7 Cinematic Styles that Take Us Back to Another Era

Fashion & Style

Have you ever watched a movie and thought, Dammit! I want to live and breathe in those clothes and that decor backdrop! Some movies just give you all the nostalgic feels. Classic, retro, even timeless – I find myself gravitating toward styles of the past. To be honest with you, I’ve been contemplating writing this story for over a year now. It all started with the movie Allied. That film was intensely sad, but I immediately fell in love with the movie’s rich 1940s wardrobe. So much so, that I went thrifting the next day in search of vintage dresses that embodied Marion Cotillard’s look. After rehashing the movie the next day at the studio, I began working closely with our editorial team to round up all our favorite styles from films that take place in another era. Follow along to see the top 7 styles we came up. Which is your favorite? Did we miss any styles that you love?

The Talented Mr. Ripley

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Despite the sinister scenes of this thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley, the 1950s film set offers some serious inspiration when it comes to packing for a summer vacay. Between the high-waisted bikinis, espadrilles, and berets, the movie is sure to have one itching for an Italian adventure.


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With a track record of outfitting the cast of Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan, costume designer Joanna Johnston has mastered the art of portraying another era through costume. Many of the beautiful prints and patterns featured in Allied are still popular today, including the tweed coat Marianne wore during a scene in London. I gushed over nearly every outfit in this movie.

A Single Man

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Released in 2009, A Single Man was the first movie directed by fashion designer Tom Ford. Although many questioned how the fashion tycoon would translate his talents into filmmaking, the result was stunning. The film showcases sixties-styled fashion selected by the same design team responsible for dressing the cast of Mad Men.


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Fast fashion wasn’t yet a thing during the 1950s. Well-dressed women wore custom dresses, typically paired with statement jewelry and brooches. Lead actress Cate Blanchett perfectly encompasses the fashion-forward female of the 50s in the film Carol. Famed costume designer Sandy Powell dressed Blanchett in simple, yet elegant clothes. All the jewelry was real, including estate items borrowed from Fred Leighton and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Boogie Nights

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Boogie Nights (1997) tells the story of a young boy who becomes an adult film star after being discovered in a nightclub. Viewers travel back in time to the 1970s with an overflow of drugs, discos, and late-night debauchery. In addition to the time-sensitive plot, the costumes help bring the era to life. Two lead actresses Heather Graham and Julianne Moore encompass the stereotypical ’70s so-cal style with their teased hair, silk scarves, and platform sandals.

Annie Hall

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Following the release of Annie Hall, young women all over the world were yearning to achieve the look of Diane Keaton’s character, Annie. In an interview with Vogue, Elizabeth Olsen even admits to having been “strictly Annie Hall in high school” and that she “really enjoys women who can look and feel sexy in clothes that aren’t obviously so.” Rumor to have been inspired by Diane Keaton herself, the wardrobe of Annie Hall’s character is both feminine and tomboy all in one.


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First opened in theatres in July of 1995, the style in Clueless is much more than a Halloween costume staple. Clueless may be the epitome of a classic 90s film, showcasing the style and trends of 1990s high schoolers to a T. Fun fact: the main character, Cher Horowitz, has 60-plus costume changes throughout the movie and over six within the film’s opening 90 seconds.

Funny Face

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Typical for most films starring Audrey Hepburn, Funny Face is as much of a fashion show as it is a cinematic masterpiece. Hubert de Givenchy, who founded Givenchy and is also known as the French master of the LBD custom designed the gorgeous gowns worn by Hepburn. His close relationship with her throughout the ’50s and ’60s greatly influenced his style and paved the way for him in Hollywood. R.I.P. to Mr. Givenchy, a true legend, who passed away on the 10th of March.

Shop the Story

GANNI – Pinstriped Crepe Blazer – Black • Ganni
The Slim Stretch Poplin Shirt • Everlane
rag & bone – Sadie Houndstooth Wool Wide-leg Pants – Brown • Rag & Bone
H&M Faux Fur Coat • H&M
Rachel Zoe – Constance Cutout Crepe Mini Dress – Black • Rachel Zoe
7 For All Mankind 7 For All Mankind Brixton Audrey Beret In Tan • 7 For All Mankind
Madewell Plaid Goodwin Oversized Topcoat • Madewell
South Beach Floral Bikini Bottom • South Beach
Unbranded Button-Down Midi Dress

Top image via Man Repeller

Stefani Ellenbecker is the Editorial Director at Wit & Delight. When she’s not feverishly editing or writing about style and interiors, she runs her bohemian shop  Arden Trading Co. where she sells artisan-made home goods. She lives in Minneapolis with her fiancé Muhamed.



BY Stefani Hodzic - March 26, 2018

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Love the Annie Hall style so much! Thank you for the awesome inspiration. 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

March 26, 2018 11:05 am

Wow, these are really women with style!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

March 26, 2018 12:56 pm

YES TO THIS POST!! I love Funny Face and have always wanted to live in that film. Also the talented Mr. Ripley is good on all accounts. It’s like my dream trip to Italy, minus the whole psychopath thing. I haven’t yet seen Allied, but the costumes look incredible!

Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

March 26, 2018 5:20 pm

Clueless and Funny Face are 2 of my faves! I’ll have to check out the others on this list!

xx Chelsea

March 28, 2018 6:49 pm

I swooned when I saw this post! Swooning for all (especially that shot of Cate with her collection of reds and a stiff drink! Spirit animal.).

June 4, 2018 11:10 pm

Clueless and Boogie style are my favorites.

August 19, 2018 10:53 am

amazing post man

August 19, 2018 11:55 am

amazing post man

August 19, 2018 12:02 pm

amazing post man

August 19, 2018 12:07 pm

amazing post man

August 19, 2018 12:47 pm

amazing post man

August 19, 2018 12:54 pm

nice post man

September 14, 2018 6:39 am
October 8, 2018 9:58 am
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