The Participants – PLL editor Kate and writers Ann, Anthony, and Lauren
The Subject – Pretty Little Liars’ Aria Montgomery, as seen in Season 1
Kate O’Leary: Góðan dag* to our first PLL roundtable, featuring everyone’s favorite world traveler, Aria! Let’s start with this look from The Perfect Storm:
Ann Foster: It’s like the movie Enchanted, but instead of a Disney princess come to life, it’s a fetish anime character come to life.
KO: Maybe she’s auditioning for a Practical Magic sequel we don’t know about.
Lauren Viscomi: She looks like a high-end goth doll. And that is not a compliment.
Anthony Casey: I think she looks like she rolled around in a Taylor Momsen’s closet.
KO: Definitely has some Momsen qualities. How unfortunate.
AF: I can just imagine Taylor Momsen wearing this at the start of a concert, then ripping off the dress to reveal a full-length bodystocking and little else.
KO: Maybe Aria does that when she has alone time with Ezra.
AF: Thanks for that traumatizing image. I’d like to note that this is a terrible choice to wear to school. The skirt would get totally smushed sitting at a desk all day.
*Means “good day” in Icelandic. See, reading YKYLF is educational.
KO: Onward to Je Suis une Amie. When I recapped it, I declared je n’aime pas upon seeing this outfit. (Seriously, this is turning into a language learning course):
AF: Wow, that’s a lot of look.
AC: Fishnets and florals and leather, oh my! Is this Doctor Quinn on meth?
LV: I hate these cropped jackets. Why do they insist on wearing them?
AF: Maybe ABC Family bought shares in a cropped jacket factory.
AC: I suppose they’re doing some fair trade: OK, you get to wear eleven accessories and tights AND a dress but not a full length jacket.
LV: In all seriousness though, I love the boots
AC: …and I love the dress. But what’s with the weird scallop thing it’s doing at the bottom?
AF: I have no idea. Somewhere, Tim Gunn is frowning and saying, “Aria, this concerns me.”
KO: Wait – I think I might understand the skirt. It may have a bustle in the back.
LV: I think so too – and pockets.
AC: Whoa, check out the cuffs on the jacket. Just noticed. These landlubbers should be grateful the Pirate Queen graced their shores.
AF: EEE! Anthony, how did I miss the cuffs? Very 1600s.
KO: And that’s where the fabric for the length of the coat went – into the cuffs.
KO: Let’s take a look at this number from Careful What U Wish 4…
AC: “Whut, we’re not ALL wearing a doily to the dance?”
AF: The salesclerk at my local American Apparel was wearing this exact look last week. No lie.
LV: Well I love this outfit. It’s one of my fave Aria pieces of the season.
AF: It’s cute, but not so much for a 17 year old at a school function. Though, on Serena V-D-Dubs, it would be considered modest.
KO: Aria is dating an older man…
AF: I’m struck by the lack of accessories. I only see two (matching!) earrings, a bracelet, and a watch.
LV: No cropped jacket or dangly feathers from her hair or ears, either.
KO: It’s nice to see Aria in a semi-normal outfit.
Ann: It’s crazy that for Aria, this is considered semi-normal.
AC: If this is what a year in Iceland does for 17 year old girls, I need to get there stat.
KO: Is that why she has an obsession with feathers? Are feathers big in Iceland? We should research their fashion for answers…
AF: I bet Iceland is so cold that there are no birds, and so feathers are used like currency.
AC: OH! Has anyone checked out Lucy Hale’s tumblr? She’s totes deep
LV: Does she say anthing about Iceland?
KO: And now for something completely different, we have this piece from The New Normal:
AC: I wonder what her Bond Girl name would be…
AF: Oh, you guys, this was my fave look of hers that week. It’s like a total 60s retro look with furry cuffs! Furry cuffs, come on! And her bond girl name is clearly Aria Lala.
LV: No, I still say “barf”. This coat reminds me of something that Samantha from American Girl would have worn.
AF: OK, the fur on the bottom hem is maybe a bit much…
LV: A LOT bit much.
AC: I really like the coat. But it needs some patches or something. Something that screams “I’M UNIQUE AND READ BOOKS”
AF: The toggle front buttons remind me of-
LV: Paddington Bear?
AC: So it’s a bit of American Girl Samantha with a side of “Anastasia fleeing from the Bolsheviks” and “a bear from Darkest Peru”?
KO: Wow, PLL is so multi-cultural!
KO: Onward to this unfortunateness from Can You Hear Me Now:
AC: I don’t… I just… what?
KO: It’s. A. Cropped. Sweater.
AF: On the bottom, is that shorts or a skirt? I don’t know which is worse.
AF: Skort? Is that a skort?
