The episode was heavy on the Blair and Vanessa, which means not nearly enough screen time was given to Serena’s shrinking wardrobe. Don’t worry, she did the best she could do. Like starting off her day in this little number:

Some women call that a cocktail dress. For college dropout Serena van der Woodsen, it’s just another day at the office.  You know how it is, a friend calls you on Monday morning, says he’s skipping class. You need to whip something on. So you pick the plum assymetrical cocktail dress. No biggie. Totally normal. The necklace doesn’t really go, so you just wrap it around your wrist a few times.  At least she’s trying to downplay her boobs by choosing a dress with a drapey sash over the front.

 

It doesn’t help that she’s hanging out with Nate, who is determined to bore us all to death with his wardrobe. Almost every dress looks flashy when you’re with Nate.

At least the shirt is fitted. And by not tucking it in, we’ll never know that he’s gone beltless.

As for Serena, the dress is maybe five inches too short.  But once again, totally normal when hanging out a political campaign office. (Also, does Nate actually go to Columbia? Or did he just register and then decide that classes were for chumps?)

I do need to talk to Nate about his collars: For the love of god man! Just straighten them a bit when you put a jacket on!

The sad thing is,  that’s Nate’s entire wardrobe for the episode. Covered in two pictures. Even Dan got more costume changes.  Back to Serena then, shall we?

You’re probably wondering how these two upper eastsiders spend their day, seeing as college isn’t really their bag (despite all Nate’s whining that he needed to prove himself). Well, they head on down to the Douchebag Warehouse for a game of poker.

Where did they find these guys? There’s a Swingers era Vince Vaughn wannabe hanging out. But nothing tops Bree Buckley’s cousin PJ. Nothing says style like that popped collar of douchiness.

Seriously? Did Texas not get the memo that popped collars are no longer the badass frat boy style?  Despite the collar, PJ does know a thing or two about good taste. He knows that Serena’s skirt is just about short enough to show off all the goods. And that it is not a skirt for before noon.

Oh PJ, I know. I make that face every time Serena walks on screen. I think I made similar face later on in the episode when she wore this

Even Nate is perplexed. Why Serena? Why short shorts in mid-October? We could have dealt with the top and vest and even the crazy necklace, if only you’d worn a pair of jeans.  But no.  She wears short shorts and she’ll keep on wearing them to any and all events, regardless of how appropriate they are for either the occasion or the season. (Then again, if I had Blake Lively’s legs, I might do the same). Like breakfast with the fam.

 

Nice one S. If you’re trying to make your ex-boyfriend/stepbrother’s new girlfriend feel bad about herself and the dumpy outfit she chose to wear to breakfast, then you win.

Speaking of the girlfriend of the ex-boyfriend/stepbrother, Hilivia does dumpy floral like nobody’s business.

What is that? A romper? And does New York not have seasons? Does no one in New York even need a sweater? Are the rich and famous impervious to cold? Well, in her defense, it is not a romper. That doesn’t mean it’s not ugly. Because it is.

I have cuter bedding than that. Apparently it’s what she wears when she gives her friends tacky gifts. Like this watch for Dan.

Dan is looking…well, he’s looking like Dan. Plaid shirt, jeans. I wish the costume designer would have a bit more fun with him, if only to make my job easier. I can’t snark properly if all you’re going to do is dress him in plaid shirts!

But Dan is a nice guy. So nice that he actually puts on the tacky watch for his girlfriend.

Sweet kid. I’m not sure I would have done that much (I’m talking about wearing the watch, not the fact that he’s kissing her).

I can’t figure Olivia out. She dresses in the cutesy floral that only looks good on toddlers during the daytime, but when her boyfriend cooks her dinner at night, she wears this:

Clearly she and Dan were not on the same page about how to dress for the event, because Dan is sporting something that you might wear to bed or on the way to the gym.

I know he’s trying to cook, but try harder Dan.  Olivia agrees with me.

Again with the same faces I make when I see some of these outfits. That one says, “ennnnhhh…really? That’s all you’ve got?”

Now, here’s where Olivia really confuses me. She tells Dan she needs to pop back to the dorm to change for this freshman parents’ weekend thing (no, I don’t understand what it is either. Is it NYU’s version of a homecoming weekend or something?). Now let’s take a second look at the purple dress, ignoring the fact that she chose to pair it with a gigantic red bag (a bag I’d probably like if it were a different outfit):

I don’t love this dress, but I don’t completely hate it either. You might even think it seems appropriate for cocktails with parents and alumni. But you’d be wrong. Apparently this is more appropriate:

Right. A dress that is almost the same colour as your skin tone and it barely keeps the girls in. According to Miss Serena’s Guide to Formal Dress Codes, this is indeed appropriate.

And when you’re done making an idiot of yourself in front of your boyfirend’s parents? Wear floral. They’ll totally change their minds about you and think you’re a sweet kid. A sweet kid who likes to dress as though she’s a frumpy middle aged minister’s wife.

At least through all of this boring menswear and the either inappropriate or frumpy womenswear, I’ve got my Pretend Boyfriend, Chuck Bass. Who starts his day out in a purple paisley robe.

Of course he does.  If it were any other man, you’d question just about everything Chuck wears. But the minute he says, “I’m Chuck Bass,” you reply with, “Of course you are. Of course you’d wear that” and everything is alright. And this week, there was a deep commitment to the colour purple by Chuck.

Take a moment to compose yourself….. Okay, now we can move on and appreciate the fact that he’s given up on the overwrought double breasted suits he wore earlier in the season. I do miss the bolder choices that high school Chuck made, but at least he’s still got some paisley in his ties.

And at least he’s using colour, which is more than we can say for Nate and Dan, who seem to live for grey.  Let’s compare.

Dan:

Chuck:

Dan gets a point for looking like he might be an eighteen year old, but now that he’s a van der Humphrey, he can afford a better suit. And Chuck, who is wearing a good suit, is starting to dress like a 40 year old man.  The Gordon Gecko thing has got to stop.

And holy crap! It has just occurred to me! Olivia in her frumpy middle aged woman dress? Blair in her Nana’s gonna win big in Vegas sweater? Chuck in his Gordon Gecko attire? They’re all trying to dress about forty years older than they actually are. Because seriously. In what world would suspenders make you take an 18 year old businessman any more seriously than if he wore a belt instead?

Chuck, I love you, I do. But enough with the suspenders already.

But carry on with the purple. Someone has got to wear some frigging colour on this show.

 

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