13 Films to Inspire Your Fashion Sense

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By Hamza Argoub

I love movies. From the plush seats to the smell of fresh popcorn and the thrill of excitement as the lights go down, the movie theater is a place that is certain to enchant and delight audiences of all ages. As spring draws to a close and summer rears its golden head, people will be flocking to the air-conditioned cinema in an effort to seek shelter from the heat. If you can’t get to the cinema, you can always rent a movie or check out one on Netflix. If you love both film and fashion, you are in luck! Here are thirteen movies guaranteed to ignite your creativity and alter your wardrobe.

1. Belle du Jour (1967)

In this scandalous French drama, the lovely Catherine Deneuve plays a bored, newlywed housewife who spends weekday afternoons working as a prostitute. This film is better known for its racy content than its costumes, which is a shame. Working girls the world over (not just prostitutes) can draw inspiration from Severine’s fitted, professional attire.

Favorite outfit:

Severine’s red coat, buckled shoes, and white lingerie.

2. The Great Gatsby (2013)

While this book-to-film adaptation received some criticism for its blending of old and new, there can be no denying that the costumes in it are fantastic. The movie and its costume designer, Catherine Martin, even nabbed the Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design. From Gatsby’s “beautiful shirts” and “cool suits” to Daisy and Jordan’s sleek dresses, this movie is guaranteed to make you want to get creative with your wardrobe.

Favorite outfit:

Daisy’s black silk kimono with floral pattern, flat shoes, and graphic headband.

3. The Notebook (2004)

If you haven’t seen this movie, I’m genuinely surprised. Heralded as one of the greatest love stories of the modern era, this story centers on Noah and Allie, two young lovers who overcome massive obstacles to make certain their relationship will last through the decades. I can’t say much more without giving anything away. Since the movie is set mostly during the 1940s, there are some beautiful vintage dresses like the one pictured above. It’s a movie worth watching.

Favorite outfit:

Allie’s light blue dress, red lipstick, and pearls.

4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This film is yet another you should be familiar with, especially if you’re interested in fashion. In it, a young woman named Holly Golightly enchants and confuses her new neighbor, a writer named Paul Verjak. If you haven’t seen this movie, you must. I insist.

Favorite outfit:

Holly’s black gown, black gloves, and glittering diamonds.

5. Renoir (2012)

If you’re a fan of foreign films, check out this French masterpiece. It’s about a woman named Andree who serves as the muse for the famous painter Renoir. There’s a lot more to the story than that, and the cinematography is gorgeous. Go see it for yourself.

Favorite outfit:

Andree’s white lacy top and full red skirt.

6. Marie Antoinette (2006)

If nothing else, this film will remind you that the whole “Let them eat cake” incident never happened. This film takes the story of Marie Antoinette and makes it more relatable  by portraying Marie as an average girl thrust into a aristocracy. Although it’s gotten some flack for its writing and occasional anachronisms, this film is a visual treat full of beautiful costumes and styles to emulate.

Favorite outfit:

Marie’s floral gown, accessorized with ribbons. It matches the tapestry!

7. Legally Blonde (2001)

This film about a blonde bombshell finding her place at Harvard is yet another film that deserves your attention. Elle Woods is known for her bright pink outfits, heart of gold, and stunning sense of purpose. Her dog Bruiser is almost as famous as she is!

Favorite outfit:

PINK. Seriously. Everything she wears is pink.

8. Almost Famous (2000)

How can I describe this movie? Well, for one thing, it takes place in the 1970s. Kate Hudson plays the beautiful and mysterious Penny Lane, a self-proclaimed “Band-Aid” who follows famous rock groups. The film follows a young man named William as he spends time with Lester Bangs and his band Stillwater as well as the captivating Penny Lane. Watch out for the “Tiny Dancer” scene.

Favorite outfit:

Penny’s fur-trimmed coat, velvet pants, crocheted top, and platform wedges.

9. Factory Girl (2006)

Factory Girl tells the sad story of “It Girl” Edie Sedgwick, one of Andy Warhol’s famous muses. This poor-little-rich-girl story documents Edie’s decline from riches to rags and serves as a cautionary tale about the danger of chasing trends. Also, the costumes are absolutely divine.

Favorite outfit:

Edie’s fur coat, little black dress, tights, boots, and leopard print hat.

10. The Breakfast Club (1985)

John Hughes is a genius, and this film is his magnum opus. In the most iconic role of her fledgling career, Molly Ringwald plays Caire, a popular girl with a much more troubled life than she lets on at school. This film is one of the best-written movies I’ve ever watched, and the 1980s fashion is subdued enough to be imitated even now.

Favorite outfit:

Claire’s pink top, long brown belted skirt, and knee high boots.

11. Clueless (1995)

This film’s fashion is so iconic that Iggy Azalea pays homage to it in her music video for “Fancy,” which features an almost shot-by-shot likeness of the movie’s most memorable scenes. Although it would be difficult to pull off Cher’s head-to-toe plaid now (unless it’s your school uniform), you can imitate her by choosing one vibrant plaid piece.

Favorite outfit:

Cher’s yellow plaid.

12. Pretty Woman (1990)

Loosely inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and the film My Fair Lady, this film tells the story of a prostitute named Vivian who hits the jackpot when she takes a gig with an attractive businessman (played by Richard Gere). Their chemistry is as electric as Vivian’s wardrobe. Her elegant makeover clothes, although much more appropriate in social settings, don’t have as much personality as her working girl attire.

Favorite outfit:

Vivian’s white and blue cutout bodysuit, thigh high boots, and red jacket.

13. Atonement (2007)

This gorgeous gown is almost more famous than the movie it appears in. Cecilia’s costumes throughout this World War II film are amazing, but this emerald beauty takes the cake. Oh, and go watch the movie. It’s wonderful. Just make sure to have a box of tissues handy!

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