BootLeg Betty

BetteBack January 12, 1983: ‘Tootsie* on worst dressed list

Daily Herald
January 12, 1983

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HOLLYWOOD – Dustin “Tootsie” Hoffman entered the ranks of the great fashion offenders Tuesday, joining Princess Diana, Victoria Principal and Bette Midler on the 10 Worst Dressed Women list.

Hoffman, who portrayed Dorothy Michaels in the film “Tootsie,” become the first man to earn a place on Mr. Blackwell‘s annual list. The actor shared his No. 10 spot on the list with Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire, who the film character resembles.

Blackwell called the pair “look alikes…wearing Betsy Bloomingdale discards,”

Although Nancy Reagan did not make the list, Blackwell said she was guilty of “the fashion flop of the year” when she wore knickers to a formal reception in Paris.

Princess Diana topped the list with a typical Blackwell barb — “Shy Di has invaded Queen Victoria’s attic!”

THE 10 WORST in order were Princess Diana; actress Bonnie Franklin, described as looking like “not Charlie’s Aunt, but Aunt Charlie”; actress Victoria Principal, “a Dallas Valley Girl”; singer Bette Midler, “second hand Rose after a hurricane”; actress Charlene Tilton, “a Victorian lampshade holding her breath”; Christina Onassis; Princess Yasmin Khan; golfer Jan Stephenson, “Mrs. Miniver in a tu-tu”; television star Cathy Lee Crosby, who “looks as if she bought out a rummage sale.”

The designer said it was not the first time a man in drag was named to his list, which has previously included entertainer Milton Berle and Flip Wilson’s Geraldine character.

Blackwell said that as “Tootsie” in the movie of the same name, Hoffman “looks rather dull but wonderful. Actually, I think he looks better as a woman. If I were him, I’d never get out of that drag.”

BLACKWELL EXPRESSED deep disappointment at Mrs. Reagan’s appearance in knickers last year.

“Nancy Reagan is an incredibly elegant woman,” he said. “To have resorted to that type of in-or-out fashion statement, especially at a reception in Paris, was extremely bad taste.”

Mrs. Reagan will never be a trendsetter, “but she will always confirm that women can be elegant,” Blackwell said.

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