Although Reese Witherspoon’s bend-and-snap days are long gone, there’s no doubt that the iconic sorority-sister-turned-Harvard-Law-student has influenced the actress’s sense of style.
In the 15 years since Legally Blonde was released, Witherspoon has had no shortage of Elle Woods-inspired ensembles—from sly rose-colored accents to full-out pink-on-pink, the actress clearly learned a lesson or two from her fictional counterpart.
Though Witherspoon has made it very clear that she’s a southern gal at heart (hello, Draper James), to this day it’s difficult to dissociate her early aughts Cali-girl demeanor from the family-oriented Reese we know and love.
Since Blonde’s debut, Witherspoon has earned acclaim for her roles as folk singer June Carter, soul-searching memoirist Cheryl Strayed, Mark Ruffalo’s comatose love interest … the list goes on and on, yet for some reason, Elle is the one who's stuck with us.
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Most recently, Reese channeled her inner Elle Woods on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at a Girls Inc. luncheon in Los Angeles. In a hot pink dress with a violet overlay, Witherspoon stirred within us a nostalgia for her Legally Blonde days.
Join us for a trip down memory lane as we discuss Witherspoon’s most Woodsian looks to date.
1. Pattern-Clad Elle
Nov. 16, 2016: Witherspoon's pink-and-purple patterned dress would definitely earn a spot in Elle's designer closet. She might just be feelin' the velvet platforms, too...
2. Casual Elle
Feb. 10, 2016: Reese downplayed her outfit's rosy saturation with a pair of ripped jeans and a leather jacket.
3. SHOPPING CENTER ELLE
Aug. 13, 2015: Bright pink purse on one arm, shopping bag on the other—how Elle Woods-y is this?!
4. Buddy comedy Elle
Apr. 21, 2015: We can totally see this shot sitting on the mantle at Elle's sorority house.
5. MELLOW ELLE
Dec. 10, 2014: Witherspoon took Woods's aesthetic down a few notches, but still retained the character's pinky sheen.
6. Unapologetically Elle
Nov. 8, 2014: Hot pink gown, hot pink lip—Witherspoon's sartorial influence was hardly a mystery.
7. COUNTRY CLUB ELLE
July 31, 2014: The only way this hot pink cardigan and blouse set could be more Elle Woods-esque is if Witherspoon were toting the character's beloved ;Chihuahua, Bruiser.
8. RED carpet Elle
May 5, 2014: If Elle ever had a chance to grace the red carpet—and you know she must've—this gorgeous column-style gown would've been a definite contender.
9. Tech-Savvy Elle
Mar. 19, 2014: Woods' screentime never crossed over into the iPhone era—but if it had, we think she would've loved Witherspoon's phone case.
10. Real world Elle
Mar. 18, 2014: This outfit is exactly what we imagine a fancy late-thirties lawyer Woods would wear to court.
11. FLORAL ELLE
Mar. 14, 2013: Witherspoon gave her simple look a girly edge with a floral blouse, pink pumps, and a matching bag.
12. SUBTLE ELLE
May 26, 2012: Hot pink sandals brightened the actress's otherwise subdued look.
13. Bustier Elle
Dec. 13, 2010: Witherspoon gave her classic LBD a twist with a splash of Elle Woods-approved rose.
14. Edgy Elle
Oct. 28, 2009: This lacy hot pink dress is totally next-gen Elle. P.S.: This was only seven years ago, how does Reese look like she's 15?