Mediocrity in terms of toeing the line between Gatsby and grunge is fine, but the rest of these? Holy Jesus juice. It takes a lot to drum up recollections of hideous getups from yesteryear inside my cranium, but some of these were memory-jogging disasters. The whole thing felt sort of like a wedding that no one dressed correctly for, but let's just stuff our mouths with cake and get to the highly detailed embarrassments, shall we?:
Thanks to Michelle Williams for giving me a loud physical reminder, from stern jawline to jagged hemline, that all Bat Mitzvah-era photography should be burned and never be uploaded to Instagram for the painful purpose of Throwback Thursday. She may be America's sweetheart, but she's one butterfly clip away from reminding myself of a young Carlye — which, considering how I did in the boyfriend sphere at that point, no one wants. Even the mess from below her ankle channels the cross-strapped Lord & Taylor shoes forced upon my teenage feet when all I wanted was fancy, glittery kicks but was presented with brick-and-mortar suburban options. (Side discussion: If Jeffrey Campbell had existed in my teens, we all would have been knocked up. Amirightoramiright?)
The ol' "No, mom, I'm wearing what I want to wear to this event and that's it!"and suddenly realizing you were very, very, very, very wrong when brushing past the prettier, better-put-together, pilates-attending specimen next to you, like, oh I don't know, Beyonce. I'm aware that everyone got "dressed" for the event, but Hilary Rhoda must feel like a fool next to Sarah Jessica Parker and that incredible headdress that has a mind of its own. The lazy latke voice in me is going "These pantaloons are black! They're leather! That's dressy, right?!" while my practical brain is just wondering how she poops without that dragon tail getting stuck in the bowl. Oh, right, models only eat liquids. Nevermind me.
Oh, oh, I got this! That time when you buy a hair appliance instead of getting your hair done for Homecoming, thinking it'll be a wise idea in the long run because you'll get multiple uses out of it and look better every day for your musical theatre crush instead of just for a few pre-humidity moments, and then it breaks twenty minutes before your date arrives and you're forced to make do with your mom's curlers and sticky hairspray.
(Or, for those who were in high school at the same time as the Bayside High crew: permania.)
That time when you started getting a littttttle too into The Powerpuff Girls. And it showed.
Eighth grade: a year marked by miniature levels of senioritis, a late bloomer's first boob feel-uppage and a realization that just because everyone else is wearing plaid Abercrombie & Fitch mini skirts doesn't mean you should, too...about two and a half years after the fact. Miranda Kerr wore a painfully similar dress, and Jessica Hart and Carey Mulligan's black cut-out dresses were better than this black fabric interpretation of toilet paper dresses made at bridal showers. It pains me to say it, because it's impossible not to adore Emma Watson, so I've come up with a viable solution: introduce this broad to Katy Perry, size-down her tour costumes and get this gal to start dressing like the incredible, precious doll that she is. Hell, even a tattered vintage t-shirt over a plaid ball gown would have looked better on her than this. Don't keep up with the popular girls! Forge your own path! But, still, don't forge it while wearing...that.
Honestly? I have no point of comparison for this, because never have I ever channeled the sheer POWER OF THE SUN. Nor, have I shown up anywhere looking like a mix between Belle's dress in Beauty and the Beast and a melted-down pour-over of her Candlestick friend. Don't mean to bring murder into this, but if I could wear one outfit for the rest of my adult human life, this one would be it — though, considering I spill on everything nice, this future memory may never happen, as soul crushing as it sounds.
Please note: the plebe in the background, wearing the same animal skin leather trousers as Hilary Rhoda. The same. They'll surely sacrifice her as an offering to the all-powerful Anna for that, right?
Oh, I know this one. This is the "I had the MAC makeup counter do my face before a big date and I came out looking like a drag queen dressed as a clown" experience, had by anyone who has gone makeup shopping at a suburban Nordstrom. If I had a penny for everytime I said, "Looks good, right? Right guys? A little much but still good?!", I'd be able to buy one clear Lipglass and have my hair stick to its gluey flytrap for the rest of eternity.
If there's one thing I've learned from growing up shopping at The Limited without realizing it's a store for 35-year-old women dressing for laid-back job interviews, it's that dresses over pants will never, ever, ever, ever work. It's like fetch; your movie career is completely ruined if you try to make it work, or something like that. Limited Too's punchy striped dresses over stirrups iteration, that time in college when I was in my experimental phase — with leggings — and layered bubble dresses over textured thick icky tight-like ones — all terrible horrible no good very bad, and all deposited into my memory bank, hidden away in a tiny box with a lock that Jessica Pare now holds the key to, because those long-lost sartorial horrors are swirling through my brainscape like ghosts that were finally set free. Honestly, this half-dres would have looked way better with a bodysuit and a whole buncha leg hanging out a la Leandra. I guess only some of us paid attention to the gospel of 'Yonce in Leg Laws 101: "Single Ladies" And Why Modern Day Women Must Show Off Their Shiny Gams If They've Got Em. And Jess - we know you got 'em.
Good god, I miss Wet Seal.