I caught “Girl, Interrupted” on television a few weeks back – a movie I disliked the first time I saw it when I was 15, even though it themes should have resonated with me at that age. 12 years down the road, I still find the movie pretty unengaging – I don’t think it’s a bad movie, it’s just not my type of movie.
What I loved then, and still found myself pretty in love with the second time round, is Susanna’s (played by Winona Ryder) clothes. Stripes, slouchy button downs, cropped trousers, prim knits, tailored jackets.
The movie is set in the late 60s, and I don’t know how accurate the styles are for the time, but it works for me because it lacks the kitsch that actual movies from the 60s have – I guess it’s more along the lines of how a person living in the 90s interprets 60s clothing.
It made me think about what makes clothes and styles date. We all think of blue jeans as a classic and yet even that is subject to trends – acid wash from the 80s, flares from the 70s, and some styles unbearably regrettable to modern eyes.
Looking at Susanna’s clothes, and my old magazines, my personal take on what keeps a look timeless is:
- Simple hairstyles - nothing too teased and processed
- Minimal or no make-up.
- Clean lines, no extreme silhouettes – things that follow the natural lines of the body
- Neutral colours (black, white, cream, navy, beige, grey)
- Trousers: neither too skinny nor wide
- Skirts: long, short, or knee-length. Nothing in between
- Slouchy (but not too baggy) things look less dated than super fitted things
- Flat shoes (heel heights and shapes change too much)
Pictures from imdb, moviepicturedb
P.S - A digression; I found this terrific post called "When does an outfit become a costume" on The Daily Prep by chance, and it perfectly describes my feelings on the subject. And I'm not in anyway a preppy type or an expert on prep.