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How to Dress Like Serena Van Der Woodsen

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Serena and Blair on Gossip Girl Have Fabulous Wardrobes

Now that one of my favorite guilty pleasure shows, Gossip Girl is finally back on the air (who else is going to be watching tonight?), I wanted to talk about Gossip Girl fashion!

I get tons of emails from readers asking where the Gossip Girl characters get their clothes, and how they can find similar outfits, so I decided to write an article series about it.

Today I’m going to break down Serena Van Der Woodsen’s style, because it seems like every blog in the universe has talked about Blair Waldorf’s style already!  Serena is also my favorite character on the show, so of course I wanted to start with her.

Serena’s Style

Serena’s sense of style on the show is said to be “inspired by Kate Moss.”  That means that she mixes lots of fashion-forward and vintage pieces together for a look that is “boho chic” with a rocker-chick edge.

Like her style icon Ms. Moss, Serena is not afraid to wear something crazy if she’s in love with it, can throw anything on and make it look effortlessly fabulous, and she will never leave the house without putting a unique spin on her outfit!

Of course, Serena’s style is also inspired by the Upper East Side, so there is always an element of classic chic that gets thrown into the mix.  Serena’s clothes may not always look it, but most are very expensive designer pieces, made in luxurious fabrics and costing hundreds of dollars.

Don’t worry, though.  It’s easy to get that Serena Van Der Woodsen style and look just as fabulous for much less money!  Once you have the basics down, it’s very simple to make that “I just threw this on” look yours.

Serena’s Wardrobe Essentials

If you want to dress like Serena, there are a few key pieces that you’ll want to make sure you have in your wardrobe.  These are the staples of Serena’s look.

Well-cut Jackets

Serena is pretty much always wearing a jacket.  While of course jackets are a must for Manhattan in the winter, they are still definitely one of her signature looks.

Serena has quite a collection of every type of jacket: long, short, cropped, leather, wool and everything in between!  She wears them in every color, too: bright colors like red and gold, muted shades like gray, and earth tones like camel and brown.

If you want to wear a jacket like Serena does, the cut is everything. A jacket that fits you perfectly is a wardrobe goldmine – you can wear it with everything and you’ll always look well put-together.  One way to make sure your jackets fit just right is to bring them to a tailor – it doesn’t cost much money to have seams taken in or let out, and it will pay off hugely in the long run!

To find a great jacket like one of Serena’s, check EBay, vintage stores (many of Serena’s are vintage), and even H&M (they have been known to carry some cute ones!)  Then call up your tailor & get it so it fits you right.

Serena Van Der Woodsen's Jackets on Gossip Girl

Skinny Jeans

A Kate Moss staple, Serena wore skinny jeans in many episodes this season.  Although they are on their way out for Fall (wider legs and boot-cuts will be in again), skinny jeans are still Serena’s denim style of choice.  If you have great legs like Blake Lively, show them off with a pair of skinnies before they go out of style!

On the show, Serena wears Seven For All Mankind Skinny Jeans, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, stores like Forever 21 and Wet Seal sell quality skinnies for a fraction of the price.

Serena Van Der Woodsen's Jeans on Gossip Girl

Dresses

Serena has a girly side to her, so we’ve seen her in many dresses throughout the season.  Even though dresses aren’t a “style” in themselves, Serena is always wearing dresses that have unexpected details to express her quirky style.

Take for example the gray T-shirt dress that she wore to Blair’s birthday party (pictured below on the right).  The top half resembles a plain men’s shirt, but when you look down at the hem, there are gold studs all around the bottom!  Paired with sparkly black & gold tights, the look was casual yet funky at the same time.

To get this look, try to find dresses that have something unexpected about them: studs, sequins, patterns, or a pretty design.  Serena usually wears mini dresses, so if you have the legs for it, wear one with some black or sparkly tights and fabulous shoes.

Some great places to find trendy dresses that wont break the bank are H&M, Bluefly, and of course Charlotte Russe and Forever 21.

Serena Van Der Woodsen's Dresses on Gossip Girl

Serena’s Accessories

Serena’s look is all about the details.  While she may just throw on a T-shirt and skinny jeans, you can bet that she’ll make the look fashion-forward and unique by adding lots of fabulous accessories!  Some of her favorites are below:

Boots

If you’ve ever seen Gossip Girl, you know that Serena wears boots all the time!  She pairs them with skinny jeans & tees, dresses, and even her preppy school uniform.  To buy a pair of Serena’s boots, check out The CW’s Gossip Girl Style Site.

