Fashion Lessons from GCB: Part 2

Fashion Lessons from GCB: Part 2

Welcome back to Dallas, y’all. (Here’s the post from last week to catch you up.)

Oh, what an episode of fashion the second hour of GCB has for us to explore. Are you ready for a wardrobe malfunction, guns, glitter, and that gloriously gif-able Cricket Caruth-Reilly (Miriam Shor)? Excellent. We’ll press ahead. 

We start this episode with everyone dressing for church. Amanda (Leslie Bibb) and Gigi (Annie Potts) greet Amanda’s daughter Laura (Lauran Irion) in the dining room. Amanda is in a stunning white dress, continuing a neutral palette that reinforces her innocence. Remember how Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green appeared in pigtail braids on “Friends” so we knew she was the cute one? Amanda wears white. You’ll see.


Special props to Annie Potts here for her elegant spinning of the draft luncheon placecards on the lazy Susan.

After the church service, we see the whole girl gang together during coffee hour. You, observant viewer that you are, will recognize Cricket’s long necklace from the end of the previous episode wrapped multiple times around her neck at the end–here, the same necklace is shown at its full length. That is jewelry continuity, fashionable friends, and binding the episodes together, it’s a beautiful thing.

Lesson: Create different jewelry looks with the same pieces by wearing your favorites at alternating lengths and locations.

To be clear, I think the other gold necklace Cricket is wearing is a bit large, however, it’s important to wear at least one necklace short enough to visibly adorn the outside of the choir robe. Notice how she is the dark cloud against Amanda’s fresh-faced white.

Also, it’s so nice that the church stocks to-go lids for coffee hours. God is in the details, truly.

We have quite a lot of mother-daughter fashion conversations in this episode, starting with a borrowed purse moment (Amanda breaks her discount purse strap and Gigi comes to the rescue). This is important because of what is inside the purse:

Guns! “Mother, what are you afraid of?”

[Gigi locks and loads.] “Not a !@#$%^&* thing.” Whatever you say, Gigi. We’re always and eternally on your side.

It’s not until two scenes later, though, that we see the big guns–you know, the ones being foreshadowed, that will go off in Act III. But back to Cricket.

In a serious discussion with Blake about the upcoming pep rally where their daughter debuts as Head Cheerleader, Cricket needs to channel all of her power. The necklace bling here (not her normal look) is full of large diamonds, and the perfect eyeliner makes for a dramatic Cleopatra moment. Her Antony, husband Blake, is leaving for the Broken Flame Ranch, where his foreman Booth has made him a Tarte Tatin. Are desserts the way to Blake’s deserting heart?

Lesson: Smoldering eyes begin with star-crossed love, not excessive eyeshadow. Burn, baby, burn from within.

We see the rest of Cricket’s outfit (of course there’s a jacket and a significant belt) in the next scene of a circle of women, but the key here is the cool make-up palette. Ice cold, like the diamonds and her standoffishness as Blake leaves. She offers her daughter Alexandra a slice of cake as the women discuss Alex’s “starter” breast implants.

(Let’s make a brief segue here for the detailing on the back of Amanda’s jacket as she enters the Boobylicious Bar.)

Lesson: Let the back of the jacket be as interesting as the front. We’re not dripping in fringe here, we just get a little more movement from the jacket.

Amanda is walking in on a TV crew from one of Cricket’s television subsidies taping a segment for the national news on Carlene’s announcement that the proceeds from Boobylicious will be donated to her charity For Children [wait for it] with Something.

Such a noble cause for Carlene. (Chenoweth plays this perfectly.) It’s almost as though the FCwS organization is a sister charity to the esteemed:

It’s good to have a vision.

Anyway, here’s where the episode really delves into campy. Carlene lets a smoked pig in the passenger seat strand Amanda 80 miles away from Dallas, after their smokehouse Throwdown lunch. I don’t know how you would dress for a Throwdown, but I was hoping for full-on leather. Even pastel leather. [Yawn.]

Lesson: Wear white jeans anywhere but Western Europe, and you risk having to hitchhike your way back to a city.

Then, Cricket mentors Sharon on the “hold-it-together” face while tearful Sharon spins cotton candy in the pep rally tent. Of note: Sharon does not hold it together, smashing cotton candy into her straying husband Zach’s jacket.

Lesson: Become one with the food; do not become the food. Sharon’s swirly, shimmery, shantung taupeness is too aligned with the sugar she’s spinning.

Cricket must soon after take her own advice as she is proved right: Alexandra cannot wear her old cheerleading uniform with her new chest. Wardrobe malfunction! More tears!

Inspired dress choice here, too, as perhaps Cricket could remove the white fringe from her dress (that matches the cheerleading uniforms, natch) and wrap it around Alexandra. Blake arrives to ask, “What’d I miss?” as Cricket storms off to comfort her daughter. While we’re on this moment, let’s do pause and note again that their outfits look so well together.

Lesson: Even in family adversity, coordinate with a common base color. Black always works as a default.

It is easier to forgive Blake’s absenteeism and put down a favorite magazine when he has calmed Alexandra and enters the bedroom.

…and takes off his robe. Dear Reader, you’ve made it this far, and you deserve a reward.

Blake climbs into his side of the mammoth bed (even the set designer takes fun leaps on GCB!), and Cricket picks back up her magazine. It’s important to finish those Garden & Gun articles in one go.

Lesson: Don’t like a tiny book light? Buy an enormous bed. Everything’s bigger in Texas.

To close out the episode, we have a nice lesson about glitter. Amanda’s daughter Laura demonstrates that the sparkly stuff is most appropriate as a hairy hazing initiation in high school, and encourages her mother to out-fox Carlene’s Amish uniform initiative.

Amanda rallies the Boobylicious staff, facing off co-owner Ripp Cockburn in an ecru tank and dark brown pants. It’s a nice line with the boot flats on her, but a terrible transition with a shiny belt. Better to eat the glitter in your daughter’s hair than fashion it into a belt. Still, she is effective.

Ripp acquiesces to Amanda and the staff’s refusal to wear the new maxi-uniforms with much too much coverage, and they return to their bootylicious shorts and tanks, earning back their tips with fashion, to Carlene’s chagrin.

And when Annie Potts hits a booby bar, moving her doomed luncheon to the convivial, controversial space, well, this fabulous episode has to end.

From a wardrobe malfunction in Alexandra’s cheerleading uniform to a malfunctioning wardrobe choice in Amanda’s staff uniform, this episode teaches the power of dressing appropriately for the function. Push limits with jewelry, not with fabric resilience. Dress with flair for any scheduled Throwdowns. When leading with dramatic eyeliner, the rest of the made-up face should not distract. Leave glitter hair to the young. Brandish weaponry like the legendary woman you are.

Have you borrowed a purse from a maternal figure? Do you understand the yellow sartorial accents in this episode? Let us know in the comments.

This is a guest post from Kristen Taylor, New York-based writer, content strategist, and entrepreneur. She wears vintage, and knows how to shoot a pearl-handled revolver. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.