How to dress for a road trip (according to the movies)
Road trip check-list: you have the vehicle, the maps, an enthusiastic travel companion and the perfect soundtrack. But what clothes should you pack?
Sure, you could solve this by settling for comfy tracksuits, but you don’t want to be caught wearing them on every photo from your trip (unless of course you are going for the full-on gangsta look: in this case add mad sneakers, heavy beats and a set of diamond teeth to make your intention obvious). To help you solve this dilemma, here is some inspiration drawn from 8 very different movies, according to the type of road trip that you are planning.
For an escape through wide open spaces: Double denim
Inspiration: Thelma and Louise
Look: As they embrace the freedom of being on the run, Thelma and Louise ditch their uptight hairdos, flower-patterned dresses and even their bras. If, like them, you are planning to speed through the breathtaking wild landscapes of America, pair high-waisted denim jeans with custom-made cutoff T-shirts… and more denim.
Extra detail: The DIY denim necklace.
For a hot honeymoon: Bright colours and animal prints
Inspiration: Alabama in True Romance
Look: Vintage sheer blouses, hot animal prints (seriously, have you ever seen anything cooler than those pink leopard leggings?) and colourful accessories are the basics of Alabama’s look on the road. Feel more like a lazy hoodie-jeans-Converse day? Like her, twist that basic outfit with a leopard faux-fur coat for an effortlessly cool look.
Extra details: Blue shades and a lunchbox-like pink handbag.
For the great outdoors: Romantic dresses and blouses
Inspiration: Holly in Badlands
Look: While hiding in the middle of nowhere with her multiple-murderer boyfriend, Holly still manages to fabricate some eyeliner (with charcoal) and maintain perfectly curled hair (with a few pins and a scarf). It’s not because you are driving through uninhabited valleys and deserts that you should let yourself go: breezy patterned dresses and cute blouses matched with a pair of shorts make for cute, convenient outfits.
For a hitchhiking trip: A fifties look
Inspiration: Wanda in Cry Baby
Look: After being kicked out by her parents, Wanda puts down her tiny suitcase (she travels light) on the side of the road and raises her thumb. Thanks to her pin-up hairdo, white high heels and super-tight polka-dot dress, she finds a ride in less than a minute — however it turns out to be an old freak. Well, this might not be the wisest choice of outfit to hitchhike in, but the fifties spirit coupled with the leather jacket (warm + badass) make for a great ensemble!
Extra detail: Flaming red lips and dramatic black eyeliner.
For adrenaline-fuelled car stunts: A cute T-Shirt and red-painted nails
Inspiration: The girls in Death Proof
Look: With their colourful T-shirts, jeans and cowboy boots, these girls are dressed to face whatever comes up: a coffee break at the service station, trying out a 1970 Dodge Challenger, or holding onto the hood of a car launched at full speed. (Note: the cheerleader does look delightful in her yellow dress and pompons, but does not get to come play with the cool kids — not dressed for the challenge.) If you are more of a skirt-wearing kind of girl, choose a comfortable one that you can tuck in if needed — to kick the shit out of a serial killer, for example.
Extra detail: Red nails (nonchalantly resting your feet on the car door looks hot — but only if you have a perfect pedicure).
For a surf trip: Nineties surfer look
Inspiration: Tyler in Point Break
Look: Now, with a surf trip, you could just go for your typical surfer girl look: wavy sun-bleached hair, a tank top and beaded jewellery. But that would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it? Instead, try Tyler’s nineties surfer wardrobe: a colourful over-the-shoulder crop top, denim cutoffs and no underwear (the girl got previously arrested for ‘indecent exposure inside moving vehicle’ — ”Hot, very hot”, comments Keanu.)
Extra detail: A surfboard with a nineties flames pattern.
For a Spring Break trip: Colour block bikinis
Inspiration: The girls in Spring Breakers
Look: Throughout the movie, the girls do not wear much more than flashy bikinis and a pair of Vans or flip-flops — and sometimes a pair of pastel-coloured shorts. Applicable fashion tips: match your outfit to your vehicle’s colour (or the other way around), put on eye-catching nail polish, and wear waterproof eyeliner to parties (so you will still look great when you get out of police custody).
Extra detail: A hood, for the occasional Chicken shack robbery.
For a music tour: Fur
Inspiration: Penny Lane in Almost Famous
Look: Penny travels with a large collection of lace crop tops, embroidered blouses, heavy rings and mini-skirts. If you are planning to follow a band on tour this summer, there are the few tips you can pick up from her. First, always carry a big furry coat with you; it will keep you warm when partying all night, and makes a great improvised pillow during long bus rides. Second, always have a few costumes handy for spontaneous parties (ah, that giant fur hat). Third, never trust the lead singer.
Extra detail: Oversized sunglasses, to fake looking fresh when leaving the hotel early in the morning after a night of partying.
For romance on the road: Nothing
Inspiration: Marylou in On the road
Look: Hitting the road with her unpredictable ex-husband Dean and his writer friend Sal, Marylou is not afraid to bare it all.
Extra detail: A worn-out copy of Swann’s Way.
And to immortalise your fashionable outfits on the go, remember that a Polaroid makes for the best road-trip pictures!
For an exhaustive packing list, check out 100 things you should pack for a summer road trip.