Thursday, January 26, 2017

Women We Love: Marlo Thomas

"That Girl" becomes "That Woman"
Marlo Thomas starred as Ann Marie, an aspiring actress in New York City, in the tv sitcom "That Girl" from 1966-1971. Her character was single, slightly goofy, spunky (a characteristic later attributed to Mary Tyler Moore's Mary) and quite well-dressed for a sporadically employed young woman. I never watched the show because— well— at the time I was a gainfully employed single young woman in New York (with considerably less wardrobe).

Don't forget the fishnets!

With the exception of a sailor hat that must have been left over from "Gigi", we really did dress like Marlo. Or tried to. Short-short body-skimming shifts, bright colors, geometric patterns. Flats or kitten heels. I even had a "fall", fake hair to achieve that flippy hair do (cemented in place with Elnett hairspray).

I mention all this because Marlo Thomas, at 79 and with many wonderful achievements to her credit, has just launched a 15-piece fashion line for HSN (Home Shopping Network) called "That Woman".  This is the first time Marlo Thomas, known for her initiative and support of feminist, educational and charitable causes, has put her name on a commercial venture.

Marlo today in one the looks

Marlo Thomas is the daughter of Danny Thomas, a 1950s comic, who was best known as the patriarch in the sitcom "Make Way for Daddy". Danny was the son of Lebanese immigrants. Interestingly, his ethnicity had no bearing on the show and just explained his (unusual for the time) leading man looks. Danny Thomas became even better known as the founder of St. Jude Hospital for Children in Memphis, lauded throughout the world for its study and treatment of childhood cancers. St. Jude is one of the charities Marlo continues to actively promote.

Marlo counts Gloria Steinem as a good friend and worked with her to help found the Ms. Foundation. She created the best-selling book, album and tv show "Free to be Me... You and Me" which champions gender equality and is the author of a biography and three self-help books.

Two looks from the line
So what of the clothes? Aimed towards a mature customer (older than Ann Marie), they will not, as the New York Times said, "make fashion history". Wearable if not exciting, Marlo credits quality fabrication and spandex as a plus. She also suggests a little skin as we age, to keep things feminine. I like the dress she is wearing above, certainly a riff on a classic "That Girl" look— further proof you can wear many things at any age... with a few adjustments.  Fancy THAT!

Still going strong


  1. I looked into the collection and found the cuts very ordinary and the fabric mostly polyester. The good points--all made in New York, with sizes from XXS to 3X.

    1. Not surprised... what isn't polyester these days? The selection is limited and not that "new". But any efforts toward recognizing a mature, stylish customer is appreciated!

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  3. Thanks for sharing such a great research in this blog. I am looking forward to read some more of your information from your blog, keep blogging and thanks again.

    1. Thank you, Louise. I love that the blog reaches you in the UK and I'm able to share some American pop culture history.