When I log on to Zoom with Jennifer Arlt, a fashion collector based in Germany, she apologizes and explains she just needs to make a purchase before we get started with the interview. “While I was waiting for you, I was checking my resale app and I saw a very, very special item that I really quickly need to buy. Give me one second,” she says, tapping on her phone. “That’s the big issue when you’re a collector. You never know when these items show up and you don’t want to risk losing them.” The must-have in question? A Marc by Marc Jacobs blue pleated houndstooth skirt that Blair Waldorf wears in season 2, episode 8 of Gossip Girl, which aired on October 27, 2008.
In terms of vintage collecting, the number of people who want a skirt from Marc Jacobs’s diffusion line from 2008 is likely smaller than the number of people who, say, want John Galliano-era Dior (The RealReal says searches for the latter have increased 263% year over year). But having spoken with several Gossip Girl resellers and buyers before meeting with Arlt, I’m hardly surprised at the urgency. Instead, I’m more focused on Arlt’s tan lace dress with a distinct white ruffle collar. It’s one of the holy grail dresses for a Gossip Girl collector: the Marc by Marc Jacobs “Dita” dress that Blair wears in the first Thanksgiving episode.
“I haven’t sold one for less than $650 in a couple of years, but I’ve been able to find a few. So it’s not even the rarest,” says Kimberly Anne, a Gossip Girl reseller who goes by the handle @WhatWaldorfWore on Instagram. “My dream dress that I’m still holding out for is, obviously, everyone wants the Dita dress,” says Ali Rice, a civil engineer who collects Gossip Girl clothes. “I have my own. I found it really early, thank god,” says Nina Kulikovska, another reseller by the handle @Waldorf_In_Midtown. “I wore it to last Thanksgiving, and I’m currently selling two of the Dita dresses.” If you’re a size 2, you can get it for $840 (plus shipping) on Vestiaire Collective as well.
Originally sold for $428, the dress would cost around $563 with inflation today. Though in general you expect second hand clothing to sell for a little less, the Dita has reached cult status among a growing, dedicated following of Gossip Girl collectors and resellers. Never mind that the 2010s haven’t come back in style, never mind that Blair last appeared in a new outfit in 2012—for these die-hards, costume designer Eric Daman’s style has never waivered. It probably helps that Blair’s outfits were pretty conservative, and now that many fans of the show the first time around are in their late 20s to mid 30s, they’re looking for smart, feminine dresses, blouses, and pencil skirts to wear to the office or a cocktail party rather than an Hervé Leger bandage dress. The combination of that, Gossip Girl being available on Netflix in the early pandemic, and the buzz around the reboot has led to an increase in buyers and sellers. And, though 2007 fashion hasn’t come back full force like the early Y2K era, there’s signs that it’s around the corner.