If You Hate The New “Mean Girls” Wardrobe, You're Not Alone. Here's How To Copy 4 Iconic Looks From The Classic

The outfits in the new “Mean Girls” movie are so not fetch.

By Nicole Andre4 min read
Screenshot 2024-01-26 at 12.26.35 PM
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls (2024)

The original Mean Girls is a classic. The movie has stood the test of time and resonates with viewers just as much as it did when it first came out in 2004. That’s hard to do. 

Part of what made Mean Girls so good was just how real it felt. Tina Fey’s satire was spot on, right down to the costume design of North Shore High School's it-girls, the Plastics. In the vein of modern movie making, Mean Girls has been given its own remake. But is the Broadway musical version turned movie a glowup? I think, in terms of the costume design, it’s a total flop.

The original Mean Girls made you feel like you were in high school. And the outfits looked like it too. Costume designer Mary Jane Fort looked through yearbook after yearbook to get a sense of what teens were wearing, how that changed with each of the different cliques in high school, and what was considered “in.” 

Fort brought her fashion research to the screen: We see Cady Heron start off as your typical sweet, friendly girl next door, with loose-fitting jeans, collared shirts, and plaid, and slowly morph into one of the school’s popular girls with tighter, pinker, more fashion-conscious clothing.

The brilliance of the original Mean Girls costuming is that every character represented their clique. The jocks looked like jocks, the art kids looked like art kids, and the Plastics had this perfect aspirational style that teens everywhere wanted to recreate (and still do years later).

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the new Mean Girls. Sure, it’s supposed to be an updated version of the 2004 film, and the fashion should change with it…except it didn’t. It doesn’t look like what teens were wearing in 2004, and it doesn’t look like what teens are wearing in 2024, either. 

The Plastics Wear Shein Now?

The original movie’s fashion was aspirational. It’s what every high school girl in the 2000s wished she could wear. It was the clothes of the original influencers. Outfits that would make you go out and buy the same after seeing them: Louis Vuitton bags and belts, Burberry skirts, accessorized with only the best of white gold hoops. (As well as army pants with flip flops, of course). 

The new Mean Girls gets it all wrong. Instead of designer fashion or even high end brands that you would see the real-life popular high school girls sporting today like Lululemon, Aritzia, Free People, and Anthropologie, all of the outfits just look plain cheap. 

It’s not giving aspirational it-girl. It's giving Shein or Temu. And I don’t think Gretchen’s father, the inventor of toaster strudel, would be very pleased to hear about this. 

Sure, you might argue that your average high schooler doesn’t wear Louis Vuitton or Burberry. And you’d be right. But that’s sort of the point of the movies. Modern entertainment has tried so hard to make things relatable that it’s taken out the reason why we watch movies in the first place. 

The great thing about the original Mean Girls is it was relatable enough to make you feel like it could really be a real high school, but with an elevated movie glamor that only an expert costume designer can bring. 

The same way that the most recent Victoria's Fashion show lacked what the brand’s fans loved about the first one, the outfits in the new movie missed the mark. They’re something any high schooler could afford, but in becoming so incredibly accessible, they lost the whimsical touch people go to the movies to experience. 

Dressing Like the Plastics

On Wednesdays, they wear pink! The iconic Mean Girls outfits were unapologetically feminine and pink, and we’re still obsessed. These outfits are just as worthy of recreation 20 years later as they were when the movie first came out. 

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Regina George

Beginning with the queen bee, of course. The others are just her worker bees. One of Regina’s most iconic outfits is one of her simplest. But it works and will have you feeling like you run the high school, office, or wherever you happen to be headed.

Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004

John Galt Black Mayson Off-the-Shoulder Top, $20

This top has a great fit. It’s casual yet elegant enough to work in just about any circumstance. It’s classic, feminine, and will leave you with the confidence of high school’s popular girl. 

Mango Low-Rise Flared Jeans, $70

These jeans will have you agreeing that you’re, like, really pretty. 

