Speaking about Elaine’s outfits, Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Vogue that the character’s outfits eschewed a showy style in favor of a down-to-earth fierceness, saying, “She definitely dictated her own style, and I think she was not somebody who dressed super sexy. That wasn’t her vibe, man. She was kind of didn’t need to do that. She was a little tougher.” After all, Louis-Dreyfus considered Elaine to be one of the guys.
Additionally, the “Seinfeld” alum noted that those less revealing outfits helped her when shooting the show while pregnant. Louis-Dreyfus has two sons, both born while “Seinfeld” dominated American airwaves, and Elaine’s sartorial choices helped to conceal her pregnancies from viewers. “And frankly,” she said, “I was pregnant twice during ‘Seinfeld,’ so all of these oversized clothing — this clothing was very helpful to me as a pregnant person.”
While there may have been practical motivations behind some of Elaine’s style, the character undeniably had an impact on fashion. Manhattan, the show’s setting, is one of the world’s fashion capitals, and as noted by The New York Times in 2010, Elaine Benes had a profound impact on women’s fashion on the streets of New York City during the ’90s, even inspiring designs from Prada and Rebecca Taylor.