Riding in Cars With Girls

Style in our favorite road-trip movies.

Road-trip movies are one of my favorite film genres. Why? Well #1, I loves a road trip myself. #2, most of the time the people in the movie are, or fall, in love! #3, usually a lot of weird-ass shit happens. Add a solid soundtrack and we have cinematic gold! And if there’s FASHION? You better sound the alarm, because I WILL get obsessed with it. Here are a few of my favorite stylish flicks about people on the road (and some on the run!).

Leopard print swimsuit, $36, Romwe; plastic star earrings, $1, Girlprops; Jen’s Pirate Booty Nameplate ring, $48, Urban Outfitters; Paul’s Boutique Bright Maisy Patent Large Bag, $102, ASOS; Turquoise wedges, $40, Urban Outfitters; pink sunglasses, $10, Urban Outfitters.

In 1993’s True Romance, comic-book-loving hunk Clarence (Christian Slater) falls for good-hearted hooker Alabama (Patricia Arquette). They quickly marry, but are far from living happily ever after when Clarence murders Alabama’s pimp accidentally grabs a bag containing stolen cocaine. The star-crossed couple, now on the run from dangerous thugs who want dem drugs, decide to hit the road to Los Angeles to sell the stuff. Now, I know this movie sounds WILD (because it totally is), but it’s also one of my favorite love stories. Amidst all the blood and bullets, it is SO ROMANTIC! Sigh…give me a second while I look wistfully outside the window, dreaming of my own CLARENCE AND ALABAMA TYPE OF LUV. It’s rare to find a character in a movie whose outfits are 100% drool-worthy, but Alabama, with her animal-print addiction, assorted girly colors, and cute accessories wins the award for having legit style in every single frame. If she were on a real L.A. vacation and not trying to dodge gangsters, we’d see her relaxing by the pool in this pink-and-aqua leopard-print bathing suit from Romwe.

Long-sleeved ’90s crop top, $16.50, ASOS; The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art, $8.50,; cabbie hat, $29, Urban Outfitters; quilted backpack, $50, ASOS; hoop earrings, $5, Girlprops.

Poetic Justice (1993) paired Janet Jackson, as the pensive poet Justice (get it?), with rap legend Tupac Shakur, in his film debut as postman Lucky, on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland in a mail truck. They don’t get along at first, but they eventually find they have a lot in common after all and start crushing on each other. Related side note: I have a framed photo of Tupac and Janet from Poetic Justice’s premiere that my friend won for me at the fair years ago. And fun fact: the poet Maya Angelou (who has a small cameo) wrote all the poems Justice recites in the movie. Justice’s outfits were the epitome of ’90s-woman casual: body-hugging tops, sports jerseys, baggy jeans, and long, boxed braids under a floppy newsboy cap. This look reminds me of all the cool girls from my seventh grade. Since the skinny-jeans trend is still oversaturating the denim market, the best you can do to copy Justice’s bottoms is to find a good pair of boyfriend jeans. Get a few different-sized gold hoops (one of my favorite eternally chic accessories), and don’t forget to have your nails on point, like Justice’s friend Iesha. This WAH book can help, but so will our manicure tutorials!

Honey dress, $178, Trashy Diva; Claudette Double Heart Brooch, $15, Motherland; heart-shaped sunglasess, $12, Fred Flare; ice cream crop top, $48, Topshop; Danita Wedge, $129, Rachel Antonoff for Bass.

Lolita (1962), based on Vladimir Nabokov’s novel of the same name, is about a man named Humbert Humbert who falls in love with a young girl named Dolores Haze, whom he calls Lolita. Her mother, whom Humbert married just to get close to Lolita, dies in an accident, then Humbert takes Lolita on a road trip through America. Super creepy, yes, but this movie is a total classic and has inspired countless movies, songs, and of course, fashion. The heart-shaped glasses that you can find in almost everyone’s possession these days are ripped directly from the movie’s iconic poster. This Trashy Diva dress is similar to the one Lolita wears in the movie. Go crazy with Lolita-type accessories like the aforementioned sunglasses and this double-heart brooch from Motherland.

Denim jacket, $66.50, ASOS Curve; tribal head scarf, $36, Topshop; oversize sunglasses, $20, ASOS; AC/DC T-shirt, $34.50, Torrid; Ariat boots, $170, Zappos.

