Favorite Fashion Movie: Heathers

If there’s one thing that fashionable ’80s cult film Heathers can teach you, it’s that the American high school can be a treacherous place.

Set in the Midwest at Westerberg High School, the film has all the typical trappings of state-required education, but with a murderous twist.

Heathers centers around a typical popular mean-girl clique: a croquet-loving foursome that includes queen bee Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lissane Falk), and popularity-rebel Veronica Sawyer (played by the amazing Winona Ryder).

While the three Heathers do their best to alienate their less-popular classmates, Veronica actually has a conscience, and doesn’t see the value in this soul-crushing behavior.
Meanwhile, cute loner Jason “J.D.” Dean (Christian Slater) enrolls in their high school and stokes the interest of Veronica. She soon learns that J.D.’s tough exterior isn’t an act – he pretty much hates everyone, and is willing to take action to eliminate the draining existence of his classmates.  Heathers is dark, morbid, and sometimes hilariously surreal.  While extreme, it does has some true insight on the angst-ridden plight of the American teenager. The 1988 cult classic is also chock full of acid-tongued, now-iconic quotes like “What’s your damage?”

Heathers is not merely a vastly underappreciated comedy, it’s also a highly fashionable film.

These popular girls have no problem expressing themselves through clothing, accessories, and general appearance; styling is important, and this clique has perfected the practice.

Their hair is carefree – wavy and cool, not overdone – with Heather Chandler and Heather McNamara letting their mess of curls rule.

The clique typically sports coordinating ’80s popular girl looks – oversized patchworked or vibrantly colored blazers with linebacker shoulder pads – but they fill out their wardrobes with welcome individual flourishes. Veronica favors blue tights and a whole mess of brooches, typically with one sweetly placed at the top of her button-up shirts. Heather Chandler has her signature enormous red scrunchie, the ultimate symbol of her status as popular girl queen bee.

Veronica expresses her desire to break away from the hateful Heathers through her unique dress, which made for so many golden movie fashion moments. Before “accidentally” killing Heather Chandler (oh – spoiler alert) she’s wearing a knee-length skirt over a t-shirt and black leggings. Her mourning outfit consists of a lace shirt underneath a blue suit jacket and skirt, topped with a pillbox hat in an argyle-like pattern of varying shades of blue.
Veronica’s frazzled diary writing calls for a monocle and embroidered silk kimonos. Another notable Veronica look consists of a cropped, deep-v lace-bottomed shirt, topped with a peplum jacket, and finished with a short, tiered skirt. Accompanying all her outfits is her perfect shoulder-length hairdo.

The Heathers, though more homogenous, also have some great looks. Think lacy socks with plaid flats, floor-length pink brocade robes – which welcomed Heather Chandler to her untimely end – and body-con mourning dresses. Even the other students and faculty at Westerberg High have great style. J.D. is the personification of psychotic cool, with his signature small, gold hoop earring in one ear, and foreboding long black trench.

Ms. Fleming, the suicide-capitalizer, favors rad animal-themed accessories and wears a belted golden-rod scarf as a sash. Be sure to peep the whale-print button-down on the yearbook nerd and the “Big Fun” slogan tee on other students – which is ridiculously easy to DIY, and even the gratuitously teased Martha “Dumptruck” Dunnstock was in on the trend.

Whatever your need – cocktail party-approved quoteables or fashion inspiration – the girls of Heathers are there for you.