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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Version of "Pretty Little Liars" Fashion

Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, and Hanna Marin -
looking as nervous as always as they anticipate A's next message!
If you're anything like me, you can barely contain your excitement because you know what Tuesday, June 5th means. You've been twiddling your thumbs every Monday night for the last few months with no "Pretty Little Liars" to watch, and now it's coming back! Although it's apparently switching to Tuesdays now. Well, being a mama means I don't always get to watch shows on the actual night they air and almost never a full episode in one sitting (and I'm not complaining; thank goodness for TiVo!). Being a mama also means I never have time to sit and twiddle my thumbs, for that matter. :) But I have been anxiously awaiting PLL's return. 

PLL is one of my favorite guilty pleasures obsessions. I watch it for the fashion just as much as the mystery and intrigue. Incidentally, some nitwit - nit-Twit? hehe - on Twitter told the whole ending, and I accidentally came across it, and it really made me mad because I wanted to read the books and find out for myself first...but still, it did not assuage my obsession. There's just something about it. I've always been a sucker for WB-esque shows (probably really telling my age here - hey, I'm only 31, but I know there are some of you out there who have nooo idea what the WB was), and this is no exception, but it's really a very smart and well-done show. It centers around four friends who become estranged after the death of their mutual friend, Alison, who is, well, a bitch, and, for the life of me, I can't figure out the hold she had on them. But they are brought back together when they all start receiving threatening messages from some anonymous source who calls themselves "A." The girls are on constant alert trying to keep A from sabotaging everything they've worked for and protect their loved ones and themselves. A seems to be all-knowing and has tabs on their every move and threatens to expose every little secret they have if they don't comply. At the end of the last season, A was semi-revealed, still leaving you not knowing the full story. In addition to the main mystery of who killed Alison and who's been threatening the girls, there are tons of other little mysteries that keep you guessing all along the way.

I simply can't get enough of the fashion choices on this show. Their costume designer, Mandi Line, is brilliant. Somehow she's able to choose the perfect outfits for four completely different types of characters and nails it every single time. Kam and I thought it would be fun to do our own PLL fashion shoot using clothes we already have. It was more of a challenge (the fun kind) to use pieces we already own and decide how to put them together rather than buy new stuff, and plus, we're both broke. I won't go into tons of detail about each of the four girls, simply because this site has done a great job of describing each of their characters and their fashion senses - and has also since done a separate and more detailed post on each girl. But I'll do a quick synopsis for those of you who are unfamiliar with them, with pictures pulled from that site. The one thing they all have in common: big bags or purses.
Emily is the most casual of the bunch fashion-wise, but that's not to say she's lacking in style or color. She's a swimmer, and some of her clothes are more sporty. She comes to terms with being a lesbian, and living authentically is very important to her, even in the face of people who want to see her fall.  
Spencer is focused on her grades and really has a good head on her shoulders. Well, maybe except when it comes to dating her sister's boyfriends. :) She was the least affected by Alison's control and is also not affected by her family's wealth. Her fashion choices lean toward masculine and preppy but still feminine.
Aria's fashion sense is eclectic - a little boho, a tad punky, always imaginative and unexpected. Lots of black and brown. She's very mature and sweet and gets to date pretty much the hottest teacher ever. She holds her head high in the midst of the problems between her parents and having to hide her own relationship.
Hanna is all about designer labels and high fashion. Neither Kam nor I could care less about designer labels, so this was more challenging for me. Hanna is a good person who just keeps getting pulled down by various family struggles, in addition to the A perils, and is trying to keep her head above water.      

We decided I would be Aria and Hanna - they wear more makeup, just like I usually wear more than Kam, even though it got a little washed out in our photos. My typical style is mostly a combination of Aria and Emily, I think, and Kam is mostly an Emily. We had a lot of fun doing it. Here's the final result!

Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, and Hanna Marin.
We've had most of this stuff for too long to bother listing where anything came from.
For example, my Aria dress is from high school!
Since our blog is all about growing your self-love, how does this relate, you ask? Well, each character (if they were real) has figured out how to style herself in such a way that truly reflects and enhances her identity and sense of self. That's not to say that you have to dress one way all the time in real life. I certainly don't; I love following certain trends just as much as I love running across a unique vintage dress. And it's not to say you have to spend a lot of money or "manufacture" a style or that how you dress is all-important. I think your own unique style naturally starts coming out the more confidence you develop, and the more you develop your own style, the more confidence you will feel. It's a cycle. According to Mandi, a great way to develop your style is to go with pieces you already own and start mixing and matching them in ways you've never tried. I used to worry that I didn't have my own sense of style to identify with, and I think it was when I stopped trying so hard and just let myself gravitate toward things that resonated with me, it came. It shouldn't be something you copy 100% from someone else, though it's natural to get ideas and inspiration from many sources, or something you create because you think it's what you should wear. Go with what feels right. The core of fashion should be about expressing who you are and not being afraid to pull it off. I think that's where the confidence lies.

Do you feel you have your own sense of style, or do you think you're still searching for it?

P.S. You can also find more PLL outfit ideas we found and pinned to our Pinterest style board.