This is So Chic, Very Chic, our sister publication 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.

There is tragedy afoot on Vanderpump Rules. I’m not talking about Ariana Madix’s triumphant success after Tom Sandoval burned their world down. I wasn’t gesturing at Scheana Marie’s inability to think much bigger than herself, even if I will always love her, or Tom Schwartz’s desperate new situationship, or James Kennedy’s teensy tiny house on the tarmac of Bob Hope Airport. In fact, Katie Maloney didn’t even enter the equation, nor did Lisa Vanderpump’s chic new genetically modified puppy.

The great tragedy of Vanderpump Rules season 11 is the clothes — clothes so impossibly cheap and flimsy, they mirror, in a myriad haunting ways, the artifice of the reality television landscape they’ve been birthed into.

There are moments, in confessionals and various scenes, where the clothes of the VanderpumpRules cast appear to be made from parchment paper. Or worse, the crinkly wrapping of the toilet paper in the employee bathroom. I fear for these clothes, when the cast mates of this show wildly gesticulate or get in verbal altercations. I fear that with too much force or pressure, they’d crumble into microplastic nothingness.

Speaking of microplastics, have there been any long term studies about the effects of long-term exposure on reality television stars? I read a tweet from some account that said microscopic particles are found in our bloodstreams now. Don’t quote me on that — and I won’t google it for accuracy — but if that’s true, maybe someone should do a head scan on Tom Sandoval to make sure his acrylic nail polish hasn’t somehow leaked into his brain and caused a blockage.

Summer House, another balm in these Real Housewives-less times, suffers from the same ills that plague the show’s Angeleno counterparts. But I expect New York marketing millennials to act like that regardless of the plastic SHEIN clothes they wear to the wine bar.

Before you ask, I’m still on strike from Real Housewives of Potomac. Let’s begin.

Vanderpump Rules

Lala Kent

I want Lala to know that I tried incredibly hard to find a flattering still of this wide shot. Apologies. The dress is my primary concern here, and were I to venture a guess, bought right at the height of the Renaissance tour microplastics craze that swept over fast fashion retailers last summer. The silver beaded fringe is the tell for me.

This is a dress that begs for more of basically anything. When one decides to wear something this obviously synthetic and cheap, commit to the bit or get out the dressing room! Lala looks gorgeous, as usual, but the dress leaves me wanting. Why is it not entirely made of fringe, or metallic? Why is there a track of fringe at the waist in an asymmetrical cut? Why isn’t she wearing any accessories, which it’s begging for? Questions for another day, I suppose.

That last look was a dud, but this one’s the improvement I was looking for. Miss Kent loves the cunty stunty tendril-y updo this season, and she’s justified! It has a way of pulling her features together quite nicely when she goes for this more severe glam — natural by her standards, maybe. Likewise, I wonder if the dress is meant to be worn with the popped collar, or if she’s popped it herself. I’m sort of wedded to the latter, as I can hear her assistant and/or mom and/or brother telling her it’s “sick.” She looks fabulous, if slightly silly! A perfect niche.

This was a rather notable episode for Lala. Not only did she brush up against the hegemonic forces of Ariana Madix’s newfound fame, but she debuted multiple successful looks! A first for her, if I’m remembering correctly. The orange nails are correct. The hoops and Arianator pony are correct. And despite every Bravo star wearing a variation of this knockoff Mugler dress in the last year, I like hers best! Sorry Phaedra Parks, you’ve been dethroned.

Tom Sandoval

I won’t link it, because it’s cruel, but there was discourse online this week about a man who posted himself in an all-black outfit. In the TikTok, he describes his look as “tough,” which he finds funny, because he’d just recently cried to a Boygenius song. It launched about one million tweets on male manipulators, gaslighters, predators and all sorts that had literally nothing to do with the 20 seconds we’d all just witnessed.

I’d like to set the record straight, at last, on what a real male manipulator dresses like. Above, you’ll see a white sweater vest, “candy” necklace, slicked back hair, artificial tan, dangly earring and whiteout nail polish. (It’s just offscreen, but believe me, it’s there.) Tom Sandoval is the man everyone seems to be so afraid of — not the silly little TikToker in a band t-shirt and black cargo pants with some chains and beanies and combat boots in his closet.

