If you haven’t been following Pretty Little Liars, you’ve been missing out. Last week the second season finale aired and the mysterious “A” who has been haunting the four “little liars” since the death of their friend Allison DiLaurentis was revealed. Initially I scoffed at the show because I’d latched on to so many like it in the past only to see them go downhill fast when the high school drama niche became tired. Last year, everyone was talking about Pretty Little Liars though so I had to try it when a friend mentioned that it’s a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Gossip Girl. Now I’m hooked! My group of friends and I have a standing date to watch together and we often live tweet our reactions. The show is fun and thrilling, a great escape from every day life. One of my favorite parts of the show is the fashion. Not only is the plot addicting, but the show focuses on four unique characters with their own style aesthetic that fits their personalities. Though the characters in the show are in high school, with a few minor tweeks and sensible know-how, the Liars of Rosewood High could be ready for any collegiate campus.
Spencer is the bookish one of the group and is always hatching the plans. She isn’t afraid to go it alone, and is often getting herself in trouble by taking quick action on a hunch. A field hockey player, Spencer is also preppy and demure. At school, Spencer’s go-to looks include a blazer or cardigan. Spencer doesn’t just stick to the basics though, she often experiments with knee socks, tights, and hats, giving the uptight school-girl look an edge. Often times Spencer’s look is over the top because she is trying so hard for the uptight look. Her look could easily be softened for every daywear by choosing one bold accessory rather than several all at once. Also, a key element is balance. A severe, high collar can be softened by a short and feminine micro pleated skirt on the bottom. Spencer’s Rent the Runway Look: Beyond Chic Collar Sheath by Calvin Klein Collection
Once nicknamed “Hefty Hanna”, after the death of her Alison, she loses the weight and comes into her own, dating a tall, dark and handsome bad boy named Caleb. Hanna has an impulsive personality, and often gets in trouble for shoplifting as she has a penchant for high-end designer clothes. Hanna has the trendy style of the group. She wears her hair in bouncy blond waves and rocks sultry smoky eye make-up that make her light blue eyes smolder, giving her girl-next girl looks an air of drama. Hanna’s style is all about the bag as she always has a large carry-all from which she is constantly fishing for her cell phone. Her look is feminine and flouncy, but sometimes verges on a juvenile version of fashion forward. My suggestion to Hanna would be a smaller bag. Pendant bags and cross-bodies are all the rage and help anyone cut down on bag clutter. It also might help Hanna look more put together if she carried a prim, structured bag instead of lugging around her usual suitcases. Hanna’s Rent the Runway Look: Flowers of Venice Dress by Lilly Pulitzer
Captain of Rosewood High’s swim team, Emily is the jock of the bunch. Emily’s look is low-key and simple and requires minimal fuss. Emily’s naturally smoldering looks and athletic body make her effortless look work. Getting dressed up for school means wearing a khaki or denim skirt with her usual plain or striped t-shirts. As a result, Emily’s easy look tends to ere on the side of middle school dance. Today’s relaxed style can easily become a chic look with a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans. While rolled up capri’s were a trend briefly (thank goodness) in the early 2000s, the baggy boyfriend jean is here to stay. The important thing to remember with a boyfriend jean is to find a pair that are just loose enough so that you have room and comfort. The right footwear is also key in maintaining an understated look that is also comfortable. In recent years, Keds has partnered with designers to put a high-fashion spin on their traditional light weight shoes. Celebrities are also embracing the fashion tennis shoe with stars like Beyonce sporting graphic sneakers by designer Isabel Marant. Emily’s Rent the Runway Look: Hypnotized By You Romper by Rebecca Taylor
Aria is an artsy and brooding writer-to-be, who is attracted to an older man. Her look says I’m worldly, and she often takes risks in her clothing. Aria’s style could be classified as trendy, vintage, bohemian, with a hint of goth. Aria sticks to darker earth tone colors, and adds texture through patterned tights and layered fabrics. A leather jacket is a staple in Aria’s wardrobe. Aria’s few fashion misses are often the result of mismatched or ill-chosen accessories. In one episode it was a 90s-esque black elastic choker, which took the goth element from trendy to tacky. Other episodes the pairing of chunky statement jewelry with biker boots and a patterned dress in a dark color hit the mark. There is a fine line between bold and obnoxious, which is difficult to balance. If you’re wondering whether you can pull of two tone tights or necklace earrings, ask a friend who you know will give you an honest opinion and knows your personality. Aria’s Rent the Runway Look: Knock Em Dead Gown by Carlos Miele
There is a pretty little liar in all of us. With only minor adjustments it is possible to achieve their style in a way that is fit for a grown-up. The costuming in PLL is successful because it helps the audience make sense of the characters. The key to style is knowing your own attitude and personality. By taking a more understated approach to each look it is possible to also convey your own attitude while maintaining a polished and refined image while indulging in the must-see teen drama that is Pretty Little Liars.
By: Simone Hill
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