For god only knows what reason, I had a dream the other night about Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life. Yeah, I know. My subconscious was pretty freaked out too.
After dreaming of that late 70s/early 80s sitcom about boarding school girls and their kindly house mother, I woke up with the overwhelming need to do some IMDBing.
Seen through a contemporary lens, the The Facts of Life had shortcomings. The show’s one African-American character had a somewhat belittling name (Tootie); another character made overtly violent threats at her classmates (Jo). My eight-year-old self didn’t understand this. Instead, I couldn’t wait each week to see the gorgeous, stuck-up Blair flip her blonde hair, flaunt her beautiful clothes, and reluctantly learn a life lesson.
When the world never seems to be living up to your dreams
What does this have to do with clothing? Well, in looking on IMDB, I found a picture of Blair and was immediately struck by how much her clothing resembles the clothes I see everywhere now—both in stores and out and about. I mean, I know the late 70s and early 80s are back. I see young(er) people wearing kicky little hats, shorts over tights, and oversized blazers. Still, I don’t think I realized just how MUCH the era was back until I saw Blair’s platform open-toed sneakers, shortest of short shorts, and button-down midriff-tied shirt.
I was especially struck by the shoes. I guess because I was so little when the show first came out, I don’t remember platform sneakers from that era. Until my dream and subsequent IMDB session, I had figured they were a more modern outgrowth of the rise of athletic wear as fashion.
Although, I do have to say: Poor Mrs. Garrett. I mean, as much as viewers and characters alike loved her, she certainly got the short end of the stick in the costume department.
Ah well. As they say. You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have…
You knew that was coming, didn’t you?