Welcome to a new feature on YKYLF – The Roundtable. Here, we gather, rehash, and opine on memorable styles seen on memorable characters. Join us for our first meeting…

The Participants – the YKYLF editorial board (Jen, Amanda, Kate, Lesley-Anne)
The Subject
– Gossip Girl’s Serena van der Woodsen, as seen in Season 4


Jen Luby: Hello and welcome! Let’s dive right in with Serena’s “Fashion’s Night Out” dress from The Undergraduates:


Amanda Smith: On the one hand, it’s long, so at least she’s following the rule of exposing only one body part at a time. So, points for that.

Lesley-Anne Steelworthy: It’s a Monet. From far away, I don’t hate it. But the closer I get, the more confused I am. There seems to be some halter action. And a gigantic train. and possibly a slit.

Kate O’Leary: I want to love it but can’t get past the grandma pumps…

AS: True, they’re a little staid for that dress. The shoes, not the breasts.

KO: I also keep wondering about the bra/tape situation. No one’s boobs are that perky in that neckline.

L-A: I think Serena owns stock in the wardrobe tape business. Normal people would be falling out of her outfits.

AS: Well as we’ve all seen by now, Lively’s Blakettes defy gravity.




JL: Speaking of only exposing one body part at a time, she sort of does it here in the ballet gala dress from Juliet Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

AS: And she brought enough macarons to share with the whole class!

KO: I LOVE this dress minus the spiderweb.

AS: I’m with you on the dress from the waist up. It’s a great neckline.

JL: And for the Girl With No Pants, this is an improvement.

AS: Yes, now she’s just the Girl With Strategically Placed Drapery.

KO: I’m curious why she has that drape. What’s she hiding there? Nasty bruises?

JL: She’s hiding SECRETS!

L-A: You could have a secret flask pocket in that drapey bit.

KO: I bet she’s hiding men. She always has some guy waiting around for her…

JL: Well now we know where Carter Baizen went.

L-A: I miss that beltless dude.


JL: How about a palette cleanser. Staffer Bethany called this ensemble from The Kids Stay in the Picture, “a fairy tale ensemble that had me believing again.”


L-A: It’s…dare I say…classy?

AS: Her hair is brushed for a formal occasion.

KO: I applaud the hair.

L-A: I’m pretty sure the slit will be dangerous when she walks, but for Serena, this is tame. Plus, the combed hair.

JL: I’m with you ladies…I absolutely can’t get over the hair.

AS: And she brought something to keep herself warm. You guys, she’s actually acknowledging potential temperature shifts!

KO: Too bad this was for an indoor photoshoot.


JL: Speaking of staying warm, How do we feel about see-through Fair Isle sweaters, as in this one from Damien Darko?


AS: Ah yes. The slutty Fair Isle. Perfect for fishermen and hookers.

L-A: “Oooh! This says sexy and woodsy!”

KO: Come on guys, it’s sheer. What more could you want in a sweater?

L-A: I want to be there for the shopping trip when she picked that one out.

KO: I want to be there when she decided to pair those gaudy earrings with that sweater.

JL: I’d think they would snag the sleeve. one random arm gesture, and bye-bye mesh.

AS: Ok, I’ve just decided we need a web series where Lily comments on Serena’s wardrobe.

L-A: That would be an excellent bonus feature on the DVD. Josh Schwartz needs to call us.

KO: For so many reasons.


JL: Well, the not-a-sweater did cover up the goods, unlike this little number from Easy J:


L-A: Hello boobs!

AS: Sometimes her chest looks like a Barbie doll’s.

KO: Half-dominatrix, half-Blair.

JL: She IS rocking the peplum…

L-A: And a little Dynasty. I want her to throw a bottle of wine and then pull someone’s hair. This dress is made for a Krystal/Alexis style showdown. 

KO: WAIT. I just noticed this outfit was pants.

L-A: Pants? what now?

KO: I know.

L-A: She could be a Bond villainess in this number.

AS: A Russian villaness.

KO: And her specialty is smothering people with her chest.

AS: “Well, Mr. Bond. I think you’ll find that I have certain … assets that will take your breath away.”

JL: I have a feeling we could discuss Serena-as-bond-girl all day.

AS: We might need to write this movie.

KO: And have control of the wardrobe department.

AS: I think Eric Daman would do just fine in the wardrobe department for our purposes. If there’s one man who knows how to display her arsenal, it’s Eric Daman.

KO: He can assist.


JL: Moving on. While recapping Touch of Eva, L-A said “From far away, you’re wowed by the colours. You want to run up and tell them that they look good. But when you get close […] you back away and grab a champagne or two and pretend you didn’t see them.”

AS: The Bat signal dress!

L-A: The thing is, if your dress can’t flatter Blake Lively in any way shape or form, you’ve failed. Who made this? I need to speak to them.

KO: That would be J Mendel.

