17 Back-to-School Movies That Earned Straight A's for Style
Back-to-school season tends to elicit a rollercoaster of emotions. It marks the end of many things (read: shoreside excursions and summer flings), but it also signifies many beginnings, like sweater weather, a clean slate, and fall fashion. To make that transition sweeter, we looked to Hollywood to give us a boost in school spirit—even for those of us who have already graduated.
We rounded up the most memorable fashions from a library of campus-centric movies that we absolutely adore. From Mean Girls' fashion rules ("On Wednesdays, we wear pink") to The Breakfast Club's cliquey stereotypes (a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal), queue up these 14 iconic and sartorially driven films, which will leave you quoting one-liners and memorizing outfits from now until the school year ends.
Mean Girls, 2004
With hard-and-fast fashion rules, like wearing pink on Wednesdays, no other clique on campus but the Plastics stood the chance of running North Shore High School.
From the Pink Ladies squad uniform to Sandy's sweet style, Grease epitomized all things '50s fashion.
High School Musical, 2006
These characters had serious school pride, and it showed whether they wore basketball uniforms everywhere (we see you, Troy Bolton), or repped their white and red school colors.
Bring It On, 2000
When Torrance wasn't dealing with a cheer-tastrophe in her red, black, and white Toro uniform, her off-duty #fitspo outfits were seriously on-point.
While this movie is more recent than some of the others on this list, it's no less fashion forward. This coming-of-age story is both touching and inspirational in many ways.
10 Things I Hate About You, 1999
Bianca: "There's a difference between like and love, because I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack." Chastity: "But I love my Skechers." Bianca: "That's because you don't have a Prada backpack." And scene.
The incredible blazers and shoulder pads? That preppy, but villainous attitude? It was all so good.
Never Been Kissed, 1999
Drew Barrymore's undercover high school ensembles may have erred on the side of awkward, but the school's popular trio Gibby, Kirsten and Kristin got the whole '90s fashion drill down pat.
The Breakfast Club, 1985
We can wax nostalgia about the meaning of The Breakfast Club all we want, but in the end, it really was a lesson in dressing for stereotypes (even if we're all a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal).
The Craft, 1996
The coven practiced more than witchcraftery—they casted cool Gothic-inspired takes on their preppy school uniforms.
While Cher may have been clueless when it came to love, she was definitely the opposite when it came to the fashion department, like pulling off a matching yellow plaid set or piecing together her most capable outfit (read: her white collarless shirt from Fred Segal).
The only crime that Courtney, Julie, and Marcie didn't commit in this thriller are any fashion faux pas.
Cruel Intentions, 1999
Ok, we cheated—all the memorable outfits in Cruel Intentions actually happened outside of school. When not in uniform, Kathryn's deviant behavior manifested itself sartorially in slinky slips and sleek styles.
In a musical about students at a performing arts school, you can expect to see grade A fashion. The best part? Both the 1980 and 2009 versions of the film are equally fashionable.
John Tucker Must Die, 2006
John Tucker's many girlfriends joined forces to scheme in style, because revenge is a dish best served with sartorial prowess, right?
Legally Blonde, 2001
On her first day as a serious law student, Elle Woods "totally looked the part" in a shirt, tie, a robe jacket, and (of course) specs.
Easy A, 2010
We're not condoning lingerie in public, but Olive's literal take on The Scarlet Letter sure turned heads.