If this is your first time here, I recommend starting from the first episode and working your way forward. Of course, that's entirely your call.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Season 7, Episode 4: Period of Adjustment

First off: sorry for the long break between posts. I'm busy hosting the Lip Sync For Your Life competition on Reddit, and my former roommate managed to get my internet shut off at home as a sort of final "fuck you," which threw a wrench in this and a couple other projects. Also work has been exceptionally busy. But mostly I just didn't finish this last entry when I had the chance, and now here we are.

With Tempestt Bledsoe and her character leaving for college sooner than expected, the show needed a new Vanessa. To solve this problem, they introduced Cousin Pam, a distant relative of Cliff's who has never met anyone in this family even though she lives a couple boroughs away. Seriously, her friends ride the subway to come visit her, and she couldn't do the same to see her blood relatives? I'm also a little lost on the exact structure of the family tree here. I know it's possible to have a cousin more than 30 years younger than you, but it's rare, and a little illumination on that would have been nice. But whatever.

He's giving me OITNB Crazy Eyes realness.

Like I said, Pam has friends in the area. This one is named Lance (played by Allen Payne). Style-wise, he's basically Theo with a big African-inspired necklace. I'm going to do a little more research into that, actually: Pam and her crew are established through script references, wardrobe, and use of slang as coming from a lot less money than the Huxtables, and I want to know if the use of African iconography is an accurate reflection of what low-income kids from the Bronx were wearing in the 1990s, or if this is a case of the white costume department getting a little unintentionally racist.

There's no need for stank, girl. You just got here.

Karen Malina White plays Charmaine, who is also throwing down a mix of African-inspired prints and accessories paired with early '90s trends. I like her color story, but I want a tailor to have a hack at that dress. It's such a sack, and the wide ruffles on the skirt are executed pretty poorly. The three-quarter sleeve isn't really wowing me either, though the bright pumpkin cuffs and collar are a nice touch. I'm OK with the hat and tights, but not in love with them. Like, if orange is your splash of color, then maybe let that be it, without needing a yellow, too. Actually, with a second look, I think it's the orange that's the problem. If those cuffs were a different color, this would all hang together a little better.

Men on this show are usually a terrible influence on the women they date.

Also present is Slide, played by Mushond Lee. He's, I guess, the bad boy romantic interest for Pam. I don't care for his pants, but I'm pretty into that hoodie. Strong hoodie, Slide.

They're not great fashion advisers, either.

Oh lord, he has a second look. I feel like someone else on the show has worn this shirt before, but maybe color blocking nightmares have become so prevalent that I'm hallucinating? I really should have created a spreadsheet or database when I first started this blog so I could stay updated. Whatever, if I already reviewed this, I'm sure it was something short and sweet like "it's hideous!" and that's what I'll say right now. The jeans and shoes are bland and boring but don't cross the line into definitive offense.

Who the hell are you?

And of course, Erika Alexander as Pam herself. This first look isn't bad if you ignore the short jeans displaying puffy socks. It's sort of a plain, standard getup that's sold by the accessories. The real revolution for me is in the belting of the t-shirt. That's what I'm seeing, right? She's just wearing a large t-shirt with a thin belt? Smart stuff. There might be one too many dangly things between the pendant and the small purse and the earrings, but other than that it's not a bad casual look.

So you just, like, live here now?

I really, truly thought these were pajamas at first. She starts the scene just lounging with Rudy, watching movies. Rudy is definitely in pajamas. But then she answers the door and plans to go out to a party, and suddenly it dawned on me: she's just wearing huge, huge clothes in not-altogether-fashionable-or-complementary prints. This is a lot of messy, washed-out schlubbiness to be collected in one place that isn't a clearance rack.

Eyes on the pies.

That sure is a big blue shirt.

They'd rather cast someone new than give her more lines.

Here, Rudy's episode #5.25 shirt is paired with some jeans that, in any other situation, I'd have overlooked. Luckily, she gave us a glimpse of the detailing at the bottom as she ascended the stairs. The crummy quality of the video prevents me from discerning exactly what she's sporting (snaps? straps? flaps?), but I appreciate that some small amount of effort was put into differentiating these black pants from any other black pants out there. The outfit as a whole still falls flat, but again: effort.

At least she had two scenes this time.

These are so definitely pajamas, right? At the very least, loungewear. Last time she wore those bottoms was at a dance rehearsal in episode #6.19. Nothing worn at a dance rehearsal should ever be worn outdoors. Fact.

