I spent my formidable years watching Gilmore Girls and following the ups and downs, loves and breakups of Lorelai and Rory, learning what it means to love boys and chase dreams. But along the way, I also learned another valuable lesson, via Lorelai Gilmore's outfits. There were plenty, and they were often zany. She wasn't scared of dabbling with trends, mixing and matching recklessly and creatively, and indulging in the things she liked without much of a game plan.
Just think about your favorite lace trim sweater. Now imagine matching that with a bucket hat you might have purchased for a fly fishing expedition. Then add some boot-cut corduroys for good measure. Did those things pique your interest separately? Most likely. Should they ever have seen the light of day together? Nope. But did Lorelai enjoy wearing it all regardless of the haters? I'm certain she did.
Looking back at outfits from the early 2000s can be a bit cringe-worthy (just flip through your high school yearbook, people), but Lorelai's outfits — many of which never quite hit the mark — are actually fun to reflect back upon. Below are 13 outdated Lorelai Gilmore outfits that will both endear you and make you shudder.
1. Cowboy Hat & Bedazzled Sweater
Were leopard print cowboy hats ever actually in? I'm not sure you can call something "outdated" when it's always been a slight sin against humanity. But what we can talk about is the camo sweater that met its match with a Bedazzler. We've all been in one of those lonely "let's check out my DIY Pinterest board" moods, I'm sure. I feel you, Lorelai.
2. The Sweater Vest
Say hello to the Treasurer Of Spanish Club, here to take your sign-up fees. Hold on, she just has to get the lockbox out of her locker.
This is literally the uniform I wore in high school, back when button-up shirts and dangly necklaces were seen as so profesh and sophisticated.
3. The "Straight Out Of The Early 2000s" Look
Big buckle purse straps. Skull cap knit hats. Skinny, skinny, skinny scarves that serve absolutely no purpose for a winter in Connecticut. I mean, the latter is basically a shoe lace. A fettuccine noodle. A piece of dental floss. If this was the Oregon Trail, she would've lost this round and frozen to death.
4. A Beanie Gone Wrong
I know humans are really into wearing beanies all nonchalant-like indoors and outside of the appropriate season, but this one slightly missed the mark. Mainly because it vaguely resembled the knit hats our moms shouted for us to put on before we tore out of the front door and into the snow when we were eight. It's interesting to see how much fashion can evolve in just 10 years, no?
5. The Layered T-Shirt Look
I'd like to put down a wager that we were all guilty of trying out this look at one point in our lives. Maybe it was field trip day or you and your friends were going to the neighborhood's hookah bar to buy cheap pita bread and hang, and you then decided to add some pizzazz to your T-shirt with the addition of a layer. Luckily, those times have passed.
6. Another Stab At Layering
You know exactly what's going on underneath that blazer: There's a shrunken, tissue-paper-thin cardigan that's wrapped loosely underneath the underwire of the bra. The question is: Why is it layered underneath a working woman's blazer? Why, Lorelai, why?
7. Ruffle Shirt
When you want to look a little like the pirate heroine of an erotica novel, and a little like you're about to go hunker down and do your taxes. Why does a lady need to choose, right?
8. Repping The Nationality
I feel like when Europeans think of Americans, this is what they picture: Bandana toting, American flag repping men and women with a line of hot dogs waiting on the grill. But for real: The only time this attire would fly in 2016 is maybe, maybe, during the Fourth Of July. Because if muscle tees featuring coyotes howling at the moon while an American flag billows in the background is something that's encouraged, then this look would likely fly as well.
9. Interesting Pattern Mixing
I'm all for pattern mixing, but this look is a bit of a head scratcher. We've got your dash of leopard print, mixed in with cartoon figures and... a Canadian maple leaf? I don't know about this one, Lor.
10. Unknown Chinese Characters
Granted dip-dye is still very much in, but not in such an aggressive contrast, and definitely not when paired with boot-cut corduroy pants. Plus, casually wearing Chinese characters on your shirt is a wardrobe no-no. Especially when the wearer can't be 100 percent certain about what those characters actually mean.
11. Feather Boa Accents
She was either channeling her best inner Cher Horowitz, or Lorelai ventured into the 97 percent off section and bought the one shirt no human had ever dared to buy. This is very Fran Fine, and I equal parts hate it and love it.
12. Bucket Hats & Plastic Necklaces
I know that Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj brought bucket hats back to us in the "Feeling Myself" video, but Lorelai lacked a certain je ne sais quoi when it came to rocking the same look. This was probably because she paired hers with a lace sweater and a plastic necklace that looked suspiciously like the one Ariel kept her voice in.
13. Pilgrim Buckle Belts
The ultimate accessory in the earlier '00s? A buckle belt that flirted between being a girdle and an actual accessory. It was generally cinched right below the boobs, because we thought that was a great idea. I owned 12 and was a serial abuser of this look, so no shame Lorelai.
The early 2000s were a different and confusing era. At the end of the day, we can't even blame Lorelai. She was just a victim of the times.
Want more fashion and beauty tips? Check out the playlist below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: The WB (13)