Thelma & Louise (1991) is not only my nickname for my boobs, but also an empowering movie about two friends who find themselves running from the law after inadvertently killing a man who tries to rape one of them. The movie starts out with Thelma (Geena Davis) as a bullied housewife eager to head out on a weekend girls’ trip with her BFF Louise (Susan Sarandon). Soon everything goes awry and the two vag-ilantes end up breaking law after law while seeking revenge against any other man that harasses them. As they cross states and commit more crimes, their uptight hairdos and fancy dresses disappear and make way for T-shirts, windblown locks, and dirty denim. Thelma starts out in a light-washed jean jacket with pearls strewn across the chest pockets (do I sense craftin’ time, baby boos?); by the end she’s sporting a sleeveless biker tee. Get your own T-shirt-and-denim-jacket ensemble at your favorite thrift store, and add a pair of big sunglasses for your own good-girls-gone-bad tribute.

Black shift dress, $40.50, Romwe; lips with dangling cigarette necklace, $10, Girlprops; Snack Love Hairpin Set, $12, Pygmy Hippo Shoppe; black patent-leather boots, $35, Target; Big Gulp, 7-Eleven.

One time when I was a teen, I went to a party, and some dude I met said I was “like that chick in that movie The Doom Generation!” He was referring to Amy Blue, Rose McGowan’s character in one of my fave Gregg Araki flicks. I’m assuming it was because I was throwin’ my ’tude at him, but I did (and STILL do) take that as a compliment. In the movie, Amy goes on a road trip with two sexy menz, aka my dream. Just kidding, it’s way too violent and pretty gory, but also muy horny with lots of fun cameos (Parker Posey, Margaret Cho, Perry Farrell). How I LOVEZ it. Amy wears a lot of black, but jazzes it up with tons of jewelry. There’s lots of junk-food consumption throughout, so accessories resembling your favorite snacks are key to invoking Amy in all her convenience-store-queen glory. ♦


  • Floor August 8th, 2012 3:11 PM

    You HAVE to watch ‘Dirty Girl’, I love this movie so much! It’s not about a couple falling in love but it’s amazing. And the clothes the girl wears, wow, perfection!

    • SpencerBowie August 8th, 2012 10:25 PM

      I LOVE DIRTY GIRL!!!!!! Such a good movie! So funny! First time I watched it I was like, “wow, that was good”. Second time viewing, “HOLY CRAP THIS IS A CLASSIC!” and I mouthed my favorite lines with them!

      The music, fashion, acting, political incorrectness, real emotion, campiness, and the you-know-who-plays-the-father surprise, are simply perfect! I love that Rookie has brought our good tastebuds for awesome movies together! Let’s have a bag of flower baby and cuss, smoke, and look great on a road trip to Cali! Have a great one yo!


  • LuxOrBust August 8th, 2012 3:16 PM

    alabama whirly is the best kind of trashy!

  • unefillecommetoi August 8th, 2012 3:23 PM

    Priscilla Queen Of the Desert is a good road trip movie with funky outfits too ha

    I made a facebook group for us to gather and maybe organize a meet up:
    Or you can contact me on twitter
    Estaría muy bien si pudieramos todos contactarnos y organizar algo (:

  • Chelsea August 8th, 2012 3:26 PM

    Luv you Marie! :*

  • Gabby August 8th, 2012 3:27 PM

    omg VAG-ILANTES is going to be my new band name

  • llamalina August 8th, 2012 3:27 PM

    Wristcutters: A Love Story is one of my favorite road trip movies, even if it doesn’t really count as one. It’s not a road trip if you don’t have a montage while singing Through the Roof ‘n Underground!

    • maddzwx August 9th, 2012 2:19 AM

      I adore Wristcutters! And it totally counts.

  • Pearl August 8th, 2012 3:38 PM

    I’m so glad you guys featured Thelma & Louise. That is my all time favourite movie! Style wise I loved Lolita. Heart shaped sunglasses & lace bustiers are my kind of style.

  • Tara August 8th, 2012 3:54 PM

    LOLITA! I love it so intensely. these are all great looks. think I got to check out the movies!

  • Adrienne August 8th, 2012 3:58 PM

    I love this so much! Haha I almost died laughing at “Thelma and Louise is not only the nickname for my boobs, but…”! I’m really digging Thelma’s jean jacket.

  • imcomfortablesodealwithit August 8th, 2012 4:39 PM

    love this post xxx

  • katrinaexplainsitall August 8th, 2012 5:08 PM

    I love road trips and road trip movies and road trip books and laskdfjasdkl I thought I was the only one :’). This makes me happy!

  • Sssophiabh August 8th, 2012 6:25 PM

    Oh YES Lolita is the best! I knew it would be on this list! And “Wild at Heart” is a reeeeaaally weird (and stylish) road trip movie.

    • LuxOrBust August 9th, 2012 12:32 AM

      Wild at Heart is bitchin!

  • LolaJane August 8th, 2012 6:30 PM

    Stranger Than Paradise is also a great road-trip movie with amazing fashion. Eszter Balint’s floral dress and turtleneck combo is pretty fantastic.

