Ensemble movies are awesome for their large cast of interesting characters, the friendships between those characters (which may remind you of the connections you have with your own friends), and for the clothes. With an entire cast of stylishly-dressed people, you get more inspiration-per-scene than in films with fewer leads, which means more ideas for your wardrobe. Many of the characters coordinate their outfits, creating a sort of style synergy. Bottom line: You’ll be good with whichever character’s style you choose to emulate!
Take a look at these fashions from four different films featuring ensemble casts—including a ragtag a capella group and four friends bonding over tales of woe-mance—to see what inspires your next outfit.
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) is about the Barden Bellas, a collegiate a cappella group lead by Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick). After a major performance ends in a revealing disaster, the group’s reputation is tarnished, and they are forbidden from touring and auditioning new members. In order to be reinstated, the Bellas must literally, band together to win the world championship. If you’re wondering why I went straight to the sequel, the answer is simple: It’s more stylish than the first film. There are matching vests, lots of polka dots, and a plethora of prints. I especially love Beca’s outfits because they somehow look sophisticated and effortless at the same time.
Get her look by pairing a red tartan mini with black tights and a lacy top. Wear musical note-themed jewelry and show of your own ACA-AWESOME style!
In Steel Magnolias (1989), a group of six women (Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah) form friendships while living in a small Southern town. The women congregate in Truvy’s (Parton) beauty salon to gossip and trade barbs. While there are tons of memorable lines you may find yourself repeating (“What separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize”), this movie includes some pretty weepy moments, too. You’ll need a box of tissues to go with your Steel Mags-inspired outfit, that’s for sure. My style icon of the group is Annelle (Hannah). She’s a recently-graduated beauty student who starts working at Truvy’s salon. Annelle has a really cute vintage look: cat-eye glasses, matching hair barrettes, and a nameplate necklace.
Steal her style by dressing in pastels and mimicking her accessories. (Find more of my unabashed love for Steel Mags can be here.)
Waiting to Exhale (1995) is about four friends who get together to bond over the woes and throes of romance. All of the women have successful careers, but have not been so lucky in love. Robin (Lela Rochon) and Savannah (Whitney Houston) are both “the other women” in their relationships, Bernadine’s (Angela Bassett) husband is leaving her to marry his mistress, and Gloria (Loretta Devine) is a single mom raising a teenage son, who is still in love with her kid’s father.
I love Robin’s style the most—probably because it’s so easy to pull off today. She dons a sunflower-print, one-piece bathing suit, an orange bodycon dress, and various headbands.
Playing By Heart (1998) follows several stories all centered around different kinds of relationships—family, friends, and romantic. It’s also one of those films where you find out how everyone is connected by the end. Among the characters are Joan (Angelina Jolie) and Keenan (Ryan Phillippe with blue hair), two people who meet at a club when Keenan witnesses Joan screaming into a phone. Joan is outgoing and talkative, but Keenan isn’t as open at first, so the two struggle with their new relationship. Joan has the best outfits. In one scene she wears a sheer pink shirt and shiny gold pants, and in another, she sports a black dress that has rhinestones right on the boob area. This kind of ensemble is glamorous AND risk-taking, which I definitely appreciate.
She regularly switches up the look of her cropped, dyed hair, and accessorizes with black fishnets, flashy gold earrings, and body gems, which Joan wears like they’re beauty marks. For placement ideas, try sticking a tiny heart gem right above your own eyebrow or on your cheek. ♦