Do you prefer fashion victim or ensembly challenged? How to be a total Betty, Cher style.

Publish date:
September 21, 2012
shoppables, fashion, clueless, Cher Horowitz

Fangirling out in a Cher outfit, holding a Clueless DVD - totally meta

When the '90s came back into fashion a while ago, I was disappointed because I spend quite a lot of time and energy maintaining being distinctly stuck in my timeframe as a 6 year old girl- 1994- and at the moment I look a little bit too much like everyone else. However, there is a plus side to this besides the fact I can get Topshop knockoffs of everything, and that is that I am fully capable of writing a 90s fashion how-to. ‘How to look like Cher from Clueless’ essentially preoccupies a significant proportion of my internal monologue and I am going to share that bit with you.

Clueless is obviously one of my favourite films of all time ever. I fucking hate Jane Austen but I remember when I was in GCSE English class, everyone else saying that they couldn’t stand the character Emma. I defended her because she might have been controlling and manipulative but hey, so am I sometimes, and I (like her) usually (not always) do it with the best of intentions. So what if old Miss Bates gets a bit upset? She was really annoying. I digress.

Mona May: my heroine

The fashion in Clueless is beyond awesome. I know that I am being quite hyperbolic here but I feel passionately about Mona May being one of the best fashion directors ever, that her anti-Seattle anti-grunge aesthetic in an era where Nirvana reigned supreme (and rightly so) was startlingly exciting. It might not be hard to make Alicia Silverstone look rad in Alaïa but when everyone else was dressing like Rayanne Graff, it was pretty cool to run something different- something clean and something matchy matchy.

I’m just gonna go ahead and show you some of my favourite Cher moments and how to emulate them.

The thing about plaid is that it can either get a little too Catholic schoolgirl or a little too 13-year-old-me in Camden, shoplifting in ripped tights. Neither are that cute. What is cute is a combination of the two, and this House of Holland tartan mini is just the right side of too short. I’m normally not a fan of hipster skirts but, paired with a white shirt, vest and thigh high socks, you too can be Cher Horowitz in 2012.

Oxford Long Sleeve Stripe Shirt, £14.90,

Unisex Baby Rib Vest, American Apparel, £15,

Pleated Fine Wool Mini Kilt Skirt, House of Holland, £135,

And, of course, you need some Mary Janes.

Locket Leather Mary Jane Flat Shoes, £22,

However, if you aren’t as prone to showing off your upper thigh as Cher is, there are alternatives. In the form of these Topshop plaid trousers. Most of the time I am repulsed by ombre because it has been done to death in 2012 but these are a pretty cute reinvention of a graduated fade that keeps the trousers modern and cute.

Bleach Hem Check Trousers, £36,

I am basically a big whore for Topshop because they do such easy interpretations of current trends and with startling efficiency. My favourite Cher-of-the-moment pick is this two-piece knitted jumper and skirt. I have lived in mine the past week, and you know that it’s been hot, and this is woolly, so I must really like it. Plus, Cher is all about yellow:

Knitted Tweedy Check Skirt, £38 and Knitted Battenburg Jumper, £42,

"You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet!"

No Clueless article would mean anything without mentioning the dress. Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa said of my favourite moment in Clueless:

"I went into a spazzy explanation of how my formative-years love of Calvin was partly based on the little white Calvin mini dress Alicia Silverstone wears in Clueless," Urbinati told Daily Front Row. "I re-enacted the entire scene for him (you know, 'Cher, what are you wearing?' 'A dress!' 'Says who?' 'Calvin Klein!' 'Well, go put something over it!' 'Duh, I was just going to!' and then she comes out with the clear trench). So of course I said, Francisco, you need to remake that dress.

MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela, £35,

And made it again. For the bargain price of $900 you, too, could have owned a plain white dress, but sadly they’re out of stock and so here is my favourite alternative. I am a really huge fan of Maison Martin Margiela, and the MM6 ready to wear collection has the same form-fitting vibe that Cher was going for in all her Alaïa (‘an A-whatta?’) but is surprisingly cheap. I wish I had a few grand to drop on a dress but until Euromillions pays out, I am more than content with this one:

To complete the look, this cute little H&M necklace which is only £7.99 and an oversized chiffon shirt so your daddy lets you out on your date with Christian.

Rose necklace, £7.99,

Chiffon Oversized Button Up, £51,

One of the things I find so endearing about Cher as a character is how hard she tries to be sexy for Christian, in that weirdo tips-from-Cosmo way that I also rinsed as a 17 year old girl. And I’m going to leave you with this, her top tip, because you know what makes someone wanna have sex with you? A marabou pen:

Marabou Pen, £5.16,