Under the Influence

Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the whole 90s Seattle music scene. My So Called Life. Marc Jacobs’ career-defining Grunge look for his final show with Perry Ellis. These were the things that defined my middle school fashion self. My closet largely consisted of jeans and t-shirts 2 - 3 sizes too big, plaid flannels and a pretty sizable collection of Pumas, Adidas Stan Smiths and Doc Martens. I had all the makings of an angsty, skater kid without the actual skateboard. 

Until one day when I saw a piece of cinematic genius that would change the course of my sartorial journey forever. I know it by heart, I can quote just about any scene and it solidified one of my life goals to be “5’10” like Cindy Crawford”. I’m talking, of course, about Clueless. The pièce de résistance of Alicia Silverstone’s film career. The matchy matchy jacket/mini skirt sets with over- the-knee socks were in sharp contrast to the intentionally disheveled ensembles that had thus far dominated my wardrobe. I saw this movie the summer before high school and knew that a closet overhaul was immediately in order, much to the relief of my mom who had been pleading with me to stop dressing like an angry boy.

I recently saw Clueless on tv over a rare weekend spent entirely at home, along with a string of other classics from my pubescent years that I have watched more times than I can count. It got me thinking about how much influence these pop culture staples had on my evolving style philosophy over the years. I made a list (I love lists!) of just SOME of my favorites and boiled down the greatest fashion lessons from each that still resonate for me today. 

 

 
 

Clueless

Case Study
Cher may have had an impressive collection of Alaïa and Calvin Klein body con dresses, but she wasn’t above also shopping at the more budget-friendly Contempo Casuals (R.I.P).

Lesson Learned
High-low is the way to go.

 
 

 
 
 

Heathers

Case Study
The original Mean Girls rocked blazers with padded shoulders and fearlessly ruled the school.

Lesson Learned
If you want the power, you've got to dress the part.

 
 

 
 
 

Pretty in Pink

Case Study
Andy, the loner girl from the wrong side of the tracks, wasn’t accepted by those snooty, popular rich kids. But no matter, she didn’t change herself to fit in. Instead, she handily crafted a very unique and very pink prom dress. And she STILL got the guy.

Lesson Learned
Embrace your originality.

 

 
 

 
 
 

Singles

Case Study
It's a tale as old as rock 'n' roll. Janet loves Cliff. Cliff loves his band. Janet may have been delusional about her relationship, but at least she had a cool-girl sense of style. I loved everything about her flowery mini dresses mixed with leather jackets and combat boots. As a matter of fact, you may still catch me wearing some variation of this combo any day of the week.

Lesson Learned
Let your good girl and your edgier side come together.

 

 
 

 
 
 

Teen Witch

Case Study
After Louise discovered her magical powers, her hair all of a sudden had volume for days. All of the guys wanted to be WITH her and all of the girls wanted to BE her. Top that!

Lesson Learned
Big hair, don’t care!