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Crucial Update

The Exquisite Outfits of The Real Housewives of Orange County's Very First Episode, 10 Years Old Today

Photo: NBC /Contributor/Getty Images

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"Life is different in a gated community" are the first words uttered in The Real Housewives of Orange County, and therefore the entirety of the Housewives franchise. This eighth wonder of the world has since given us so much, from Bethanny Ever After, to the work of art that is Countess Luann's single "Chic C'est La Vie," to the always-applicable term "prostitution whore."

Evidently, style is different inside a gated community, too. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the first episode of RHoOC, which aired on March 21st, 2006, we take a look back at the incredible fashion of one pre-recession, pre-Instagram southern California gated community. Warning: the images that follow may contain an upsetting amount of track suits, halter tops, and chandelier earrings.

The Introductions

Photo: Hulu

The first housewife Bravo introduced to the universe was Vicki Gunvalson, who swiftly unveiled the unofficial uniform of RHoOC: silk tank top, tight pants, and long blonde hair.

Photo: Hulu

Next up is Jo De La Rosa, who, surprise! Is also wearing a silk tank top and tight pants.

Photo: Hulu

Lauri's next, and even though you can't see her pants, I would bet a thousand dollars they're tight.

Photo: Hulu

Jeana deviated from the tank top trend, but only barely.

Photo: Hulu

Kimberly Bryant, who tragically only stayed on as a housewife for one season, wore perhaps the most OC-esque outfit of the entire OC cast. She, and her leopard tops, are dearly missed.

The Episode

Photo: Hulu

It may shock some viewers that it took an entire five minutes and 45 seconds for the first velour track suit of The Real Housewives franchise to make an appearance. Jo, then only 24 years old, wore one while talking about how boring it is to be rich.

Photo: Hulu

Kara, Jeana's 16-year-old daughter, paired a giant Coach purse with Abercrombie athletic shorts. In the next scene she tops it off with white sunglasses. Perfection.

Photo: Hulu

Let Kimberly's fuchsia athletic top act as a pleasant reminder that 2006 was a time when the term "athleisure" didn't exist.

Photo: Hulu

Crop tops, too, are wildly different now than they once were, as evidenced by Kara's spectacular Juicy half-hoodie.

Photo: Hulu

Kimberly's daughter proved that eighth grade dances have never not involved barrel curls and ample posing.

Photo: Hulu

While Vicki's daughter Briana's pre-prom party provided a strong case for the halter top.

Photo: Hulu

Also embracing a halter: Jo and her friends in their respective "going-out tops."

Photo: Hulu

Oh, did someone say going-out tops? Here are some more, courtesy of Lauri and a friend.

Photo: Hulu

Meanwhile, here's Jo's "staying-in bra."

Photo: Hulu

As well as her "staying-in boa."

Photo: Hulu

Lauri's shirt should also be a reminder of that one particular shade of brown that used to be everywhere. What happened to that shade of brown? Has anyone actually seen it on a piece of clothing since this episode?

Photo: Hulu

But back to track suits: we can sadly report that Lauri's hoodie was not paired with matching flares, but was paired with a sequined monogram wife beater.

Photo: Hulu

Jeana demonstrated an important moment in the history of wearing t-shirts over other t-shirts.

Photo: Hulu

It's that brown again! This time it's on a functionless belt, bolero cardigan, and Louis Vuitton purse.


Photo: Hulu

Lauri's 20-year-old daughter Ashley's tank top seals the deal: Chocolate brown tops were officially everywhere in 2006, and never again afterwards. Thank you, Real Housewives of Orange County, for preserving their legacy.