress? What? And the shoulder pads! Let's try not to think about the shoulder pads.

Again, a sedate example. You have to watch the show.
The Golden Girls aesthetic must be having a subconscious effect on me, though, because I find myself more drawn to 1980s fashions of late. Not the punk-influenced fashions. Not neon colors, pointy toed pumps, gothic lace, or plastic jewelry. Rather, soft and drapey (often ethnically-inspired) pieces. Like this pattern, which is currently for sale on Etsy*:

FYI: It's a two piece.
Okay, people, talk to me. Am I suffering from an overdose of Dorothy Zbornak (i.e., "Compared to Dorothy's clothes, this looks practically normal!") or is this actually a really lovely pattern? I'm loving the stripes, the play on fabric grain (stripe direction), and really loving the big skirt pockets. I even kind of like the top?! (Of course I would ditch the shoulder pads, earrings, and - *shudder* - hair spray.)

Or what about this simple wrap dress:

Kind of pretty, huh? I like the way that the skirt is softly gathered into the bodice. I see so many possibilities with this pattern. Rose Nylund would totally wear this, and look lovely and breezy (and yes, sweetly dumb).

What do you think? Should I buy these patterns and try to bring them up to date, or should I just turn off the television and try to forget that this "inspiration" ever happened?

* I would beg you not to go on Etsy and buy these patterns out from under me, but I realize this is probably not necessary.


  1. OK, this video would be so much better without the commentary, but Blanche is actually wearing something resembling the top dress at 2:20. I actually really like her dress, if you could surgically excise the shoulder pads. Oh no, am I falling into the same "this is a really good fashion day for her" trap???

    Wardrobes of the Golden Girls

  2. I love that video!! (The commentary is stupid, but some of my favorite strange Dorothy outfits are featured!)

  3. Okay, the wrap dress I can kind of see, but the stripey thing? Step away from the Buy Now button! Like most 80s fashion there is just way too much fabric going on there. I'm so annoyed that at the time in my life when I had the best body I would ever have (80s and early 90s) the fashions were so voluminous and boxy. You could use the use of stripes and big pockets as 'inspiration' for something else perhaps. With a lot less fabric. Wow, fabric stores must've been rubbing their hands with glee when all those patterns came out.
    I do love me some trashy TV though. Sometimes you just NEED it. Only recently in Australia have we had the proliferation of stations where you can watch awesome (or crap) old reruns all the time. It's usually a better option than the current stuff.

  4. Ha! I love your honesty, Jane!

    Maybe I'll try my hand at drafting a skirt like the striped one myself. It's dead simple, and that way, I include as much fabric as I want - enough for soft gathers, but not so much that I float away?

    Still thinking about the wrap dress.

  5. OK, can't blame Dorothy for the shoulder pads, they came with everything in the 80s. As for the patterns, you look fabulous in everything you wear so ... go for it!

  6. Ok, this is where I disagree with Jane, "Like most 80s fashion there is just way too much fabric going on there."

    Although the 80s were a horror show I would like to forget, I do appreciate that my teen idols were actually clothed. Half-naked was not the norm for teens at that age. We actually wore clothing that (gasp!) covered. our. bodies.

    On another note, all of the Golden Girls outfits are pretty much standard fair in fat women's clothing lines. Welcome to my pain.

  7. I think the stripey number would be drastically improved if the sleeves were gone, and the neckline altered a bit to compensate. I like the other one, but the sleeves/neckline also bug me and remind me a bit of doctor scrubs (but that might be the color too).

    Otherwise I love lots of fabric and flowing skirts, and wrap dresses and skirts are some of my favorites, they really allow you to get a good fit that is flattering on many body types.

  8. Oh, shoot, now that you've mentioned it, the wrap dress DOES look like scrubs. Now I'll never be able to get that out of my head!

    Maybe in black rather the scrub-lilac?

    Look at me! I totally polarized my readers! The 1980s will do that. :-)

  9. I think it would look cute in black or maybe an interesting print. The scrubs color has got to go. Have you ever watched cosby show or a different world reruns? 80s tv show fashion...sigh

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