How To Recreate 6 Of Kya Clark’s Retro Looks From "Where The Crawdads Sing"

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is an aesthetic masterpiece complete with sweeping views of the sunlit marshland, the moody swamp, the sea, and local wildlife in their natural environment. The clothing choices, too, have much to offer. Protagonist Kya Clark’s outfits seamlessly managed to capture the look of the ‘50s and ‘60s in a refreshing and subtle way.

By Madison May3 min read
Screen Shot 2022-07-28 at 4.24.29 PM

The movie, Where the Crawdads Sing, based on the 2018 novel by Delia Owens, explores the timeless conflict of man versus nature, the natural versus the unnatural. Ultimately, according to the film, the law of nature transcends the laws of man. The one key difference that Kya, also known as the “Marsh Girl,” realizes is the innate need for connection and human interaction. One thing that sets the movie apart from the bestselling book is the visual aspect of the film. 

Abandoned at a young age, protagonist Kya learns to survive in the Marsh, which essentially raises her. Throughout the movie, she must learn to navigate not only the swampland, but also the workings of the world and the complexities of human nature. For a girl who has barely any connections to society, Kya is remarkably well-dressed throughout the film and fashion-oriented viewers will appreciate the effort and details put into the costumes. Here are six of Kya’s best outfits from Crawdads and some modern ways to incorporate their key elements into your wardrobe.

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1. Blue Floral Short-Sleeve Dress

This blue floral-print dress is one of Kya’s most iconic outfits. If her character could be summed up in one clothing item, this dress comes closest. The floral print reflects her love for the plants and animals around her, and the material and style is laid-back and understated, while the fact that it’s a dress reflects Kya’s innate desire to be refined and feminine even in her isolation.

Simple Retro Kora Floral Printed Maxi Dress, $80 | & Other Stories Printed Midi Wrap Dress, $99

2. Plaid Blouse and Chino Shorts

This light green plaid blouse, which Kya layers with a white tee and olive green chino shorts, is one of Kya’s casual everyday outfits. It’s perfectly practical for reading or painting in her shack, or for exploring the marshland by a boat. Kya pulls off this effortless look that furthers the green color scheme of the movie.

ASOS JDY Collar Detail Puff Sleeve Blouse, $37 | Rails Mariah Top, $158
Banana Republic Factory Tie-Waist Utility Shorts, $25 | Anthropologie Belted Utility Shorts, $120

3. Collared Floral Blouse with Cut Offs

A floral-print blouse and cut off jean shorts is a summer look that will never go out of style. The delicate pastel floral print contrasts with the rugged mom jean shorts. The collar is a cute throwback detail that’s currently seeing a revival, and mom shorts are also back in style. These are truly some classic pieces. 

ASOS New Look Collared Blouse, $41 | Simple Retro Alicia Floral Embroidery V-Neck Blouse, $55
Gap Low Stride Shorts with Washwell, $41 | Lulus Levi’s 501 Light Stone Wash High Rise Distressed Denim Shorts, $70 

4. Overalls and a Button-Down Blouse

Overalls are a great choice for Kya’s lifestyle. Once again, she manages to wear practical outfits that are simultaneously chic and feminine. The aqua colored blouse paired with the dark blue denim uses the principle of analogous colors, colors that fall close together on the spectrum, but are not the same shade. 

J. Crew Factory Classic Overalls in All-Day Stretch, $50 | Levi’s Vintage Overalls, $128
L.L. Bean Vacationland Seersucker Shirt, $50 | OId Navy Long-Sleeve Cropped Jean Boyfriend Shirt for Women, $30

5. Green Botanical Print Dress

Botanical prints are always enchanting and fall perfectly in line with Kya’s personality. Everything she does revolves around nature, so this dress was a symbolic choice for wearing as she creates her botanical illustrations. It’s both whimsical and down-to-earth.

Simple Retro Magnolia Printed Floral Green Midi Dress, $69 | ASTR the Label Baldwin Floral Print Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, $148

6. Wide Leg Jeans and Pink Appliqué Tee

Wide leg jeans are right on trend for 2022. For a practical look, Kya wears her wide leg jeans and a pink t-shirt with a lace detail on the collar. This outfit combines two of the most essential wardrobe items, jeans and a t-shirt. The lace appliqué on the collar of the top and the wide-leg cut of the jeans make the outfit stand out.

Banana Republic Malibu Slub T-Shirt, $45 | Lilly Pulitzer Taylinn Eyelet Top, $78
Express High-Waisted Wide Leg Jeans, $88 | Anthropologie Pilcro The Skipper High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans, $140

Closing Thoughts

The vintage fashion from Where the Crawdads Sing offers a lot of retro inspiration for timeless and comfortable looks. Kya Clark’s wardrobe was designed to reflect a natural and outdoorsy, yet feminine look. Many of her outfits could pass perfectly in today’s world because her clothing is not what we usually think of when ‘50s or ‘60s come to mind. At the end of the day, because the styles are so classic and applicable, the best part is that we can incorporate elements from the style of Where the Crawdads Sing into our own wardrobes and bring some of the enchantment of the North Carolina marshland into our daily lives. 

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