Heads Up, Gen X: 'Heathers' Style Is Back for 2021

Over 30 years later, Heathers' iconic '80s teen prep is back. Model Aira Ferreira tries on the trend.

Heathers Fashion
Valentino jacket, shirt, and shorts. Room Shop scrunchie. Chanel necklace. Falke socks. Le Monde Beryl shoes. Scully & Scully croquet mallet. Photo: Mark Lim

To say the opening scene of the 1989 dark comedy Heathers contributed to my love of fashion would be the understatement of the year. In that scene, the three most popular girls at an Ohio high school (all named Heather, naturally) knock croquet balls at Veronica's (Winona Ryder's) head, which rests on the lawn as if it were on a platter, her body buried under the grass. Their mean-girl uniform — wide-shouldered blazers with Bermuda shorts, voluminous perms with even puffier scrunchies, and prissy little socks worn with prissy little flats — is iconic. While the film is a cult classic, the outfits and the understanding of how much power clothing can have are what struck me.

And isn't that exactly what we need right now? Clothes that make you a little powerful? We're on the brink of reemerging into the world, and showing off a little and taking up some extra space feels irresistible. Designers were feeling it too for pre-fall collections, with brands like Valentino, Balmain, and Chanel putting their own spin on prim '80s fashion. Shoulder pads, vivid colors, brooches, and big hair after a year spent in loungewear? In the words of that infamous clique, "It'll be very."

Heathers Fashion
Aira Ferreira in a Miu Miu sweater, dress, shoes, and bag, Daily Paper socks, and a Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch. Mark Lim

Statement-making monochrome is the gateway drug to full-on Heathers dressing. See the red suit-and-socks look above, or this periwinkle combination as inspiration.

Heathers Fashion
Moschino Couture jacket. Guess top. Serendipitous Project earrings. Retrouvaí ring. Beauty Beat: Maximize your glow by tapping a cream-based highlighter like Danessa Myricks Beauty Dew Wet Hydrating and Highlighting Balm ($22) on the high points of your face. Mark Lim

When it comes to girly pink and pearl accents, more is more.

Heathers Fashion
Chanel pullover, dress, belt, earrings, bags, and shoes. Mark Lim

When in doubt, match your dress to the furniture.

Heathers Fashion
Left: Falke socks. Prada shoes. Scully & Scully croquet mallet and ball. Victor Glemaud top. Irene Neuwirth earrings. Mark Lim

Preppy polo collars give a snappy update to your standard sweater.

Heathers Fashion
Oscar de la Renta pullover and shorts. 120% Lino shirt. Tiffany HardWear earrings and bracelet. Miu Miu bag. Beauty Beat: For larger-than-life curls, apply a few spritzes of Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast ($30), which will boost texture and add fullness without weighing down the hair. Mark Lim

Graphic knits take on a whole new meaning this season with ultra-WASPy themes (like pineapples). Embrace the classic kitsch and go all in with a collared shirt and structured shorts in a coordinating color.

Heathers Fashion
Far left: Dior sweater, blouse, dress, socks, and heels. Room Shop scrunchie. Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger bracelets. Isabel Marant Étoile blazer. Max Mara skirt. Comme Si socks. Jennifer Behr barrette. Tory Burch bag. Nomasei shoes. Mark Lim

Girl gang dressing goes extreme in matching plaids and giant bows.

Heathers Fashion
Balmain sweater, shirt, and skirt. Chanel bag. Roger Vivier loafers. Mark Lim

Twinsets get a cool update in matching knit tops and bottoms.

Hair: Shinya Nakagawa for Artlist. Makeup: Allie Smith for Bridge Artists. Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa for See Management. Model: Aira Ferreira for Supreme Management. Parts model: Claire VanBeber.

For more stories like this, pick up the June 2021 issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download May 21st.

Related Articles