Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Chrissy Problem

There she in line in front of you at Urth Caffé ordering a soy latte. Later, you spot her in pigeon pose at a hellfire hot yoga class in Larchmont Village. And in the evening, she's your waitress at Providence, biding her time until her next audition.

She's a Chrissy. And the problem? You are not a Chrissy.

Suzanne Somers may have left the cast of Three's Company thirty years ago, but modern incarnations of Chrissy, the beachy blonde would-be starlet, are everywhere you look in L.A. It's Chrissy's town, and brunettes just live here. In the past, our options have been limited. We could a) get ourselves over to Sheri Román's hair salon, STAT, or b) accept our role as Janet, the level-headed friend.

But recently, a third option has emerged. I give you Mrs. Roper and her signature hostess gown.

Don't you want her necklace?
A few years ago, the hostess gown staged a comeback. In theory, it seems like the perfect garment. Midsection a little poofy? Legs a little pale? Upper arms a little saggy? Slip on a billowy hostess gown and look like you've stepped out of the pages of a Slim Aarons coffee table book. But while the hostess gown promises to hide all your problem areas, it also announces to the world that...you have problem areas.

Never afraid to dress exactly like a Palm Beach octogenarian, I donned a hostess gown while getting my hair and makeup done on the morning of my wedding.

Me and My Muumuu
Photo by Elizabeth Leitzell
Despite its inherent challenges, designers are still pushing the hostess gown this spring. Emerson Fry and Issa both have versions for you.

Emerson Fry
Or you can turn to Society Social, the hostess gown's proudest advocate. And while you're at it, pick up a faux bamboo bar cart and a giant cocktail ring.

I'll see you at the Regal Beagle.


  1. I really love that look, I want the bar cart and a rail of lush sleeved hostess gowns, I shall spend my days tinkling and flouncing.

    1. Sounds perfect. Now, where's that cabana boy?

  2. Oh yes. The cool girls I listen on the Internet call them "kaftans" and they are all abuzz...

    1. "Kaftan" does seem to imply a definite cool factor - YSL in Morocco and all that. "Hostess gown" seems to promise gin-fueled nights followed by ultraviolet-drenched days spent in regret. Of the two camps, I feel that Mrs. Roper and I would be more at home in the latter. :)


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