Reese Witherspoon in her character as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde is a cultural icon for women of many generations – not just Millennials. In her quest to win back Warner, she goes to Harvard (law school, duh) to prove that she can be “serious” after he dumps her over dinner, essentially claiming that she’s not wife material.
During her time at Harvard she finds much more than she bargained for – from being mocked in the classroom to eventually becoming everyone’s favorite ray of sunshine, landing a new boyfriend while simultaneously telling her ex off, and winning her first major legal case based on a silly hair reference. While all of this sounds like the premise for an amazing romcom, Legally Blonde became so much more than that – and I’d argue to say that her iconic wardrobe was the reason.
Today, even women of Gen Z who may not be quite as familiar with the original movie are playing dress-up as Elle Woods in viral TikTok videos, and the hashtag #legallyblonde has racked up 817.4 million views to date. Her memorable one-liners, like “whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed,” live on alongside her ultra-feminine OOTDs.
As someone who has an entire walk-in closet dedicated to feminine silhouettes, colors, and details, it’s no surprise that Elle Woods has been a style icon of mine for the majority of my adulthood. And while you certainly could run errands downtown in a vibrant pink wrap dress with a sunflower behind your ear and a chunky heart locket around your neck, since this movie was released in 2001, it’s probably best to apply some updates to her signature style.
Today, I’m breaking down the five style elements you need to dress like Elle Woods in 2022. Between wardrobe staples you’ll want to grab this spring and summer, to accessories that scream Legally Blonde without the fear of being labeled “cheugy,” I’ve got you covered with affordable shopping pieces as well! Without further ado, let’s get started.
Start with Pink Staples
Anyone can throw on a pink dress and call it a day. The thing that makes Elle Woods’ style so unique and memorable is because she’s able to perfect the balance of classy and playful in each of her outfits. While wearing pink is the foundation of curating an Elle Woods persona, it comes down to the silhouettes, fabrics, and details you choose that will make all the difference.
Elle was never afraid of wearing too much pink – even mixing different shades of the feminine color into one look. Whether you go the route of a pleather monochromatic look or dial it back by pairing a white blouse with a bright pink tote bag or pants, as long as you’re wearing her signature color, you’re one step closer to embodying Elle Woods.
For Your Closet: Anthropologie Blazer Mini Dress, $148
For Your Closet: Revolve Polly Vegan Leather Pant, $99
For Your Closet: Revolve Helena Vegan Leather Dress, $119
For Your Closet: Los Angeles Trading Co. Modern Vegan Tote, $68
For Your Closet: Generation Love Gia Contrast Tweed Blazer, $395
But Also Branch Out to Lavender and Baby Blue
Elle Woods was known for wearing a lot of pink – no one can deny that. But, she also did a great job of weaving some lavender (very ‘in’ right now) and shades of blue into her wardrobe. Both of these shades can still be incredibly feminine and embody the overall playfulness of her character while keeping a variety of colors to choose from in your closet.
For Your Closet: Showpo Donda Sunglasses In Blue, $24
For Your Closet: Showpo Adelaide Two Piece Wide Leg Set In Baby Blue, $80
For Your Closet: Boohoo Feather Knitted Tank, $65
For Your Closet: Boohoo Tie Waist Stitch Detail Longline Blazer in Lilac, $75
For Your Closet: ASTR the Label Gaia Midi Dress in Sky Blue, $98
Keep in Mind Feminine Details
From her glittery emerald green blazer she wore in that iconic scene where she met Emmett for the first time, to bedazzled belt details, frills, bows, and more, Elle Woods knew the power of a cute detail. In Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, she elevated her personal style to a more professional and sophisticated level in a stunning pink tweed set – showing that girly aspects don’t necessarily mean immature.
For Your Closet: Rilista Mules in Pink, $40
For Your Closet: Amanda Uprichard Oleander Jacket, $192
For Your Closet: ASTR the Label Santorini One Shoulder Midi Dress, $148
For Your Closet: Altar’d State Iris Dress, $70
For Your Closet: Revolve Devin Top, $109
Statement Shoes It Is
Elle Woods was known for her love of pink, jeweled stilettos. Even in her second movie, Reese Witherspoon’s character wore statement heels with crystal details and satin ankle bows to the courthouse, and matched her monochromatic pink dress and jacket combo with pink mid-calf boots. If you love dressing up for a date night or special occasion (like a spring wedding), statement shoes may just be the perfect addition to your wardrobe.
For Your Closet: ARQA Women's Rhinestone Ankle Strap Pumps, $53
For Your Closet: Steve Madden Women's Lynden Ankle Boot, from $80
For Your Closet: Steve Madden Harlin Pink Sandal, $50
For Your Closet: Revolve Valentina Mule, $268
For Your Closet: MIRAAZZURRA Heeled Mules with Rhinestone Strap, $65
Don’t Forget Darling Accessories
Elle didn’t leave the house without putting thought and effort into her accessories. Her favorites were notably a classic pearl necklace (not the chunky, vibrant kind Gen Z is currently into), simple pearl earrings, a pink watch, rose-tinted glasses, a tote bag, and some nostalgic hair clips. If you want to take it a step further and don’t mind standing out a bit, you can match your hat to your outfit in the form of a beret or bucket hat.
For Your Closet: Steve Madden Bpaula Pink Satin Purse, $73
For Your Closet: Showpo Misai Beret in Pink, $24
For Your Closet: Showpo Parris Headband in White, $35
For Your Closet: Azoxus Small Rectangle Sunglasses, $12
For Your Closet: Revolve Freshwater Pearl Necklace, $165
Whether you’ve been a fan of Elle Woods for the past 21 years, or you recently discovered this cultural icon through your TikTok ‘for you’ page, it’s safe to say that her signature style will never be forgotten. Hopefully my tips here help you find some gorgeous and feminine warmer weather staples and embody a Legally Blonde aesthetic in your life today.
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