Movie Muse: 16 Candles and MTV’s Awkward

It’s true, I’m a product of the late 80s. As I entered Junior High School I started to form opinions of who I was and notice boys, I also started to define my fashion sense; layering was key and grunge a mere blip on the fashion barometer. I also found John Hughes and his vision of High School who was, and I fully admit still is, a huge influence on how I view the world. From the dream that the smart, snarky, slightly nerdy girl will get the star football player to the idea that originality in dress is something to be celebrated, I embraced his view of High School life.

While I’m still geeky and my “original” ensembles are sometimes just plain disheveled, I did get the guy, so maybe JH knew a thing or two. I'm not alone, the new MTV scripted show Awkward (which debuted last night) thinks so, paying homage to the underlying theme that drove all John Hughes’ movies: the nerdy girl who “maybe” gets the guy, as well as borrowing some of its fashion sense from classics such as 16 Candles and Pretty in Pink.

Want to feel like you’re back in High School but know all the answers? Here are some Awkward-inspired pieces to help you win the guy while staying true to yourself.

MTV's Awkward

Top right:

American Apparel Chambray Full Woven Skirt, $38 — Both Sam in 16 Candles and Jenna in Awkward favor plain circle skirts and layered tops for school. Jump on the trend with American Apparel’s chambray skirt.

James Perse Melange Jersey Scoop Neck, $85 + Vince Tank, $48 — Key in both shows was the idea of layers and more layers. Keep the look alive and well with a cleaner version; a James Perse scoop neck tee layered over a Vince tank.

Bottom left:

Free People Printed Tiered Chiffon Slip, $78 + MinkPink Ladylike Sundress $92 — I can’t say it enough, layering was, is key. Check out Sam’s flowered sleeveless dress layered over a t-shirt or the updated look in Awkward, Tamara’s floral dress over a gingham skirt. Try it yourself with a coral sundress and floral chiffon slip from Free People.

SmashBox Lip Gloss, $18 — Keep your pout perfect with lip gloss from Smashbox. Admit it, the wand applicator will have you trying out Molly Ringwald’s famous trick.

Denim Original Leather Bangles Goldplated Set of 10, $30 — Entwine your wrist with stacked leather bangles and reminisce about the jelly bracelets from the 80s, before they had special meanings. 

Whether winning a pep rally contest in front of the whole school or getting your undies back from the guy of your dreams, awkward moments are rites of passage in High School. Try some of these updated looks inspired by the MTV show Awkward and remember you can get the guy, and the nerd from computer class will someday run Google.

For more on how to channel teenage angst in style, find out what all the cool kids are saying