RHYS: I've been doing a lot of weeding out of my closet recently. Too many clothes I no longer wear. And among them I have found some things that make me exclaim "I wore that? What was I thinking?" A pair of summer cotton pants with large tropical flowers all over them? Shudder. Truth be told, I don't think I ever wore them.
Then the other day I was out hiking in the DC area. It was a warm day and most people were in jeans and T shirts, except for one man who was in plaid Bermuda shorts. And I thought--they must be the ugliest item of clothing ever invented. So I've been thinking of my worst fashion choices. The hot pants and long white boots in the sixties (actually I looked good in them!) The long, flowing and flowery in the Seventies. The shoulder pants that looked as if I'd left the coat hanger inside in the Eighties. So I'm curious, dear Reds: what do you think is the ugliest item of clothing ever invented, AND the worst item of clothing you've ever owned. Pictures if you can....
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh I so need to do more weeding. For example, I have a whole wardrobe of tennis skirts that I should let go. I don't play any longer, they're out of style, and they probably don't fit. (Actually, I'm almost certain.) But they remind me of the days when I first met my John, so I have a nostalgic attachment.
As for ugliest fashion, I have a feeling Hank won't agree with me, but...women's shoulder pads should be in the running. And I wore lots of them. With little men's bow ties to go along with the power suit look. (This was well before I was a writer and could lounge around in pajamas for most of the day.) Although I'm adding a photo of a pair of pants that might be a candidate too. The thing is, I had the idea that if I only cut them off and hemmed them, they'd be cute. But maybe not...Rhys?
RHYS: No, please don't. There is no way to turn these pants into anything other than a pillow in an Appalachian cottage.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I know someone is going to jump on the comments and vociferously disagree with me, but I think the ugliest women's clothing item are gaucho pants. Culottes run a close second, but I have seen some flowy culottes that look enough like skirts to...not be entirely horrid. But gaucho pants? Yes, if you look like Bianca Jagger circa 1973, you might be able to carry them off. Note - carry them off. Even if you are Bianca Jagger, anything else would be an improvement. For those of us NOT 6 feet tall, model slim and dressed by Halston, gauchos are not only unattractive, they convey a confused and clouded mind. What's the message? "I can't decide between a skirt or knickerbockers?" "I identify with Agentine cowboys?" "I heard bell bottoms make the leg look longer, so I'm going to have bell bottoms at my knees?" No.
If you're really tempted, watch Rudy Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Then ask yourself: am I Rudy Valentino? Is this 1921? If the answer to either question is no, eschew gauchos. The world will thank you.
HALLIE EPHRON: I have formidable shoulders so I generally took the shoulder pads out of everything I bought that had them. And gaucho pants? Maybe Audrey Hepburn could wear them. You have to admit they're very comfy.
What astonishes me now is how short I once wore my skirts. I hope I didn't bend over. Also shoes with chunky heels and thick soles.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Like Hallie, I have square shoulders that would do a linebacker proud, so always took shoulder pads out. But, heavens, they were awful. I am divided between gaucho pants and Bermuda shorts as ugliest thing every invented, but think I would have to come down on the side of Bermudas. No one, not even insect tall and thin models, looks good in Bermuda shorts. Just not possible. Thank goodness I don't think I ever owned a pair. I've certainly had my share of uglies, though, including a few years of elastic waisted "comfort pants" for around the house. So glad someone invented yoga pants!!!! (Danskin makes great ones and they even come in petite so I don't have to hem them.)
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Nope, nope, nope, I'm sure you've all had ugly items of clothing, and you think they're the ugliest, and I must say I have never owned gaucho pants (YUCK) and I have one pair of shorts, which are men's, because I agree there is no such thing as good-looking Bermudas. And shoulder pads? I must say, yes, Lucy, I am a fan. Of smallish ones. Even with my own shoulders, which, I am happy to say, are big. Yay.
However! I must say, this time, I have the ugliest item of clothing that ever existed on the planet. THE WORST. Don't even try to get uglier than this jacket. It can't happen.
Here it is, in all of it's unbelievable glory. You will note that although I have had it for maybe--six years? The price tag is is still on it.
Please note: the pattern. AHHHH!! The ruffles on the sleeves. The ruffles on the BACK! I mean--I ask you. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
Okay, I had a fleeting moment of: Over a white dress, on Nantucket. With white pants, on the Vineyard.
But really? How about: in the trash can? But I knew it would be perfect for something.
RHYS:I I can't believe you ever thought you'd wear this, oh woman who wears nothing but black! In fact if I ever saw you in it, I'd believe it was the evil twin sister you'd never told me about. I used to wear flowers long ago and mother insisted on sending me flowery items until she died. She would have loved that for me!
So gentle readers, we need your confessions too. And I have to share a picture of the occasional perfect item. I found this in a chic boutique in Santa Monica when I was touring with Cara Black. It was white leather, French and cost $2500. Luckily a little too small.