It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the UES — Blair Waldorf’s birthday!  She’s regretting her impromptu dance (before and during the limo ride) but Chuck makes an actual bid for the lady’s affections at her birthday party.  Unsurprisingly, his courtship method hasn’t changed all that much.  He still uses money.  Lots and lots of money.  The Archibalds are at odds over the Captain’s crimes and Nate is ordered to present an heirloom diamond ring to Blair so the Archibalds can win back the Waldorfs’ support.  How Victorian!  In Brooklyn, Serena and Dan make the walk of shame right into Vanessa, who invokes Queen B’s wrath by showing up to her party.  And Jenny tries to reconcile her parents and win Nate’s heart without repercussions from a furious, betrayed Blair.


It’s Blair Waldorf’s special day! A very happy 17th birthday to our Queen B.

Blair starts out her day as you’d expect her to . . .

. . .at church, confessing.

Okay, maybe not.  However, it’s significant to note the reason why she’s there.  Last episode, we saw Blair choose Chuck instead of Nate, and the next morning, she’s regretting not only her actions, but her choice in transportation.

We can’t see much of Blair’s confessional getup, but the little net veil she’s wearing is adorable and such a Blair accessory.  What you can’t see here is that it’s (of course) connected to a headband.  I would be blissful if I could have just half of the headbands Blair has at her disposal.

After being set straight by the priest, Blair exits the church, and swaps the veil for a pair of sunglasses.  Note the killer leather gloves, perfect for strangling a certain Bass, who naturally tracks her down.

I have a theory about this particular ensemble, as chic as it is.  After every “indiscretion” that exposes the real Blair instead of the uptight Blair she assiduously presents to the rest of the world, her necklines seem to rise, as if she can hold all those exposed parts inside.

Not only do we have a high-necked, buttoned, blouse, Blair is also wearing a cute little pin, and a tie.  She’s about as closed off as she can possibly get right now.  Again, it’s a very adorable little outfit, but I’d like to think that it means something deeper than merely being fashionable.

Outfit is complete with a tight, high-waisted pencil skirt and here you can see the ruffled shirt a little better because she’s taken the jacket off.  All that crap on the blouse seems to be doing its best to hide her away.

Blair’s birthday party is that evening, and I believe the dress she wears to it is also meaningful.

Naturally it’s a beautiful dress, but Blair’s still literally tied up.  There are even straps around the waist section of the dress, which is really too pointed to ignore.  The only part of Blair that’s exposed is her neckline, but that’s also significant.  Blair, who typically places jewelry on hold to help her friends and family select an appropriate birthday present for her royal self, knows she is getting a fabulous diamond necklace tonight.

The neckline of this stunning dress—I especially adore the fluffy tulle skirt paired with the stark, almost industrial design of the bodice—is practically designed for a necklace of the type that she’s expecting.

A better view of the straps and the incredible herringbone stockings Blair’s wearing with the dress.

The necklace Blair was lusting after is an Erickson Beamon diamond necklace reportedly valued at $35,000.  She tries, briefly, to give it back, but when you receive a necklace like that, you don’t just return it like a scarf from Old Navy.  Blair doesn’t have any more self control than the rest of us, and when we see it on her, just how empty the dress was without it becomes readily apparent.

Remember my complaints re: Eleanor from Victor/Victrola?

Unfortunately, Eleanor apparently didn’t read my recap or if she did, she didn’t take any of my advice to heart.  It’s bizarre to see such a successful, trendy designer dressing in exactly two colors—if we can even call shiny cream and matte black colors.

Such shiny fabrics are not very flattering, even though the ex-Mrs. Waldorf has a great figure.  They’re also unnecessarily fussy and cheap looking.  Eleanor needs to hire herself a stylist STAT.  Maybe she could see if Lily’s is available?

For the second episode in a row, Chuck is displaying actual human-like tendencies.  Sacre bleu!

Even his daytime attire looks downright plebian.

Same jeans as the masquerade episode, and a downright casual pink button-up underneath is.  Is it possible he was too worn out from Blair’s “transportation” needs to bother dressing the part of Chuck Bass this morning?

However, his strength recovered, Bass brings it for Blair’s birthday.

Only real men (or those with the last name Bass) wear pink ascots.

Actually, he looks rather debonair.  The whole outfit could be a bit much, with the pale pink shirt and slightly darker ascot, paired with the red pocket square, but the very stately black pinstriped jacket saves it from looking too pimped out.

Of course, a man looks even better when he’s holding a gift. . .

Chuck Bass + a pink ascot + $35,000 worth of diamonds would be tough for any woman to resist, even if that woman is Blair Waldorf.

Serena and Dan are still going strong despite her forceful tendencies of the last episode.

So strong that I’m almost certain Serena’s wearing Dan’s plum and gray argyle cardigan from Victor/Victrola.  Not surprisingly she looks better in it than Dan did.

For Blair’s party, she risks the Queen B’s wrath by wearing a t-shirt.

Um…her hair looks nice?  I think Blair wouldn’t let even her best friend come to her birthday party dressed that way.

Good thing the t-shirt is actually an ill-fitting t-shirt tunic dress, complete with rows of metallic button candy on the bottom.  You get the impression that Serena’s trying to impress Dan by dressing a little edgier and less like the Upper East Side It-Girl she is, but this just doesn’t work.

Dan, too, is doing his best to impress his new lady love.

AKA he wears an ugly brown blazer with his maroon plaid shirt.

Nice try, Dan, but that’s not going to work.

In fact, I’d argue that he looks better in just the plaid shirt, rather than looking pathetic by trying to dress it up with what’s possibly Rufus’ sport coat.

Despite all these sartorial failings of Dan, he’s still so desired by not only Serena, but Vanessa as well.

I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this, but Vanessa actually looked fairly decent this episode.  She must have been extra nice to Eric Daman this week

Her colorful heart-patterned tank is super cute and actually flattering on her.  I like the simple gold necklaces, one short and one long.  Her hair doesn’t even look hideous.  Color me massively surprised.

Even when she accompanies Dan to Blair’s birthday party, she looks decent.  Blair’s fashion perfection must transfer by osmosis, all the way to Brooklyn.

The pattern on this isn’t the best, but it’s only one pattern, which is a step in the right direction for Vanessa.  Even her accessories are restricted to the same gold necklaces she was wearing earlier that day plus some simple gold hoops.  I didn’t think Vanessa could even go an entire day without changing her excessive costume jewelry.

Kati and Iz return for Blair’s birthday.  I’ve rhapsodized for two recaps now at how awesome Eric Daman is when it comes to Blair’s #1 minions, so I won’t reiterate it now, but seriously.  They look awesome.

They’re so freaking adorable I’m not even going to pick on the fact that they’ve gone a very Vanessa-like route and loaded on as many accessories as humanely possible.

Why the leniency?  Well, when you’re awesome enough to dress in a nautical theme, complete with candy color plastic jewelry and monogrammed sailor hats, you get an official YKYLF Get Out of Fashion Jail Free card.

Seriously, how freaking ridiculous are their little red pirate scarves?

You can just tell that Eric Daman has a lot of fun dressing them—their outfits are so cheesetastically giddy and gleeful.  And who can really blame him?  They’re so crazy, I can’t even imagine how much fun they’d be to dress.