25 Years of Clueless: 8 Fashion Lessons We Learned From the Movie

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clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Few films are as iconic as Clueless. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, the 1995 film follows popular Beverly Hills high school student Cher (played by the incomparable Alicia Silverstone) as she tries to play matchmaker. With snappy one-liners and a feel-good ending, Clueless quickly became a cult favorite. Now, the rom-com is said to be getting a remake thanks to Paramount.

For now, details on the rumored reboot are thin on the ground – we don’t know who will take on the role of Cher or when it will be set. However, what we can say with confidence is that the original is a classic, so we really hope it’s done justice.

One of the best things about the 1995 version was undoubtedly the fashion, from the outlandish hats to Cher’s instantly recognizable tartan two-piece. Not only did it (kind of) count as English Literature revision, but it also taught us so many sartorial lessons. Below, as the film celebrates its 25-year anniversary, are some of the most memorable looks that have stood the test of time.

1

Matching Tartan Is Always a Good Idea

Few people know the importance of dressing sharply better than Cher. Nothing demonstrates that more than her yellow tartan number, which involved a blazer, miniskirt, and cardigan. On paper, it sounds pretty horrible, but Silverstone made it work.

In fact, it’s become so iconic, rapper Iggy Azaelea wore a carbon copy of the ensemble in a music video inspired by Clueless, for her song ‘Fancy‘. In 2018, Versace took it a step further by dedicating a portion of its Fall/Winter 2018 collection to the iconic look.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
2

Shopping Helps All Woes

“I felt impotent and out of control, which I really, really hate. I had to find sanctuary in a place where I could gather my thoughts and regain my strength.” For Cher, that place is the mall. While this isn’t necessarily a sartorial lesson, it is more applicable to life in general — when Cher comes up against challenges in life, she truly knows the value of retail therapy.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
3

Headbands Are Cool

Your mom probably made you begrudgingly wear headbands in primary school to keep unkempt hair in check, and you wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing them any other time. That is, until you saw Cher and her best friend Dionne sporting various versions, proving the preppy look can be pretty cool.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
4

You Can Never Have Too Many Hats

We don’t know if we’re entirely sold on every hat in the movie – particularly Dionne’s black and white boxy situation with a red rose. However, it did teach us not to forget headgear – in fact, it actively encouraged experimentation. You might not always be able to pull off an OTT hat, but it’s worth a try. If in doubt, just go for a black beret like Cher.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
5

Alaïa Is a Totally Important Designer

Clueless is responsible for introducing a whole new generation to Tunisian couture designer Azzedine Alaïa. In what is now probably the most quoted scene in the film, Cher is robbed and forced to the ground. This is much to her despair because she’s wearing an Alaïa dress – which she explains is: “Like a totally important designer.” And you know what? She’s right.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
6

We All Need an Automatic Wardrobe

Clueless was truly ahead of its time, and we’re still lusting after Cher’s automatic wardrobe. Who wouldn’t want a computerized closet that picks out perfectly matching outfits and shows you what it would look like on?

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
7

Calvin Klein Decides What Makes a Dress

Not only should you be reverent of Alaïa, but also bow down to the wisdom of Calvin Klein. Even though Cher’s father isn’t convinced by her skimpy white dress, she’s confident it’s a full outfit – because Calvin Klein said so.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
8

Matching With Your Friend Is a Must

Cher also singlehandedly kickstarted the twinning trend – kudos.

clueless
GIF: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
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