AS: It’s like J Mendel saw Blake Lively as a challenge. Anyone can make Blake Lively look good. The true test of a skilled designer is if they can intentionally make her look terrible.

L-A: So true. Golf claps to J Mendel then.

KO: I’m confused by her hair. Did she get ADD halfway through braiding?

L-A: She forgot she owns a comb or has access to a stylist.

AS: Who needs stylists when you can half-ass a braid?


JL: Let’s stay with Touch of Eva for a moment and examine her strolling outfit from earlier in the episode:


L-A: It’s like…a walk of shame in progress.

KO: This is one of the days she couldn’t find her hairbrush.

AS: Or her dry shampoo.

L-A: Maybe Blair keeps hiding the brush.

JL: My feet HURT just looking at those shoes. Those are not strolling shoes.

L-A: …they’re sitting shoes.

KO: I just noticed that her legs come up to Dan’s navel.

AS: I kind of don’t hate the actual outfit, though that might be my love of sparkly things and stripes talking.

L-A: That skirt is what staffer Anthony and I affectionately call the “vag-wrap”. And by “affectionately” I mean usually with an “oh honey no” moment of horror.


JL: Serena’s been showing a lot of skin, so let’s take a look at a scene from It-Girl Happened One Night where she is way covered up.


AS: Back at home, Lily is wondering where her rug went.

L-A: It’s what happens with a leather bomber/shearling jacket mates with a blanket.

AS: This is like what someone would create if they were unfamiliar with outerwear.

JL: Right? One strong breeze and you’re a parachute.

AS: Maybe she’s just coming back from a Bond Girl mission, and that is her parachute.

KO: Although…being a Chicago girl and dealing with our unruly winters, it looks SO warm.

JL: Looks can be deceiving. I don’t think that’s going to keep you warm while waiting on the L platform on a February morning.

KO: Well, Serena would never wear a full-length North Face 700 coat.

L-A: Not unless you cut out places for her boobs.

JL: A la Regina George?

L-A: Exactly.


JL: Ok, we’ve been ragging on S’s hair a lot, but here in Goodbye, Columbia it was perfection…

…as was the back of her ensemble…


…but then we have the front:


L-A: Sigh. I remember that one. I had so much hope.

KO: I adored that hair and makeup. I think she actually took a cue from Lauren Conrad.

AS: Yeah, she looks great with the winged eyeliner.

JL: Everyone looks good with winged eyeliner. Except Amy Winehouse.

L-A: But even LC knows the front of that dress is a mess. The pleats make her boobs look saggy, and we know full well they aren’t.

KO: It’s almost like Lily tried to give her a suggestion on what to wear and S took it the wrong way.

L-A: Are there chains hanging from her dress?

AS: Yes, she repurposed the straps of her old Chanel bags.

JL: Well, what ELSE does one do with an old Chanel bag?

AS: Good point. My grandmother is always showing up to lunch with Chanel chains sewn onto her sweater sets.


JL: Moving on. It’s Amanda’s nightmare from Belles du Jour


AS: I was dreading these. Bottom hiked up like she’s Steve freakin’ Urkle, top sagging like she’s late for the early bird special.

KO: If these were a less offensive color, I think this outfit would be acceptable.

JL: Yes, then we would just mock the top.

L-A: The bag is bigger than most of her skirts.

KO: Yeah…is she going on house calls in this episode?

JL: What could she possibly be carrying around that requires that much storage?

L-A: Small children?

KO: Boob tape?

AS: Chuck?

L-A: Ooh, he was missing for a while…


JL: Let’s end on this look from The Kids Are Not Alright:

KO: Hello, Lily!

AS: This makes me miss first season Serena and her uniforms.

JL: She did have great uniforms.

L-A: Maybe that’s her problem – too many years in uniform. She just doesn’t know how to to dress herself.

KO: That can’t be it. I wore a uniform for 12 years and know perfectly well how to dress. I blame her time at boarding school.

L-A: Maybe! There was a lot of booze and pharmaceuticals. That can’t be good for the part of the brain that knows how to dress appropriately for social situations and weather.

KO: True. As we recall, it was Chuck who convinced her to dress as Lily.

AS: I’d like to think that Chuck styled this outfit himself.

JL: Chuck-as-stylist needs to be another DVD bonus feature.

AS: “Don’t you own anything a little less … like something I’d find on my bedroom floor the morning after?’ 

KO: Does the necklace have marbles on it?

L-A: Possibly. And some really fancy macrame.

AS: Maybe this is what Serena made for Lily when she was at fancy daycare.

JL: And yet, I don’t hate it. Possibly because I can’t see all of it.

L-A: I was grasping at straws with the necklace. The rest of the outfit is aces.

JL: So basically, we like Serena best when she’s dressed like someone else?

AS: Yes.

KO: Yes.

L-A: Pretty much.