August 19, 2010

Fashion-hip women are now dressing like Elaine Benes— the Julia Louis-Dreyfus character from "Seinfeld."

The NYT reports:
Over the years, Elaine has stood out as a beacon of a faded era, in long floral skirts, blazers with padded shoulders and granny shoes with socks. Just about every inch of her skin was covered as if she were photosensitive. Unlike other 1990s series with a more easily imitable style (see “Melrose Place”), “Seinfeld” was decidedly anti-fashion. But now, if you happen upon an old episode, Elaine just looks cool — and of-the-moment....
“The... shirts Elaine wore,” Ms. Louis-Dreyfus said. “They were often very lacey or had a lace inset or a demure collar and were worn underneath something tough, like a leather coat or denim jacket. For a long time, actually, the jacket was mine. It was a Ralph Lauren cowboy jacket with fringe. I have that somewhere. I wonder where that is? That was a lot of the look. And also cowboy boots.”...
How does one explain the head-to-toe Elaine fashion renaissance?... “The look doesn’t come from outer space,” he said. “Girls who were obsessed with micro-minis are now so anti-that, and they’re embarrassed at what they were wearing two years ago. This is a more covered-up look and looking like you have a brain....”
So... very feminine + the relatively masculine = brainy? That may be true. Try it. In fashion. In everything. For women, that is. For men, perhaps... very masculine + relatively feminine = ????.

51 comments:

Geoff Matthews said...

I think that it is more that people assume that girls who dress in a way to draw attention to their boobs/butt don't have much in the way of brains.

Scott said...

From Investopedia:

"Skirt Length Theory: The idea behind this theory is that shorter skirts tend to appear in times when general consumer confidence and excitement is high, meaning the markets are bullish. In contrast, the theory says long skirts are worn more in times of fear and general gloom, indicating that things are bearish."

Mr. Bingley said...

Elaine would make a smokin' Ewok.

Just sayin.

kent said...

Elaine would make a smokin' Ewok.


"Not that there's anything wrong with that."

El Pollo Real said...

Aren't Seinfeld fashions rather last century?

ricpic said...

She always looked frumpy to me.

sol said...

when economy is good, hemlines go up, tops come down, and bars are full of women. When economy is bad, women hemlines drop, tops cover up, and very few women are on bar patrol.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Women's fashions and hemlines tend to reflect and even predict the economic conditions.

This style is a leading indicator of the coming second Great Depression.

Kensington said...

More women dressing like Elaine is not a good development.

Superdad said...

The pictures with the article serve only to prove that the article is all bullshit. None of the women pictured are in clothes that are similar to what Elaine wore. This is just stupid.

Scott said...

But Superdad, it's the New York Times, so it has to be true.

Scott said...

"Elaine would make a smokin' Ewok."

Go pet your Wookie.

AllenS said...

Can we throw our nuts at Elaine? Or is that taboo?

traditionalguy said...

The power of looking like a tatooed slut whore seems to have been exposed as the weakest female position to take, which it is. The relationship lives of females who are strong but also willing dress like a faithful woman dresses has a far longer life+marriage expectancy than the Paris Hilton look ever will. The economy has re-awakened the potential of a man and woman needing one another for longer than a drunken weekend.

k*thy said...

DBQ, yes, sadly, it does look kind of '30's, but on the other hand, it sure looks pretty comfortable. And I'm all for the latter.

aronamos said...

Elaine Benes would have gotten the Wicket joke.

Brian Johnson said...

Whenever I see a goofy story like this from corporate media, I suspect that there's some new related product, movie, or book release that's really being promoted. I don't have any desire to look this up, but I'm guessing some marketing meme will wash over us soon enough.

Brianjo

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, yes, sadly, it does look kind of '30's, but on the other hand, it sure looks pretty comfortable. And I'm all for the latter.

Oh yes, comfortable to be sure. I have some clothing like this, which I sometimes wear, from my misspent youth as a hippie dippie chick. :-) Not the same clothes....those would be worn completely out.

Another leading indicator of the economic downturn will be the resurgance of domestic crafts like we had in the 1970's.

Gardening, canning, quilting, sewing, knitting, home crafty building, home cooking, woodworking, making crafts out of stuff you would normally throw away.

Everything old is NEW again!

Pogo said...

"For men, perhaps... very masculine + relatively feminine ="

Justice Kagan.

Lem said...

Otherwise known as a good softball player ;)

I want credit for that.

Meade said...

Feminine + relatively masculine is to brainy as
masculine + relatively feminine is to inept.

Kirstin said...

Elaine's style evolved over the years. Her clothes were more tailored towards the end.

edutcher said...

Anything even remotely associated with 'Seinfeld' has nothing to do with brainy.

Also agree with ricpic on frumpy.

PS Whenever The Blonde gets fed up, she'll put on one of her rodeo shirts, her cowboy hat, and her buckskin jacket, pick up her whip, and go out and attack the bushes out back.

Very masculine + relatively feminine. Don't know what it equals, but she does look cute.

WV "proff" (no kidding) How a student addresses Mrs Meade when she's assigned a killer workload.

Trooper York said...

I love these comedy threads when you talk about fashion.

What a hoot!

E.M. Davis said...

Elaine's style evolved over the years. Her clothes were more tailored towards the end.

Indeed. A lot of tighter, black leather kinds of looks. Nothing kinky or slutty. But it certainly did evolve. So did the hair.

JLD probably wanted to distance herself from the 'frumpyness' and show off her figure a little more.

This also coincided with the character becoming less sentimental and more cynical.

