Gossip Girls, it’s Debutante season!  Blair, of course, considers this one of the most important days of her life, so she naturally selects royalty to be her escort.  Chuck and Nate however, have other plans.  Nate’s seen how relaxed she is lately—not realizing that it’s his best friend who’s “working out” all of Blair’s tension.  He decides he wants her back, and despite the secret sexual thrall Chuck has over her, Blair agrees.  Lily’s mother CeCe appears, Banquo-like, determined that Serena will make her debut and she’ll make it with Carter Baizen, who’s decided that looking like Matthew McConaughey between movies won’t win our fair maiden’s heart.  Allison Humphrey has her art show debut the same night as the ball, and can’t win her daughter away from the diamonds and dancing that Lily holds out like a lure.  And Allison definitely can’t keep Dan away from the belle of the ball, Serena.

 

The Debutante Ball is an event practically tailored for the likes of Blair Waldorf.  There’s gowns, polished parquet floors, champagne and backstabbing girls—and nevermind the formal dancing.

Here’s what Blair chooses to wear to the debutante rehearsal:  a navy romper, a matching blue tie, ruffled white shirt, and bright red tights.  This outfit is another example of the individual parts not being nearly as good as the whole.  I probably shouldn’t love this, but I do anyway.  Rompers have been blasted more than once on YKYLF, but I have to admit, if you’re going to wear a romper, this is the way to do it.  Blair looks crisp and classic and colorful—and wonderful.

This is literally the second time we’ve seen Blair wear jeans (or really, pants of any kind).

And now we know why.  It’s not her body—despite what she thinks, her body is practically flawless—it’s the cut of the jeans.  I know from personal experience, skinny jeans don’t work very well if you have short legs.

However, the rest of the outfit is a breath of fresh air for Blair.  The camel cable sweater paired with the wide-collared emerald green corduroy jacket is a nice combination and is lovely with her coloring.  Plus, it’s really nice to see Blair wear something more casual once in awhile.

It’s odd to see the above outfit compared to the one below, also worn while supposedly just lying around the house.

This filmy purple dress with a magenta sash is lovely.  It’s fun and flirty, paired with the black slingback stilettos, though I find it rather formal attire for a casual evening at home.

I wish we could have seen more of this ivory eyelet dress worn with pearls and a dainty pale gold headband.  But even what we see of it, I think we can give Blair a big A+ for looking her best at the reception held for the debutantes.

And finally, we come to the most important outfit Blair wears until she gets married.

Her debutante gown.

Okay, so I’m fairly sure that I’m going to get tarred and feathered for this, but from the moment I saw it, I thought this dress was a massive error in judgment.  It’s astonishing that for the first gown Eric Daman ever designed for the show, he decided to create this monstrosity.

The silvery brocade fabric isn’t terrible, though close up it looks very matronly.

I can’t even talk about the bow.  I’ve been permanently scarred by its parrot-like quality, perched there, right on the Queen B’s shoulder.  The rest of the bodice isn’t so bad, though from this angle it looks particularly ill-fitted on the opposite-bow shoulder.  Oh wait.  Those are pleats and they’re supposed to be there.

Undoubtedly, the very worst part of this dress is the bottom half, which resembles a car wash—plus makes Blair look chunky, which she is most definitely not.

My good friend Bella, when hearing I was going to be doing a recap of “Hi, Society,” insisted that I specifically talk about both Blair and Chuck’s gloves.  As for Blair’s, sorry Bella, I can’t say that I’m a fan of them.

It’s not the idea of the gloves I dislike, but the execution.  The fabric the gloves were made in is the same silver brocade as the dress, and it’s too bulky to make a sleek-fitted glove.

On a more positive note, the simple chignon is classic and elegant, and I like the understated makeup.  However, I have to give my overwhelming approval for the necklace she’s wearing, as well as her drop diamond earrings.

Sorry, Blair, I have to be honest—this was not your best moment.  But, don’t worry, you’ll do better next time.

