Did you hear? The New York Times wants you to know that all the hip young women are all dressing like Elaine from Seinfeld! All of them! It marks a return to modesty and comfort. No more teetering around in “stilettos squeezed into minidresses that were as snug as sausage casings.” We’re all going back to floor length flowered dresses. And cowboy boots! Or at least, shoes with socks. And some jean jackets.

I really cherish these moments in reporting. I do. I cherish them because I realize that I do not live in the same New York that the New York Times reporters do. I don’t know which New York they live in. Maybe it’s a very delicately created lot out in Long Island, like the England in Julian Barne’s England, England. I think it’s where the people in those Weekender commercials live.

However, in the New york I live in, pretty much everyone I see is going around in sundresses and jeans shorts with tank tops, because it’s 83 degrees outside and nobody is like “yeah, today is the day to strap on some cowboy boots”. The only way I’m wearing a floor length long sleeved flowered dress with high heels and socks in the middle of August is if I’m in the witness protection program and I’m forced to move in with an Amish family.

But maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe the NYT piece is meant to be a predictor of things to come. Maybe they mean “in Fall, everyone will look like Elaine Benes.”

Umm, since when was Elaine Benes the only woman to wear a floral dress? They’re not really that uncommon. And the ones the New York Times have shown to go along with the picture of Elaine look nothing like Elaine’s. The girl in the picture is wearing a strapless sundress that stops at her knees. Elaine is wearing some shapeless  number that goes down to her ankles.

And why was she wearing those on the show? In large part because she was disgusing a pregnancy.

They also note that Chloe Sevigny does it. Yes. She does. When she’s appearing on Big Love.

Look, if you want to wear a flowered sundress with boots, that’s cool. You’ll look like a Mormon, but it’s still cool. But I hate that this has to mean that all the young women in New York have collectively decided to channel a character from a TV show a lot of them probably weren’t even watching all that closely.  Sometimes I feel like these style articles? They’re articles about nothing.

The New Adventures of Old Elaine – NYT