So Chic, Very Chic: Mormon Renaissance

So Chic, Very Chic: Mormon Renaissance

BYJoan SummersDec 15, 2023

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.

After a week of therapy for my addiction to shield glasses, I’m happy to report the following: nothing has changed and my medical team is growing quite worried about me. Thankfully, the cast of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City are still on vacation, which means plenty for me to look at this week!

I’m serious, though. What is it with the shield glasses? I feel like it's a dissemination of almost every Balenciaga runway of late, with all those models in massive tuxedo jackets and comically large eyewear. It has to be that, right? Imagine I’m Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, and I’m delivering a monologue about cerulean sweaters that gay people will screencap for about 100 years.

Another angle, I think, is the Renaissance tour's seismic impact on ready-to-wear fashions at low and mid-tier brands, which these ladies definitely keep stocked in their closets. That’s no shade, of course, but prayers up to the thrift store employees drowning in wraparound shades and metallic mesh.

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Heather Gay

Patient zero for Ridiculous Outfit Disease is Miss Heather Gay right here. What did she bring with her on a Bermudian beach getaway? This odd cutout thing and sunglasses that make her look like a tucked away extra in the Blade Runner reboot. She’s doing body rolls in the club on future molly with a cyborg, where she wishes for death every single day after her shift at the I Don’t Give a Fuck factory.

Angie Katsanevas and Lisa Barlow

I like to think in my silly little mind that Angie and Lisa coordinated their matching Versace swimwear. That’s my silly little mind talking though, and I know better. I know these two women lack the requisite decision-making skills to not immediately purchase objects of clothing that have garishly large brand logos on them.

That said, I did laugh horrifically loud that the conversation above is about whether or not Angie is in the Greek mafia. I’m sure it’s ridiculous hearsay propagated by Dennis the Menace (Meredith Marks). That said, I’m not sure she’s beating the allegations that she’s Greek Carmella Soprano when she shows up in Versace print bikinis and glasses larger than the human skull.

Side note: This group shot should be in the Louvre somewhere, right next to that Mona Lisa lady. When I saw it, my first thought was: Donatella VERSACE 💜 The girlies who know, know.

Monica Garcia

Monica is having a tough first season, what with her mother being a raging narcissist and her lawsuit with Heather’s med spa. Beyond that, however, it’s a bad look to show up to dinner dressed like Jack Sparrow in 2023. We should be better than that. How can society heal otherwise?

Meredith Marks

If Monica is dressed like Jack Sparrow, Meredith is dressed like the pirate lady selling melons from her fruit stand minutes before it's blown up by the cannon fire of the English colonizing forces.

Married to Medicine

Quad Webb

Quad is currently being excommunicated from Married to Medicine for being both too fabulous and too funny. It’s a crime all hot and successful women must pay on these shows at least one point in their careers, and I believe in my girl’s ability to rise above the haters. With that in mind, here’s how she arrived at what will be, for now, her final cast trip on Bravo ever. I think she looks fabulous.

At dinner that night, she donned an overcoat that calls to mind the metaphorical prison they’re sending her to. It’s giving Chanel. It’s giving old money, honey. It’s giving new wife at the country club after she poisoned the mistress. I’m going to miss my girl severely!

Phaedra Parks

I’m a sucker for Moschino ensembles, even if Phaedra had to go and ruin it with her quilted Chanel shoulder bag. No matter, because she really does look quite fierce. So much so, I’d like to apologize for calling her broke a few columns ago. She might be morally and emotionally bankrupt, but I’m sure her bank account has at least a few zeros in it.

Real Housewives of Potomac

Mia Thornton

Mia, Mia, Mia. Never change! She’s just about the most tasteless woman who’s ever graced my television screen, yet I find myself endeared to her each week. Look at her go, in this downright hideous ensemble! She’s having about as fabulous of a time singing as I am mentally shredding that tutu tube top.

Karen Huger and Gizelle Bryant

I’ve said so many nice things about Karen Huger over the last few weeks. Enough nice things, in fact, you’d think she was paying me off. (She’s not, but I’m amenable!) It’s too bad she stumbled this badly with pants made out of the backdrops drag queens would use during lockdown.

But, my ire towards Karen’s ensemble pales in comparison to the rage I felt looking at Gizelle to her right. The choice to wear a sweatshirt dress to dinner on The Real Housewives should warrant prison time, let alone one that cinches at the hemline with zip ties.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Sutton Stracke and Dorit Kemsley

What the fuck is happening to this show? Above are the only — and I mean only — outfits worth even mentioning from this episode. One of them is a confessional look! Real Housewives of Beverly Hills used to be the destination for ridiculous fashion. Are they broke? Have they kicked off every last person with a lick of fashion sense? Unclear, but I genuinely dread looking at their outfits each week.

Sutton is at her best when she leans into the spooky grandma couture. It’s not a good dress, but it is a dress worth talking about. That counts for something.

Dorit, meanwhile, should have her accessories locked in a safe permanently. Not just because of the looming threat of robbery that has haunted her this season, but because she misuses them, and can’t be trusted to put herself together anymore.

Real Housewives of Miami

Lisa Hochstein

Lisa showed up to Palm Beach in a coverup that truly defies belief. It’s cinched at the waist, is sheer, has stripes and neither looks very comfortable or protects from the sun in any meaningful way unless the purpose is to win a weird tan lines competition.

Dr. Nicole Martin

On the other hand, I quite like Nicole’s coverup, which seems both sensible and trendy enough to confidently wear in public. Where she loses me are the sunglasses and beaded seashell hat. I get that purchasing both is a right of passage once you reach a certain tax bracket in Miami, but that doesn’t mean you have to go on vacation with them! Jacquemus’ entire purpose as a brand is to supply accessories for moments just like this! It’s time to put the training wheels away for good.

Guerdy Abraira

Guerdy is at her best when she’s giving Brigitte Bardot in the 21st century. The dress is only moderately successful, but her glam is divine. The hair! Oh, my heart, it won’t stop beating right out of my chest. I also think it’s beautiful that she’s worn so many cutout dresses on a season in which she’s publicly battling breast cancer. It’s powerful and uplifting!

The same styling efforts could be seen at their group dinner this week, where she looked like the most beautiful woman who’s ever been alive. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to each week!

Larsa Pippen

Do you think this lady ever really fixes her eyes on her makeup, when these episodes finally make it to television? Like, does she see the color of this foundation and think, “That looks totally normal. I don’t look like I’m suffering from jaundice at all!”

Marysol Patton

I’m putting Marysol last to hide my shame. I did gay gasp a bit when this new confessional look flashed onscreen. She looks objectively good, as much as I hate to admit it. You win this round, Marysol!