From its overdramatic plot lines to the hyperbolic characters, I love everything about Gossip Girl. If I had to choose one thing that was way too exaggerated for my tastes, however, it would be the classic Gossip Girl high school fashion. As much as I want to believe that every freshman has a wardrobe full of outfits from Barneys, Bendels, and Bergdorfs, that's simply not true.
Don't get me wrong: I was always in love with costume designer Eric Daman's sartorial choices. He did a great job at curating ensembles that perfectly aligned themselves with the characters and their development. That being said, he totally missed the mark in terms of capturing the reality of high school clothing. Granted, an element of Gossip Girl was definitely the fantasy and over-the-top-ness of it all, but if you want to relate to actual high school students, maybe you shouldn't dress all your characters in heaps of Louis Vuitton.
My high school attire consisted of khaki shorts, jeans, and slouchy T-shirts. By no means was I strutting around hallways in designer plaid skirts or custom-made blazers like Serena van der Woodsen. Even if I could afford to wear designer clothes, the characters' ensembles were all a little too formal for the reality of a high school environment anywhere other than an Upper East Side private school on a CW show. Here are just seven times when Gossip Girl clothing and its real life equivalents were lightyears apart.
1. Gossip Girl School Uniforms Versus Real School Uniforms
Sometimes I wish I could go back to school uniforms, but under one condition: That they look just like those from Constance Billard School For Girls. If I could wear plaid like that every day, I totally would. Just like Serena and Blair, I would try to dress up the look with scarves, headbands, socks, and pretty shoes. Unfortunately, real life uniforms are nothing like that.
All throughout elementary and middle school, I wore uniforms. Mine, however, were not nearly as elaborate or pretty as those that Blair, Jenny, and Serena sported. I was required to wear a navy blue or white polo with khaki pants. Every. Single. Day.
2. Gossip Girl Dance Versus Real Dance
I'm not exactly sure what a "Snowflake Ball" is, but considering the high schoolers of Gossip Girl attended during the academic year, let's just say it was something like a school dance. Of course, I'm not sure what high school student would be able to afford a Harry Winston necklace like the one Blair is wearing, let alone a sequined blazer jacket like the one on Chuck. I know, I know: They're supposed to be rich. But the relateability factor here is a sad state of affairs.
My high school prom was easily one of the fanciest events I have ever attended. Even though I begged my mom to let me wear some of her jewelry, she wouldn't let me for fear that I would loose it. As you can see, my dress was also a lot less elaborate than what anything Serena, Blair, or even Jenny wore in that episode.
3. Gossip Girl Shopping Versus Real Life Shopping
As we all know, any and all events were a reason for the Gossip Girl characters to get dressed up. Not once did I ever see them in sweatpants. Even shopping — i.e. the most basic activity, which requires the most basic clothing — was like a cocktail party for them. Look at all those accessories, the colorful clothing, and the intricate designs. Ain't nobody got time for that, especially not when I'm browsing the clearance racks.
When I'm going shopping, all I can think about wearing is something that's comfortable. As long as it's easy to take off my body and just as easy to put back on, I'm happy. Hence why I usually opt for a skirt and a shirt that I can simply pull on. If I were wearing headband like Blair's, it would fall off every time I put a piece of clothing over my head.
4. Gossip Girl Pajamas Versus Real Life Pajamas
A floral corset? Matching panties? A silk robe? I always thought pajamas were supposed to be comfortable, but maybe I was wrong. Perhaps they're supposed to be pretty and sexy and lacy and silky. But honestly, I could barely scrap up enough money for a movie ticket in high school, let alone a fancy designer pair of undergarments to sleep in.
Blair Waldorf obviously doesn't know the real meaning of pajamas. My jammies consist of a T-shirt I have had since elementary school and an old pair of men's boxers I don't even remember how I acquired. What I sleep in has to be comfy, not poking or squeezing me like a corset would.
5. Gossip Girl Hang Out Versus Real Life Hang Out
As I touched upon before, these characters were consistently formal, even when their environments or the events they were attending weren't. Seriously, even when they had a casual, girly get-together in Season 2, Blair and Serena were both dressed to the nines.
When I'm hanging out with friends, I couldn't care less about what I'm wearing. I'm probably not going to wear a fancy dress, do my hair, or make sure my face is impeccably powdered. In real life, I'm so comfortable around my friends that I know they won't be bothered by me wearing sweatpants or no makeup.
6. Gossip Girl Graduation Versus Real Life Graduation
From pearls to jewels to matching headbands, graduation was a celebratory event for Upper East Siders that everyone (obviously) dressed up for. I personally don't know anyone who wore stilettos for fear of falling over while accepting their diploma, however. And headbands seem like a bad idea when you combine them with the unpredictable and totally flimsy graduation caps we're often required to wear.
In real life, graduation is a tedious process. While I'm glad there isn't usually the crazy drama á la Gossip Girl, I'm not glad that I have to wear a funky hat and a long, heavy robe. Especially one that covers up the outfit that I planned for months ahead of time. No wonder Daman specifically left the characters' gowns open.
7. Gossip Girl Summer Vacation Versus Real Life Summer Vacation
Shopping on the Rue Saint Honore, sipping coffee at a classic Parisian cafe, and visiting some of the best museums in the city encompassed the summer trip Serena and Blair took to Paris. They're dressed perfectly for it, of course, in fun cherry prints and sequined bustier dresses. Let's be real, though: Summer vacations, especially those to big cities, are jam-packed with sight-seeing, visiting monuments, and being a classic tourist who takes photos of everything.
As much as I would love to look like I walked off a movie set, when I'm on vacation in the summer I'm usually sweaty, have frizzy hair, and am dressed as comfortably as possible. When I visited Brazil last summer, for instance, all I wanted to wear for long walks around the city was jeans, a T-shirt, and Converse. I wouldn't even want to think about sequined dresses.
Imagining those sequin dresses, however, is an entirely different story.
Images: CW; Melodi Erdogan