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Guest Post: Cinematic Inspiration

June 4, 2012


I am a child of the ’80s, and apparently that will be my fashion cross to bear for the rest of my life. Among the many things that influenced my fashion sensibilities during my formative years? What I saw on the silver screen.

I am almost embarrassed to mention how I tried desperately to find the white suede outfit Cindi Mancini wore in “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Or how much time I spent digging through Goodwill stores in suburban Detroit trying to recreate the personal style (which of course was manufacturered for the movie) of Andi from “Pretty in Pink.”

Another film that had me raiding the second hand shops was “Dirty Dancing,” which drove the early-teen me (could it have really come out 25 years ago? 1987?) absolutely bonkers with Jennifer Grey’s 1960s style and influenced me in ways I haven’t realized until recently.

Baby wore denim shorts through out the film, in a range of cuts — longer, fitted shorts, boyfriend-ish short shorts — and I was on a mission to have them all, of course compliments of a shopping spree at my local Goodwill and a sharp pair of scissors.

I covet (and have bought versions of repeatedly over the years) her bateau-neck, Breton-stripe top. And I still favor boxy oxfords (and now tunics) paired with skinny capris, though I could never take the leap with white denim.

And my enduring belief that nothing is sexier on a woman than well-loved, well-fitted denim and a white, men’s style shirt? I think that can be traced back to Baby Houseman, for sure.

One Baby-inspired fashion choice that fell by the wayside? My obsession with blindingly white canvas Keds (just like Baby wore). I didn’t think it was odd, but when I mentioned to a friend that I used to cleaned my Keds with a tooth brush and white tooth paste, she gave me quite a look. So I was a slave to my sense of fashion early on. So what?

What movie fashion inspired or still inspires you?

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