A good movie can get you inspired. A bad movie can make you angry. A good movie quote can become your new creed, and a good character can become your role model. Who knows how many gym memberships are the direct result of us binge-watching the Rocky series, and how many people tried out their first dance moves to the sound of “Time of my Life.” One thing’s for sure – Movies have always had a tremendous impact on our lives and the way we perceive the world.
However, one of the most obvious ways we try to bring a piece of cinematic magic into our lives and become someone else if just for a moment is by dressing up as characters we’ve seen on the big screen. And you know what – there is nothing wrong about that. Although we saw some horrible trends that were picked up directly from movies (I’m looking at you 90s), we can all agree that cinematic history is filled with a huge number of well-dressed characters.
These days, when fashion trends don’t feel as written in stone as they’ve used to be, and people like to take more risk with their clothes, it seems that it is the perfect time to take a look at some of these characters and see if there’s something we can pick up from them.
1. The Great Gatsby (2013)
It is virtually impossible to make a list of well-dressed movie characters without mentioning The Great Gatsby. Any adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s moving drama about the roaring 20s, excess and the American dream ought to have some pretty good clothes in it. However, it is difficult to deny that Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 blockbuster is the most contemporary and purposefully anachronistic version, but we’ll just go along with it.
If you are into traditional pinstripe suits, pullovers, and two-breasted tuxedos, this movie is exactly what you should look for to draw inspiration from. The suit that left the strongest impression is, by far, Leo DiCaprio’s white, linen, three-button suit with a light blue shirt. Pack that with an era-appropriate undercut hairstyle, and you can’t go wrong.
Although DiCaprio rocked some pretty stunning suits, with her short, light dresses, and vintage fur, Carey Mulligan could easily stand toe-to-toe with the Long Island’s most famous elite. If you want to take something more casual out of this, you can emulate the 20s look with big jewelry, wide-sleeve light tunics, and obligatory headscarf.
Even when Grease came out in 1978, rockabilly look that is so synonymous with this movie should’ve looked very dated. But, rock ‘n’ roll made rockabilly timeless. Sans the silly haircuts, the Grease style is still going strong even in 2017, so here’s something for you rock ‘n’ roll devotees.
Two words – denim and leather. You can experiment with details and different style-specific tweaks as much as you want, but as long as you respect the holy trinity – jeans, leather jacket and T-shirt you can get away with virtually anything. If you want to nail the Travolta look, keep everything black.
As of recently, high waist pants made a very unexpected return in the world of female fashion. But, who would know – black, skinny (and preferably faux leather) high-waist pants are exactly the thing you need to emulate Olivia Newton-John. As long as you have an appropriate leather jacket, you can skip some pieces that don’t have such a broad appeal (e.g. red high-heel shoes).
3. The Man from U.N.C.L.E
This adaptation of the legendary TV show from the 60s may not have ended up as big of a hit as the suits at WB hoped for, but if there is one thing that you can take away from the movie that is that all the characters are perfectly dressed. So much so, that by its end, you are longing for the good old times of Cold War fashion.
Both Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer look fantastic in this movie, but their styles couldn’t be more different, so there are more options for you to choose from. Cavill is heavily influenced by Connery-era Bond – classy tailored suits, flawless ties, and expensive shoes. Hammer’s Soviet-inspired look is certainly more interesting out of the two – Who could say no to linen pants, brown jacket, dark blue turtleneck, and dimmed sunglasses combo?
Although Alicia Vikander had to play solo against the two Cold War agents, her choice of vivid wardrobe easily puts her in the center of the movie. Short, bright-colored, sleeveless dresses that don’t show too much cleavage, floppy 60s hats, colorful dangle earrings, short coats, and of course huge cat-eye sunglasses – there is a lot to work with here.
4. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Back in 1999, The Talented Mr. Ripley won the Oscar for the best costume design, and it’s not that hard to see why. Set in post-WWII Italy, the movie is soaked with European high-class 50s fashion. If you like tennis, yachting, and long strolls along the Mediterranean coast this is the movie for you.
Virtually anything Jude Law is wearing in the movie. This long list includes canvas shoes, linen pants, linen shorts, short-sleeve cotton T-shirts (hanging a sweater over your shoulders can do nothing but help), short-sleeve shirts (Law’s black shirt is one of the most impressive fashion details from the movie), and chic 50s sunglasses.
Jude Law’s movie fiancé and the reason for Matt Damon’s loathing, Gwyneth Paltrow rocks few pretty nice outfits throughout the movie (including one very impressive fur coat). But the appearance she will be remembered for the most is the vintage midi skirt, tied shirt (showing the bikini underneath is recommended, but not necessary), and headband combination.
5. Suicide Squad
A movie that dived the critics, but really connected with the audience, earned tons of money and made a strong visual impression (it also got the best costume design Oscar nomination).
Jared Leto’s Joker has to be the most fashion-conscious iteration of the character, so taking few tips from him shouldn’t be too hard. One of the most interesting things about this Joker is that Leto managed to combine the classic dapper gangster with the more contemporary tattoo-covered meaning of the word. So, show your jewelry, be proud of your ink, but do that wearing expensive shirts, flashy jackets and the undercut haircut.
Trying too hard to be Margot Robbie would look weird, but there are more subtle ways to become “daddy’s little monster.” First, follow the fashion guidelines set by Joker (expensive, flashy suits, combined with jewelry and ink). Alternatively, go for Harley’s original red and black look. Any carnivalesque combination that features these two colors, leather, and spunky accessories (if you spend enough time checking thrift stores, you can find some cool items), will immediately let everyone know you’re the clown princess of crime.
Looking like a movie star was never easier, and it never felt so good.
Here you go: five different movies, five different fashion styles and tons of awesome clothes. See what suits you the best or make your own combination.