This article contains spoilers for Episode 8 of the second season of “And Just Like That …”
In the new episode of “And Just Like That …,” Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis) is returning to work as a gallerina after years of staying at home with her family.
Worried about how she will look in a new dress, she starts eating bone broth and squeezes into shapewear. Beyond Charlotte, the new episode provides a handful of examples of office wear, and the identities, and vulnerabilities, that can come with these outfits.
Ahead of Episode 8, members of The New York Times’s Styles desk discussed the undergarments, pantsuits and handbags in the latest installment of the series.
Vanessa Friedman I had many strong feelings about this episode, the first prompted by the opening scene of Carrie and Aidan in bed. It’s my perennial bugaboo about this show: Who immediately re-dons their underwire bra after sex? No one.
Callie Holtermann It’s one of the great lies of modern television!
VF I actually feel underwear is a theme of this episode, given Charlotte’s free-the-menopausal-stomach Spanx subplot, in which she buys a new dress for her new job at an art gallery and is given a complex about her poochy belly by the (20-something) saleswoman. It inspires her to eat only bone broth for a week and to don two pairs of compression undergarments at once for her first day at work — a decision she quickly, happily regrets.
Katie Van Syckle Yes, she dramatically strips off her Spanx, throws them away and then takes one pair out of the garbage.
CH The way that Charlotte’s insecurities were alleviated felt a little tidy to me.
VF What everyone should have been talking about was what it meant for a grown woman in the glory of middle age to be prancing around in a pink Peter Pan-collared dress.
CH Perhaps the idea is that Charlotte, at any age, can still do Charlotte? I laughed and winced when the salesperson brought out two black, shapeless dresses intended to conceal Charlotte’s body altogether.
Jeremy Allen Or maybe all this shapewear is meant to support (sorry, I had to!) the episode’s narrative thread of vulnerability: Carrie with Aidan, Seema with Carrie, Charlotte with herself.
VF I know I have harped on this point before, but part of maturing is having your taste mature, too — and one of my frustrations is that for most of the main characters, that doesn’t seem to have happened. They are stuck in their signature 30-something style even now. Mature doesn’t mean frumpy or schmatta, but it does mean more clear and comfortable about who you are, as opposed to nostalgic for who you were.
JA Speaking of comfortable, Carrie is swaddled in all sorts of flowy, diaphanous coats, capes and cardigans in this episode. I felt like these costume choices were meant to convey how comfortable she finally is with Aidan, whether or not we buy it.
VF I actually felt like that totally bizarre sweater she wore in the first brunch scene, which featured a knit tank and matching knit arm warmers, was a harbinger of relationship confusion to come.
JA Or perhaps just a harbinger of more off-kilter knits to come? I did enjoy the suggestion of a matchy-matchy midcentury sweater set as though run through a Carrie Bradshaw filter.
CH Perhaps the real reason for all of Carrie’s plaid was to foreshadow her rebound with Aidan, a flannel shirt of a man.
KVS I started to play a game in this episode where I looked for plaid in every scene, and with the exception of a few, it was pretty much always there somewhere.
JA True! Che and Aidan’s plaid meet-cute (he’s in a plaid button-up, they’re in a plaid coat) is maybe the most memorable plaid moment in the series thus far. As characters, they both embody the earnestness that plaid can convey when it’s not chopped up and remixed in the way that everyone else has been wearing it.
CH I did think this was a great episode for the conundrum that is post-pandemic workplace attire.
Specifically, the generational divides — we see Miranda show up to her internship at Human Rights Watch in a burgundy suit and meet younger co-workers who are wearing sweaters and jeans.
VF Though, that could also be about the divide between corporate work and public-sector work.
CH Good point! In many ways, Miranda is dressed like a (nicely tailored) fish out of water.
VF Which she is — and not just as an older intern. Her wardrobe is left over from her Big Firm days.
JA Absolutely. And then there’s Seema, holding court in a sky-high office decorated in the same luxe neutrals and golds as her wardrobe, with a Louis Vuitton purse perched prominently on her desk.
VF That Louis Vuitton product placement opportunity was quite striking. The logo was perfectly framed. It was more like a bag advertisement than an office scene.
KVS It was also an opportunity for a dose of men’s wear at the office. Seema’s colleague wore a blue plaid suit and blue polka-dot tie.
JA Speaking of men’s wear, can we talk about Giuseppe, Anthony’s younger love interest, and his chocolate bomber jacket? Another military-inspired piece of outerwear ushering in a tentative new relationship, à la Aidan’s Belstaff. I’m curious to see where that goes.
VF Well, it seems more natural on him than on Aidan, I would say.
KVS We also got our nod to New York this week, but this time on Che, who appeared in a Yankees shirt with a giant white heart.
JA I must say, seeing Che in Carrie’s closet wearing anything having to do with sports felt dissonant in a pretty delicious way.
KVS What are our predictions for next week? Charlotte in pants at the gallery?
VF Carrie in the country? She’s going to Aidan’s farmhouse. Though perhaps we will only hear about the visit afterward. Either way, I predict more plaid.
JA A certainty: Anthony and Giuseppe cuddling in matching plaid pajamas.
CH Lisa Todd Wexley carried two designer bags concurrently in this episode — a flex perhaps only she could pull off. Next episode, I’m hoping for three.
Vanessa Friedman, Katie Van Syckle, Jeremy Allen and Callie Holtermann contributed reporting.