Pretty Little Liars’ final season begins in exactly a week, so it felt like kismet when I peeked back in our archives for April 11 over the years and found this picture from 2008. Ashley was three years away from the premiere of PLL, and I was so innocent then, wondering if my reaction signaled that I had arrived at the Get Off My Lawn phase of my cronehood — which, upon reflection, of course I had. But also, I was right not to like this. She’s wearing a bow tie on her ribs, over a frock that’s basically a bridesmaid dress that she hemmed with static spray rather than a sewing machine. I would LIKE to say I could go back in time to 2008 Ashley and let her know that her fashion was about to get better… but I’m not wholly sure it ever did; it just got different, and more expensive. In fact, weirdly, I can sort of see her picking this again now, if it were au courant, because I think sometimes she falls into the trap of Hey, look at all this DESIGN I am wearing, rather than stepping back and seeing whether all those trees coalesce into a sufficiently picturesque forest. Hopefully in nine more years she’ll be an Emmy winner who can’t take one step without being offered Naeem and Prabal and Valentino and Kors, and we can look back again and chuckle at the long and winding road.

[Photo: Getty]