Just to make my point clearer, here’s a shot of him in a white tuxedo for a casual boys’ night out. His other cast mates wore civilian clothes while he strolled in like James fucking Bond.

Tom Schwartz and Jo

Speaking of demonic entities, here’s Tom with his harrowing situationship, Jo, who he essentially describes as an enigmatic creature that sometimes has sex with him when he’s feeling self loathing, drunk or both at the same time. Here they are in hats, at night, in SUR. Jo’s skinny jeans bring to mind a certain joke about the clothing item made by Gen Z TikTokers, but I digress. It’s really her multiple, layered necklaces that is the tell for me. That, and the fact her hair is pulled through the back of her hat. These two seem perfect for each other!

Jo also made an appearance in the next scene in a shirred floral crop top, jean shorts and a leather baseball hat. This still sort of speaks for itself, but for those who haven’t tuned in this season, the next sentence she said after making this face was literally: “Meep meep meep.”

Ally Lewber

Here, Ally told a story this episode about wanting to be Taylor Swift when she grew up. She even covered some song about tears on the guitar, which I’ll spare myself from listening to a second time, or getting the correct title of. It’s fitting she wore this dress when revealing her obsession with Swift, or her adolescent realization astrology was a much safer bet for her future.

I’m charmed by Ally, even if I’m simultaneously troubled by her unspeakably dark relationship with James Kennedy. I fear for her most days, but look at this dress! The floral appliqué, however flimsily applied, tells me she might just be ok in the end.

Scheana Marie

Sometimes you’re at the astrology party with your besties while they beef with each other over something you stirred up. You don’t want to get involved because you have a tendency to not face the consequences of the things that come out of your mouth, so you scrunch up into the corner of the couch in a pink yoga set, your center part slowly coming undone like the social ties binding your friend group together. Sometimes, you just be like that.

Ariana Madix

Speaking of the aforementioned microplastics, they made a rather triumphant showing here with Ariana’s periwinkle paper napkin dress. She looks gorgeous, and her glam and hair and tan have really settled in nicely. But my god, what a dress! It feels wrong to rag on it, since she was mid-explanation about the $2000 she had left to her name when Scandoval broke open. Still, woof! Blessings up for season 12.


Summer House

Carl Radke and Lindsay Hubbard

There wasn’t much glam this episode, so let’s have fun! We’ve all fought with our partners in the morning. We’ve all woken up screaming, beefing, screaming and fighting. It’s one thing to live it, though, and another to see it on TV. God, is this how we all look, railing against the hetero-patriarchy in our sad little bedrooms, attempting and failing to redefine what a modern relationship looks like?

Ciara Miller

I tried to get the specifics on this bathing suit and failed. There’s never an actual wide shot that lasts long enough to figure out what’s going on with the trim, the chain across the stomach, the thong or the one shoulder. This isn’t to say she looks anything but incredible. What a stunner! I’m just troubled, is all.

Lindsay Hubbard

When Lindsay dies, I’m almost sure her will will read that she wants to be buried in a wide brim hat and aviators, with a pink little lippy on. I can feel it in my bones. She’s like the Kyle Richards of the East Coast in that way. She’s always in a too big hat and showing off her arms. I admire women who know what they’re all about!

Paige DeSorbo

Paige dresses like she’s on Vanderpump Rules, which is funny, considering this show exists as a spiritual spinoff of Vanderpump Rules. There are literally no words for this dress, which makes me sad, because I feel it should conjure up about a million in me. There’s something evil about it, no? Or maybe it’s just her posture.


West Wilson

West’s whole vibe has grown on me, because I’m a predictable idiot. This week he wore this, and then a mesh knit shirt to a date with Ciara. She seems charmed by him, which somewhat confirms my own suspicions. If the most beautiful woman who’s ever been on Bravo can’t stop swooning, what hope do I have when confronted with the sort of guy that used to hang around Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown and ask if you’ve ever listened to Tame Impala.

Photos courtesy of NBCUniversal/ Bravo

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