Guest post written by author Lynn Painter
Lynn Painter lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and pack of wild children. She’s a biweekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s parenting section, even though she is the polar-opposite of a Pinterest mom. When she isn’t chasing kids, she can be found reading, writing, and shot-gunning Red Bulls.
In Better Than The Movies, Liz Buxbaum, the main character, has her own unique sense of style. She loves vintage dresses, floral patterns, and pretty much any modern version of an outfit Doris Day or Audrey Hepburn might’ve worn. She’s spent most of her life losing herself in the blissful escape of rom-coms, so it’s no surprise that the fashion vibes from some of her favorites have rubbed off just a little.
Like Liz, I adore some of the looks in my favorite rom-coms and would kill to emulate them. Here are five rom-com heroines whose styles I worship:
1. Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman
Okay, so her clothing choices are questionable when she’s living on a sex worker’s budget, but once Edward The Rich opens his bulging wallet to her, Vivian becomes a changed woman, fashionably-speaking. I don’t like to throw around phrases like “style icon,” but travel back with me for a moment.
The brown-and-white polka dot dress – le sigh. Vivian is positively dotty at that polo match, and her belted ensemble makes her outshine all the other horsey-sport-watching ladies. Also, the cream pin-striped two-piece that she wears when she and Edward cop-a-squat in the park with a Snap Dog (and he reads to her and makes us all swoon) – that look is stunning with a capital STUN.
The black cocktail dress, the red opera gown, the white dress with the black hat that she wears on the infamous “big mistake” shopping trip; all sublime.
Edward falls in love with Vivian because of who she is on the inside, but she rocks the amazing garments worn on the outside, just as hard.
2. Lara Jean Covey, To All The Boys
THOSE SHOES. The girl definitely knows how to pair footwear with clothing. The high-waisted shorts with knee-highs and chunky Docs? Makes me miss the 90’s and I am loving it. The pleated skirt with ultra-tall socks? Yes, please.
The toggle jacket, the red dress, the pink bomber – Lara’s closet is full of straight-up signature pieces. And that red dress? Come on with that beauty; instant classic.
By the time you sprinkle-in her button-down-shirt renaissance and romantic hair accessories, Lara Jean Covey is solidly cemented as one of the best-dressed rom-com heroines of our time.
3. Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail
Personally, I’m a big fan of black clothing. So it stands to reason that Kathleen Kelly, with her monochromatic wardrobe, would totally be my fashion queen.
The black jumper with the crisp white blouse underneath – I’d like to have a closet full of that number and I’d like to not be judged for wearing it every single day. The outfit is just so classically autumnal that it screams out for a PSL to be pressed into the wearer’s palm while dried leaves blow around underneath her feet.
And when Kathleen walks through the morning streets with The Cranberries crooning and an actual pumpkin under her arm, she’s sporting one of my all-time favorite aesthetics. Black coat and wool skirt, coupled with black tights and loafers; that looks gets a head-bobbing yuh-huh from me every time. Give me all the chunky loafers and opaque tights, current fashion trends be damned.
4. Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality
Yes, it’s another makeover story. Gracie starts out as a who-cares-about-clothes FBI agent, and ends up a pageant contestant.
But honestly, between you and me, I think she looked cool AF when she was wearing her black blazer, white button-down and I-can-take-down-this-whole-operation sunglasses at the very beginning of the movie.
Of course, once she becomes Gracie Lou Freebush, I love every single outfit she is shown in. The lavender Mustang Sally dress, the periwinkle breakfast ensemble, the long sparkly evening gown – they’re all fabulous. I even love the Swiss Miss dress she dons while playing the water glasses in the talent preliminaries. I don’t know how she does it, but she looks amazing in that red, white and black outfit.
5. Jessica Day, New Girl
Okay – hear me out. I know it’s a TV series and not a movie, but didn’t it kind of feel like a super-duper long rom-com? For both the Schmidt/Cece story arc and Jess and Nick? The will-they-or-won’t-they, the pining, the oh-so-cringey embarrassing moments; I kind of think it should count.
And if it does, Jess is THE girl. The dresses, the glasses, the bangs, the headbands; no matter what’s happening, plot-wise, Jess’ stylistic point-of-view is always on pointe. The skirts, the cardigans, the ruffled blouses, the ridiculous cat I-phone case; every detail is on-brand for our hilarious New Girl.
Jessica Day is a character with an adorably individualistic style, and I, for one, wish I was cool enough to emulate it. (Spoiler: I SO am not.)
I might never be able to pull off the iconic styles of rom-com legends, but I think Liz Buxbaum totally can. BETTER THAN THE MOVIES hits the shelves on May 4th – check it out!