Layered Necklaces

Serena has lots of necklaces, and it seems like she is always wearing one or a few of them!  Her necklaces are usually long, hitting above her belly button, and she layers them for a bohemian look.  If you want to find amazing and unique necklaces at low prices, search for some on Etsy, or EBay, or try making your own! H&M can be great for this kind of thing too.

Bangles

Serena doesn’t wear bangles all the time, but when she does, she uses them to add interest to her simpler outfits.  You can find great inexpensive bangles at places like Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal or, again, H&M.

Serena Van Der Woodsen’s Hair

Wavy, Imperfect Hair

Long, wavy, highlighted-blonde hair is definitely Serena Van Der Woodsen’s signature look.  Blake Lively wears extensions on the show to get her hair super-long, so if your hair isn’t so long, consider clip-in hair extensions to get the same look.  If you have long hair already, it will be even easier for you to get Serena’s signature hairstyle.

To get waves like Serena’s, work mousse through damp hair and blow dry with a diffuser attachment while scrunching to bring out your hair’s natural wave!  Next, take a 1.25 or 1.5 inch barrel curling iron and curl your hair in sections, starting with the bottom layers and working your way up your head. Don’t worry about getting it perfect! Part of Serena’s style is that her hair is never perfect, and that’s okay! Finish your hair with light hold hairspray, tousle and go.  Bonus points if you add a cute head scarf like Serena’s in the photo below!

Serena Van Der Woodsen's Hairstyles

Photos courtesy of The CW and BlakeLively.Net

More Information

If you want more Gossip Girl fashion, I’ve written style breakdowns for Blair Waldorf, Jenny Humphrey (and the new Jenny Humphrey as of Season 2) and Vanessa Abrams (plus even one for the new mean girl Georgina Sparks.  I don’t like her, but her style is pretty fierce.)

Also, if you’re looking for specific items that you’ve seen on the show, check out The CW’s Gossip Girl Section.  They have many of the designer looks seen on Gossip Girl that you can buy online!

Until next time, XOXO…

Posted on on May 5, 2008 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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94 Responses to “How to Dress Like Serena Van Der Woodsen”

  1. 1
    May 5th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I love Serena’s style and was a Gossip Girl fanatic last, uh, season? If you can call it that. Unfortunately, I’ve have class during GG this semester and have missed every episode, and considering finals are nearing I can’t catch up online, thoughI found a website with the new episodes! Just as soon as I’m done with school I’m spending an entire day watching Gossip Girl.

    I can’t wait for you to do Vanessa’s style!

  2. 2
    May 5th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I love Serena’s style! She looks effortlessly put together and is always edgy but classic. Thanks so much for the tips and ideas to throw our own outfits together. i also love boots and accessories. Okay, I love everything fashion haha.

  3. 3
    May 5th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Chelsea Rae – You have to catch up when you get the chance – the plot is getting sooo juicy! Tonight’s episode was crazy. And I know, I can’t wait to do Vanessa’s either – her style is rad.

  4. 4
    May 6th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    what a great post! i’m pretty obsessed with everything they wear on gossip girl!:)
    xoxo

  5. 5
    May 7th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Ahh! Where can you watch new episodes online? I heard CW doesn’t post them online anymore and I’m going crazy. Because of finals and work I haven’t had a chance to watch a single episode!

    And I can’t wait until you do Blair, I’m so obsessed with her style!

  6. 6
    May 9th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    LOVE the last jacket on the right (brown with dark buttons). Anyone know where it is from?

  7. 7
    May 9th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Karen – Yeah, they aren’t showing the last 5 episodes online because they want to boost their ratings. I think you can get them on Itunes? You might also be able to get them on Youtube, although I’m not sure… Maybe wait for the DVD’s? Or find a friend who has Tivo and make her tape it for you!

    M – Hmm, I’m not sure. I bet it’s vintage. I did a search on Ebay and this one was the closest thing I could find! Hope that helps.

  8. 8
    May 28th, 2008 at 12:21 am

    i love SERENA style is classy and edgy ! and where can we buy her other accessories ?

  9. 9
    May 29th, 2008 at 2:03 am

    I like Serena’s style. Classy,vintage and funky! I really like her! The way she dresses… she has the signature look!

  10. 10
    May 30th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Great article! I too love Serena’s style as sometimes Blair’s outfits are a bit to preppy for my tastes. It takes a lot of thought to look this “thrown together” and you really nailed the essentials. Thanks for the tips!

  11. 11
    June 29th, 2008 at 2:16 am

    I love Gossip Girl and Serena is DEF my style muse!! In the episode, Woman On Verge, she ws wearing a man’s shirt with a jersey tank/chemise (?) underneath…I thought it was totally cute and was wondering where I might be able to find the chemise..I think it’s from American Apparel but wanted to be sure…

    Kudos for making this post!!!

