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Cinemalphabet: P is for Pretty in Pink

October 18, 2010

Contrary to popular tropes put forth by Ronald Regan, in 1986 – at the tender age of 13 – I wasn’t getting jumped into a vicious girl gang or dropping out of high school or seeing dancing government checks in place of my newborn’s pupils. No. Like a lot of girls I was fastidiously engaging in craft fails and fruitless shopping trips in order to approximate Andie’s wardrobe and bedroom decor as seen in Pretty in Pink.

Over the last 24 years I have single handedly become the cardigan and brooch queen. Though I no longer strangle myself with brooches secured at the neck of an oxford preferring instead to move them to the real estate left vacant when I evicted my Carrie Bradshaw silk cabbage roses about five years ago. Nor do I liberate doilies from the dining room hutch and secure them to cardigan collars. I was particularly obsessed with her selection of cardigans. Her shoes, sunglasses and hair didn’t do much for me. I was far more into Denise Huxtable’s asymmetrical bobs and Diana Ross’s miles and miles of bushy unstoppable weaves.

I remember spending Sunday afternoons watching Pretty in Pink and hopelessly attempting to restyle my boring crewneck sweaters into fashionable copies of Andie’s hot cardis. With the holy grail being the baby blue cardi she wore with floral leggings, some lacy top layered over some other top and scuffed white witchie boots.

What I didn’t realize then was the cardis favored by Andie also happened to be favored by the more seasoned of our female population. Those soft, fuzzy, deceptively angora polyester/tricot/incidentally cotton cardis with dainty pearl buttons were usually found in the same section housing the pull on pants made by a company called Briggs and those other stalwarts of mature lady fashion: Alfred Dunner – or Lord Alfred of Dunner, as I call it – and of course, Sag Harbor. And for these brands you have to rage JcPenney, Sears and the late Montgomery Ward.

I love to be chill.

By the time I uncovered this cache of Andie cardis it was too late for my teen queen craft fail self, but the adult me had died and gone to cardi heaven. Designer Originals is my go to brand for my cardigan fix and occasionally Old Navy. Old Navy tends to be touch and go, but Designer Originals – familiar like a Bowie LP – never lets me down. It was in the clearance racks of hopeless dogs in blotchy colors and varying degrees of ugliness – from oh-that’s-fug to omg-this-cheetah-print-lined-with-zebra-print-and-trimmed-with-giraffe-print-ribbon-is-so-fug-it’s…-ooh-it’s-only-two-bucks – and found the perfect baby blue fuzzy Andie cardi WITH A GIANT TACKY brooch riddled with rhinestones and Cubic-Zarphonia clusters affixed to the left side above the breast. And it was only five bucks! No more ruining perfectly good v-necks or turtlenecks.

An essential element of a volcanic ensemble.

I scored this hot little cardi for six bucks and it’s so Andielicious. The teen queen in me squealed and did a little tap dance when I spied it on the rack sandwiched between a Christmas sweater that was several levels of awful and a tunic that shed it sequins every time it moved on the rack, leaving a pool of glittery disappointment on the scarred flooring.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 12:08 pm

    It’s also an enjoyable movie, with a fabulous supporting cast — particularly Annie Potts, James Spader and my all time favorite character actor Harry Dean Stanton. It’s also got Jon Cryer, but even John Hughes couldn’t win ’em all.

  2. October 18, 2010 12:48 pm

    It’s also got Jon Cryer, but even John Hughes couldn’t win ‘em all.

    Apparently, not. Though Hughes (RIP) definitely gets big ups by casting Harry Dean Stanton who is simply divine as Andie’s dad. He was one of my favorite characters besides Iona, played with aplomb by the incomparable Annie Potts.

  3. Rachel permalink
    October 18, 2010 2:00 pm

    Annie Potts is a win in everything. And I share your cardigan-love! 😀

  4. hsofia permalink
    October 19, 2010 3:00 am

    Whoa, back up: Diana Ross wore WEAVES?!!!!

  5. October 19, 2010 11:26 am

    @hsofia, yeah.

  6. October 19, 2010 7:43 pm

    I love everything about this post, completely.

    Also this is probably my favorite Hughes/Ringwald film, despite the fact that I HATE Andrew McCarthy and the ending is so goddamn stupid. Thank goodness Hughes made Some Kind of Wonderful to ensure the appropriate best-friend-couple won in the end.

  7. blackgirlinmaine permalink
    October 23, 2010 8:55 pm

    Glad to know I was not the only Black girl trying to create Andie’s style, like you it never quite came together when I was a teenager. But I am also a big brooch person, I love that a simple brooch along with a scarf can make almost any outfit cute.

    I now like to think as I have gotten older, there is a little Iona mixed in with BGIM 🙂 I recently watched this film again with my 18 yo during a non-stop John Hughes fest and even he enjoyed it.

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