Bebe described its new spring lookbook as a move toward chic, which piqued my interest, considering the mall favorite usually sits somewhere firmly in the middle of trendy and trashy.
Metallics, safari, ruffles—popular runway-inspired themes—are all there. Yet, nearly everything has been sexified. Like women’s Halloween costumes, no Bebe shopper wants to be a cat, she wants to be a sexy cat. And for the store, it’s not a safari shirt, but a sexy safari shirt.
The Sexy Sheen Safari Jacket ($149) with the Sexy Sheen Shirred Pencil Skirt ($89) is a good example. I like the details that come with the safari look, but not in shiny, tight, white polyester. I can't count the ways that fails.
The Panther Silk Strapless Dress ($129) is as literally jungle-inspired as they come. This handkerchief on steroids doesn't leave a lot of room for error (aka bending over), and if you're pushing 35, let's hope no one confuses the panther for a cougar.
It's when Bebe leaves the sexy jungle behind that some pretty pieces come out. This Multi Layer Top with Flower Belt ($69) is how spring should look -soft, flirty, and approachable.
Check out our Mall Stores feature, where we did happen to find some good stuff from Bebe's past seasons, although it wasn't an easy feat.