So welcoming.

Clair's blouse appeared most recently in episode #6.11, but the skirt appears to be new despite its similarity to other khaki skirts she has worn. Provided the tailoring is on point (which I'll assume it is because Mama Huxtable rarely slouches in that area), then the basis for this ensemble is sound. I also love the idea of this blazer, with its rich emerald green and modern, lapel-less design and raised patterning, but somehow it doesn't hit reality in quite the way the description implies. For starters, the shapes on the jacket look like someone spilled Lucky Charms on it. And the green could be a hair brighter. And the cut could be tighter. It's close, but it doesn't hit the nail on the head. Still, more good than bad.

So much for welcoming.

This, on the other hand, is an utter mess. The top appears to have two animal prints. Well, "animal" prints; these are patterns vaguely inspired by nature without any actual parallel to existing beasts or fowl. Don't buy blouses based on Dr. Seuss creations. I'm fine with the pants and belt, even if I'd like the buckle to be a little smaller and WHY IN THE NAME OF NAOMI DOES YOUR PURSE NOT MATCH YOUR BELT?! They're right next to each other. Come on.


Oh good, we're going to make musty nature prints and murky browns a running theme. Get out of here, Cliff.

Why are you huddled against the cabinet like that?

It'd be fine without the tie. Boring, but fine. That tie is ugly.

I know that this entry wasn't necessarily worth the wait. But I promise I'm not going to stop now that I've gotten this far. Even if finishing this blog seems like a ridiculous goal sometimes.


  1. Thanks for doing this blog! I'm enjoying it.

  2. I'm guessing Pam's shirt has a built-in drawstring belt.

  3. Still reading, don't care if it takes you a long time!

  4. You skipped Denise! She does make an appearance, albeit a brief one, at the beginning of the episode. Other than that, great review. But have you ever noticed that Cliff and Clair seem extra preachy in the Pam episodes of the show.

    1. My EXACT thoughts!!! I skimming through to see the comments on her outfit!!!!

  5. By the way, Pam is Clair's first cousin's daughter.

  6. I totally forgot about those bright colorblock shirts like Slide is wearing. They were everywhere in the 90's. It looks like the Cross Colours era has officially begun.

  7. Why have you stopped blogging? It was always enjoyable reading it. Hope you continue sometime in the near future.

  8. I hope you're going to return to the blog at some point, I really enjoy it.

  9. I too, though I suppose the current Bill Cosby stuff is a good excuse to stop if you need to just quit.

  10. As far as the African iconography, yes it ws very popular among young blacks in the late 80s and early 90s. This was sparked by cultural phenomenon so such as public Enemy, BDP and The Native Tounges movement. Hip Hoppers specifically called the African medallion a replacement for hip hops gold chain, which was seen as something that got young blacks killed. The movie "I'm gonna get you sucka" made fun of this with killings classified as "OG" or "Over Gold." But yes, many many young people wore African influenced things in the early 90s and it wasn't just a Bourgie black phenomenon, it was in the "hood" too!

  11. @Chris J. Kelly, please give your audience a statement on the Bill Cosby the alleged rapist. Where do you stand? Now that cat is out of the bag and proof is in the pudding (pun intended) and you are "good at the internet", speaks volumes to me at least that you are an educated man which must have a stance on Bill Cosby today.

  12. @Chris J. Kelly now that it has been revealed that Bill Cosby admitted he got Quaaludes to give to women to rape them from a Sealed testimony he gave in 2005, isn't that enough that he is a Rapist?

    Doesn't you think it's time to take this Blog down?

    1. Why? It has nothing to do with that, it's a blog about the fashion of the CHARACTERS on a TV show over 20 years ago. You don't have to participate in it.

    2. Why? It has nothing to do with that, it's a blog about the fashion of the CHARACTERS on a TV show over 20 years ago. You don't have to participate in it.


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  14. So bad the blog stopped here :( I know all the stuff about Bill Cosby, and I was shocked. Of all the sitcoms I saw, this was the only one I really enjoy. I just really can't picture how Bill Cosby, having created and embodied such a good husband and father, ended up being an awful rapist. Anyway, I have seen some interview of Phylicia Rashad,Keshia Knight Pulliam, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Raven-Symoné and they all stood up for Bill Cosby...

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  16. Chris, I just found your blog now. I'll have to read through it sometime, but thanks for showing that Cosby Show fashion was more than Cliff's sweaters.

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