Mary Richards – Mary Tyler Moore Show
The most famous piece of fashion history is the beret Mary Richards threw in the air in the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore show. That one tiny accessory, coupled with that simple gesture became a symbol for Mary’s independence. By proxy, the tossed beret also became a symbol for female empowerment across the country.
Although most of us remember that beret and peacoat, she was quite the fashion maven in her time. Scandalizing censors with her short skirts and tight sweaters, Mary made her own rules when it came to what she wore. Fighting barrier and prejudices on a lot of fronts, Mary’s simple acts of resistance in her fashion went a long way with women in her time.
Don’t get me wrong. She didn’t put too much weight on what she was wearing, or make her show about how she looked. Mary was too busy demanding equal pay and exerting her independence. Instead, she used her wardrobe like a canvas on which she could invent and reinvent herself as she grew over the years. As she became more successful and mature, so did her choice in clothes, and pretty soon, we saw the unsure young woman who threw her beret into the air turn into a successful, self-assured woman making her own way in a “man’s” profession.