'Seinfeld' character inspires fashion's retro look

N.Y. Times reports Elaine Benes is a surprising style icon

When you think of fashion trendsetters, rarely does the frumpy and fictional Elaine Benes from "Seinfeld" come to mind. However, that's just who the New York Times says is inspiring the retro look of stylish New Yorkers and the movers and shakers of the fashion industry.

"Seinfeld" costume designer Charmaine Simmons was the creator of Elaine's look, which has been adopted by such influential fashionistas as the art director of British Vogue, Jaime Perlman, who refers to some of her personal wardrobe as "Elaine dresses."

"She was definitely feminine," said Julia Louis-Dreyfus about the character she played for eight years to the Times. "... It wasn't about trying to look sexy. It was about looking like a girl who pushes people around."