Have you been watching New Girl? On the insistence of several quite adamant friends, I recently sat down and marathoned all the available episodes. Maybe it’s the allure of living with three cute guys or the zany comedy that inevitably ensues; maybe it’s The Zooey Deschanel Effect. Whatever it is, I just can’t get enough of this show!
Deschanel plays Jess Day, a lovable, optimistic teacher who moves into a new apartment after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her. The place comes with three new roommates—all men—and between their awkward adjustment period and heartwarming barkada moments, the culminating product is adorable (some say too adorable, in fact, to the point of saccharine. But when I’m stressed, I need fluff. Amen?).
Charming, approachable, and yes, a little weird, Jess is one of those girls you want to be friends with. She’s not afraid to be dorky—Lord of the Rings references and all. She’s open-minded and non-judgmental, even when she catches you dancing naked to Jamaican music in your room. She’s pretty, but not in an intimidating way—in fact, she has a touch of Ugly Duckling Syndrome, which many grown-up girls can probably relate to. In other words, she’s the girl next door—but the kind who’s quirky rather than stereotypical.
You’ll get it when you see her outfits. I don’t know if I should say that the fashion is more Zooey or more Jess, as both personas seem to coincide in my head. Deschanel has always stayed true to an eclectic, demure dressing sense, favoring vintage silhouettes over anything too edgy. The same goes for Jess on the show—which makes me wonder if this is art imitating life, ala Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.
It’s nothing drastic or game-changing. Compared to more style-centric programs like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City, the fashion is totally normal. Or, I should say, wearable. But that’s the beauty of style—it doesn’t always have to be glamorous, as long as it’s personal. At heart, Jess is a whimsical creature with yesteryear sensibilities—if you put her in a minimalist menswear look or a slinky evening gown, it won’t work. But a lola-chic blouse, bouffant skirt, and ballerina flats? Now you’re talking.
Her “peg,” as we say in fashion, is the modern girly girl. She’ll wear shorts to work, but they’ll be topped with a vintage blouse that ribbons at the neck. She’ll bare one shoulder in cocktail attire, but the dress will be frilly and sweet, rather than fierce or sexy. The whole idea of dressing provocatively is, to her, at its most sedate—she’ll interpret it as heels plus a little skin (but no more than a smidgen).
It’s a way of dressing that neither your mother nor your boyfriend would object to. Her style is classy, light-hearted, and put-together, but at the same time, there’s a certain spice. I am not a big fan of overly sweet, simple fashion—often times, I find that it borders on dull. But what Jess (or her stylist) has achieved here is an interesting balance between personality and trends. Everything Jess wears expresses who she is—all dorky, demure, and darling—but it also flirts with the eye and shows a potentially clueless dresser what you can do with some creativity.
So when you find yourself pressed for a pretty outfit, just think: What Would Jess Do? Below are 10 possible answers, based on what I’ve seen on New Girl so far.
Now excuse me while I watch this week’s episode.
(All photos from New Girl courtesy of Fox)
For more Stylewise, click below: