So Chic, Very Chic: Girls Rule, Boys Drool

So Chic, Very Chic: Girls Rule, Boys Drool

BYJoan SummersApr 25, 2024

This is So Chic, Very Chic, PAPER’s examination of Bravo’s sprawling cohort of fashion obsessives. From haute couture to TJ Maxx, they’ve literally worn it all. Sometimes they stunt, sometimes they turn the look, and sometimes they burn holes in retinas my ophthalmologist says might never heal.

I went on a cross-country road trip this past week — a culmination of events that led me to getting a divorce, putting my entire life in storage, and just a year and a half later, retrieving it from storage to drive it across the country. But I call it a road trip because it sounds more romantic.

I started in San Francisco, where possessions sat collecting dust in a warehouse. Then I drove to Las Vegas and caught a friend’s wedding, after which I won some money and got a neck tattoo across my neck that says "Doll Parts" in cursive across my neck in a strip mall way off Fremont Street. The artist kept his hand pressed against my face for most of the experience and talked about his brother who’d just died and the well-known adult entertainer he refused to marry, because he didn’t believe in that stuff. I thought about him fondly as I drove off into the desert.

From Vegas, I swung up to Utah and thought about how the vastness of red rock and mountainous crags might lead someone to think they’re God, or at least a god. Out from Utah, I drove through Colorado, up the mountain into Vail while it snowed, and then down into Denver. My hotel had a waffle maker, and I munched on one while taking notes for this column. From Denver, I trekked across Nebraska and stopped at a gas station called Fat Dogs. It had the slogan “YOU ARE NOWHERE,” and I went inside while my gas pumped to buy a sandwich and a t-shirt and chatted up the cashier about my Wrestlemania XL merch. He had no idea how I’d arrived in rural Nebraska from Philadelphia, and neither did I.

I wore my Fat Dog t-shirt as I entered Iowa, where I stopped to eat pizza in a small town. I ordered a chef’s salad, because I was tired of road food, and was served iceberg lettuce with pepperoni and ham chunks. I picked at it for an hour, pretending I was at a dinner on The Real Housewives. From Iowa, I took on Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, which blended into a muddle of rain and billboards that declared marriage was between a man and a woman. I laughed, because they felt nostalgic. Ohio turned into West Virginia and Appalachia. At last, I crossed into Pennsylvania, whose state sign loudly proclaimed: “PURSUE YOUR HAPPINESS.”

To me, that looks like writing a column every week about the outfits they wear on Bravo. You could say this is a story about a girl named Lucky.

The Valley

Jax Taylor

Do we have eyes on the designers making ribbed, stretch t-shirts with attached hoodies for men? I know that was Allsaints’ bag for a bit, but we know Mr. Taylor can’t afford Allsaints. Still, it's impressive that a man like this can make the garment he has on look banal, completely devoid of any edginess pre-prescribed by its cut and fit. It’s like a witch who’s also a Reiki healer cursed him, after he cut her off outside the Gelson’s in Valley Village, to forever be torn between looking like a guy who ties up girls to train tracks and a guy who sells novelty sunglasses in Venice.

Brittany Cartwright

It was a light week for fashions on The Valley, but I did feel it was important to note that this was Brittany’s attempt at dressing professionally for a business meeting at Jax’s new bar, which they drove to in a golf cart while fighting about their sex life.

Vanderpump Rules

Katie Maloney

Once again, I’m back to say that I quite liked Katie’s whole vibe this episode. The outfits were silly, but she knows they’re silly. And that’s what matters to me most. This embroidered, sheer shirt was one of her more memorable pieces this year, although it begs to be worn with nothing underneath. I know that Katie Maloney can’t have her tits out at Mel’s Diner, but what if?

Later in the episode, she dressed like a character on Heathers (2018). Justice for Heathers (2018)! The shirt is so, so silly, but what’s silliest are the studs around the trim. The font adds to the farce, as does her pleated skirt and pink Solo cup. Kudos, Katie Maloney!

Scheana Marie

What’s the over-under that Scheana’s marriage lasts the decade? Our poor girl gazed into the abyss this week at a novelty restaurant for her anniversary. She opted for a center part instead of an up-do, which aided the melancholy of this shot, where she holds back tears while the server interrupts her crumbling relationship with sparklers and cake. The pearl earrings are a nice touch, and I’d like to see her incorporate pearls into her wardrobe. On the flip side, I joke that everything reminds me of Twin Peaks: The Return these days, and this shot has very little to do with Twin Peaks: The Return. But it is quite Lynchian, I think. Like the outfit and glam they’d find someone in after their body washed up on the river in a plastic bag, or the going-out fit for a night at Club Silencio.

Tom Sandoval

Both Vanderpump Rules and The Valley were light on outfits this week, so let’s pick on Tom Sandoval. There’s just about nothing to like with this shirt, and his male manipulator hoop earring doesn’t help. He looks like a blackjack dealer off the Vegas strip, of which I saw many this past weekend. Tom had his shot to work the floor of the Bellagio but couldn’t cut it, so they stuck him in Circa, where his goofy jewelry, white nail polish and black hair dye would go over well with the bachelorette parties and drunk college kids.

Summer House

Gabby Prescod

Many on this show have tried the simple black dress approach, and many have failed. Luckily, I quite like this outfit on Gabby, as it’s saved by her superior glam and excellent hairstyling. Generally speaking, this rope motif has grown a bit tired for me across the Bravo fashion sphere, but that’s less Gabby’s fault and more the fault of just about everyone she works with and around. That glam, though!

Gabby also showed up in her Brooklyn best at the club, and I giggled. I love this jersey, seriously! It was nice to see them out and about in the Hamptons in something other than jeans or ironic sunglasses and basic co-ord sets.

West Wilson

I have gone on record about my feelings about West and said I would gladly take the L should he disappoint me. This week, I’m taking the L. This man wore a stained black t-shirt and snapback in his confessional. He didn’t even have the good sense to take a lint roller to himself before sitting down. You’re cute, West Wilson, but not cute enough for me to let that slide!

Paige DeSorbo

If there’s one thing I can count on from Paige, it’s dressing like she’s Jackie Kennedy if the former first lady knew what gaslighting and Botox were. This Amanda Uprichard dress is totally serviceable, if a bit reminiscent of the white trim we saw on Ally Lewber’s co-ord set last week. Is white trim on ‘60s inspired dresses a trend? Or is the styling pool on these shows just that small? Let me keep my eyes peeled.

I’m not joking! Her entire schtick this episode was showing up on-screen looking like she was minutes from watching her husband get assassinated on live television. The flip of her hair doesn’t help and neither does the crumple in her dress. What did I just say about these producers not asking the girls to sit up and straighten their dress before these confessionals!

Amanda Batula

Amanda is usually dressed like Hailey Bieber, who is clearly her style inspiration for most ventures in life. This week, however, she’s dressed like Justin Bieber. I’m sure it's a sign of something, although I don’t have enough anecdotal evidence to determine just what yet.

Danielle Oliveira

I’ve stared at this a bit too long and struggled to put my thoughts into words that don’t sound hateful or over-exaggerated. I want to like this so, so bad. I root for Danielle, even if she doesn’t always make it easy for herself, especially when she shows up with bangs and a square-neck mini dress with no jewelry. Recently, I got bangs myself, so maybe I’m lashing out from insecurity. Let’s chalk it up to that ... for now.

Photos courtesy of Bravo/ NBCUniversal Media, LLC