  12. 12
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I’m so sad that skinny jeans are going out of style! =(

  13. 13
    August 27th, 2008 at 12:42 am

    THANK YOU this is amazing, i love serenas style =)

  14. 14
    September 28th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    i luv serena style..

    thats very simple and really chicks!!!

    xoxo

  15. 15
    October 13th, 2008 at 6:21 am

    I love Serena’s style the most out of all the GG’s >_< Simple dresses over tights and skinny jeans <33

  16. 16
    October 24th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I’m sorry to ask, but i’m looking for the grey shoes Serena is wearing with her uniforme in the 7th épisode from the firts season “victor victrola” and The CW’s style section is unavailable.

    If anyone knows…

  17. 17
    January 9th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I think that you should post more about blake because it is really cool but outdated, do some research on the current episodes and pull it for me i really think that if you are going to make a fashion blog, you have to do it all the way. I enccouage you to pursue this , it would make your blog show up on google more, and therefore it would turn into a style mustread. I think that you have full potential , you just have to realize that. I enjoyed visiting your site, and i think that you should really work on this gossip girl thing

  18. 18
    January 14th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Does anyone know where I can get that dress on the bottom left of picture for dresses? It’s the one she wore to Sunday brunch? I LOVE IT!!

  19. 19
    January 22nd, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I love this show, the fashion is simply iconic, i am glad you have made it a little more within reach for us teen-age girls.

  20. 20
    January 31st, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Do you know where I might get the white, sleeveless dress that Serena wore with the flower appliques? It has a big pink/red flower with green leaves on the front torso?

  21. 21
    March 17th, 2009 at 1:23 am

    does anyone know where i can find a pattern for the grey t-shirt dress she wore to blairs party, the one mentioned in the article??

  22. 22
    March 27th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Serena é mara (L)

  23. 23
    April 8th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    i love this its so info ish i <3 serena

  24. 24
    April 20th, 2009 at 4:59 am

    i just luv the way serena dresses up!!!! its fabulouse especially the way she dresses up for skool!!!! i luv serena van der woodsen

  25. 25
    May 4th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I love this :) Thanks!!

  26. 26
    May 19th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Is there anyway you could do a series on One Tree Hill?? I love Haley’s style :)

  27. 27
    June 8th, 2009 at 7:35 am

    omg i used 2 b in love with serena but now i love the new jenny humphrey

    i love serenas hair, its so messy but hot

    OMFG I LOVE THE GREY T SHIRT DRESS IN FACT IM GONNA MAKE A REPLICA OF IT

    love dis website ty (thank you)

  28. 28
    July 1st, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I LOVE Serena’s style,its like effortless and absolutely gorgeous….she is Hot in a non lesbian way lol…..its so awesome that she wears a lot of shiny shiny tops which are sexy and all but sometimes a bit to much for day time…its so cool that some actually gave the break down of Sarena style thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!:-)

  29. 29
    July 27th, 2009 at 1:48 am

    hello there!
    Im Dee, currently live in indonesia with its tropical and sometimes dry weather.. its pretty hot in here, can i still adapt the serena’s style and how?
    please please please,,,, wish i could all dressed up like her .. thanks ;)

  30. 30
    August 28th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    i from israel
    and i love serina style soo much !

  31. 31
    August 30th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    i need to know where to get serena’s phone, the samsung flip shot in pink!!!
    plz help me out!

  32. 32
    August 30th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I’m a big Fan of GG, but what annoys me the most is when u keep writing “looks for less” some of us want the actual look itself!! So if u can plz tell us what they’re wearing instead of where to buy a cheap bargains similar to what they’re wearing.

  33. 33
    September 22nd, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Serena has a wonderful style and I love her boots and tartan skirts

  34. 34
    September 27th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I love her style. :D
    Can you please update this post or write a new one cause this is old from 2008 and now has started the season 3?????
    Please i would be really gratefull to you…and also can you write the actual brand of her clothes and similar but less pricey clothes???
    :*

  35. 35
    October 13th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I watch Gossip Girl every Monday, and can’t keep my eyes of the show. I am totally in love with Blair and Serena’s wardrobe. I am a 15 year old girl weighing 95 pounds and can’t fing anything out there to fit me. If anyone wants to help with my fashion crisis e-mail me.
    laurynellyn@hotmail.com

  36. 36
    October 14th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Lauryn: I am also a 15 year old girl weighing 95 pounds. I am 5’3 so there aren’t a lot of clothes out there that fit perfectly. I usually shop at Abercrombie and Fitch and related places because I like the preppy style and while there clothes are quite expensive, they do fit well. I am completely OBSESSED with Blair and Serena. Ok, so not that obsessed but you get the idea! Email me at: denacofano@gmail.com and hopefully we can help each other out with wardrobe ideas. :)

  37. 37
    November 17th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Oh my God! I like Serena!

