Five winter looks from festive films and how to recreate them on the high street
Stroll through winter in style with inspiration from these cinematic classics
Our fashion roundups are unbiased. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.
November is here and for festive fanatics that can only mean one thing: Christmas movie marathons.
While vegging out on the sofa might seem like idle work, for fashion obsessives, the opportunity to watch re-runs of cinematic classics serves a higher purpose than mere “Netflix and chill” – because inspiration for stylish ways to wrap up warm is infinite.
Winter, you see, is one of those seasons that comes across much more romantically on the silver screen than it does in real life.
In the fictional world of warm and fuzzy cheer, the cold weather is beautiful and ethereal, calling for crisp white coats and full-skirted gowns.
Meanwhile, in real life, the harsh realities of the morning commute necessitate a uniform of heavy-duty garb that causes our sartorial prowess to fall by the wayside.
So, if you’re unsure how to amp up your cold weather wardrobe in the coming months, the fashion in these snow-filled films is here to remind you why winter dressing isn’t all that bad.
From cosy loungewear inspired by The Holiday to styling tricks from When Harry Met Sally, here are some of our favourite looks to wear in the lead-up to Christmas.
It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946
Few films define Christmas quite like Frank Capra’s 1946 fantasy, which sees floundering George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) visited by the angel Clarence, who shows him the true value in his life. It’s about as heartwarming as festive cinema gets.
But aside from its ability to instantly warm the cockles of your heart, It’s a Wonderful Life also serves up some serious sartorial inspiration: the film showcases the very best of women’s style during the 1940s.
One of our favourite looks comes courtesy of George’s wife, Mary (Donna Reed), who sports a luxurious burgundy (in the painted edition of the film) gown with a lace-trimmed neckline while decorating the family’s Christmas tree.
Luckily, rich colours and sumptuous textures are a mainstay on the high street come party season, with brands such as Whistles, Ghost and Zara offering a range of velvet frocks you can wear for years to come.
To really channel Mary’s festive look, we suggest finishing your ensemble with a gilded star-shaped hair clip, pearl drop earrings and a pair of heeled mules.
When Harry Met Sally, 1989
Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally is one of the most classic romcoms out there and is beloved by many for a number of reasons, from its debate about whether men and women can really just be friends to the witty dialogue, nuanced characters and, of course, Meg Ryan’s outstanding wardrobe.
When it comes to sartorial inspiration, the film features everything we love about late-Eighties style, including cosy knitted sweaters, voluminous party dresses and slinky blouses. And it’s not just the women who are blessed with great outfits: men have been trying to channel Harry Burns’ cream cable-knit jumper with 501s and grubby white sneakers since the film’s release.
If we had to pick just one look to replicate though, it would be Sally’s geography teacher-inspired ensemble that consists of a chunky red jumper paired with blue denim jeans, a maroon corduroy blazer and ankle boots.
If you’re looking for a wearable way to introduce the fabric into your wardrobe, a jacket just like Sally’s is the best way. Finish your look with a pair of high-waisted Mom jeans, block-heeled ankle boots and a cross-body bag.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000
But, before you head out to the shops to purchase an oversized furry green maxi coat, it’s not the humiliated Grinch that we’re taking style inspiration from, but one of the youngest members of Whoville: Cindy Lou Who.
While you might not want to stretch as far as replicating Cindy’s sky-high braids, her wardrobe of bold statement colours, bows and fuzzy accessories will certainly earn you extra fashion points this winter.
We suggest experimenting with a straight-out-of-the-sweet-shop colour scheme of red and pink with a contrasting coat, fuzzy jumper and pleated skirt combo. Add lace-up ankle boots and a pint-sized furry bag to look just like Seuss’s leading lady.
The Holiday, 2006
Nancy Meyers’ star-studded romcom is one of those feelgood films you can guarantee will be on the box over the festive period, and even if, for some unknown reason, you’re not a fan, you will find it nigh-on impossible to deny the movie’s influence on your winter wardrobe.
The film, which centres around two women who swap apartments over the holidays following simultaneous romantic disappointments, gives viewers plenty to swoon over, from the quaint countryside setting to, well, Jude Law.
But it is Cameron Diaz’s never-ending suitcase of stylish outfits that really makes this one of the standout films to watch this season.
Her character’s wardrobe is the pinnacle of cosy loungewear and she can be seen wearing a host of hygge-worthy outfits throughout the film, most of which involve plenty of layers, cashmere and soft, neutral hues.
To replicate these comfy-chic ensembles, we suggest bundling up in super-luxurious co-ordinating cashmere from the likes of The White Company with soft bed socks and a chunky shearling coat should you need to pop out for emergency supplies.
While Blanchett’s affluent character epitomises 1950s elegance, wearing luxurious fur coats, leather gloves and custom-made gowns, Therese’s outfits were closer to those worn by most people during post-war era.
Both Carol and Therese offer ample style inspiration for the winter months, but it is the latter’s love of pattern and youthful accessories that cements her status as a fashion film icon.
Some of our favourite looks include Therese’s pinafore dresses layered with a black roll-neck sweater and a pistachio green satin shirt tucked into a midi skirt.
However, the standout ensemble we will be replicating this winter consists of a blue checked skirt worn under a navy hooded overcoat. A look that’s easy to emulate at home, finish with a contrasting red scarf and simple black headband.