So, How Authentic Was Shannon Beador's '70s Costume?

We asked a costume historian to settle the #RHOC debate.

On this week's episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Shannon Beador's '70s theme party—which started out all disco balls and champagne toasts—quickly took a nasty turn. As an argument between Kelly Dodd and Shannon started to escalate, Kelly's husband Michael leapt to his wife's defense.

Things got particularly tense when Michael, dressed in a shiny purple top, questioned the authenticity of Shannon's costume choice. "This is '70s?" he repeatedly asked, pointing to Shannon's bright-orange ensemble, while Kelly called Shannon "Mrs. Roper." (Mrs. Roper was a character in Three's Company, a '70s TV show, but that's beside the point.) To settle this sartorial debate, we called on a costume historian to tell us once and for all: whose colorful threads more accurately captured the disco era?

In one corner, we have Michael, embracing the throwback theme in that groovy purple top with black pants.

In the other corner, Shannon went bright orange in a maxi dress with a matching, glitter-flecked head scarf. She also wore plenty of gold eyeshadow.

Jessica Pushor, the fashion and textile collection manager for the Chicago History Museum, took a look at both costumes. "From my experience with working with a museum fashion collection of over 50,000 objects, I have many examples from the 1970s that closely resemble Shannon’s dress in both color, print and cut," she said. "Michael’s shirt, on the other hand—I have never seen an example of a man’s shirt from the 1970s with that color, texture, or print. In fact the collar and cuffs on many men’s shirts from the 1970s are even more exaggerated than many people expect. Michael's shirt looks similar to the many costume shirts available at retailers today that try to mimic the style of the 1970s." So, round one Shannon!

Regardless, we hope that Kelly and Shannon can soon leave the past behind. Pun intended. 

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