This recap contains spoilers.
After making them spend their (abnormally long) high school careers in a state of constant terror, the writers of "Pretty Little Liars" finally gave Aria, Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Alison a few years of freedom to leave home and live their lives without the looming threat of A. Of course, that's over now as they've all returned to Rosewood — as adults — to (what else?) free the person who was trying to kill them from a mental hospital. Just one more unreasonable thing Ali has asked them to do.
Turns out that wasn't such a good idea, not because Charlotte still wanted to kill them, but because someone wanted to kill her — and succeeded.
More importantly, we got to see how the "Liars" dress as grown-ups for occasions like coffee at The Brew, cocktails at sanitarium-turned-boutique hotel The Radley and how their funeral style has evolved since the pilot. Read on for our recap.
Alison's mom-like teacher aesthetic.
There are a couple of challenges that come with the girls suddenly being five years older: 1) They don't look much older physically and 2) They already looked and dressed like adults while they were in high school. Alison, or Mrs. DiLaurentis as her students must call her, had sort of an unfortunate mom vibe during the past couple of seasons. While new costume designer Cameron Dale may have sweetened her aesthetic up a bit with florals, I can't help but feel bad that she doesn't get to dress as cool as her friends — and that they still constantly hang out without her.
Emily's super-literal California bartender look
To really drive home the point that Emily is a struggling bartender at some sort of tropical-themed establishment, she wore a tank top that reads, "Do you like pina coladas?" Maybe she can use some of that cash she stole to buy some clothes that are a little less on the nose. I prefer the Canadian tuxedo she wears later in Rosewood.
Spencer's look: a little too grown-up?
With her fancy overcoats, office-appropriate sheath dresses and pumps, Spencer dresses closer to the age of the actress who plays her, Troian Bellisario, who is 30. Costume designer Dale said she looked to "House of Cards" for inspiration for Spencer, and she does indeed look like some sort of D.C. power player. Except she's 23! I like her bangs, though.
That brings me to my next observation: this isn't necessarily how a 20-something would dress for a trip home to boring old Rosewood. I see trips home as an opportunity to stop caring about what I wear. It's all about sneakers and jeans. Of course, this is "Pretty Little Liars," not "Plain Little Liars," and as Dale admitted, the "fantasy" factor is important.
Hanna's engagement ring
It's huge! Who is the fiancé? Will she return it to him when Caleb inevitably wins her back? Let's hope this progresses into a leaving-him-at-the-altar scenario so we at least get to see her in a wedding dress and her friends in bridesmaid dresses.
Aria: still the best dressed
As ridiculous as some of her outfits have been over the years, Aria has always been the coolest and that hasn't changed five years later, even if Hanna is supposed to be the fashion girl. Her toned-down but still edgy look of T-shirts, printed pencil skirts, cool blouses and dainty jewelry is working, though I'd like to see her in a more interesting shoe than those pointy-toe pumps.
Sex and the City vibes
Now that the "Pretty Little Liars" are four best friends with distinctive styles, careers (in some cases) and the ability to drink alcohol legally, it's hard not to make "Sex and the City" comparisons, especially when they're getting drunk on pink cocktails at the swanky Radley hotel bar dressed like 30-somethings.
Slightly more appropriate funeral outfits
The sartorial apex of this episode was inarguably Charlotte's funeral. The girls' first funeral outfits, worn during the pilot at Ali's service and immortalized in promo images and the show's opening sequence, were famously inappropriate for their short hemlines and low necklines. They did a little better this time, at least in terms of hemlines, but Hanna's dress — which wouldn't have looked out of place on a Golden Globes red carpet — was just a tad over the top. Ditto Sara Harvey's dramatic black lace veil.
Cleavage in a casket
Of course, the funeral's best fashion moment belonged to the corpse herself. Charlotte (whom you'll recall was born male) was evidently buried with an excellent push-up bra, if you know what I mean.