LV: She looks like a sexed-up Heidi. And I don’t mean Heidi Montag. I mean Heidi from the Alps.
AC: There’s a satin ruffle. There are elastic cuffs on the sleeve. And calling that a sleeve is being generous. And are there multiple belts?
KO: I just don’t understand why someone would put any of these pieces together.
AF: Is it all one top? Or is it two things layered? If it’s all one top…how and why did it come into creation?
AC: Look at her parents. Then look at this. Who let her leave the house?
KO: So many questions. So few answers.
AF: Saving grace: on her thumb, you can see very cute pale blue nailpolish.
LV: The sleeves confuse me. I don’t like being confused.
AF: I think it may be a peach sweater with a satin ruffle top on top.
LV: I think you may be right.
AC: I think I may have gone blind.
KO: Here’s a good one spotted in To Kill a Mocking Girl:
AF: Going fishin’?
KO: This is hat is SO CUTE. I need it. Now.
AC: Except I remember this episode and she was wearing multiple belts. Which, if you hadn’t guessed, I can’t stand.
LV: She looks a little like a cross between Beetlejuice and Wednesday Addams. But I love the hat.
AC: It’s like Woodstock threw up on Aria but I agree, it totally works. Floppy hats are so hot.
AF: Seriously, though, this hat is good for fly fishing. Is it what she wears when raiding the fishing supply store for lures to wear in her hair?
KO: It’s her version of the “nautical look”. Obvs the stripes must be black for more edginess.
LV: Right, because ARIA IS EDGY.
KO:Let’s go all the way back to the pilot…
LV: UGH, she’s pulling a-
KO: Quinn from Glee
AF: I had these same boots. I wore them OUT. Love them.
AC: Awesome boots. Cute dress. But this Drew Barrymore look was over in ’94.
AF: For the true 90s look, I would have added a white baby tee layered inside
LV: Awww yes.
AF: Maybe I like this so much because of nostalgia for 1994. But why would Aria have nostalgia for 1994? Wasn’t she born in, like, 1994?
LV: Well, 90s or not, this makes her butt look really big, and we all know that it just isn’t.
AC: She’s like a sexy dairy maid. A grunge sexy dairy maid. Didn’t Pearl Jam write a song about that?
KO: Staying with this theme, when Lauren recapped The Homecoming Hangover she noted that Aria looked like she’d eaten too many of Hefty Hanna’s cupcakes:
AC: Ah, so we meet again, ridiculous socks.
AF: We’re back to the fetish-anime-character-come-to-life aesthetic.
LV: Oh God, I did recap this one. And I stand by my observation.
AF: Are those… lace fishnet knee socks?
LV: They’re like old witch stockings, with witch shoes.
KO: See? She is auditioning for Practical Magic!
AF: And of course the cropped leather jacket.
LV: And a balloon shaped bottom, that makes her bottom look like well, a balloon.
AC: Floral dresses are cute. Pairing them fishnet knee socks makes you look like you have daddy issues.
KO: Or like Taylor Momsen. Oh, wait…is that one and the same?
AC: I always wonder what the other girls at their school think when the PLLers arrive.
AC: Like, you know the rest of the class are rocking AE or Hollister or UO, and this broads just got off the Euro Trash Express.
KO: I’ve wondered the same thing, Anthony…but then I suppose they’re used to Mona.
AC: Mona is… special.
LV: Emily is the only one who could blend in with the rest of the kids. Maybe one day they can use her as their mole.
AF: Heh, we should do a roundtable for Mona!
AC: I don’t have enough gin to look at many photos of Mona in succession.
KO: We end on a high note from The Badass Seed:
LV: Pretty sure I called this one “my favorite PLL outfit of all time” or somesuch.
KO: You did.
AC: BAH, my ovaries are clamping this is so cute.
AF: “I’m like SO channeling my inner stage manager, you guys.”
LV: Love the necklace, and the boots, and the cardigan…
KO: It’s nice to see her ditching the goth colors and wearing white.
LV: …and, and the top with that pattern that just makes me want to touch the material…
AC: Can we talk about the top?
KO: Yeah what is that material? Almost looks furry…
AF: The necklace is a bit “I made it myself out of spearheads, you guys!”
KO: Spearheads she picked up in Iceland.
AC: It’s the Viking way.
AF: I think this one works b/c of the lack of patterns. This is also the most normal-teenagerish she has ever looked.
LV: You’re right, it’s a typical school-girl outfit. i wish she dressed like this more often
AC: It’s the cardigan. The source of all her power lies in that cardigan.
AF: But if she dressed like this more often, she wouldn’t be our Aria.
AF: Note: shoutout to That’s So Aria on tumblr
KO: Ooh…I was looking for a reason to procrastinate!