The Breakfast Club Is 30 Years Old, But Its Fashion Is Timeless

In honor of the iconic teen movie's hard-to-believe 30th anniversary, here's how to get updated versions of Claire's and Allison's looks.
Publish date:
February 2, 2015
movies, outfits, teen movies, retro, 80s movies, 80s style, breakfast club, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

I was two months shy of six years old when The Breakfast Club hit theaters in February of 1985 — obviously not the target demographic. I can remember seeing commercials for it and thinking, "That's a movie for my sister," who was a freshman in college at the time.

In fact, I didn't actually get around to watching it myself until I was in college. Having started high school leaning a bit "princess" and ending it leaning quite heavily "basket case," I think I needed to put some distance between myself and the reality of high-school labels before I could objectively watch an all-too-accurate fictional imagining of them. Now, however, I'm well-versed in what is easily one the most important John Hughes movies — nay, one of the most important teen movies — of all time.

Arguably, at least a tiny bit of what makes The Breakfast Club so memorable is the fashion sense of the two female detentionees, Claire, played by Molly Ringwald, and Allison, played by Ally Sheedy. Although their styles are decidedly, recognizably 1985, there's no doubt in my mind that someone wearing their outfits today would look pretty damn cute — and pretty damn 2015.

I've broken down the key elements of their outfits and found current pieces that will help you emulate their retro — I mean, holy crap, this movie is 30 years old! — yet most definitely timeless looks.


Claire's outfit is a flawless mix of relaxed and dressy: a casual, pink, woven V-neck top with rolled sleeves; a brown pencil skirt; a wide brown belt with that whole belt-within-a-belt thing going on; and knee-high, brown boots that lace only to the ankle. In addition to a thin-strap watch, the accessories include a cameo ring and, of course, diamond stud earrings, one of which you should fully expect to give a "criminal" so he can wear it in his super-rebellious single earring hole.


But let's be honest. You could totally substitute the ModCloth top for a pink scrub top — just cuff the sleeves.


Allison's outfit might have been used as a tool to convey her basket-casiness, but in retrospect, it has an artsy, DGAF vibe that reads more cool than I-decorate-drawings-with-my-dandruff.

The must-have elements of this look: an oversize black sweater; a swingy, dark, printed midi skirt; a dark, printed (but not the same print) scarf; black canvas high tops; and gym socks layered over gray opaque tights. I'm warm just typing that.


But wait! As anyone whose seen The Breakfast Club knows, Allison is subjected to one of cinema's least-necessary, most-disheartening makeovers.

In addition to a little makeup switch (less "black shit" under the eyes, more blush and gloss), her transformation simply involves a girlish, sleeveless top and a flouncy headband.


Emilio Estevez will find you irresistible. But then, he apparently finds a lot of people irresistible — dude follows almost 40,000 people on Twitter.

Which Breakfast Club look is your favorite? Principal Vernon is a totally legit answer. (But be forewarned, someone may ask you, "Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?")