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Polos, Cargo Skirts, and Friendship Necklaces: Breaking Down the Nostalgic Fashion of PEN15

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The style on PEN15 is not meant to be aspirational. The adolescent comedy sequence with a cult following, which premiered on Hulu in 2019, is centered on two relatably awkward and never but self-possessed center schoolers within the 12 months 2000. So, why would it not be?

The style is not meant to be aspirational.

Whereas different related sequence like Gossip Lady, The O.C., and even Lizzie McGuire, to some extent, made it look like teenagers and preteens have been arriving to class in all types of stylish and distinct digs, PEN15 gives viewers actuality: repeated outfits, sensible backpacks, playful equipment possible bought from a mall kiosk, and clothes objects its protagonists have both grown out of or not grown into but.

Costume designer Melissa Walker instructed Nylon in an interview final 12 months that she had truly sourced inspiration from her personal center faculty years. “It was numerous enjoyable, however utterly cringeworthy,” she mentioned. On a few of the extra unlucky traits included within the sequence (ahem, maxi cargo skirts), Walker mentioned, “There’s one thing about that point interval that is not standard once more but, as a result of early-’90s is standard now and late-’90s continues to be simply, like, disgusting to us . . . and that, combined with the emotions from center faculty, I feel performed rather well on one another.”

Even so, a few of these traits are certainly creeping again. Although protagonists Maya and Anna aren’t meant to seem notably refined or modern, each characters put on objects all through the course of the primary season that would not appear totally misplaced in 2020: Maya’s embroidered cardigan set, Anna’s preppy polos, a lot kitschy camp jewellery, and much more scrunchies. Many of those traits have seemingly accomplished their sartorial life cycle, subsequently making their approach again into shops, editorials, and purchasing carts.

It is nonetheless unlikely that PEN15 will affect style in the best way that sequence like Intercourse and the Metropolis, Scandal, or Killing Eve have, particularly when that is not its meant goal, however who is aware of? There’s all the time season two. See photographs of memorable first-season outfits forward, then store a few of the traits which have managed to translate properly within the current day. (We promise.)

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