El Pollo Real said...

Ellie May Clampett was covered from head to toe too.

MadisonMan said...

I think you'd be more fashion-hip to dress like Kramer.

prairie wind said...

Another leading indicator of the economic downturn will be the resurgance of domestic crafts like we had in the 1970's.

We are already there, and have been for some time, haven't we? HGTV is loaded with "trash-to-treasure" shows. Trading Spaces was all about homemade, crafty things that passed for style. Knitting is big, quilting is all the rage, scrapbooking... Though maybe we are still waiting for the undeniable indicator: macrame.

Heck, even The Wookie is gardening!

E.M. Davis said...

For men, perhaps... very masculine + relatively feminine = ????.

Gay.

Many gay men are very into body image and thus have muscular, toned — some would argue 'masculine' — bodies.

But they couple that look with ass-hugging skinny jeans and tight-fitting shirts that fall into a 'feminine' color range.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

E.M. Davis said...

Did someone say Macrame?


WV: Nonquer. Slowly conquering another civilization by appearing not too, See also: Mosque, Ground-Zero.

Franklin said...

I live in Tribeca and I never see women like that.

I call shenanigans.

bailesworth said...

Wishful thinking.

Big Mike said...

I was going to expound on the skirt length theory, but I see that Scott beat me to it.

So the question of how to "explain the head-to-toe Elaine fashion renaissance" is almost certainly answered by pointing out that consumer confidence is low and there is a significant expectation of a "double dip" recession.

Also by pointing out that the Times is pretty clueless.

TosaGuy said...

From what I gathered from Seinfeld is that they were not part of the set focused on by the publishers of the NYT, unlike the characters in Friends.

prairie wind said...

E.M., I love this: There's a good reason there's no African-American Martha Stewart. That shit is a waste of time.

Alex said...

Martha Stewart - file under "Stuff white people like".

MadisonMan said...

It occurs to me: Was this just lazy writing? Did the writer of this story cast their mind back through TV land to find a story set in NYC, settle on Seinfeld and Elaine, and then write the story to fit her?

Women are wearing unusual things on the street. They must be getting their ideas from TV. Let's find a show set in NYC and see if that's why.

Rachel said...

prairie wind:

The Black Martha Stewart

Joe said...

So slow news day for the NYT? We went out, saw two womyn wearing clothes, we "think" are from Seinfeld, and then write a piece on a new "trend?"

c3 said...

Unimportant

NOTE: In preparing for my 30 year anniversary I was looking at photo's of my wife over that time. Noted the long hair of the mid 70's, the Farrah look of the late 70's; the short cut then perm look with spandex etc of the 80's. Then the longer dresses of the 90's. Now looking at the "warmer colors" printed tops etc of the '00's.

You know what I noticed the most:


MY WIFE. (Beautiful, love her etc)

alyas33 said...

In the major fashion capitals, fashion weeks are semiannual events. January through April designers showcase their autumn and winter collectionsand September through November the spring/summer collections are shown. Fashion weeks must be held several months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview fashion designs for the following season. This is also to allow time for retailers to arrange to purchase or incorporate the designers into their retail marketing

ALP said...

I was always very taken with Kramer's wardrobe - I loved his shirts. Too busy admiring those shirts to notice Elaine's clothing. I don't understand my interest in male clothing over female - the first thing I notice on a TV show is the men's ties.

knox said...

None of the women pictured are in clothes that are similar to what Elaine wore.

The first one a little bit. But yeah, the rest of them were a big stretch.


###

You know what I noticed the most:


MY WIFE.

Nice!

former law student said...

None of those women's clothes look like Elaine's to me.

Elaine's jackets merely made her look more feminine in contrast.

Mike said...

Elaine is hot. Especially with big hair.

prairie wind said...

I've been shopping with my teenage daughter, and I did notice that there are a lot of lacy, gauzy skirts and blouses and lots of miltary-looking jackets. Lapels, brass, belts, buckles. Maybe less military, more safari. I dunno. My daughter called it military. I didn't notice any boots and I especially didn't see any black oxfords with white socks. That look works only on tiny women. Larger women just look larger if we try some of those kicky looks.

I have no idea how the NYT writer connected this look with Elaine. That's just kind of weird.

Skyler said...

When newspapers write about fashion, it's usually just one person's idea of what their friends are wearing in new York.

Here in Austin the women are still in tie dyed t-shirts.

jamboree said...

It's been bouncing between these two poles for all enternity. (double entendre intended). As it ever was, so shall it ever be.

I'm not on either side. Due to my era (90s), I mostly was on the covered up side, however, I didn't begrudge the younger gen getting their tramp on. In fact, I hoped that anything we had done had perhaps carved out a space for them to give their chickness full reign. All I cared about was that they "kept control of the copyright" as it were and had a good time for as long as they could before it turned back on them - as it usually does.

If you explore grrl power you'll soon realize that you've been messing about with windmills when nukes lie within your grasp if only you'll leverage the main power "Society" wants to hand you on a silver platter. This leads to Slut Time with smart girls usually leading the pack. But of course, that means you've been sucked into a certain gauntlet that is the oldest rigged game in the book....and so it swings back the other way.

There Is No Sanctuary. :-)

Except - in keeping control of that copyright, that is. See Madonna.

c3 said...

Looking again at the fashion maybe this is the latest version of this?

La Di Dah....la di dah

(Yeah, I watched the movie recently)

America's Politico said...

I have always wanted to meet "Elaine Benes". She was, and still is, the perfect woman.

Clive said...

I always liked the way Elaine looked. Seriously.