  38. 38
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:43 am

    dat ass esou gail… ech hun serena esou gear :D

  39. 39
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Blair is better than serena but they have a good style. I love gossip girl is my favorite series. I love chuck and blair, they are the best couple of gossip girl.

    Please answer my question: I have only 12 years and I love gossip girl. what do you think I’m should stop watching this series or not.

    plese your answer is very important for me

  40. 40
    January 7th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I love blair waldorf ! please if you know her phone number plese say me

  41. 41
    February 14th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Hi! I love Gossip Girl
    I have seen every chapitel twice
    this serie has changed my life, seriously
    and Serena’s style is amazing
    Thanks :)

  42. 42
    February 14th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    adoro a serena ou magoi

  43. 43
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

  44. 44
    August 10th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    @Arabian goddess
    Is it nessesary for you to be snippy? Some people aren’t fortuanate enough to be able to afford them. There’s no shame in shopping at h & m or forever 21.

  45. 45
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Great article, thanks so much!

  46. 46
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:05 am

    oh please it’s way easier to dress like serena does, especially in 2nd an 3rd season. all you have to do is get the highest heels you can get, the shortest skirt, show as much as you can of your chest, make sure everything is tight and done.

  47. 47
    September 11th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    i Love her styleeeee!!!! just amazing
    Every singe outfit in gossip girl was beautiful, even if sometimes not suitable to the occasion.

    Her short blue marchesa dress, she wore in one of the awards was also stunning.

    i also believe that her figure really helps with how everything, even a simple blouse will look amazing on her!

  48. 48
    October 3rd, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I have Serena’s effortless style so this is easy to copy plus I love her jackets and her hair. I do not have her hair but that is because I like straight hair.

  49. 49
    October 6th, 2010 at 2:15 am

    love serena, love leighton, love kate moss, and all victoria secret models. Thankyou.

  50. 50
    October 13th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Serena’s amazing! :D
    I love her style … please write another blog about her … pleaseee!

  51. 51
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    if I have enough money I will dress like serena an blair they always wear expensive outfits XD really two elegant cute girls

  52. 52
    November 11th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    What I want to know is how do you balance looking like that without looking too costumey and too much like you are trying hard? Besides, i doubt that skinny jeans will be out anytime soon. Sure wideleg trouser cut high waisted pants will be there, and that all good, but they will never take over. Not for a decade or so. trust me. They have been trying that on the runways for a while, and it isn’t really going. People are not ready to go back to bootcut.

  53. 53
    November 23rd, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I love the Kate Moss skinny jeans, need to get me some.

  54. 54
    December 11th, 2010 at 6:04 am

    ???? Serena Van Der Woodsen

  55. 55
    February 3rd, 2011 at 5:47 am

    i have seen your blog its good. i m also working on it its really help full 4 me keep updates.

  56. 56
    March 24th, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I LOVE SERENA’S STYLE!!! The best!!!

  57. 57
    April 4th, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Hey I love all the style break downs that you’ve done so far, but I was wondering if you could do one for Lily van der Woodsen because i find her style very classy. Thanks xx

  58. 58
    April 26th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Did you see the episode where Serena sported the old Hollywood look with the faux fur wrap and black dress? I think it was “the kids stay in the picture” – I ordered a wrap in black from the Spazooie site they got the one she is wearing, it feels like a kitten – love it. She needs to sport more looks like that!

  59. 59
    July 19th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    i luv her….i dress like her actually….

  60. 60
    July 20th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Cool!!! I love her stlye!!!!!!!!LOVE

  61. 61
    September 16th, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Oh God I like serena

  62. 62
    February 25th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    bence blairdah güzel

  63. 63
    April 28th, 2012 at 7:12 am

    OMG…No words I can say!

  64. 64
    December 3rd, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Hi! I have been desperately in love with Serina’s red sparkle dress she wore when dance made it snow for her in the loft? I can’t seem to find a picture before your site and no name on the designer. If you could find out I would bbe very thankful. P.s. great blog!!! I love this :) I

  65. 65
    March 7th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    your tips are very helpfull…thank u.!!

  66. 66
    January 19th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    really like her style, thanks for this post!

  67. 67
    February 15th, 2014 at 12:23 am

    It is so funny to read this now in 2014 and see how the author is talking about skinny jeans are about to go out of style..they’re the only type of jeans I own now. It makes me wonder what fads from day are going to stick with us.

  68. 68
    April 14th, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Great post! but one question may be kinda funny but i ‘m much smaller then serena can i still pull of her style?

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