Saturday, November 28, 2009


One of my all time favorite movies is Clueless. In this modern take on Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy Emma, Alicia Silverstone (Cher) is charming and hilarious with impeccable taste. Each of her outfits is put together so perfectly that with all her coordinating headbands, collars, and knee-high socks, some may say that she was the Californian Blair Waldorf of her day.

Young, beautiful and living the life of a privileged, wealthy Beverly Hills teenager in the 90's Cher Horowitz (Silverstone) teams up with her best friend Dione (Stacey Dash) as she administers makeovers and match-makes her way into trouble. Whether it be taking newcomer Tai (Brittany Murphy) under their wings or setting up teachers on dates the two best friends always manage to do so in style, even if that sense of style may be a little over the top at times.

This is my favorite one of Dione's hats and the matching outfits is such a classic and comical way of introducing a pair of best friends.
Although most of the costumes in Clueless were not based off of what teenagers were wearing in 1995, the movie was filled with midriffs, feather boas, top hats, skirt suits, see-through cover-ups, platform sneakers, chokers, scrunchies, baby doll dresses, argyle, animal and plaid prints, mini backpacks, knee highs and pleather jackets and skirts. The list goes on and on. Costume designer Mona May's objective was to set trends not follow them. On the Clueless "Whatever Edition" DVD's "Fashion 101", May said that fashion at the time was very much about grunge and her objective was to bring something new to the table that kids could copy.
Some clothing themes and trends that caught my eye throughout the movie:
Sheer blouses were featured a number of times. One of my favorite outfits was Cher's driver's license test ensemble, featured in the upper right corner here. It was one of the most unique forms of layering I have ever seen. I absolutely loved it. The blouse had ruffles and the way it was worn over Cher's checkered mini skirt was innovative and very feminine. Several of these blouses had girly touches to them such as ruffled cuffs or a small floral print.
No particular trend is featured here but I just wanted to add a few of my other favorite outfits from the movie. I was absolutely in love with Cher's Bill Cosby-esque cardigan which reminded me of those hipster kids I see at school who wear their thrifted "old-man" sweaters. Cher had a way of wearing tweedy looking sweaters and knits while still giving them a feminine quality. Plus I thought the picture with the pager added a nice touch of nostalgia. My other favorite outfit featured here was Cher's dainty, slightly sheer blouse which she paired with a leather mini skirt and jacket. The outfit's simplicity was very chic .
Even as a kid of the 90's one major trend that I never caught on with was the whole layering a tank top over your tee-shirt trend. Even years after the 90's era was over, television show's like Lizzie McGuire had girls everywhere jumping this layering trend bandwagon. But then again, I never really liked the Lizzie McGuire show all that much either. However strong my dislike for this manner of dress, Cher manages to pull it off not just once but close to three times during the movie. This look maintains Cher's girly image of innocence and keeps her looking cute.
One of Cher's most memorable outfits of this movie is her ruby red Azzedine Alaïa dress which she wears to the infamous Valley Party and is later held at gunpoint in. Being a native of the Beverly Hills area, Cher has most definitely wowed us with her impressive collection of designer clothes and has dropped some major fashion names such as Calvin Klein and Fred Segal.
Clueless' fashion didn't just stop at what the girls were wearing, the movie's leading males were equally involved in the fashion scene. Some of the boys' costumes were just as vibrant and colorful and fully matched each of the different personalities. By far, one of the most iconic moments of the movie was when this group of five young men waddled their way through school as the audience listened to Cher rant about boys' greasy hair, backwards caps and saggy pants set to "All The Young Dudes".
In a time of ever present sagging pants, Clueless broke through on the fashion front with knit sweater vests, button-down denim shirts, crushed velvet, suspenders, berets and bucket hats. While baggy was a sign of rebellion, Mona May defied convention and brought about a handful of distinct looks for the young men of Clueless.
Each look was specific to each characters. Four of the leading males of Clueless included Elton a man of mainly button up shirts and vets, Murray with his baggy pants and matching caps, Christian in head-to-toe vintage 1940's attire, and Travis who practically lived in cut off jeans and plaid. Although I don't have all the different looks, I've posted two of my favorites. Starting with Murray, Dione's boyfriend never missed a mark with his color-coordinated outfits. I love that no matter what Murray was wearing he always had on a hat and the perfect pair of shoes on to match.
Travis, another friend of Cher's, on the other hand had a more carefree approach to what he was wearing. Although the intent was for Travis to seem as if he had put no thought into his clothing choice, the end result was a nice twist of 90's nostalgia and a fresh approach to the grunge look.
In the Clueless cast interviews, the movie's creators and participating actors discussed their vision for the movie as something fun and smart that everyone would enjoy. It was a carefree and relatable movie that millions of people have come to love. At the end of the interview, the director and writer, Amy Heckerling said that Clueless was a representation of her kind of "ideal world" where everything was good and everyone got along. After watching this movie, I definitely felt the same way. I wanted to live in this world and be a part of it, and in a way Clueless's cast and story line made me feel that I was.


  1. Love this article! Well-written and narrows down Cher's style in other forms other than the 'typical' 90's fashion.

    1. Thanks so much natashalea! It's been ages since I've written on this blog, but Cher is still one of my top inspirations!

      - M