Style

We’ll Always Be Together

Girl-gang style in movies.

Girl gangs in movies usually comprise a fierce set of characters with badass attitudes spitting out memorable one-liners. Not only do they have eternally cool nicknames, but they also possess some of the best style seen on the silver screen. Let’s take a look at (and steal) some looks from our favorite cinematic girl gangs! Remember, it’s best to mimic only these things about them and not their law-bending ways…I don’t have enough bail money for y’all.

The Violent Years (1956) is an old Ed Wood film about a poor little rich girl named Paula who rebels against her parents and leads her friends down a path of juvenile delinquency. Her gang’s daytime style staples include perfectly coiffed hair and snug sweaters, but once the sun goes down, they throw on leather jackets and accessorize with pistols to rob gas stations, vandalize classrooms, and assault young men. Let’s pay homage to these troublemakers by dressing more like their innocent alter egos. I like their long plaid skirts (may I call that a MAXI-PLAID?) and this one from Urban Outfitters would work pretty well. You would also need a good pair of flats, just in case you have to make a run for it. These leopard-appliqué flats, also from Urban, will be perfect for late-night chases.
 
 

She-Devils on Wheels (1968) is about the Man-Eaters, a biker gang who get their kicks by racing one another for first dibs on a herd of hunks each night. Man, how I LOVE this movie. They “ain’t no daisy-pulling broads,” as their leader Queen retorts, they’re brutal bitches in bubblegum vests! Now, let’s make our own! If you were in Girl Scouts as a kid, find one of your old patch vests and copy the pattern in different colors for each of your friends. Then think of your own girl-gang name (my all-bangs gang is called the Fringed Femmes) and plan a patch-making craft night using felt or iron-on letters. You can also buy an already-made patch with a menacing animal face on it. Top the whole look off with a matching accessory all your girls can wear, like these bone bows from Cutie Dynamite. Fun fact: The Man-Eaters’ theme song, “Get Off the Road,” was covered by both the Cramps and Josie Cotton.
 
 

The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968) is another gang of motorcycle babes, whose leader seeks revenge on her ex-boyfriend and his new fiancée. It’s like a Lifetime Original Movie on wheels! Naturally, the girls wear miniskirts, in every color of the rainbow, along with matching jackets bearing their gang name like the Man-Eaters do. To burn rubber like these devilish dolls, get a colorful mini, like this Sparkle & Fade one from UO. Then find a vintage scarf at the flea market or buy this pink-and-leopard one from Monsoon and tie it around your neck or in your hair. I love the Mini-Skirts’ makeup too: lots of lashes, black eyeliner, and a nude lip. To get their look, try Urban Decay’s Big Fatty Mascara, Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and M.A.C.’s Cremesheen Lip Glass in Over Indulgence.
 
 

Grease (1978) stars a girl gang many of us are familiar with: the Pink Ladies. Cat-eye glasses, neck scarves, pastel polka-dots, leather jackets, Frenchy’s pink hair, and Sandy’s shiny black pants are all things that any girl would want in her wardrobe. I’ve always loved the light green dress that Jan wore in the carnival scene, and this Lime Fizz Dress from Modcloth would be a great tribute. Throw a fitted moto jacket on top like this one from Tilly’s and you’ll instantly nail that good-girl/bad-girl balance, just like Sandy.
 
 

Reform School Girls (1986) takes place right in the clink, with the “Queen of Punk,” Wendy O. Williams, as the meanest cell mate. There are endless amounts of lace lingerie, stacked punk bracelets, Sharpie-decorated tank tops, and leopard print, but you can interpret their look by studding EVERYTHING! Make a denim vest like this one on Etsy by thrifting a denim jacket and buying studs from Studs and Spikes. I’d pair it with some leopard pants like these ones from Tripp NYC. Tease your hair like your life depends on it and spray it with Bumble and Bumble’s Does It All. Collect a few studded bracelets to stack on your arms like these inexpensive ones from Angry Young and Poor. Related side note: When I was a teen I worked at a pizza parlor, and one day I wore a spiked bracelet while making a pizza. As slapstick likes to ensue constantly in my life, one of the spikes fell into the dough! The customer found it and it was safely returned to my wrist. Luckily I didn’t get fired! Today’s life lesson: remove your spikes before making pizza.
 
