This Sunday marks the premiere of the second season of the love-it-or-hate-it HBO semi-comedy Girls. (Full disclosure: We hated it until Shoshanna accidentally smoked crack, but now we're all in.) And while we're worried about poor recently run-over Adam and recently misguidedly married Jessa, we're really looking forward to being reunited with the clothes. Will Hannah ever wear something that fits? Will Marnie stop resorting to Ann Taylor? Will Jessa invest in a mirror? And more important, do we ever actually want them to? The crazy wardrobe was practically its own delightful character. So, as we salivate over the sartorial madness to come, here’s a guide to the craziest style moments from season one, which costume designer Jenn Rogien used to put a stamp on each girl from Girls, ensuring that they were just as uneven and occasionally messy on the outside as they were inside their heads.
HANNAH, Episode 1
The Setup: We meet Hannah when her parents take her to dinner and tell her they're not going to be bankrolling her anymore, even if she is a voice of a generation. The Getup: Hannah's aggrieved reaction to the end of her gravy train is obnoxious, but the fact that she dressed up for a fancy dinner with her Mom and Dad in a ruffled, puffed-sleeve dress — like a child going to a party — is quite sweet. Which is basically Hannah Horvath in a nutshell: You want to smack her and hug her, all at the same time.
JESSA and SHOSHANNA, Episode 1
The Setup: Jessa is returning from her glamorous and free-spirited traveling to bunk with her sweet, uptight, virginal cousin Shoshanna. The Getup: Of course Shoshanna is wearing a bubblegum-pink tracksuit. Like Shoshanna, it's prim, juvenile, unworldy — especially in comparison to Jessa, who wears hats and scarves and totes a fabulously beat-up Louis Vuitton. In short, Jessa is vintage; poor Shoshanna is just dated. However, “vintage” is not a free pass to wear unflattering jumpsuits in patterns last seen on the Dowager Countess's powder room wall.
MARNIE, Episode 2
The Setup: Marnie — like Charlotte York before her — works in some unspecified assistant-y position in an art gallery, answering the phones and attempting to remote event-plan Jessa's abortion. The Getup: Seriously, this looks like something you'd wear to the 1984 launch party of Dress for Success: Ladies' Edition. All she is missing is a jaunty lady necktie and a cell phone the size of a toaster.
JESSA, HANNAH, and SHOSHANNA, Episode 2
The Setup: Just friends, sharing a little Tasti D-Lite before an abortion, a job interview, and a lifetime of overanalyzing dating books, respectively. The Getup: In a recent piece in the New York Times, Lena Dunham said that one of Girls's producers hangs out in her costume fittings to protest whenever one of Hannah's outfits "fits too well." Mission accomplished, as this looks like it’s crushing several vital organs. As for Jessa, she did not end up needing the abortion, but she is still accepting applications for a friend to confront her about why she owns elastic-cuffed pants.
HANNAH, Episode 3
The Setup: Hannah gets herself all tarted up and looking "scarily hot-slash-amazing" to go over and seduce Adam, her vaguely disinterested quasi-boyfriend. The Getup: Marnie’s boyfriend wisely notes that Hannah looks like she's about to go "put a hex on some popular girls," while Marnie wonders if it's "some kind of solstice." The prosecution rests. But the defense would like to note that Hannah's homegrown salute to The Craft totally worked on Adam, so perhaps she knows what she's doing.
SHOSHANNA and JESSA, Episode 3
The Setup: Jessa is getting dressed for her first day at her new job. As a nanny. The Getup: In a totally sheer dress. "I can see your belly button," Shoshanna notes. And her ass, Shoshanna. In fairness, we later see that Jessa threw a giant shawl over this, which was possibly the only thing standing between her and a citizen's arrest for public indecency. Still, dude, you know you can’t wear an R-rating when your job is a G, right?
SHOSHANNA and HANNAH, Episode 3
The Setup: Shoshanna watches her "favorite show on GSN," Baggage, in which prospective dates reveal their emotional, well, baggage. (Shosh's is that she's a virgin, but also that she doesn't love her grandmother. At all.) The Getup: Let's just all take in the fact that Shoshanna, instead of buying out Barneys or drinking a $25 martini in her new Jimmy Choos, is wearing a Slanket to watch dating shows on Game Show Network. This is the kind of realism that was missing from Sex and the City.
MARNIE, Episode 3
The Setup: Marnie awkwardly flirts with Jorma Taccone at a party thrown by the gallery where she works, and ends up masturbating in her office. The Getup: This is Marnie’s uniform right up until the final two episodes: Something she bought on Gilt one Tuesday morning before she'd had all her coffee, then felt guilty about spending the money, then “accidentally” missed the return window. It is pretty, but also sort of a snooze. Much like Marnie herself.
