Prairie dress fashion has always been a weakness for me. When I was 10, I commissioned a period-accurate frock, complete with matching bonnet and petticoat for a 4th grade project about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. In high school, Anne of Green Gables inspired my puffy sleeves phase. So for 2020, I’m 0bviously coveting Little Women‘s style.
The velvet dresses, menswear-inspired toppers, and lace-up ankle boots worn by Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) in Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation would be just as at home on an Instagram discover page or high-fashion runway as they were in Civil War-era Massachusetts.
For the eighth film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century classic, costume designer Jacqueline Durran’s crafted looks to embody the distinct identities of each character from gender-bending ensembles for Jo to elegant Victorian ruffles for Amy.
While we’re all dressing up to sit in our living rooms any way, we might as well pay homage of one of the biggest holiday releases. Plus, these ensembles will seamlessly take you from an impromptu Wendy’s run to high tea. (All I’ve ever longed for, to be honest.)
Below, a starter pack for each March sister’s aesthetic.
Aspiring writer Jo is ahead of her time, often forgoing billowing blouses and flared gowns for structural blazers and button-downs. In an interview with Fashionista, Durran says Jo’s wardrobe and no-corset policy is inspired by her desire to fight in the Civil War. Her costumes also bring to mind recent runway looks like Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2019’s vests and and waistcoats.
Jo and Laurie even share clothing in the movie, Durran told Fashionista. “We made duplicate costumes for them to wear in parallel, as if they were wearing each other’s clothes,” she explained. So if Chalamet in a white puffy blouse is your thing (it’s extremely mine), the film delivers.
Amy, meanwhile, is no stranger to a corset, nor a full skirt. Her trip to Paris provides major influence for her more refined ‘fits, complete with lace gloves and ornate statement earrings. While her personal choices are questionable (don’t @ me), her luxe capes and satin embellishments are enough to send me into a fainting room.
In an interview with Variety Greta Gerwig said of the film’s costumes, “I wanted to show a world so fancy you could almost taste it.” And it’s difficult not to drool over Meg March’s romantic ruffles and patterned knit shawls. One of Meg’s most colorful looks, as the Wall Street Journal points out, is Meg’s beachwear look, complete with a lace eyelet collar reminiscent of Miu Miu’s spring/summer 2020 resort collection.
Her lavender and green color palette is vision board-worthy and lends a retro feel to any ensemble. Also, Watson’s ability to make me lust after a period-accurate wedding gown should be appropriately studied.
As for Beth March, often the most underrated sibling, her look is more bohemian, ripe with calico prints and flower crowns. While her closet could double as an influencer’s packing list for Coachella, Durran insisted to Fashionista that Beth “doesn’t want to be fashionable.” (Exactly something a hipster tastemaker would say.) “She has simple home dresses that aren’t really designed for anyone [outside of the house] to see,” Durran said.
Even if Beth’s binge-watching behavior was ahead of her time (and the advent of streaming) her eyelet collars and simple silhouettes are perfectly on-trend.