Today I will share with you one of my nerdy obsessions:
There. Phew. I said it. Okay *sigh*
Honestly, there are times when that is more difficult than saying:
I’m an alcoholic. Which I’m not…
*gulps wine at noon*
Anywho, even though I am already in a support group for it,
sometimes I get the urge to do the nerdiest thing ever …
and that is blog about Frasier.
So, heh, here we go.
*clears throat* So, I will try to only do this maybe twice a month.
If you’re lucky.
Today’s topic: Frasier Fashion
If you pay close enough attention, like I do, you’ll notice that the fashion in Frasier goes beyond fancy, expensive Hugo Boss ties and double breasted French and Italian tailored suits.
The entire show is a time capsule of memorable looks of it’s time.
For the purpose of this post we will focus on the women’s fashion on the show which when held up to the year an episode had aired was often right on the money.
Disclaimer: I am old (pushing 40), so I can speak on this subject with authority.
We will use the two women we saw the most on the show as examples:
Daphne (Jane Leeves)
The evolution of Daphne (Jane Leeves) is interesting. From dowdy over-sized T shirts and busy pants to skintight low cut baby-doll dresses (sometimes floral, sometimes that interesting shiny poly-blend material you could only get at Hot Topic) it was both a reflection of her character but also the times.
The episode where Frasier keeps “accidentally” going into her bedroom and catches her undressing, she is wearing an early 90’s fashion staple: the leotard posing as a shirt, worn with a wrap-around skirt and a vest. Did I have these 90’s fashion staples in my wardrobe. Well, I shopped at the Limited, what do you think?
White long-sleeve leotard? Check. Wrap-around skirt? Check. Vest to cover up the slightly seethrough leotard so it would look like a shirt and not at all like weirdly inappropriate dance-wear? Check-check!
It’s very clear the day that the whole “wear a plaid skirt so you can look like a Catholic schoolgirl even though you are neither Catholic nor still in school or even a girl” fad hit, the next day Daphne starting wearing them complete with the inconspicuous leotard and tights just underneath.
A lot people Feminists rave now about the infantilization of 90’s women’s fashions but IMHO there was only one direction to go from the Andy McDowell dowdy schoolmarm in the over-sized dolphin T-shirt. Plus the 90’s brought us these fun trends:
Friends and Seinfeld are often great examples of what was happening in 90’s hair, but it was often art and life both imitating each other. Especially the Rachel which no one seemed to want until they saw Jennifer Anniston wearing it on Friends. But just before that craze happened we had the Elaine Benes/Daphne Moon/Andie MacDowell hair craze.
The long unruly fluff that was either tied back with both a barret and a scrunchie or in Daphne’s case, tied at the bottom to make her hair look short, tied at the top to section off the hair, or worn completely down to show off the mountain of layers she had cut in. It seemed her hair changed every week. And I was there for it since the other two didn’t seem to do much with their hair until the late 90’s.
AND THEN THE CLOUDS PARTED AND DAPHNE CUT OFF ALL HER HAIR
I remember the short-flippy (what year is this 1962?) hairstyle dropped I couldn’t wait to sport it.
Mostly because I had short hair already and this was something I could finally and easily imitate though probably not well. I was still a Junior High school kid and these were grown women with careers that I was imitating. (I still had my braces FFS!) Somehow the Rachel saved us all from death by long hair. And society righted a terrible wrong:
Roz (Peri Gilpin)
Roz was no nonsense from beginning to end. So basically her wardrobe was the antithesis of Daphne’s but that didn’t mean she was not there for 90’s fashion.
She was sporting the ball-busting successful business-woman look, which during the 90’s confusion of babydoll dresses and urban casualwear you better not be caught dead wearing in Junior High. (Thanks, Mom!)
But 3rd wave feminists ate it up with a spoon, which is most likely why Roz’s style didn’t change much at least for the first half of the show. She took the Elaine Benes look and said “I can do this and actually still look hot, even though I often complain about having to wear the pleated khakis that I dressed myself in today.”
But then something cray-cray happens and everything goes whackadoodle…
in Season 5, Roz gets knocked up. And she takes 90’s maternity wear to the next level, guys.
Nevermind what she was wearing when she found out…
I’m talking about these magnificent fashion statements:
Okay, sorry, I couldn’t resist. But I am semi-serious about this.
Whether it was the “times” or what, Roz totally loosened up her fashion sense post-baby.
Which is kind of backwards, right? Her character was a sexpot before that but afterwards she was on her way to her side-hustle as a late 90’s Victoria Secret model, who like Bulldog obviously often left a copy lying around as she was always wearing sparkles and “this is totally a shirt and not underwear” camisoles.
Once exhausted of the late 90’s when the gaping mouth of the aughts swallowed us up post Y2K and Pre 9/11 we were having some fashion growing pains.
But one thing was certain, we were OVER 90’s fashion and flushed it down the toilet. No, we lit it on fire and HEAVED it over the balcony.
We walked it back though eventually to tailored cardigans, skirts, cropped pants, and structured blazers and pretended to invent the idea.
AND THEN IT WAS NEO HIPPIE PEASANT SHIRTS AND DRESSES AGAIN
Seriously, what was going on? I guess we tried fashion for a hot second and gave up? Did we ever have style, ever? This study of the last 2 decades of fashion leads me to believe we didn’t. What do you think? Did I miss something?
Comment below if you have any thoughts on this ridiculousness or if this post gave you nostalgic nausea…