On Tuesday night’s winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars, we got to see our favorite Rosewood crew all grown up. The Freeform series flashed five years forward for the second half of season six, giving us our first glimpse at the Liars as they navigate the world of adulthood. We learned that they’ve gone through breakups (RIP Spoby and Haleb), found new love (did you see Hanna’s rock?!), and pursued their dream careers. And, of course, they still have their killer fashion senses—even though they’ve left their ultra-trendy teen wardrobes from their days at Rosewood High behind.
To give the Liars a fresh and mature new look, the series’ creator, Marlene King, brought in a new costume designer, Cameron Dale. Although Dale didn’t begin working on the show until this season’s third episode (which airs on Jan. 26), she had a clear vision for how the characters should look after she binge-watched the entire series. “I really wanted to do the costumes justice,” Dale told InStyle.
When it came to getting each character’s post-grad wardrobe just right, Dale was up to the challenge—but she did have some help. “Marlene [King] explained what each character had been up to the past five years, which was super helpful in informing their style directions,” said Dale. “They all have new, grown-up jobs that dictate how their styles have evolved, and they sport more tailored looks with pared-down accessories.” Of course, she didn’t want their outfits to come across as too professional. “I kept all of the characters super colorful,” Dale said. “It's really no fun on a show like Pretty Little Liars to have everyone in black, gray, and beige—even though those are some easy indicators of maturity.”
Color palettes aside, the show’s stars—Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario, and Sasha Pieterse—were more than ready for their characters to evolve this season. “The girls were very excited to finally get to play their age,” said Dale. “And each one of them gave me valuable input.” Scroll down for all the details about each Liar’s new look.
1. Aria Montgomery
Her style evolution: “Since Aria had moved to Boston to work in publishing, she needed more office-appropriate looks,” said Dale. “But don't worry—she’s still funky, mixing and matching prints and wearing standout accessories.”
Where she’d shop now: “Aria would hit the Boston vintage store to find old treasures.”
Behind the scenes: “Lucy [Hale] was done with the larger accessories of Aria’s past. On set, she loved this awesome ASOS pink two-piece number of cropped flared pants with a matching crop top.”
2. Hanna Marin
Her style evolution: “When I heard that Hanna moved to New York City and was working in fashion, that was exciting, because it meant that I could incorporate designer pieces in her wardrobe and keep her super trendy,” said Dale. “Watch out for her spiky Christian Louboutin heels. They're made up of every color, which in a way makes them a neutral, so we used them quite a few times. They just made every outfit that much more awesome.”
Where she’d shop now: “Hanna would probably hit every awesome sample sale in New York City while enterprising.”
Behind the scenes: “Ashley [Benson] is totally game for the trendy—and sometimes a little crazy—pieces we tried on her, which was super fun. She was in love with her new shoes, like the Louboutins and pairs by [Nicholas] Kirkwood.”
3. Emily Fields
Her style evolution: “Emily has been bumming around in California, a little lost, so her wardrobe hasn't had as huge of an evolution as the other girls,” said Dale. “To reflect her years in California, I incorporated some beachy pieces—but Emily is still a denim fan through and through.”
Where she’d shop now: “Emily would shop along Abbott Kinney in Venice and pick up her jumpsuits, denim, and leather jackets at the awesome stores there.”
Behind the scenes: “Shay [Mitchell] was ready to leave all denim shorts behind. Her style is so opposite Emily's—I think she would be more comfortable in sky-high heels than in Emily’s Rag and Bone booties. But she really loved a velvet Chaser onesie that she wore mid-way through this season.”
4. Spencer Hastings
Her style evolution: “Spencer is still preppy, but it’s elevated to a work environment now,” said Dale. “She wears pencil skirts, blouses, and wide leg trousers with beautiful sweaters. In her new wardrobe, she looks more like a teacher at Rosewood than a student. For a special occasion later this season, she wears an insanely awesome Roland Mouret dress.”
Where she’d shop now: “Spencer is a J.Crew girl, but she hunts out those special pieces online. She's too busy to hit the mall!”
Behind the scenes: “Troian [Bellisario] had great input on Spencer's wardrobe. She really loves classic pieces paired with something a little trendier, like a thigh-high boot, to keep things exciting. She loved these amazing over-the-knee gray boots and a pair of maroon velvet Tory Burch loafers.”
5. Alison DiLaurentis
Her style evolution: “Alison has stayed in Rosewood as a teacher, so I've given her the wardrobe of the super-stylish teacher you never had,” said Dale.
Where she’d shop now: “Alison's favorite store is definitely Anthropologie. She finds all her feminine, floral pieces there.”
Behind the scenes: “Sasha also had great input. She really shines in the '50s silhouette.”