When I set foot on the podium to receive my diploma and say goodbye to my high school days, I didn’t have on a typical graduation dress like most of my fellow students. Under my crimson graduation gown, I was wearing a DIY purple-sleeved baseball tee with a winking-cat patch and iron-on letters that spelled out Killer Pussy. Weird? Probably. But I didn’t care one bit, because it made me feel like one supafly stylish mama as I stepped out into the world beyond high school! If you’re trying to figure out what to wear for your own farewell ceremony (or the party afterward), perhaps this graduating class of fashionable movie characters can inspire your own totally awesome grad outfit.
Class Act (1992) stars the rap duo Kid ’n Play as Duncan and Blade, two dudes with totally different backgrounds: Duncan is a genius with a 4.0 GPA, while Blade is an ex-con who has to graduate high school in order to meet his parole conditions and keep out of jail. Their files accidentally get swapped, because this is a teen movie from the ’90s and of course they do, so the guys do an identity switch-a-roo that ends up benefitting both of them.
While Kid ’n Play are style icons in their own right, I was really drawn to the outfits that a character named Damita (played by Alysia Rogers) wore in the film—she favored colorful printed blouses and bustiers under tie-bottom tops, and I have to say, I do too. Here are some pieces that’ll help you cop her style at home:
In The To Do List (2013), it’s 1993 and a high school valedictorian and virgin named Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) decides she wants to make her sexual debut before she enters college. In keeping with her Type A personality, Brandy dutifully writes out a list of sex thangs she wants to tackle and check off each one after completion. Her Holy Grail devirginizer comes in the form of a hunky lifeguard named Rusty whom she vows to bone. Brandy dresses in typical ’90s-style teen-activist clothes—scrunchies, cutoff denim shorts, floral day dresses, and pro-choice, pro–Hillary Clinton T-shirts—and I LOVE IT. Some ideas for home viewers:
Monte Carlo (2011) follows three friends—Grace (Selena Gomez), Emma (Katie Cassidy), and Meg (Leighton Meester)—on a post-graduation trip to Paris. While ducking the rain in a ritzy hotel, Grace gets mistaken for a British heiress, and the girls luck into the fruits of high-class society, including a trip to Monte Carlo, where they get into even more hijinks. My favorite scene, fashion-wise, is when they’re all dressed in gorgeous ball gowns at a charity auction. To emulate this highbrow look, find a peach or cream gown with pretty details, like tulle and beading, and wear shiny jewels to match.
In Can’t Hardly Wait (1998), a guy named Preston (Ethan Embry) is trying to pluck up his courage to confess his feelings to the object of his affections, Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt), during his high school’s graduation party. His BFF Denise (Lauren Ambrose) reluctantly agrees to help him on this quest, but she ends up finding some unexpected romance of her own when she accidentally gets locked in the bathroom (this isn’t as gross as it sounds, promise). Out of all of the girls’ party looks in the movie, I liked Denise’s best, because she’s dressed in all black, aka goth lite, aka an incredible look. Wear your own version of Denise’s outfit by finding a long-sleeved black lace top and throwing a black moto jacket on top.