JW Pei Joy Faux Leather Shoulder Bag, $89

It just wouldn’t be the same outfit without the pink handbag. Do you need one? We think so.

Kendra Scott Crystal Gold Short Pendant Necklace, $55

Regina’s initial necklace is truly iconic. It’s one of her trademarks. And this gold plated initial necklace has us tempted to make it one of ours as well.

Quince Bold 14K Gold Hoops, $100

So, white gold hoops are Regina’s thing, and ordinarily, only she’d be allowed to wear them, but…maybe we just won’t tell her.

Cady Heron

What outfit could be more memorable than the one our sweet Cady is wearing when Regina gets hit by the bus? Traumatic moment aside, the outfit was iconic, so let’s recreate it.

Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004

SKIMS Vintage Long Sleeve Henley Top, $58

This figure-hugging blue blouse will complete your transformation from a regular girl to a full-on Plastic. Just ask Cady.

John Galt Light Blue Zelly Short Sleeve Top, $18

P.S. We also love this one from John Galt that’s just $18 for Spring or Summer. Yeah, we’re adding that to our carts.

Gold Hinge Baby Pink Pleated Tennis Skirt, $49

The original Mean Girls was filled with the most feminine outfits. And Cady’s are no exception. This cute pink skirt is great for recreating her look. 

Lululemon Mid-Rise Pace Skirt, $78

For a cute pink skirt you could work out in if you really wanted to, Lululemon has got you covered. Play some tennis or take that trip to Taco Bell. You’ll look great no matter what. 

Journee Collection Sylvia Pump, $60

On Wednesdays, we wear pink…in the form of slingback pumps, we can totally see Cady wearing.

Gretchen Wieners

Fetch is never going to happen, but if it did, we’d use it to describe Gretchen’s most iconic outfit. 

Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004

Rouje Alaina Top, $95

It doesn't get much prettier than this pink top.

Show Me Your Mumu Vienna Sweater, $98

This top looks so cozy. It’s perfect for winter, and the pink color will give you all the Mean Girls inspo.

Boden Estella Tweed Mini Skirt, $150

It just wouldn’t be Mean Girls without Gretchen’s Burberry mini skirt. But if you can’t quite justify the price of an authentic Burberry skirt, we’ve got some cute options for you. The first being this tweed skirt from Boden!

English Factory Block Pleated Check Skort, $80

What’s better than a skirt? A skort, of course! We love this checkered version that’ll help give you a Gretchen inspired look. 

Pandora ME Small-Link Chain Bracelet, $65

Gretchen’s outfit wouldn’t be complete without some silver jewelry. This chain link bracelet will give you those iconic early 2000s vibes.

Karen Smith

Wanna go to Taco Bell? And look like Karen while you do it? We’ve got you covered. 

Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls/2004

Lululemon Modal Silk Blend V-Neck Long Sleeve Shirt, $68

Truth be told, I’ve completely fallen in love with this Lululemon top. It’s great quality and the detailing on the neckline is a subtle nod to the bow printed on Karen’s shirt. 

Mestiza Delilah Bow Sweater, $295

You can never have too many bows though, right? This gorgeous pink sweater is super glitzy, and we’re sure Karen would approve.

Altar’d State Katarina Vegan Leather Skirt, $60

It doesn’t get much better than this pink leather miniskirt. Perfect for bringing some brightness to your look.

Margaux The Wrap Sandal, $225

Karen wears cute strappy sandals to go to the mall with the rest of the Plastics. And with these pretty rose colored ones from Margaux, now you can too.

Nine West Bassie Flat Sandals, $49

Or get the look for less with these simple strappy sandals from Nine West! The pink tone is subtle enough to wear with lots of outfits, but is also great if you want to wear pink from head to toe like a true Plastic. 

Closing Thoughts

The new Mean Girls outfits were a flop and left us with nostalgia for the original. If you still find yourself in awe of the original 2000s looks, you’re definitely not alone. Until Mean Girls 3 gives us some better inspiration, we’ll be sticking with the outfits from the 2004 movie.

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