Though my years of formal education are over, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the days (okay, weeks…) before the first day of class when I’d obsess over magazines, mannequins, and my own closet for the perfect back-to-school outfit. It was important to me to present an air of sophistication to my new teachers while still seeming trendy and unique to my own peers. I drew inspiration from fashionistas across the board, but some of my favorites came from high school films. Although their characters emerged on the screen decades ago, their classic choices have withstood the test of time — several can even be found on the 2012 trend watch! Here are a few of my personal favorites to get you started this autumn:
1. Leather Jacket, as worn by Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club
Though this seasons runways reflect a partiality toward black rather than brown, leather is “in” all over. The easiest way to adopt this trend is by donning a classic leather jacket.
2. Oxblood, as worn by Cher Horowitz in Clueless
This autumn-popular shade is actually a deep, deep clear red — different from rust, which is dirtied by green tones. Alicia Silverstone, with her peaches-and-cream skin and blonde hair, looks equally beautiful in Oxblood as its parent shade. Don’t be afraid to go bold: there’s nothing quite like a lady in red!
3. Real Red Lips as worn by Veronica Sawyer in Heathers
If you’re not wild about red as a predominant shade, why not try it as an accent? Bright red lip color has been a stylish staple since the reign of Queen Elizabeth, if you can believe it, and always looks striking against clear skin and understated eyes.
4. Clean, Flat Hair as worn by Carrie White in Carrie
Although Carrie’s hair is hardly the focus of this 1976 high school horror flick, it stands as a great representation to the runway styles we’re seeing this fall. It’s a straight part, clean root, no-volume affair — easy for those of us with anti-volume pancake tresses! Avoid looking austere by pairing this look with rounded “feminine” silhouettes and softer palettes.
5. Granny-Chic as worn by Andie Walsh in Pretty In Pink
A difficult look to pull off and no one better to ace it than Molly Ringwald in her heyday. Quirky pieces like embroidered or beaded cardigans, floral-trimmed hats, wide-framed glasses, and gaudy jewelry should be coupled with simpler staples: black blazers, pencil skirts, skinny jeans, and basic flats.
6. Over-sized Coat as worn by Judy in Rebel Without A Cause
The glamorous, over-sized coat has graced nearly every decade, but perhaps most memorably in the 1950s. This boxier style, designed to cover the era’s popular full-flare skirt, soon replaced the trim-waist trench as the nation’s new standard. Though you’d be hard pressed to find crinoline frills below them today, it’s still a good idea to keep the hourglass shape in mind when dressing the over-sized coat. Tapered pants with high waists or tights with boots are great modern updates to this timeless trend.
What are your favorite film fashionistas?
Rachel Brow is a recent graduate from the University of Washington. She holds degrees in Creative Writing and Dramatic Performance. Catch more of her writing and monthly inspiration/obsessions on her blog!