HANNAH, Episode 3
The Setup: A Robyn-fueled dance party is the only way to end a day that involves an HPV diagnosis and discovering your college boyfriend is gay. The Getup: Hannah's plaid jumper is reasonable, but in the way that basically only appeals to other girls, so it's unfortunate that she’d choose to wear it for cocktails with a guy she once dated (don’t you always want to impress them? Even if they turned out to be gay?). And is that necklace made of Cap'n Crunch? Actually, having snacks hung around our necks sounds like the ideal coping strategy for a tough day.
HANNAH, Episode 4
The Setup: Adam sexted Hannah a photo of his penis … but he actually meant to send it to someone else. The Getup: On Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw regularly slept in a lacy bra. On Girls, Hannah doesn't even wear bottoms with her novelty T-shirt. Progress. Parenthetically, we can’t believe it took four episodes to get an ironic-and-yet-not tee up in here.
SHOSHANNA and JESSA, Episode 4
The Setup: Jessa is en route to work; Shoshanna is on her way to class. The Getup: Jessa's pants are, again, a total interior design print. Does Jessa actually exist, or does she just materialize out of a book of fabric samples each morning? Shoshanna, of course, wears giant heels and a short skirt to school, and carries not a backpack nor a messenger bag, but an impractical pink purse. For a girl who avers that she’s a Carrie, Shoshanna is totally a Charlotte. Okay, we're done with the Sex and the City comparisons now. (Although, Adam is totally what you’d get if Mr. Big turned out to have an illegitimate son he’d never met, but paid someone to raise in another borough. Right?)
HANNAH, Episode 4
The Setup: After a long day of work, Hannah goes over to Adam's to break up with him; instead, she ends up sleeping with him. Of course. The Getup: There is something deeply hilarious about Hannah's penciled-on brows, the handiwork of her officemates. "You look like a Mexican teenager. Awesome," Adam pronounces, before he makes out with her. Her sailor-suit-style jacket — worn over a cardigan that appears to be covered in tomatoes, which is itself layered over some terrible chambray something — makes her look like a first-grader who has just started dressing herself. Which is possibly also how she feels, given that someone has drawn all over her face. Only Hannah would leave work without beelining to the nearest bathroom to scrub that off.
MARNIE, Episode 5
The Setup: Marnie goes to Charlie's apartment (for the first time ever) to talk him out of breaking up with her. The Getup: We love that Marnie’s raciest outfits still smack of Ann Taylor Loft. But even in times of desperation-fueled seduction, if it's still daylight, you shouldn't pair hooker shoes with cleavage and a trench coat unless you want people to think you are an escort. A high-class escort, but still.
JESSA and MARNIE, Episode 5
The Setup: The obligatory Oberlin flashback. The Getup: Of course Marnie — poor, uptight Marnie — used to wear her Polo collar fully popped. That feels as right as the fact that Jessa went through a period of wearing face jewelry, like a loudmouth British Gwen Stefani.
HANNAH, Episode 5
The Setup: Hannah has decided that, because her boss keeps quasi-sexually harrassing her, she might as well just sleep with him. ("I am gross, and so are you.”) The Getup: GIRL. Why are you wearing all of Cost-Plus World Market?
JESSA, Episode 5
The Setup: Jessa seduces an ex-boyfriend, just to prove she can. The Getup: When you're testing your powers of sexual persuasion, dressing up like a lazy geisha — Uggs, Jessa? Really? — might just be too on the nose. Then again, it’s also the ultimate test of your own appeal. If you look like a harried mom who just ran into the street looking to borrow an egg and a cup of sugar, and you still pull, you’ve definitely got it.
HANNAH, Episode 6
The Setup: Back in Michigan, Hannah decides to accept a date with an old classmate, hoping he’ll remind her what Good Guys are like. The Getup: We presume these are dregs of her left-behind home wardrobe, which explains why this feels like stale churchwear. As Hannah gives herself a pep-talk about how she’s naturally very interesting and funny and not at all terrible, the frumpy, artfully lopsided bow is a neat, subtle little betrayal — as if it has no idea what it’s doing there and hopes she’ll soon admit the same.
