I read that today marks the 25th year of the best movie to ever grace American history, and that is Troop Beverly Hills. As kids – you know, back in the late 80s and early 90s when you didn’t own movies or stream them but you actually went to a store and picked one to rent – my sisters and I would go down to Rodeo Family Video every weekend and choose the same movie every single time. Yes. Troop Beverly Hills. We saw it dozens of times and it never got old. We loved it. I mean, what’s not to love? Rolls Royces (a fancy car we had never heard of), b-list celebrities we would not have otherwise known (Pia Zadora, Robin Leach, and a tiny cameo from Annette Funicello), comedy (“They didn’t have outlets.”), and, best of all, outrageously 80s, rich-people outfits. I mean, Phyllis’ wardrobe consisted of everything from giant fur coats to larger-than-life pleated shorts to fully sequined dresses, complete with fully sequined birds.
I loved everything about that movie, but secretly Shelley Long’s extensive wardrobe is what I loved most. I would look forward to the scenes where she would wear the outfits I loved the most and cringed when she would arrive in the outfits I loved least. I, like every other Phyllis-loving creature, had my favorite outfits and the outfits I couldn’t wait for her to not ever wear again (that is, until the next time I watched it).
In honor of its 25th anniversary, I’ve complied a best and worst dressed list that has been 25 years in the making for me. All starring our favorite divorcee-wilderness-girl-fashion-plate, Mrs. Phyllis Nefler.
1. Just Hanging Out in my Killer Satin Jammies and Matching Kimono Phyllis
Phyllis makes bedtime the place to be. I mean outside of the faboosh kimono (WHERE DID YOU BUY THAT), she’s topped off this black number with a metallic headscarf and oversized earrings. Killin’ it.
2. Revamped Wilderness Girl Troop Leader Ensemble with Matching Cape Phyllis
Who cares if you eventually have to pitch a tent in the dirt and cook squirrel meat over a fire started with two sticks? This masterpiece is all any troop leader needs in life.
3. Trimmin’ Trees in Animal Print and a Bitchin’ Hat Phyllis
4. Casual Tweed Stay-At-Home Mom Phyllis
Makin’ sandwiches has never looked better. I don’t know what’s better: the tweed culottes one-piece, the sheer puffy sleeved-blouse or the matching red head-scarf-turned headband. If this is what not working looks like, sign me up.
1. Yellow Mom Shorts with Matching Shoulder-Padded Blouse Phyllis
The Man With the Yellow Hat Called. He wants his outfit back.
* Bonus Points: Pre-Rilo-Kiley Jenny Lewis is killin' the popular matching floral shirt and blouse ensam. She makes banana Phyllis a little more bearable. Now, about those couches...
2. Easter Egg Tuxedo Dress With Layered Marshmallow Train Phyllis
I mean, why. That much pastel should be prohibited. Even during Easter. And the messy up-do, massive rose choker and bicep-length gloves? Listen to your own wilderness girls, Phyll: Too many accessories clutter an outfit.
3. Icing on the Cake Wicker Skirt Tee-Pee Dress Phyllis
4. Every Shade of Purple Hot Mess Victorian Tea Party My Daughter Hot Glued Flowers to My Hat Phyllis
The least she could have done was choose one shade of purple and stick to it.
(Props and major thanks go out to the inspiration for unleashing my childhood fashion critic, Lindy West, who wrote this way-better and ultra-thorough article. While I don’t agree with (most) of her rankings, any one who can create a masterpiece as she has done is my heroine. Lindy, I hope you don’t mind my version. Thanks for the inspo.)