I’ve always loved, LOVED movies about a group of kids having an adventure, especially if they end up saving the world, whether it’s literally THE WORLD (Super 8), or the one they reside in (The Goonies). Hell, even if it’s just a personal exploration or a curious mystery, I love it. So let’s take some fashion inspiration from these young explorers and pack a lunch, fill up our canteens, and go on a search for buried treasure—or at least do some geocaching.
In Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975), a peculiar group of early 20th century schoolgirls mysteriously vanish while exploring an ancient volcanic mass on Valentine’s Day. It was directed by Peter Weir, who’s also responsible for Dead Poets Society, another intense coming-of-age film. The girls’ frilly white dresses and the frequent swan imagery give the movie a dreamy-yet-disturbing ambiance that makes it ideal for a double feature along with The Virgin Suicides. I suggest throwing a picnic with your girl gang and dressing up in cream-colored outfits, telling each other secrets, and making more flower crowns—but this time, add some pieces of amethyst for that mystical steeze. Just don’t go exploring any strange rocks, please.
I have to be careful not to let this paragraph turn into a 10-page essay about The Goonies (1985), because I love it so much. It was difficult picking only one character from this group of treasure-hunting misfits whose style I wanted to analyze. Should it be Mouth (played by Corey Feldman) with his Purple Rain shirt and Members Only jacket? Or how about Mama Fratelli, who seems to be imitating Faye Dunaway’s look in Bonnie and Clyde, but with a goth twist? After much debate, I made the unexpected choice of Chunk, which ended up making a lot of sense because his outfit is the most interesting: a brightly-colored Hawaiian shirt, plaid pants, and a red windbreaker. WHAT A BOLD MIX! Now, I did not want to be too literal and throw down a Tommy Bahama shirt with grandpa plaids, so I instead visualized what the Female Chunk might wear, incorporating his print- and color-mixing fearlessness. I am so into this look.
In Stand By Me (1986), four friends go on a quest to find the body of a missing boy. It takes place in the late 1950s, when the all-American “greaser” wore cuffed Levi’s and Converse sneakers. On days when I shun my many dresses and put on the only pair of jeans I own, this is the look I like to go for (sans all the railroad track dirt). You can imitate the classic bad-boy style with some cuffed jeans, a fitted polo tee (choosing one from the boys department adds extra authenticity), and some high-top Chucks. For a shout-out to Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman again!), put on a pair of black-rimmed glasses—they look cute on practically everyone. Make a playlist of all the oldies you want to sing along to, and you are good to go.
Elle Fanning’s character in Super 8 (2011) has such a sophisticated look for a 13-year-old. But, at the same time, her style is casual, which is a good thing, seeing as she has to dodge flying debris and extraterrestrials throughout the movie. In one scene, she wears corduroy pants, which I have always dug, especially if they have a ’70s flare. Pair your cords with a fitted flannel top and one simple, pretty piece of jewelry, like these vintage name bracelets from Urban Outfitters. (So bummed that they don’t have my name, but check to see if they have yours!)
Moonrise Kingdom! It’s the movie we’ve all been waiting for! Sam and Suzy are young sweethearts in lurve who decide to run away together. Director Wes Anderson’s younger characters are always unique and precocious, so we can expect them to possess a wardrobe just as idiosyncratic. This takes place in the ’60s, which explains Suzy’s perfect collection of Peter Pan collar mini-dresses, knee socks, and—wait a minute, that’s what YOURS TRULY wears in 2012! OK, yes, I am biased because these mod outfits look like something straight out of my closet, but they’re nonetheless adorable. It’s so much easier to find vintage-style dresses nowadays and ModCloth has tons of them. Wear them with knee highs, saddle shoes, and a sweet little pea coat with a detachable capelet to keep warm in the storm. ♦