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Is Fashion Imitating Seinfeld's Elaine or Polygamists?

Is Fashion Imitating Polygamists or Elaine From Seinfeld?

The New York Times does nothing if not spot (and/or invent) trends, and this week it's pointed out one that's been walking New York's streets this Summer: young women dressed in floral skirts and dresses, lace-up boots, and messy secretary-bun hair. It's derivative, for sure, but is it imitating fundamentalist Mormons or Elaine Benes from Seinfeld?

The consensus, or the New York Times, says it's Elaine — the more empowering of the two. Julie Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine, says the show's goal was for her to look feminine but tough. Elaine "didn’t have girlfriends. She was one of the guys," Julia said. "It wasn’t about trying to look sexy. It was about looking like a girl who pushes people around.”

Considering a lot of the young women sporting the boxy-floral look now are too young to have watched Seinfeld in prime time, it's hard to write it off as nostalgia. Fingers point to the current revival of early-'90s fashion and music as its impetus, but also actress and designer Chloë Sevigny. Oddly enough, she plays a polygamist on Big Love. Maybe it is all connected?!


More likely, it's designer Chloë contributing to the trend. Her 2011 resort collection for Opening Ceremony takes the boxy look and shortens the hems, creating the updated Elaine. Maybe it wasn't intentional, but now that the NYT has called it out whatever comes next will be.

Photo courtesy NBC

Join The Conversation
TheBestRedDress TheBestRedDress 6 years
It's definitely a 90s look. You didn't have to be there in order to know the fashion.
chequettex chequettex 6 years
Bransugar you're right on! Um, yeah, hello, it wasn't just Elaine! There were a lot of us that dressed like that in the early 90's - long floral dresses and lace-up boots. I had several of each, and I was barely a teenager! It wasn't something I wore every single day, but it was a popular trend, which probably harkens back to some other trend from the 70's... that's how these things work. The leggings we were all wearing lest fall? Those were from the 80's.
bransugar79 bransugar79 6 years
I think it's more about that mid 90's granny trend resurfacing than specifically one character. It could be Blossom or any of 10 other 90's TV characters who were just reflecting what was popular at the time
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I agree with Studio. I hate this look. It also reminds me of what Kelly Taylor looked like in the college years of 90210.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Yay! I've always been a fan of that look. I'm not entirely sure why, since everything about it screams "little old lady," but I like it. I'd finish it off by using pencils as hair sticks.
Studio16 Studio16 6 years
I don't really care where it came from. It's kind of frumpy and gross and I wish it would just go away.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
My first impression was "Little House on the Prairie".
stephley stephley 6 years
Nah, I'm guessing over the years, more women/girls/whatever have seen Seinfeld repeats than watch Big Love.
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