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:
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.
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.
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.
James Spader's Steff was a grade-A asshole, but you gotta admit, he looked pretty good in those light suits.
And of course, there was Duckie, the role that Jon Cryer has spent decades trying to overcome. Well, that rockabilly look is pretty unforgettable.