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Oh, is there anything more horrible than the turmoil of young unrequited love? If you ask Samantha Baker, most definitely not. Throw on top of that an entire family that’s forgotten your birthday — your sweet sixteenth — and you just might have the worst day ever. However, if you’re so inclined to put a positive spin on it, you’ll find one of the best movies of the 1980s, Sixteen Candles. This Valentine’s Day, we look back on the cult classic’s fashion and fabulousness. No plus-one required.
What should be the greatest day of her life quickly sours when Sam, played by the incomparable Molly Ringwald, realizes her family has forgotten her birthday. As if it wasn’t bad enough that her sister’s impending wedding stole her spotlight, she must balance a major crush on senior heartthrob Jake Ryan while fighting off the unwanted attention of Farmer Ted, the annoying freshman who refuses to leave her alone.
While there are other ’80s movies out there that make fiercer fashion statements, Sixteen Candles is notable for its cross-section of teens at their most awkward; each one trying to figure out who they are and how they can best express themselves in a myriad of ways. How they choose to do so through their fashion choices evokes memories of those past ensembles we ourselves aren’t so proud of, but look back on sentimentally and with thanks (Was I the only one who rocked a skort?).
With its charming characters and nostalgic plot, Sixteen Candles is a perfect ’80s guilty pleasure, whether it’s for a V-day, b-day, or everyday movie night.
What high school movie do you relate to best? Bonus points if it stars Molly Ringwald!
arts and life, fashion in film, john hughes, molly ringwald
Unfortunately the high school movie I relate to most is “Never Been Kissed”. Yikes.
Watch 16 Candles. It may be from another generation, but John Hughes was a wonderful filmmaker… and then there was Jake Ryan… Plus, I love Molly Ringwald!
I have seen 16 Candles. Great movie.
Love love love this movie! I have to say though, that my favorite is still Pretty In Pink. I am definitely the gal that thrifts all her clothes and makes them over. My Sr. Prom dress was from the Goodwill and I loved it!
i definitely rocked a skort…and i’d probably do it again if i could.
At 42, Sixteen candles is a definate favorite, followed closely by Pretty in Pink 🙂 Bonus Points????? Yayyy!!!!
I totally almost made my own prom dress and attended alone…So it’s got to be Pretty In Pink for me.
Pretty in Pink… I thrift, I’ve definitely been embarrassed about my boyfriend taking me home, and I’ve always dreamed of working in a record shop. What can I say, I’m a “zoid”.
Pretty in Pink! I love how Molly’s and Duckie’s outfits were the most expensive.. and the popular girls’ outfits came from K-Mart! I would love to see ModCloth do an inspiration board from this movie… 😉
Oh I know–Duckie and Molly were soo cool! And I especially loved Iona’s lookj!
I agree that While there are other 80s movies out there that make fiercer fashion statements, Sixteen Candles is notable for its cross-section of teens at their most awkward.
I have to say mine was “The Breakfast Club” –I could totally identify with the teen angst in that movie!! 🙂
I loved skorts in the 80’s but I was just a little ‘un then. My favorite things were my LA Gear high tops with like 3 or 4 sets of laces and my tiered acid wash skirt. Also Jake Ryan was far dreamier than Blaine ever was because Blaine let his “friends” control him.
Yes, I so agree Jake Ryan and his car and his mysterious demeanor. Hot, hot, hot. That last scene in 16 Candles when he ga Samantha her birthday cake and asked her to make a wish was so touching…. “It already came true.”
I was truly in love with Jake Ryan. Fashion or no fashion, Jake was what made 16 Candles one of my favorites.
My favorite will always be Pretty in Pink, especially as related to fashion; Ducky was my first ever style icon. 16 candles is good too though!
Ducky was just a riot. I loved him for just being Ducky.
Skorts! My God. How perfect they were.
I second The Breakfast Club. Total classic. And I want the boots Molly Ringwald wears as Claire!
I Third the Breakfast Club haha. I’m a mash up of most of the characters. I recently cut my hair shorter but I did used to have it looking like Molly’s. I wish I could’ve been in the movie that’s how much I loved it. Plus I’ve always been an outcast and a rebel!
In fact I need die hard fans to watch the movie with me, ’cause if you haven’t seen it a gazillion times you’ll probably get frustrated when I quote every single line.
How has no one mentioned how adorable John Cusack was in this movie!?
How about Joan Cusack in 16 Candles? She was too funny. I just love her.
Breakfast Club all the way! I wanted to be Molly, and totally related to the whole outcast part of high school. I even chopped my long blonde hair off and died it red once in my teen years. While the short cut never lasted, I still love being a red head from time to time.
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