In Which We Analyze Every Look on 'Laguna Beach': Season 1, Episode 1



Shh. Do you hear that?


It's getting closer.


It's the sound of a simpler time — 2004, to be exact — and a gentler place — Laguna Beach. Don't you want to go back there? Don't you want to let the rain fall down and wake your dreams?

It's okay. Just put on this Von Dutch trucker hat and these whiskered denim capris and follow us on our journey through the MTV hit's first season.

Why? Because it's time. Because we're ready. You're ready.

The first episode of Laguna Beach opens with a shot of our heroine, Lauren "L.C." Conrad, walking along the beach in a white mini skirt and tan tank top, but it's so much more than that.

Laguna was filmed in 2003, which was like, the heydey of ultra expensive tees — when brands like Michael Stars and C&C California charged $68 for plain cotton tank tops that were meant to layered two at a time, and Juicy Couture tags still boasted that the label's clothes were made in "The Glamorous USA." The least expensive of the fancy T-shirt brands was Hard Tail, and even those tops cost, like, a week's worth of babysitting money.

L.C.'s beach look may say "low maintenance," but like her spray tan, French manicure, and highlights, it's definitely not.

Moving on!

L.C.'s nemesis — Kristin Cavallari. You know she's bad news because when we're introduced to her, she's wearing a bikini top that doesn't quite match her bottoms. Also, she brings her pool float in the jacuzzi like a BAMF.

In the next scene Kristin puts on her fanciest dangly star earrings, from Claire's. We know they're from Claire's because we used to own the same pair. In black, though. Much more sophisticated.

Then, she heads out to visit...

Stephen Colletti! Or "Steph-ennnnn," which is Stephen, in Kristin-speak.

Stephen, a man of few words and many striped polo shirts, is the object of both Kristin and L.C.'s affections.

That night, the crew finds themselves at a barbecue, where Trey Phillips, he of the aggressively popped collars and statement hats (you'll see), is manning the grill.

L.C. is there too, wearing a confusing early 2000's trend — slouchy purses whose straps are attached to their bodies with giant rings. Kooba and Treesje used to make them, and they were sold at places like Kitson and Intuition alongside True Religion jeans and Joomi Joolz tanks. I kind of want to try and toss a tennis ball through there.

Fashion-wise, there wasn't much else to see at the barbecue, so let's skip ahead a bit to Kristin's coffee date with Talan Torriero, who — fun fact! — is now a "hands-on digital marketing guru accountable for leading the ‘big idea’ development," according to LinkedIn.

Kristin wears her best turtleneck belly shirt and scrap of sandblasted denim for the occasion. Not pictured: her black Ugg boots. Remember when wearing denim miniskirts with Uggs was a thing?

Their conversation goes like this:
Talan: "I'm kind of sick of hooking up with the same girl."
Kristin: "Who?"
Talan: "You know it's you."

Ugh, girl.

Onto the episode's big event — the "black and white affair!" L.C. and her best friend Lo Bosworth are scoping out spendy hotel suites to host their party in. As high school students do.

Lo wears an aggressively poufed mini and a polo shirt. With giant sunglasses hanging just below the popped collar. The only way this outfit could get more 2003 is if Paris Hilton handed it to her while they were being serenaded by "Toxic"-era Britney Spears.

Meanwhile, Kristin is getting dinner with Steph-ennnnnn. And wearing a choker!

As Lindsay points out, this may be a pantyhose choker, a Midwest high school trend — Kristin is from Illinois — that I was not familiar with. It's exactly what it sounds like. A choker. Made out of pantyhose.

Finally — the black and white party is happening!

L.C. and Lo wear the same dress, basically — a black halter with a flouncy hem. "I like how we're all wearing black, and Kristin is the only one wearing white," L.C. says, "how ironic." Then she makes this face.

Ooh, get it? Of course you do. That joke isn't even funny, L.C. Team Kristin! This is Kristin's offending dress, by the way.

But the sartorial highlight of the episode had to be Trey's handmade trucker hat, which he debuted at the black and white party.

This puts our Trey trucker hat count! Not bad for the first episode. Join us next Wednesday for our second installment — we'll be recapping every week!
I'm the Senior Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me: Google