TIME Culture

The Unforgettable Fashion of Seinfeld‘s Elaine Benes

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the famous sitcom's premier, here's a gallery of some of our favorite Elaine looks. (If only we could order them directly from the J. Peterman catalog.)

Twenty-five years after the premiere of Seinfeld, there’s no question about the show’s outsize cultural influence. In its nine-season run, Seinfeld changed the way we talk, the way we joke and even influenced our spending habits. And, yes, the way we dress. You can see deep Seinfeld influences in what’s now called “Normcore,” a fashion trend New York Magazine identified with a photo essay in February 2014. It’s a look best described as the clothes your dad wears when goes to the mall. You know, ill-fitting jeans, fleece vests, flat sandals or white sneakers that are all about comfort.

But forget about Jerry and his famous Puffy Shirt for a second. We should be focusing on the show’s real fashion star: Elaine Benes, played by the incomparable Julia Louis-Dreyfus. We’re not the first publication to point out that many of her outfits look like something you’d find today on a hipster in Williamsburg or an American Apparel mannequin, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a minute to appreciate her. Elaine’s real strength came from her ability to look modest but stylish: just check out the pattern mixing, the oh-so-90’s light-blue denim, the shoulder pads, floral dresses and more.

So give your BFF a shove, tell them to “Get Out!” and start doing the Little Kicks dance: It’s time to celebrate Elaine.

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