This week on Ugly Betty, She’s All That, Jane By Design, Jane scoffs (literally) at India’s suggestion that teens follow trends. Gray is inspired by the insightful stammerings of her young assistant and assigns her to write a report on what teens really want from fashion. Judging from the array of students we see, the answer is: they don’t really know, so India’s Neo-African neon idea isn’t that outrageous in retrospect. The real drama comes from India remembering Billy from her wild night of wrap party partying. Being the rational person she is, India decides to roam the halls of Jane’s high school. As with most things India does, it is both awesome and hilarious. Billy unintentionally saves the day by changing his look from punky to preppy in an attempt at appeasing Lola’s dad.

 

Jane’s polka dot dress is absolutely adorable. I love that she offsets the girlishness with a low neckline.

And, of course, she accents the whole look by deciding to Just Put a Belt On and Cinch It (per Ann’s brilliant observation). The dress clearly needed some cinching, but Jane needs to learn that just putting a belt on doesn’t make an outfit. Red belts are clearly her thing, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

 

When Jane asks Ms. Shaw for permission to interview students, she decides to go with a simple tactic: pile on so many necklaces that Ms. Shaw is too distracted by the shinies to really pay attention.

Jane’s Chanel-esque jacket’s a definite hit, though, particularly with the contrast trim. Is it just us, or does Jane dress more professionally for school than for work?

 

Nope, not just us. This is the dress Jane opts for when making her big trend forecasting presentation. Maybe she was hoping that the strange proportions would distract everyone from her fashion free-for-all video diary.

That is the most Andie MacDowell you’re going to see in this post. For a creative director, her wardrobe is shockingly boring.

 

Jane, roaming the halls of her high school in an outfit I would love to wear to work.

The berryish magenta is a great color on her, the belt actually works with the outfit rather than against it, and the jeans and heels combo is always a winner. Her ability to run in heels is particularly impressive. Major points for Jane.

 

Last week, Ann commented on all the chunky rings Jane likes to wear and requested that they linger more on Jane’s wardrobe. Apparently, the editors listened. Case in point:

Why yes, that is a giant gold eagle soaring magestically over Jane’s left hand. How she doesn’t scratch herself or hit herself in the face with her giant rings is just beyond me. It may be her greatest skill.

 

As for Jane’s partner in fashion, Ben, he starts off the episode with a round of golf and some light berating from his girlfriend’s father. You know, just the usual.

Lulu’s father says he sees kids dressed like Billy every day in his courtroom. Given that he doesn’t have an anarchy “A” carved into his forehead and he’s just wearing black old man socks, I’m guessing that the kids he sees in his courtroom are there for either a) skateboarding tickets, or b) stealing from Vanessa Abram’s Magic Accessory Storage System.

 

Case in point:

Because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, here’s the accessory count for Billy: 1 pair of earrings, 2 necklaces, 1 double-nuckle ring, and 2 bracelets (one is a double-wrap bracelet) for a grand total of 6 accessories. Not bad, Male Abrams.

 

Billy takes Lulu’s father’s criticisms to heart and to closet. Lauren’s theory that Billy’s hair naturally exists in a state of faux-hawk is supported by Billy’s prepster hair.

Look at that volume. That is the volume of a faux-hawk struggling to be set free.

 

Even in boring preppy mode, Billy still manages to bring some flair to his wardrobe. I love the colors he pairs together – the pinkish red with navy in the last pic, the baby blue and buttery yellow in the pic below:

Should he need a part-time job, he’d fit right in at Abercrombie. And, judging by some of our recappers’ opinions of him, they wouldn’t be opposed to his being the shirtless guy out front.

 

When all is said and done, Lulu’s dad approves of Billy’s new look. Personally, I don’t see that much of a difference other than a newfound confidence when interacting with her dad.

Okay, he does kind of look like Luke from the OC. I guess that would make just about anyone feel more confident.

 

As for the always fabulous India, she starts off the episode with some of her best hair yet.

I love the soft waves and absence of Maleficent horns. Her massive earrings continue the trend of outstanding earware. I don’t know how she pulls these off without being overwhelmed by them, but somehow she manages and looks fabulous.

