Moira Rose, played by Catherine O’Hara, has suffered. Her former life is in tatters and she lives in a hovel of a motel, the last remaining property of her vastly wealthy husband, Johnny. Johnny, a self-made billionaire/millionaire, has lost it all to a corrupt financial manager. He, his beloved wife Moira, and their infantile adult children are tossed from their ridiculously wealthy lives to a lower-middle-class world of dull practical colors and sensible clothes.
Moira, according to O’Hara, is deeply, profoundly insecure. When she had money, that insecurity was channeled into competitive avant-garde fashion, appearing on reality shows, and in general refining her snobbish look down upon the masses. But now she’s down, very much down and out.
So the joke on Schitt’s Creek is that this family is utterly down but they have a collective “as if” sneer. They might be down, living in two dumpy rooms in a ramshackle motel in a sad town they “own”. But As If… They are not about to give it up because of this. In the image above, Moira auditions for the Jazzagals, a seemingly low-key singing group that is utterly fabulous and talented. Moira’s outdated audition makes clear she doesn’t rank with the others, but the hilarity of that tube dress hitting the floor? Heaven. And that gaping maw of a leather black tote bag sitting behind her, with a circumference several inches more than her body? Marvelous.
Dressing like Moira would mean, for most of us, taking it down several notches. The character is intended to show what the Fandom page calls “unwarranted confidence” but our ladies are like, as if. Confidence warranted, thank you very much.
So let’s start with a dress. Moira goes couture but most of us are not quite there in income nor lifestyle, so let’s pick out something inspired by such ideas, rather than the hoky couture versions of said ideas…
This $98.00 knit dress is stretchy, and those slits would feel pretty daring for most of us. And it still has a conventional silhouette, relaxed in the waist and hips in this plus size.
Even a more daring version is tamer than Moira’s hilariously bababook style. Here, a
$162.00 dress still manages to be still outre, if for no other reason than the dress requires a strapless bra or choosing to wear none at all. But that cage collar looks pretty cool, and the sloping hemline (hard to tell if that’s just bad posture on the part of the model or not) is kind of neat. We won’t be wearing this with those strappy heels – more on that later. But we want to be firmly planted on the ground for this confidence trip.
But it’s in the accessories that the regular gal can go full-on Moira. Moira’s heyday was the 1980s and 1990s, and her fashion, while utterly current, channels that punky victorian lady wasp look. So Etsy Vintage coughs up some terrific jewelry options for your slitted black dress.
The chunky grim metallic necklace has its own slash-and-burn grooves — the seller, Bejewelled Relics our of the U.K., specializes in these vaguely threatening massive-sized necklaces from the 1960s to 1990s. The ring again features those slash marks and its impressive dome shape could give one occasions to declare, “Oooh, did I just give you a black eye by accident? So sorry! As If!”.
For shoes, I suggest the eminently practical soft-soled wedges. Yes, we can dredge up tons of unwearable teetery black heels, but can one intimidate? Can one radiate confidence? Can one stride? No, but you can in your Danskos and your Soft Styles — two of the most non-avant-garde brands. The silver-trimmed Soft Styles are soccer shoes on wedge heels, and honestly, they have an edge to them that, paired with your slitted dress and monster jewelry, is nicely creepy. And the metallic leather Danskos offer a crisscrossed banding and sheen.
Finally, in honor of Moira’s “enchilada family recipe” effort, wherein she managed to back somewhat edible food wearing this in the kitchen borrowed from Jocelyn Schitt (of Schitt’s Creek), I suggest a neck gaiter, appropriately adorned with a mild version of a slashed fabric. Moira is, as O’Hara interprets the character, blindly self-confident, deeply insecure, wearing clothing that loudly asserts her presence because she can’t bear to be overlooked. But our confident gal just won’t be overlooked, because she brings more to the table than Moira did. Just as 64-year old Catherine O’Hara manages to steal every scene because of her delicate, intelligent talent to portray such a mass of “as if” scorn with such kindness and thought. Schitt’s Creek is on netflix right now, and it’s a gem.