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On Legally Blondes Costumes

If the color pink were a movie, the featured film would be Legally Blonde. There might be a few remarks about how Mean Girls has more iconic quotes surrounding the color pink, but there is no movie that uses this hue quite as much as Legally Blonde–or uses it to show a character’s emotional state. We watch as Elle debates on red and blue for her infamous date with Warner only to settle on her signature pink. After the disastrous date and subsequent break-up, we see Elle wear more blues and other colors that aren’t normally associated with her normal style. Elle, in essence, is the color pink. This change of colors shows her discomfort and her attempting to find her future without becoming Mrs. Warner Huntington the third.

Yet, this almost wasn’t the movie’s signature hue. The costume designer, Sophie de Rakoff, claims that Elle’s color (because, truly, she should own it at this point) almost became lavender or light blue because pink seemed to 'be too on the nose'. Deciding to take a field trip Reese Witherspoon and de Rakoff went to visit sororities in downtown L.A. One look at the copious amounts of pink and the hue was set.

The decision to *almost* change it to a different hue highlights people’s fear of the basicness of pink. The fact the color is something so closely tied together with the female experience, we were born expected to wear pink bows and smile about it. And while this is something that not everyone will want, it’s clearly perfect for Elle.

Throughout the movie, the idea of Elle as a pink-obsessed sorority girl really comes into play. As de Rakoff explained in an interview with EW, "It was about taking the idea of a wealthy, California sorority girl, and also a character that was very much obsessed with fashion, what that would look like when she went to Harvard, to the East Coast. How could she be a fish out of water, but still be true to herself? It was always about, 'What would Elle want to do in this situation? How would she dress herself? What would she think was appropriate?'"

This thought process when styling shines through. Elle doesn’t only react to things in an emotional sense, but also with her fashion sense. From her first day of school outfit onward, we see her trying to stabilize herself through her fashion. It’s filled with earthy tones, and while a bit more dolled up than what Vivian would wear, it’s closer to her fashion sense than Elle’s.

As 2023 begins, both Legally Blonde and Elle Woods have a legacy, not just for the color pink but also for the costume designs and everyone’s desperate attempts to recreate them. If you’ve ever become excited by the costumes in Legally Blonde and wanted to base your style on them, you’ve come to the right place. Below is all my favorite fashion finds that Elle Woods would totally have in her closet.

This Doll's Kill Pink halter dress, for instance, has 2023 sorority Elle written all over it.

If going into the office is needed, check out pink suit set from Amazon. And if you really wanted to add an extra detail a la Elle, consider this white ruffle blouse to add underneath.

A pink fur coat never goes out of fashion, check out this one from Lulu's.

A pink sequin swimsuit? How perfect! Maybe think twice before filming your admissions video in it...or don't. After all, Elle got into Harvard Law (what? Like it's hard?)

Elle almost always had her heart chain necklace, maybe you should too?

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