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Tag Archives: style icon

Goodbye April Ludgate: Style Icon and Eye Roll Queen

24 Feb

Mustard yellow hoodies, sweaters, patterns and prints; April Ludgate is a TV Ate My Wardrobe style icon. With Parks and Recreation coming to an end tonight it is time to celebrate April and while I am sure this character would hate this level of attention and emotional attachment, I’m going to do the equivalent of all those hugs she has tried to avoid over the seasons.

Parks and Recreation - Season 6April is fond of snarky comments, references that would have sparked occult fears in the mid-90s and reminding the audience that she hates almost everything. Her costume design doesn’t necessarily reflect this and while it would have been easy to represent this aspect of her personality with dark attire, they went in an entirely different direction with bold color and pattern.

April has proclaimed on many occasions that she hates people:

[Source]

A special few have cracked April’s “I hate people” mantra with Andy being top of the list and going from a ‘will they/won’t’ to getting married shortly after they started dating in season 3 was a shrewd move by the writers.  The Anne obstacle card was played early and getting passed this allowed both Andy and April to grow in unexpected ways. Yeah they still ate turkey-chili off a frisbee and shared one fork, but their romantic union has not really faltered since they became Mr and Mrs Dwyer.

The focus of April’s anxiety as the show has progressed has been career orientated as she has struggled to find a job she finds fulfilling. There was a brief spell where veterinary school was going to be a thing, but that never came to pass (it did lead to a fun Fantasy Costuming post). Leslie is of course the hero of the show and her optimism in the face of everything is inspirational and yet I look to April for more than just her excellent style. Comfort has been found in April’s all too real struggle to find her place in the world and it is one I know well. Trying to figure out what you want to do is terrifying when surrounded by people who know exactly what they want to be and you only have some of your shit together. Television can be many things and reflecting back personal experience is just one of those aspects; while I have never worked in a Parks department I know what it is like to be lost and struggling to pin down a career path. Hell, I still know what it is like as I try and turn this writing thing into something sustainable.

April Ludgate is more than just a TV character to me because in part she represents these feelings of being stuck while also surrounded by an awesome group of people. To see April get what I expect to be a happy ending tonight gives me hope and I’m sure she would roll her eyes hard at that. Aubrey Plaza’s performance has never allowed April to fall into caricature and the emotional scenes where she lets other characters in on her hopes and fears have always been a high point. I even cried when she hugged Ben this season, yes this is where I am at emotionally with this show ending. It’s not just April who is a TV Ate My Wardrobe style favorite as Plaza’s off screen attire leans heavily on prints and pattern; Plaza is also the reason I now have a leather pleated skirt obsession.

And what of the outfits? Without the multiple times I uttered how much I loved something April was wearing this website might not be a thing. This character is in part why TV Ate My Wardrobe came into existence as I wanted my own space to talk about the television I love and the on screen style which has impacted my own wardrobe. April is a huge part of this and while I am still yet to find the perfect mustard hoodie – there will be a parade when this finally comes to pass – the Wish List is losing one of its dream characters when Parks ends tonight. However, there are still outfits left to covet and here are a couple of dresses that made me yelp with joy when they appeared last week in the penultimate episode “Two Funerals.”

April Ludgate 7.11 polka dots*Sings in the style of Jean-Ralphio* Pooooooooooolka Dotssssssss. My feelings towards this outfit are strong and this dress is from Madewell.

April ludgate 7.11The smart business lady wear of characters like Olivia Pope and Alicia Florrick is stunning and covetable from a fantasy point of view; at the moment I don’t have a reason (or budget) to wear clothes like that. April’s appeal covers a lot of ground – she’s fucking hilarious and to use a blech word I find her very relatable – and part of this is how closely her style matches my own, or at least how I aspire it to be. I like dressy attire and the above Cynthia Steffe frock falls into several categories of dress that can be fun, functional and funky (eye rolling at myself for that alliteration). We like to see ourselves reflected on screen and while I’m pretty sure April would hate this essay, she would maybe reluctantly give me a hug and then run away.

And to end things on a moment that not only includes another item I am desperately trying to get my hands on, but one of my all time favorite Parks and Recreation clips.

“Ring-a-ding-ding!”

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