This is a safe space where we can be honest: regardless of seasonal trends, we will always look to the movies as our go-to guides for summer dresses. And frankly, you can’t blame us: the likes of "Reality Bites," "Singles," "Almost Famous," "Dazed and Confused," "The Devil Wears Prada," and even yes, our beloved "American Hustle" prove how timeless good style guides really are; and that regardless of what’s “in,” personal style (or a wonderful costume department) reigns supreme.
But don’t you dare take our word for it. We have examples (as well as how you can tie these into Spring/Summer 2014 fashion trends if you so wish).
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1. "Reality Bites"
We pay a lot of attention to the florals of "Reality Bites," but tend to skip over Lelaina’s movie premiere dress – a.k.a the one Ethan Hawke loses it over because he’s the worst. (Seriously, if you don’t think Ethan Hawke in "Reality Bites" is the worst, we need to talk for real.) But where the floral prints are classic and wonderful, the crochet style is just as appropriate for summer (and has also been kicking around since the ‘70s). Agostina Bianchi feels the same way, since the brand showcased tons of crochet for Spring/Summer 2014.
2. "Empire Records"
Are kilts heavy? Yes. But if you’re pairing them with cropped sweaters (lest we forget how popular cropped anything is this season) like Corey did in "Empire Records," you’re golden. And if you’re really committed, you’ll still wear your Docs despite the 40-degrees humidexes. (Even though yes, you might pass out.) Alexander McQueen can also vouch for the power of kilts, since this season saw them paired with biker jackets and tunics for a ‘90s-meets-distopia feel in their Spring/Summer collection.
We don’t talk about "Singles" enough so we’re going to right that wrong today. Point blank: Janet’s wardrobe puts even Matt Dillon’s hair to shame. So here’s how to navigate summer clothes in a west coast environment: pair a floral dress with a vintage biker jacket and top off with a hat. If it’s rainy and Seattle, you won’t overheat. If it’s so hot you have to listen to Christmas music to remind yourself that better days lie ahead, wear the dress on its own (and hang out on the roof of your building). As for the designer standpoint, you know what they say: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”
4. "Practical Magic"
The only way to combat evil spirits (see: humid weather and all that it includes) is to channel the power of the Owen sisters, ankle-length skirts included. (Nay, necessary.) Fortunately, Valentino has your back in terms of ‘90s-inspired greatness, and so does every thrift store to exist on this planet. Just remember never to resurrect a dead person, since they will always come back dark and sinister. (Or, more specifically, as Goran Visnjic, which actually wouldn’t be the worst.)
5. "The Devil Wears Prada"
We’re ready to get nostalgic about a movie from the mid-2000s, right? It’s been almost a decade – and we just quoted it two paragraphs ago, so we figure we’re fine. So: summer-wear seems to be on more of the casual side of things, which is unfair to anyone who likes to get their fancy on. So if you’ve got an affinity for more formal pieces, you can channel Andie’s post-makeover affinity for black, or Dolce & Gabbana, which she did not know how to spell.
6. "American Hustle"
The day "American Hustle" isn’t included in a fashion piece is the day our world is truly dark and without joy. So in addition to Rosalyn’s affinity for shiny Lycra, we’re going to include Edith’s sparkly and metallic aesthetic because why shouldn’t you make formal-wear interesting in the summer? (Like, we get it -- it’s hot out. But sometimes cotton and florals aren't going to cut it.) Fortunately, designers have our backs, with everyone from Lanvin to Dior taking a break from the same ‘ol circuit.
7. "Mean Girls"
Skirts aren’t dresses, no, but considering "Mean Girls" just celebrated its 10th anniversary, exceptions are going to be made, especially since the availability of ruffled mini skirts has increased over the last couple seasons (but especially this one), thanks to the likes of Balmain. The good news: they’re not nearly as short as the ones worn by Regina George. The better: they’re structured enough now that you don’t have to worry about looking overly 2004. (Minus the pink you must wear every Wednesday.)
This would be a garbage list if we didn’t include "Clueless," so even though Cher’s dress collection is off the hook for the movie’s entirety, it’s her plaid suit that’s the most iconic. Plaid, of course, works in almost any capacity, but when applied to the dress and/or suit circuit, there’s more than one option in 2014, with Tadashi Shoji and Zimmerman using the pattern in lighter, less scholastic ways. (Read: you won’t heat to death in a suit.)
Don’t for one-minute think you have to stop wearing neon. (You weren’t thinking that, were you? No, probably not.) Sure, it may not be as prevalent as the pieces from Courtney’s closet in "Jawbreaker," but neon is still more than prevalent this spring and summer thanks to the bold collection by Stella Jean. (Just don’t let Courtney know you’re copying her.)
Let us have this. Let us include a movie about eternal winter so we can pretend we’re not about to go through days of smog advisories and nights of sleeping in front of a fan. Let us acknowledge Elsa’s zest for iridescent dresses, and then justify our decision by citing Lanvin and Marc Jacobs who went iridescent-happy in their summer collections. The cold never bothered us anyway.