Elle, Comma, Woods

What she taught us about fashion, femininity and following our dreams.

Graphic Designer: Aiva Perrone

Copy Editors: Samira Balsara, Eishvinder Gill

“Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed!” Anyone who has seen Legally Blonde as many times as I have can immediately recognize this iconic quote.

As someone who grew up in the world of Y2K romcoms, I was best friends with Andy Anderson, talked about Sandra Bullock like a mythical being, and sometimes wished I would wake up after a birthday party twenty years older. I dreamt about playing soccer with Channing Tatum, getting a job at Coyote Ugly and, if there was time, entering a beauty pageant to catch a killer.

However, of all the iconic romcoms that I watched – incessantly, I might add – I believe that I learned the most from Legally Blonde and, more specifically, from Elle Woods.

She taught me integral lessons about fashion, femininity, and following my dreams – and I am going to pass them on. 

Photo by Marc Platt Productions and MGM

Elle Woods shows us that we can rock bold, beautiful colours – tearing ourselves from the clinging hands of the neutrals. Elle isn’t afraid to storm lecture halls in bubblegum pink, strut the halls of Harvard in Fuschia, and lounge in the library in magenta. It is through her bold and brave fashion choices that Elle teaches us our first lesson – be unapologetically yourself. Be bold! Embrace all the pieces of who you are and rock them like an inspired outfit.

As I have grown, this lesson has become increasingly important, particularly since we are often told to hide specific aspects of our femininity.

Sometimes it feels scary to stay true to yourself; it would be easier to hide my quirks the way I hide that regrettable purchase in the back of my closet. But Elle Woods always told me, “being true to yourself never goes out of style.” 

Can we have a moment of silence for the monochromatic outfits? Throughout Legally Blonde, we see Elle wearing entirely monochromatic looks. A monochromatic outfit is created using shades of a single colour, such as pink in Elle’s case.

This is actually a trend that has reemerged over the past few months – we are seeing many outfits being made entirely of one, single colour.

Photo by Marc Platt Productions and MGM

The decision to wear matching items in one colour is quite unique and challenges our idea that we need to find pieces of contrasting complementary colours or shades. While it may not seem significant upon first watch, I realized that even in this subtle way, Elle is teaching us to be bold and to stand out, to take those fashion risks and embrace being different. 

“I’ll show you how valuable Elle Woods can be!” She shouts before storming out of the room. One of the most important lessons Elle teaches us is that femininity and intelligence are not mutually exclusive traits. Throughout the entire movie, Elle is doubted and questioned because of the traditionally “feminine” nature of not only her style but also her personality.

This is something that has always bothered me – why am I questioned simply because I wear certain clothes or express myself a certain way? Why am I questioned simply because of my identity? Elle Woods is an amazing example of this phenomenon. And it was she who drove home the idea that while I may prefer dresses to pants, the colour pink to black, and lipgloss to lip balm, in no way does that invalidate my opinion or impact my intelligence. Femininity can be expressed in any manner and should never be associated with being ‘ditzy’ or less intelligent. Elle Woods teaches us that no matter how you choose to express your femininity, it should have no impact on how others see you or how you see yourself.  

Photo by Marc Platt Productions and MGM

Finally, Elle Woods teaches us to follow our dreams. Elle is taunted, laughed at, and doubted from the moment she decides to go to Harvard. Once she realizes that being a lawyer is something she wants, she never gives up. She uses her clothes like armour as she faces her peers day after day – the pink silk deflecting passive aggressive comments and dirty glares just like steel deflects attacks. Elle showed me that I could succeed, even if others doubted me. Most importantly, she showed a generation of young women that they can achieve anything and look fabulous while doing it.

So to conclude, don’t be afraid of colour, give monochromatic outfits a try, and:

“always have faith in yourself.” 

-Elle Woods