 

The Runaways (2010) are not a criminalistic girl gang like some of these other ladies, but they were a group of tough chicks who banded together in the name of rock and roll. Since this was in the ’70s, we see a lot of disco glitter and bellbottoms. We also watch Joan Jett (played by Kristen Stewart) DIY her own Sex Pistols shirt! Make your own punk band shirt with stencils, safety pins, and spray paint. I love these bellbottoms from I Heart Ronson for JCPenney and anything sequinned would be perfect for a Runaways-inspired outfit. This sparkly short-sleeved jacket is pretty cute, but you should wear even more sparkle on your eyes! Dakota Fanning has the best makeup in this movie. Try out her look by lining your eyes with Milani’s LIQUIF EYE pencil, then applying shimmery shadows from Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows (particularly Gunmetal and Gravity) and Revlon’s Diamond Lust in Celestial Silver. Finally, paint your nails with Milani’s One Coat Glitter and prettify your punk-rock pout with Urban Decay’s Stardust Lip Gloss. Now grab your leather jacket, tease your hair, sharpen your lipstick knife and round up your girl gang…you’re ready to show the world who’s boss! ♦

16 Comments

  • Marguerite November 2nd, 2011 3:08 PM

    Maxi Plaid haha Maxi pad – sry that just popped into my mind when i read that, and felt like sharing that with you…

  • Ruby B. November 2nd, 2011 3:20 PM

    Great post! First!

    Ruby
    therubylotus.wordpress.com

  • vanessa November 2nd, 2011 3:31 PM

    I think I need to work some of that Violent Years bad girl fashion into my regular work wardrobe. The bigwigs better watch out, my maxi-plaid is gonna be struttin’ these halls next week!

  • Lylou November 2nd, 2011 3:39 PM

    I honestly wanted to be Frenchy when I was younger. I even bought myself a Pink Ladies-esque jacket (from H&M!). And those leopard skinnies are pretty gorgeous too! XXX

  • Hazel November 2nd, 2011 3:43 PM

    Omgggg I always wanted to know where those Man Eater jackets came from! Now I know they’re from that movie!!! AH THANK YOU

    Also this list is AMAZING. Wendy O. Williams in Reform School Girls?! LOVVVEEE

  • DreamBeam November 2nd, 2011 5:09 PM

    Better than The Runaways, The Stains from Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains. 16 year old Diane Lane and Laura Dern (Blue Velvet), seriously amazing. GOOGLE IT.

    • KusterBeaton November 3rd, 2011 6:48 PM

      YES I was just going to comment about The Stains! So glad someone else has actually heard of that movie. AND it’s on Netflix Instant, watch it people! Corrine Burns is my hero.

  • Sonja November 2nd, 2011 5:22 PM

    Those Man-Eater vests are unbelievable. I thought they were kids halloween costumes from the back….but NOOO! a jillion times better: BIKERS!

  • garconniere November 2nd, 2011 5:29 PM

    so glad to see this post! i’ve never seen mini-skirt mob, i must look it up.

    i must say i’m quite surprised to not see a lot of my favourite 90s girl gangs up here… i’m thinking namely of foxfire and the craft. but maybe they don’t fit as much into the criteria, because they are only 4-5 gals?

    either way, great post!

  • Naomi November 2nd, 2011 7:19 PM

    i NEED to watcch the violent years ah! i want a maxi plaid!

  • Jamie November 2nd, 2011 10:56 PM

    oooooooooooh girl i love this. i love how i can afford like, 90% of the items in this too.

  • arriving November 3rd, 2011 4:18 PM

    @DreamBeam

    great recommendation. that movie is extremely excellent.

  • Pashupati November 5th, 2011 12:48 PM

    Speaking of studs:
    Does anyone here know if you can “stud” a tweed vest and how?
    Thanks in advance if anybody does :)

  • yeahimhere November 8th, 2011 12:28 PM

    Might I recommend the fabulous 1996 movie FOXFIRE starring Angelina Jolie – in one of her earliest roles – based on the equally fabulous novel (although the movie was modernized) by Joyce Carol Oates?

    Girl gangs at their finest.

    The book: tight prose, friendship between young girls, violence.

    The film: friendship between teens, coming of age, violence.

    It should definitely be added to your list of girl gangs, and it doesn’t get more interesting than early 90s fashion. Heh.

  • marixxxo November 14th, 2011 9:49 PM

    love this! and that you included links where to buy the products and that theyre affordable.

  • samhatt November 16th, 2011 9:39 AM

    great post!! so many movies to see and styles to emulate > <