Cinemalphabet: P is for Pretty in Pink
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.
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.
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.