Molly Ringwald, 80’s Style Icon

Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink. If you are a fan of 80’s popular culture, then you probably recognize the connecting factor from all these Brat Pack flicks – Molly Ringwald.


With her head of bright red hair, lithe figure, and pouty lips, it’s no wonder she was the reigning teen sensation of the 80’s.

She flawlessly played poor little rich girl Claire in The Breakfast Club, and was secretly pining after the most popular guy in school as Samantha in Sixteen Candles. It was easy to relate to her character’s John Hughes-created troubles.

But Ringwald wasn’t only known for her realistic portrayals of the brooding girl next door trying to survive her tumultuous high school years. Her insanely cool outfits that mixed a tough masculine edge with frilly feminine influences – not to mention serious DIY chops – have inspired adolescent girls to embrace their quirky side like no other style icon has.

Nobody wore oversized florals, high-waisted long skirts, massively padded blazers, and kitschy ankle boots with socks more effortlessly than Ringwald. Thanks to her, thrift shopping and print mixing instantly became hot again.

Both on-screen and in real life, Ringwald had a brave sense of style that was in a league all of its own. She named off Edie Sedgwick, Marilyn Monroe, and Diane Keaton as a few of her style inspirations, and it’s not hard to see their influences in her eclectic way of dressing that was never overly sexy, but always statement-making.

Ringwald’s detached outlook towards the Hollywood scene set her apart as an actress, and this was reflected through her fashion sense.

Never truly acknowledging herself as a teen queen, she viewed Hollywood and the fame she achieved from an outsider’s point of view, and never really understood what all the hype was about.

She was always just herself, from every red carpet interview to her one-of-a-kind outfit creations. She never tried to fit in or conform amongst the sea of spandex bodysuits that were all the rage during the decade. It was her unique personality and whimsical fashion choices that made her a star adored all around the world.

From dealing with boy issues to overcoming the high school caste system, we have all learned a lot about life from Ringwald. But we also learned how to do it all in style.

Her grungy brown bomber jacket in The Breakfast Club, her effortlessly layered tops and piled-on bangles in Sixteen Candles, and her floral vest with matching bowler hat in Pretty in Pink all made for unforgettable fashion moments that still resonate with us today. Because of her, cutting up tulle for prom seems like the right thing to do, and wearing pink from head to toe doesn’t seem like such a horrific idea.

So let’s pay tribute to one of our favorite ’80s movie icons by incorporating a little bit of Ringwald into our own modern day wardrobes.

Playfully patterned rompers, menswear brogues, and electric blazers are not hard to find, as today’s designers are fully embracing the vivacious style of the decade.

Even updated basics brand American Apparel is bringing back numerous 80’s fads like hair scrunchies, clingy aerobics apparel, and neon windbreakers.

Thankfully, Ringwald defined a much more chic and longer lasting side of the bright and loud decade.

Take a look at these two Molly Ringwald-inspired looks that you can wear today.


1. Supple Buckle Shoulder Bag from Forever 21- $32.80

2. Garden Floral Dress from Forever 21 – $22.80

3. Pins and Needles Tuxedo Blazer from Urban Outfitters – $68.00

4. Ankle Color Socks from Forever 21 – $6.50 for 7 pairs

5. BDG Macrame Oxfords from Urban Outfitters – $48.00

1. Urban Renewal Gauze Blouson Top from Urban Outfitters – $58.00

2. Scout Cropped Trouser from Nastygal.com – $52.00

4. Deena and Ozzy Side-Buckle Bootie from Urban Outfitters – $68.00