I’m going to say something you’re all just going to have to accept this as a fact because it is a fact: People in Washington DC do not dress well. The taste level is just not there. I suppose it’s somewhat excused because everyone is so focused on politics and how to get their trash picked up when the government shuts down, but that does not change the cold hard truth.
So, I’m not sure what I expected from these women. As a suburb of DC, Potomac never had a chance. And look, I’m from the Seattle area, I know what poorly dressed people look like. However, at least in the Pacific Northwest nobody pretends like they look good. Those people know that their Tevas and North Face combo punctuated by a pair of hideous dad jeans or (even worse) tear away hiking pants, are atrocious and they own it.
The problem with the ladies of Potomac is that you know they think they look great when they actually look very very far away from that.
You’ll be pleased to know that Potomac was the impetus for this series of posts immortalizing the fashions of the Real Housewives. Watching this first season, I would have physical reactions to the awfulness of the clothing these women put on their bodies, and thus, this project was born.
The one comfort in all this is that this was just their first season and they’re going to get another shot. Most of the women across all the franchises don’t get it quite right the first time around—nobody hires a stylist, they’re still letting that friend-of-a-friend do their makeup and they haven’t yet seen what they look like on camera. So, these missteps are somewhat forgiven with that in mind, but not completely because wait until you see what we’re working with.
Jesus be a mirror within the Potomac city limits.
I had fairly high hopes for Ashley—mostly because she’s the youngest and married to the richest guy on the show. And since she constantly referred to the other women as “cougars,” I assumed she would come out slaying. She did not.
Dressing up as a cat for her birthday party was cute, I guess, but WHY WITH THE NECKLACE GIRL?
Her own mother was looking at Ashley sideways for the sparkly bow belt. Even the girls who still shop in the junior section would look at that contraption and say: Um, I’m a bit too old for that look.
And then there was the bubble skirt. My god, that bubble skirt. Even if we were still living in the year 2005, Ashely is not going to prom. The best Ashley looked all season was when she was prancing around in a bikini with her banging bod and if that’s what it takes to keep her out of a Herve Leger bandage dress, then so be it.
Oh Gizelle, my not-quite Evelyn Lozada. Somehow, Gizelle’s clothes simultaneously look very expensive and very cheap. She’s like a walking PSA for why you have to be careful at luxury outlets. Sure, you’re getting a great deal, but, in the words of Countess de Lesseps, even Louis Vuitton makes mistakes.
God, I would like to take this woman to a Zara and for the cost of that mediocre Hermes belt, I could change her life and get her some flattering pants.
I suppose we have to discuss the hats. They’re giving me: “church lady gone wrong,” which I suppose makes sense considering Gizelle was married to a pastor, but there is absolutely no excuse for the pink cowboy hat.
The jeans with the wings on the butt are completely unforgivable in this year 2016 and shall never be spoken of again.
Finally, we have what I believe was the worst outfit of the entire season across all the women: That capri leggings/pink blouse/lace bodysuit calamity. I mean, what the shit was that? That night the ladies were going to a gay bar and Gizelle thought that “the gays would love” her outfit. I am not a gay man, but I find the suggestion that they or anyone with two working eyeballs would approve of that particular collection of clothing deeply offensive and frankly, I’m surprised GLAAD hasn’t already stepped in.
Still, I have high hopes for Gizelle. She seems very mean but also very smart and of all the ladies, I have the most confidence in her getting her shit together for Season 2.
For the first few episodes, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I found so wrong with Karen’s confessional outfits and then it finally hit me: Why is this bitch so dressed up?
She is sitting there in literal ball gowns, which is fine, I suppose, but still an obnoxiously ostentatious choice for the confessional.
Karen sort of dresses like all the moms at my private school did fifteen years ago but with less good taste. Still, no one in my life, dead or alive, would ever consider wearing that bedazzled “Queen” hat and I believe it is an issue of national security to find that hat and have it incinerated. The people who designed and manufactured it will be spared their lives but some counseling will be in order because no emotionally healthy human being would make a hat like that.
However, my biggest issue with Karen was that goddamn Tory Burch tote. Look, it’s a fine bag. It’s great for the beach or a recent college grad looking to spend a chunk of graduation money on a practical splurge that will be perfect for her commute to her new PR job in the city.
That tote costs $200 and is made of nylon, which are both okay things! But Karen Huger is a woman who runs around bragging that she’s married to “the black Bill Gates.” Plus, she is constantly dragging that bag out with completely inappropriate and clashing outfits and oh my god if I see that bag again I will personally fly to DC and give it to the first underpaid congressional staffer I see.
God bless Robyn. She made very few missteps aside from borrowing one of Laura Bush’s inauguration ball gowns for her intro. Robyn’s only real issue is doing is a bit too much with the sparkles. In that way, she has a very Real Housewives of New York sensibility which, while not great, it certainly better than what’s going on in Potomac.
Unfortunately, Robyn killed almost all of her goodwill with me when she showed up at the reunion looking like she did. We’ll get to that.
Like Ashley, Katie should have known better. Katie was a real model! She dated Russell Simmons! It didn’t have to go down like this!
I don’t have much else to say about Katie other than, if I ever have to go to a hideous print party, I know whose closet to raid.
For a lot of reasons, Charrisse makes me sad. The extra letters in her name make me sad. The ways she constantly talks about how her husband never comes home or talks to her makes me sad. And her complete inability to pick out clothing that is flattering to her figure has me in a state of grief.
Charrisse is not a big woman, but it’s like she deliberately picks out items that will emphasizes her stomach and not support her breasts. Except, of course, when she throws on that push-up bra for a 50th birthday photo shoot which made me melt out of my seat with embarrassment. I get it, girl, you’re 50 and feeling yourself and you want to look sexy. Great! But, to do that, you’ve got to wear something that is both sexy and looks good on you. That’s just how it works, boo.
Then there are those despicable caps and a makeup artist who has never heard of setting powder.
My prediction for Season 2 is that Charrisse will hopefully divorce her absentee husband and let those personal shoppers at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus help a sister out because no one should live like this.
I haven’t been including the reunions in this series largely because the vast majority of the women show up at the reunions completely turned out and looking great.
But then there’s Potomac.
Most of my consternation is directed at Robyn, who abused the adorable lob she rocked all season by sewing a case of Remy bundles onto her head and I’m guessing asking her hairstylist to channel the cowardly lion.
The rest of the reunion looks have me in a state of confusion: WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THESE DRESSES? Did a sparkle factory explode all over the tasteful gowns they originally had on resulting in this? Why does Karen insist on that particular neckline when it makes her boobs look like one giant boob? Why does Gizelle have plates hanging from her ears? Why didn’t someone alter Ashley’s dress so it fit her and flattered her cleavage? Why did Charrisse let a sentient Kardashian Instagram filter do her makeup?
I don’t know. I will never know. These women have exhausted me.
When I return to you all, we will explore the closets of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and try not to be blinded by their diamonds and botox needles.
Images via Bravo.