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August 30, 2010

We all remember “Seinfeld,” right? (If you don’t, you were probably born after the year 2000 and I just can’t process that.) Anyway, when you recall the show about nothing and its enduring jokes — no soup for you, master of my domain — do you remember it as a particularly fashionable show (white puffy shirt aside)?

I didn’t think so.

Jerry always wore those awful white sneakers, Kramer was lucky if he didn’t have a stain down the front of his untucked shirt and George … well, George was George.

But apparently the “Elaine look” is resurfacing here in good old New York. The New York Times is proclaiming that the Elaine Benes look is coming into its own. To be fair, I’ve been obsessed with floral for the better part of 2010, and denim shirts are certainly making a comeback. (Although personally, I’m not a huge fan.)

The Times’ William Van Meter writes,

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 Elaine look incorporates so many styles — early American settler, gypsy, business casual, pious zealot — that it was likely only a matter of time before one of them provided inspiration for designers. Indeed, the recent resort collections featured more calico than an alley of cats, and a chic Elaine specter hovered over lines as diverse as Prada and Rebecca Taylor, each with a multitude of prim prints.

He sort of has a point. Socks have been spotted paired with heels on runways, although it’s still too far too hot in New York to imagine pairing dainty socks with our heels. But rather than floor-length floral skirts, ours are shorter — calf-length, or above the knee.

Thoughts? It’s true that everything old is new again, so what do you guys think about the return of the Elaine Benes look?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 3:01 pm

    I loved Elaine’s character, though I never really saw her as a fashion icon. I guess “Seinfeld” to me has always been a show of fashion don’ts — don’t wear black tapered jeans and sneakers, or pirate shirts…

    However, there have been lots of 90s-esque floral dresses that are coming back into popularity that I think a younger Elaine would have rocked. I’m totally okay with that. I never really gave up my child of the 90s roots.

    • August 31, 2010 4:29 pm

      Yeah, I really think it’s more random pieces of the ’90s look that are coming back, and not necessarily the “Elaine look.”

      I’ve pretty much never met a floral dress I didn’t like, and I’ve seen several that Kelly Taylor and Kelly Kapowski would certainly have sported back in 1992.

  2. August 31, 2010 3:20 pm

    Yeah I read that as well and I was confused by it. I don’t even remember Elaine being thought of as especially well dressed or stylish on the show. She had a particular look, but I don’t think even people in the 90s were imitating it. Maybe small elements of her look are creeping in, but I don’t know if it’s enough to call it a trend!

    • August 31, 2010 4:29 pm

      I definitely agree! Everything old always becomes new again at some point!

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