Some Kind of Wonderful Wardrobe Department

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Sixteen Candles

John Hughes's movies helped define the 80s for a lot of people, and one underappreciated way they did that was through the characters' clothes. Wardrobe was rarely front-and-center in his flicks, but many a teenage girl yearned to look as adorable as Molly Ringwald in her vintagey, off-kilter ensembles. Here's a short appreciation of the fashion in a few of his better-known movies:

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In Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald wore a couple outfits that showed the Flashdance, dancewear-inspired trend of the day: rough, cut-off hems and layered T-shirts and tank tops. Her friend rocks a vest, giant plastic earrings, and, of course, big hair.

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Ringwald wore a lot of pink in Hughes' movies, even when the titles didn't demand it. Meanwhile, Ally Sheedy's gothy, shapeless outfit marked her as the "basket case," but I actually preferred this to her cleaned-up post-makeover look at the end of the movie. As John Bender, Judd Nelson presages grunge chic.


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Clothing in Pretty in Pink actually is a plot point. Because she's from "the wrong side of the tracks," Ringwald's character, Andie, has to buy secondhand clothes, which she modifies. The real delight here was Annie Potts's character, a quirky record-store owner whose look morphs for every scene, from 50s beehive mama to club queen in a platinum wig.


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James Spader's Steff was a grade-A asshole, but you gotta admit, he looked pretty good in those light suits.


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And of course, there was Duckie, the role that Jon Cryer has spent decades trying to overcome. Well, that rockabilly look is pretty unforgettable.

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