    • caro nation August 8th, 2012 7:06 PM

      Seconded so hard, man. And what about PARIS , TEXAS? HELLO? RED, BLUE, AND YELLOW?

      • caro nation August 8th, 2012 7:09 PM


    • Sssophiabh August 9th, 2012 12:46 PM

      Ooooh stranger than paradise is so good! Jim Jarmusch is just great in general.

  • HollieLillian August 8th, 2012 6:43 PM

    Ashamed to say I haven’t seen any of these but at least it gives me something to do in the last three weeks before school!

  • victoria August 8th, 2012 7:09 PM

    ahhh Sue Lyon as Dolores is perfect. and all the fashion in that film, too!

  • Susann August 8th, 2012 7:25 PM

    Oh God, I haven’t seen any of those movies yet! I really have to catch up soon..!

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • imp_of_evol August 8th, 2012 8:44 PM

    Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho just came into my life thanks to the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley (film-lovers, unite!) and even though River Phoenix wears only ~2 different outfits in that movie, if I could nail those I’d wear them for the rest of my life. Have been scouring ebay for that same big-collared barn coat, but the llbean one just isn’t the same! Recently received a tip that J Crew barn coats were all the rage on the preppy college campuses of the late 80s/early 90s… the search continues…

    Anyway, love this post, fashion is usually the cherry on top of the sundaes which are my favorite flicks.

  • juliette August 8th, 2012 10:59 PM

    Have to say that when I saw the first picture I thought it was Paul and Jo from S-Club 7. I don’t know what that says about me…

  • Sugar August 9th, 2012 12:18 AM

    Omg True Romance is one of the greatest movies of all time.

  • MaggietheCat August 9th, 2012 12:32 AM


  • ivoire August 9th, 2012 2:01 AM

    OMG I LOVE THE LAST ONE! Brb gonna go watch it now.

  • Sefe August 9th, 2012 2:08 AM

    Lovely article. Fashion suggestions plus the makings of a wonderful summer movie marathon. I plan on adding Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Wristcutters (since they’re two fantastic road trip movies my fellow Rookie readers have reminded me of) and going to town!

  • Abi August 9th, 2012 6:31 AM

    All these outfits are just perfect!

  • emilyowls August 9th, 2012 7:58 AM

    I would have featured Crossroads with Britney Spears. bahaha. good movie.

  • .El. August 9th, 2012 8:44 AM

    Great article, but what about Crossroads? I mean, who doesn’t love vintage Brit Brit?

  • Motherfunker August 9th, 2012 9:08 AM

    pauls boutique.. really? i would so take the opportunity and rock a pink plastic vanity case/lunchbox with that outfit..

  • Eva.W.S August 9th, 2012 6:29 PM

    Terrence Malick’s Badlands should have been Included in this. The scene where Sissy Spacek put on eyeliner in the woods had some nice moonrise kingdom vibes.

  • radiofireworks August 9th, 2012 7:16 PM

    Yessss Lolita and double-yessss to the Doom Generation, which remains one of my all-time favourite films despite the fact that everyone I show it to ends up looking aghast and a bit queasy by the end of it.

    Two more honourable mentions from the horror genres: Natural Born Killers (hello, Mallory Knox is a STYLE ICON) and The Devil’s Rejects, although that is only partly a road trip movie really.

  • airplanes.books August 9th, 2012 7:19 PM

    true romance!

    “you’re so cool.”

  • emmarble August 10th, 2012 3:36 PM

    Badlands is by far my favorite road trip movie. The 50′s setting and the nonchalance with which 16 year old Holly takes off with 24 year old Kit is perfect for an escape film.

  • Felicia Ubbesen August 10th, 2012 6:21 PM

    I love Lolita! I just lovelovelovelove it, and it really is a shame that not more people write about the wonderful styling. I guess it’s a bit controversial?

  • laurenblossom August 11th, 2012 8:38 AM

    I’m in love with True Romance *Christian Slater induced swooning* I watched it with my two best friends recently and we were all just like AAAAAAH (Cos we be articulate at conveying our emotions). It’s so good. ALSO, Lolita is amazing, book and film. Oh Rookie, you really know the way to a girl’s heart.

  • mayaautumn August 11th, 2012 4:30 PM

    i love those ‘radco’ bobby pins ❂

  • missblack August 11th, 2012 5:20 PM

    Must point out that the very best place to get baggy jeans is definitely the thrift store. I am ALL OVER baggy jeans and Amvets is like my supply store.


  • eliselbv August 29th, 2012 12:47 PM

    I just finished reading Lolita and I hesitated o watch the movie but now I want to see it right now !!!

  • Lacenailsmermaidtails October 21st, 2012 8:14 PM

    I saw this post and thought “there is no way they don’t have thelma and Louise on here’ and then there it was! I love it it’s simply amazing <3