Oh Chuck, you break me with your suave style.

Could anyone else wear a checked khaki jacket with a St. Jude’s uniform and the famous (or infamous) scarf?  I think not.

Chuck truly brings it this episode.

I love this gray wool jacket with contrasting black trim.  The collar is so cool, with its buttons and unusual shape.  It works great in combination with the light pink shirt and blue polka-dotted ascot.

As much as I love formal Chuck, I love casual Chuck even more—he gets really creative with his look.  This big toggle-buttoned coat is simply awesome, though I’m not entirely sure about these jeans stuffed into the boots.  He kind of looks like a hunter on vacation, which is nearly the exact opposite of what he actually is: a scheming, womanizing, boozing billionaire’s son.

Okay, I lied.  I adore formal Chuck too.  This is honest to god one of the best formal Chuck moments to date or perhaps even the future (though I positively worship his sparkly tux in “It’s a Wonderful Lie”).

This tuxedo is a miracle of sartorial sumptuousness.

The sparkly white shirt, paired with the satin bow tie and placket and large cuffs?  Glorious.

The severely tailored jacket?  Even more glorious.

The shiny skinny pants?  Um, not so glorious.

And for Bella, I will admit that Chuck’s gloves here are fantastic.  A million times better than Blair’s.  Plus, who doesn’t like a gentleman in gloves?  Not that Chuck is necessarily a gentleman, but he’s a bad boy masquerading as one, which is so much better.

Oh, look.  It’s more rumpled St. Jude’s uniforms from Nate!  What a huge surprise.

Does the man even know how to straighten a tie?  Or tuck in a shirt?

To woo Blair back, Nate changes into a casual outfit—and more astonishingly, it isn’t blue.

Actually, the sweater isn’t bad.  I like the little argyle detail in the upper right hand corner; its slightly more creative than what he generally wears.  An improvement overall.

But when he gets fitted for his tuxedo, we see him take about ten steps back from the green sweater.

This tux seems like the first step in Nate’s plan to dress more interesting (or perhaps more like Chuck?), but he’s apparently decided he wants to go into the music industry and moonlight as MC Hammer.

Blair, who’s supposed to be supervising this fitting, is clearly a little distracted by a certain bad boy, because she doesn’t tell Nate that he looks ridiculous.

Admittedly, once the tux is properly fit, it does look better, but I still think the grey was an unfortunate choice that Blair definitely should have vetoed, even if it did match her dress.

Carter Baizen, Chuck’s nemesis, is back this episode and he’s been told by Grandma Cece that he has to win Miss Serena’s heart.

This isn’t a terrible formal tuxedo look, but it seems off somehow.  The bow tie and vest are ill-fitting and an excessively boring dark gray when paired with the stark black and white of his shirt and jacket.  Plus, there’s too much gel in his hair.  Would you consider me crazy if I told you I thought he looked a lot more interesting before, when he was a globe-trotting, poker-playing peacekeeper?

Kati and Iz are obviously participating in the debutante activities as well, but instead of looking youthful,  they’re straight out of Driving Miss Daisy instead.

Kati looks almost respectable here.  Her jacket and jewelry are much closer to chic than Isabel’s layered pearls and the matronly sweater paired with an Indiana Jones hat.

Unfortunately, we don’t get any view of Iz’s debutante gown, but probably due to Kati’s vastly superior reception outfit, we do get to see hers.

Unfortunately she fails pretty hard at the actual ball itself.  This gown, if we can call it that, is a real hot mess.  In fact, I don’t even think it’s a “gown”—it’s more of a skirt with beaded vest.  The skirt isn’t so bad, it’s more that it makes her look heavy.  The vest is really where she loses me because when you’re a debutante, you definitely want to look as unclothed as possible.

The final blow are those hideous gloves, with those ugly fluted edges that look straight out of A Knight’s Tale.  Nevermind that whoever was her date decided to give her a corsage made out of puff balls, some mistletoe, and one of Blair’s bow headbands.

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