You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

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?

Mullet Over. Get it?


The mullet may have seemed like a good idea for about 23 minutes back in the 1980s. Let’s face it: On the boys from Duran Duran, pretty much anything—including a hairstyle that was long and fringy in the back and short in the front—looked divine, especially if you were a 13 year old girl. But now the mullet has become synonymous with a whole lot of badness. In fact, when I want my hair stylist (to whom I give mad props) to trim more from the back and sides, I say “um, I think it’s still a teensy bit mullet-y,” and she knows what I mean.

The Mullet is Reincarnated in the Form of a Skirt. Yay.

Still, this season someone decided that designing skirts in the shape of the infamous hairstyle would be really smart. Ankle grazing in the back, short—sometimes absurdly so— in the front. I am far from being a fan of this style.

The mullet is also called “business in front, party in back.” The fact that the “business in the front” is knee length makes this mullet skirt not so egregious.

Now, admittedly, word lover that I am, I may just be reacting to the name, the word “mullet” conjuring up all kinds of shudder-worthy images from the 80s. Actually, on second thought, no. Mullet skirts are just ridiculous.

Six Degrees of Mulletness

I will say this, though. There are degrees of mulletness, and the embarrassing thing is that while wandering through Nordstrom the other day, I found myself pausing over a couple of the less mullet-y mullet skirts and having an “I wonder how this would look on me?” moment, which is always a dangerous first step. Something tells me that before the trend has vanished, I may have a mullet skirt hanging in my closet.

I promise I won’t get a mullet haircut, though.