HANNAH, JESSA, and MARNIE, Episode 7
The Setup: The hottest party in all of Brooklyn, of course. The Getup: All of Brooklyn and two thirds of Manhattan are coming, per Jessa, so naturally Marnie — for whom business casual attire is the proverbial womb — shows up wearing the exact same kind of outfit she’d wear to work at the gallery; the unconvinced Hannah continues with the childlike and unflattering layers akin to what Forever 21 would have made if it existed in 1989; and Jessa is in full avian regalia, like a predatory hawk or a doomsday raven. Sometimes we wonder if, secretly, Jessa sits at home listening to “I’m Like a Bird” on repeat and thinking Nelly Furtado is the only person who really gets her.
SHOSHANNA, Episode 7
The Setup: The aforementioned party The Getup: It feels natural that Shoshanna would turn up at a hipster warehouse bash wearing a sequined skirt with pantyhose underneath — she completely seems like the kind of girl who would breathlessly chant, “According to my aunt, nothing beats a great pair of L’Eggs.” And she accidentally smoked crack on this night, which is apt because that’s what we always said it would take to get us into pantyhose again.
HANNAH, Episode 8
The Setup: Hannah is nesting with her now-boyfriend Adam — who, by the way, plays Samuel Beckwith in Lincoln. Just try taking that seriously after watching all his humping and dirty talk. The Getup: Because he is a quirky nutball, Adam wears pajama onesies, and he has one for Hannah, too. Is this just … lying around his apartment, for all comers? Does he wash it between ladies? Did he order it for her specifically (because that is sort of sweet)? Or is it just in this episode for the novelty of seeing two main characters sporting dumpy, dingy thermal rompers? Ding ding, we may have a winner. Credit to Lena Dunham for looking as adorably chill in it as possible.
HANNAH and SHOSHANNA, Episode 9
The Setup: A book release party for a hated (and envied) acquaintance of Hannah’s. The Getup: Self-sabotage, basically. If you’re celebrating the hardback release of the slobbered-on memoir of someone who condescends to you and drives you totally mental, theoretically you want to look dynamite; instead, Hannah wears a droopy-bodiced sundress that appears to be making her chest concave. In other words, she is wearing her feelings: illusion of cheer with underlying depression. Additionally, we are unsurprised that Shoshanna is one of those people who can intricately braid her own hair. You know that girl watches a lot of instructional YouTube videos.
HANNAH, Episode 9
The Setup: Sexy fun time. (Well, in this case, pensive furrowing time, but you get the gist.) The Getup: For much of this show’s ten-episode run, Hannah has worn Adam in some way, shape, or form. Seriously, actor Adam Driver’s limbs and torso are such money-savers in the costuming budget that he should get a percentage.
SHOSHANNA, Episode 9
The Setup: She is wandering the streets with Jessa before meeting a blind date. The Getup: This outfit feels very Shoshanna, in the sense that it’s both girly and askew. Indeed, her ill-used, crooked bow belt could be a metaphor for her life: something she thinks she knows how to work with confidence, but really she’s just as clueless as anyone else.
HANNAH, Episode 10
The Setup: Hannah and Adam are helping Marnie move out of the apartment. The Getup: One of our favorite things about Girls is that they dress realistically for mundane events. When Hannah jogs, she wears a ratty T-shirt and unflattering shorts, just like we do. When she’s pretending to lug heavy objects down the stairs, she’s in terrible Bermuda shorts and a tank top, which … we personally try to avoid, but we certainly understand not wanting to put in any effort when your roommate is spite-moving.
SHOSHANNA AND MARNIE, Episode 10
The Setup: Jessa has threatened to gut everyone like fishes if they don’t come to her surprise event. The Getup: How convenient that these two had very formal gowns at their disposal. How many twentysomethings do you know who own floor-length satin beyond whatever they kept from prom? Although, Shoshanna may have made hers out of bedsheets, and Marnie's looks like it came straight from the consignment shop, so maybe we can let this one float.
JESSA, Episode 10
The Setup: Her impromptu wedding to mash-up fiend Chris O’Dowd. The Getup: This outfit is hilarious. Jessa, who may not have brushed her hair in days and appears to be wearing actual shrimping netting, looks like a cross between a Massengill ad and a fishing accident. We are taking this wedding gown about as seriously as we suspect Jessa will take this marriage.
HANNAH, Episode 10
The Setup: Hannah is having a heart-to-heart with a urinating Jessa. Of course. The Getup: Earlier Hannah cheerfully sang out that she’d managed to match her dress to her shoes, and we were as surprised as anyone. And while she looks cute — with an apt eau d' low-budget hipster — she also once again manages to have the tailoring all wrong. (Her dress was too short even before she met the bathroom floor.) In the end, though, that’s the quality that’s both sweetest and saddest — and most defining — about Hannah herself: She's got all the pieces to pull her life together, if only she could just get out of her own way. But it’s only season two, so where’s the fun in that?
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