It's crazy to think that this upcoming year (2017) marks the 10-year anniversary of one of our favorite shows of all time - Gossip Girl. It seems like just yesterday when we spent our weekend at our local library pouring over the books written by Cecily von Ziegesar (the OG Gossip Girl) and eventually became addicted to the television series that brought it all to life. To celebrate this milestone and our new lives in the city, we brought Penny & Dash to the famous Met Steps, where the GG duo is commonly found hanging out and (gasp) gossiping. Despite all the drama and the absolutely ridiculous twists and turns that seemed to get more and more unrealistic every season, we all must admit that Gossip Girl has taught us a thing or two about life. Undoubtedly, we have been inspired over the years by the queens of fashion and drama themselves, Blair Waldorf & Serena Van Der Woodsen. We've followed their crazy adventures for years now, binge watching and re-watching episodes (Jess for weeks in Vienna, Austria last year and Melissa literally right now in October 2016 watching the series on Netflix for the millionth time). For this GG inspired post, we have come up with a few of the best lessons learned that our favorite TV show has taught us, and trust us, they are very much relevant to everything we do. Want to slay at life like the queens themselves? Read on!
1. Don't be afraid to be a boss
Though Blair Waldorf can be described as an overly aggressive, manipulative, and spoiled princess, we can all admit that no one does life quite like Ms. Waldorf, who always knows what she wants and will not rest until she gets it. Her outspokenness and independence contribute to her success and this type of go-getter attitude is actually quite important when it comes to driving your own career. After all, not everything can always be handed to you on a silver platter (despite some of the premise on the show), and in all honesty, nobody will care more or work harder for your career than yourself, so when you want something, whether it's that new expensive limited Gucci bag, or that highly coveted position on a team within your firm, develop a plan and take action. Never lose sight of the prize, just like Blair with her dreams of attending Yale and ruling the school.
2. It's never too late to reinvent yourself
If you haven't watched the show, Gossip Girl begins with Serena (aka the goddess that is Blake Lively) coming back from boarding school after leaving the Upper East Side for some scandalous things she did back in the past (alcohol, drugs, sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend, etc). Despite the nasty rumors and gossip around town, she returns with full force and as a changed woman. Gone are the days of her young and careless ways, and she arrives with her head straight on her shoulders and with a completely reinvented persona. Ladies and gentleman, who you are now, at the age of 20, 30, etc is most likely not who you're going to be when you are lying on your death bed. Growing up is a process, a process that is not only limited to the ages of 1 - 18. It's a continuous metamorphosis of maturing that will continue as you gain new life experiences and learn new lessons. If you are not a big fan of the person that you have been in the past, or the person that you are becoming, remember that it is never too late to take a step back and reinvent yourself to be someone that you are proud of.
3. Walk into any room and own it
Truth is, people notice you when you walk into a room, and first impressions are made within a matter of seconds. Whether you are heading to an interview, giving a presentation, or simply walking down the streets in public, showing confidence in the way that you walk, talk, and conduct yourself is extremely important. People are often more confident when they feel prepared, have a sense of purpose, are dressed nicely for the occasion, or if they simply love the attention. Shying away and staying in the shadows is often the easier path, but that promotion you're gunning for or that opportunity you're eyeing comes a lot easier when you're proactive and sure of what you want. It's not easy to command a room like Blair or Serena, but with a little practice and a smile, you can feel like you're on top of the world too.
4. Don't let your family hold you back
When it comes to rich and powerful families, parents and grandparents expect a lot from their offsprings; anything from going to the same alma mater to preparing their kids to take over their billion dollar empire. While most of us out there won't get the opportunity to inherit a fashion line or a Hotel empire, we can still relate to the pressures of our parents' expectations and how to manage them appropriately. Of course, our parents only want the best for us, and are willing to do and sacrifice almost anything for our future. But at the same time, there are those stubborn and strong-willed parents out there who strongly insist on going about a certain path in life, whether it is in terms of our career or love lives. Our advice is to take their opinions in consideration, but if there is a dream that you have (like becoming the next Aimee Song) - do not let them stop you or hinder your confidence. Instead, do the grunt work and put in those hours to show just how serious you are in your commitment, and eventually they will find a way to support you as well!
5. Best friends always have your back (Fight & Forgive)
Like every other relationship, there is really no such thing as a perfect friendship. Blair and Serena had countless number of fights ever since Episode 1, and they have both done unthinkable things to screw up each others' lives. Now, the show is obviously a BIT dramatized when it comes to the backstabbing and scheming, but it sheds some light on the power of friendship and the depth of the love two friends can have for each other at the end of a very long day.
Having been best friends for over 8 years now, we've definitely have had our fair share of fights (especially those petty high school days) and getting annoyed at each other from time to time. Honestly, one of our worst fights led to us not speaking to each other for the majority of senior year of high school (we were driving partners too, so imagine the number of awkward and silent ride homes) and there may have been a few points during that time period where we both thought that the friendship was pretty much over once we headed separate ways for college. Eventually during our freshman year of college, we found our ways back to each other again and both reflected on the genuine bond that we shared with each other. The most important thing is to remember that beneath the petty arguments and bouts of anger and disappointments, there lies a very beautiful friendship and friend that always has your back no matter what happens in life. Sometimes we all focus too much on our romantic relationships, that we often forget about those who were there for us even during the awkward middle school days, so always make an effort to show your friends that you care about them! Check in often, be genuinely interested in their lives and passions, and always stay connected. One day, you'll look back at the wonderful memories together and you'll be giving the same advice to your own children.
Jess: Many people can attest to the fact that I am slightly obsessed with Gossip Girl, and I have absolutely spent more than a few late nights binge watching episodes. There's something about the wardrobe on the show that helped me see clothes and fashion in a different light. Blair Waldorf's classy ensembles are some of my favorite inspiration outfits, and ever since I started watching GG, I've had a slight obsession with coats and jackets. A little fun fact is that I actually bought 8 jackets when I studied abroad last year, and I've definitely added to my collection since I came home. Outerwear is probably my favorite article of clothing and what I like to invest in because they not only keep me warm, but are such a fun way to accompany and jazz up the the outfit you're wearing underneath. Peacoats, trenchcoats, tweed jackets, leather jackets, bombers...seriously the list goes on. There's a jacket/coat out there for every type of look you're trying to achieve, so the possibilities are endless. I tend to wear a lot of dresses in the summer to work, so as the weather cools down, I decided that layering was going to be my new best friend (sorry Mel). This cream satin blouse is so versatile and works perfectly underneath this simple A-line dress. It's my take on a more grown up version of the classic "school girl" look and I think it's totally professional enough for work!
Mel: Since I am completely in love with Leighton Meester's wardrobe on the show, I wanted to emulate her general aesthetic in my look - minus the plaid headbands and colored tights of course! Instead of throwing a cardigan over this dress like I usually do, I took full advantage of the layering trend (seriously be prepared for more layering posts coming to you in a few weeks) and fitted a collared button down under my shift dress. The Peter Pan collar adds a preppy element to the ensemble, but what really sold me on the top was the patterned detailing on the silk sleeves. The sleeves are quite understated, but dresses up the outfit quite nicely along with my statement necklace from Banana Republic and my trusty Tory Burch heels.
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Jessica & Melissa
Jess: Coat - Zara, Top - Banana Republic (similar, similar), Dress - J-Crew, Shoes - Banana Republic (similar - heels, similar - flats)
Mel: Dress - Banana Republic (similar), Top - Madewell ,Shoes - Tory Burch (similar, similar), Necklace - Banana Republic