Everybody and their mother knows that '90s fashion is trending, and Twin Peaks has been renewed for a third season. So, to pay homage to the cult classic and test the limits of my affection for trends from the era, I dressed like Twin Peaks characters for a week. Before we begin, a warning for the faint of heart: Oodles of oversized sweaters and washed-out plaid lie ahead.
I had several doubts going into this experiment. How would I channel the look of dreary denizens of a soggy Northwestern town through my lightweight, mostly black wardrobe suitable for Southern summers? At first, it seemed impossible — I don't own a single plaid skirt, which is a staple for half the characters — but through extended perusing of my wardrobe, attic, and basement, I found that clothes I've been holding onto since the '00s were perfect for channeling Twin Peaks' most memorable residents.
While I was pleased about the sheer number of slouchy '90s skirt and sweater combos I came up with, I've got to admit that I wasn't all that thrilled about wearing them in temperatures above 70 degrees. Or, for that matter, to work. My personal style is best summed up by two things: black, and the catchphrase "tight is right." Of all the characters I would pay homage to this week, I looked forward to bad boy James Hurley the most, because while he is — er, not somebody you want to emulate, you've gotta hand it to him: The guy's got style. As for everybody else... well, they were stylish a quarter century ago. Observe:
Day One: Laura Palmer
Twin Peaks started with Laura Palmer, so I figured I may as well, too. In flashbacks, Laura's shown wearing the unofficial uniform for Twin Peaks teens: a slouchy cardigan, slouchy sweater, and a close-as-it-can-get-to-slouchy skirt. Basically the opposite of my personal wardrobe choices. This ensemble felt like it encompassed enough fabric to make a circus tent. A sad, soggy Washington-appropriate circus tent. Not that everybody agreed — this was my most complimented look of the week.
Of all the characters (excepting Hurley), my personal style jives best with the '90s-schoolgirl-channeling-the-'40s look Audrey Horne favors, though there is the notable exception of Horne's obsession with chunky sweaters. I paired a cardigan with a pencil skirt that's been living at the back of my closet for a look that was both comfy and Audrey appropriate. As for reactions? "What're you so dressed up for?" is one I got a few times.
Day Three: Agent Cooper
Had I any foresight I would have accessorized this getup with coffee and pie, but even without the props, I felt quite dapper in this suit... although not many people saw it, since I wore it on my day off, and spent most of the day at home. Therefore, I didn't get any notable reactions. My main takeaway? Ties are the worst. How can people solve crimes with strips of fabric cutting off blood flow to their head?
Day Four: James Hurley
James Hurley and I pretty wear much identical outfits on a daily basis, so I was totally comfortable in my standard leather jacket, jeans, and black T-shirt. Nobody batted an eye.
Day Five: Donna Hayward
Sweater? Check. Skirt? Check. Muted colors? Check. Although I think plaid would have made this outfit more Donna, it came close enough. Plus, I wore it to work without having to field comments about my outfit all day. Score.
Day Six: The Log Lady
I didn't need a log to foresee that the Log Lady's, er, homey sense of fashion would get me the most stares. That's why I wore this getup to the hippest coffee joint in town, where I blended right in with the crowd of overcaffeinated writers, students, and hipsters.
Day Seven: Bobby Briggs
I found it disturbing that among all the fashion in Twin Peaks, the characters I felt most comfortable emulating were whiny teenage boys. Curse them and their dedication to flannel and leather that mirrors my own. But hey — flannel is a total classic.
Going into this experiment, I didn't expect it to impact my daily routine aside, but it turns out dressing like other people is hard, folks. Rather than grab my daily uniform ten minutes before heading out the door (excepting my Bobby Briggs and James Hurley days), I had to spend time each night planning out the next day's outfit. I felt so adult I was tempted to take out a mortgage, but of course I ended up eating pizza in bed instead.
Channeling other people's personal style on camera also gave me a clearer picture of what I like to wear and why. I like my shape, and wearing layer upon layer of heavy knitwear made me feel like that old pile of sweaters at the bottom of my closet rather than a lean mean writing machine. Also, skirts? Totally overrated. They might be comfy at first, but they're a nightmare when your usual posture involves major sprawling.
While I'm glad to be back in my own wardrobe, spending a week reading up on a show that I haven't watched since high school has got me totally psyched for the upcoming Twin Peaks revival. Here's to hoping chunky knitwear is still the Big Thing in Twin Peaks.
Images: Giphy (7), Rosie Warner/Bustle (7)