 

The rest of the outfit, however …

I didn’t realize that upcycled space blankets were the next big thing, but if India’s wearing one, I guess it must be hot for spring. And, as is required by the Jane By Design costume department, she’s decided to Just Put a Belt On. I like the pop of color, but it’s just kind of random with a top so fitted.

 

Oh no. India’s angry hair is back.

Super cute top, though. I love the neckline. Couldn’t she have worn this during her presentation? There is no justice in this world when we’re stuck with several scenes of the Space Blanket Top and only a few seconds of this outfit.

 

Or this one. I am super curious about that necklace and wish we had gotten a better shot of it. It kind of looks like it might match her earrings from the first scene.

I’m impressed by how well-balanced her accessories are: a giant statement necklace calls for subtle studs. Of the three big fashion characters on this show, India’s definitely the most convincingly styled.

 

Case in point: when you have to storm through the halls of a high school searching for a teenaged boy, always go with the skintight cocktail dress with a strong shoulder and half a peplum.

So awesome. And I am seriously coveting that bracelet with leather and a fringe of silver chainmail. I doubt that the Jane By Design costuming department will be reusing it, because I imagine India never wears something twice, so if they’re just going to keep it lying around I’ll take it off their hands.

 

Same with these shoes. So. Freaking. Fabulous.

India, the fact that you practically ran in these makes you my life hero.

 

I originally wasn’t going to include Rita Shaw in this recap, but then I saw this outfit:

Ms. Shaw! Look at you, with your tailored blazer, silky button-down, and delicate jewelry! And your hair is gorgeous! You are the kind of guidance counselor I would have turned to for sartorial advice throughout my tumultuous teenaged years. Well, this Ms. Shaw is, anyway.

 

I have a theory: there are two Ms. Shaws. She is secretly a twin, and sometimes she swaps places with her sister because she wants a day off. Unfortunately, the other Ms. Shaw does not have her sister’s knack for business-casual perfection.

Oh, Other Ms. Shaw. Nothing about this is good. The hair is sad and deflated, the sweater is poorly fitted, and Just Put a Belt On It does not fix everything. Did your sister bail on you at the last minute, forcing you to cut your Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathon short?

 

At least the Stylish Ms. Shaw went out with Ben.

Dammit, Ben, sit up straight! Who slouches this much on a date (after the 10th grade, that is). I know you’re confident, but at least pretend you’re trying to impress her.

 

Also, can I just say: I do not get why Billy’s been getting all the love among our recappers, when Ben is clearly the Baldwin of the bunch.

First and foremost, Jane, shut it, I love his sweater vest and tie combo. The fact that he matched the burgundy of his tie with the burgundy of the sweater vest makes him the Chuck Freaking Bass of PE Teachers, as far as I’m concerned. But, more importantly: has anyone else noticed a resemblance between Ben and a very young, Clueless-era Paul Rudd?

 

I would never have pretended to twist my ankle or surf the crimson wave if this man were making me run laps and play dodgeball.

So, so pretty. And he’s wearing a skinny tie with a tie pin, which somehow makes him even prettier. 

 

Speaking of neckwear, let’s check in on Jeremy’s neckwear. The man may wear too many vests, and his shirt may not fit properly (see: left image), but he knows his ties and bowties.

Is it wrong that my favorite look of his was the dark shirt and traditional tie? I feel like he should earn points for the bow ties, but honestly, they’re a little too smarmy for my liking. Which is kind of the point, because he is smarmy, but I am just not a fan of neckwear that tries too hard, and his neckwear is just trying way. too. hard.

 

Speaking of trying too hard, before we end this recap let’s get a look at the students Jane interviewed for her trend forecast, shall we?

 

Seriously, people: how is Jane the outcast at her school? There is so much randomness in the wardrobes here, I can’t imagine that her military-inspired jacket from the first episode was so shockingly outrageous.

 

Particularly since the most popular girl at school wears bustiers on the regular.

And her color palette is, apparently, entirely borrowed from Laura Ashley. Lulu, it might be time to swallow your pride and ask your newly prepster boyfriend for some styling tips. There is no excuse for dressing like a hooker whose wardrobe was inspired by her grandmother’s furniture.

Just saying. 

Alternately, maybe India can take you in with a Big Sister/Little Sister Bitch program. If it doesn’t exist, it ought to. Joining the ranks will be Siobhan with Sutton, Maggie with Naomi, and Emily (!!!) with Jenna.