Welcome to my first ‘Fashion Analysis’ post, where I analyze five outfits and explain how they work for the wearer’s body type. For my first Fashion Analysis post, I’ve decided to analyze five outfits that Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) wears in the movie Legally Blonde.
Before we start, here’s some basic information to know:
Reese Witherspoon’s Body Type: Soft Gamine
Elle Wood’s Style: Girly, cute, soft, polished
Spoilers?: Yes, there will be spoilers for the movie Legally Blonde in this post
Elle’s LSAT Study Outfit
In the first act of the movie, Elle decides that she’s going to study to take the LSAT, so that she can go to Harvard University and study law. One of the outfits she’s wearing when she’s studying is this:
- Striped and sequined tank top
- Black jeans
- A zebra print belt, in pink (her signature color!)
- Charm bracelet
I love this as a cute and casual outfit idea for Soft Gamines! The neckline of the tank top is pretty high, which is great for creating that high and short silhouette that members of the Gamine family look good in. The stripes, which alternate between a rich blue, soft pink, and a pale yellow also add a lot of color blocks and dynamic contrast.
The belt is another great piece, because it works to create another color block in the outfit, and the zebra print adds some energy and animation to the look, which is great against the neutral black jeans.
Elle’s makeup and hair are great in this scene too, as her hair isn’t super long, and is curled to add some softness. It also looks a bit tousled, which is a great effect on Soft Gamines. Her makeup is pretty simple, consisting of some mascara, blue eyeshadow, and pink lipstick, but it matches the outfit and creates a nice balance on her features. The mascara looks somewhat thickly applied, which creates a lot of lash definition. Soft Gamines look great with thick and dark lashes.
Lastly, the little charm bracelet and the sequins on her top add some sparkle to her outfit, which is a great touch!
Elle’s Arriving at Harvard Outfit
When Elle arrives to Harvard, she pulls up to the scene in an outfit that catches the attention of all the other students around her. This eye-catching outfit consist of:
- Pink tinted sunglasses
- Pink faux leather two piece set (cropped jacket and a knee-length pencil skirt)
- Red bag (with what looks to be a red, orange, and white scarf tied to it)
- A dainty necklace
Overall, this outfit is stunning, and I think it works really well. Yes, the jacket is only zipped up part way, and so the outfit doesn’t have a high neckline, but the necklace that Elle is wearing in this scene sits at her collarbone, which helps to balance out the low neckline.
The bag is another great piece as well, as it has a slightly geometric (rectangular) shape, but it’s on the small side so it doesn’t overwhelm Elle’s petite stature.
My only critique of this outfit is the two piece set Elle wears. The silhouette of it is great, with the skirt being pretty form fitting, and the jacket is short and stops just above her hips. The jacket also isn’t too sharp or too soft for her body type. The only thing that I think doesn’t work, is that I think this outfit would’ve been better if there was something to create a color block, or to add more visual interest.
The skirt is a bit long for a soft gamine, as it’s about knee-length, so having that one line of color for so long just looks a touch off. I would’ve loved to see this outfit have a contrasting belt, or maybe the set would look better if each piece was two colors, say pink and red, to match the red bag that she carries.
The sunglasses are a great touch though! They’re rounded in shape, but has a touch of sharpness at the edges, so it matches well with the soft and sharp mix that Soft Gamines have. The bright pink also looks very contrasted against Elle’s skin, so I love the effect that that has!
Elle’s “What, like it’s hard?” Outfit
I actually really love this outfit, because I think the silhouette is great for Soft Gamines! This is the scene in which Elle delivers the iconic line “What, like it’s hard?” after her ex-boyfriend Warner expresses his disbelief that Elle was able to make it into Harvard. The outfit consists of:
- Pink collared shirt
- Blue plaid tie
- Blue green cardigan
- Blue sequin skirt
- Brown knee-high boots
- Red bag from before, but with a magenta scarf instead of an orange one
To start, I think it’s really cute that the costume designer reused Elle’s bag for this scene, just tied with a different color scarf. It’s a really nice touch!
Overall, I think the silhouette for this outfit is really great for Soft Gamines who are looking for a professional outfit for work environments. I actually have a very similar cardigan, just in black and grey, and it really suits me as a Flamboyant Gamine, so I think that this style of cardigan could look good on any member of the Gamine family.
Can you guess what I’m going to mention next? The high neckline! I think that it’s great, it really suits Elle, and the tie adds some visual interest, along with some color contrast.
The only thing about this outfit that I think could be improved is the color scheme. The sweater is a more greenish shade of blue than the skirt, but they’re about the same saturation and darkness, so it doesn’t provide a lot of color contrast. I think that if the skirt was say a light pink to match her shirt, then that would be a good contrast against the blue sweater.
Elle’s Trying to be Professional Outfit
This is by far my favorite outfit in the whole movie, because I’m a sucker for neutral colors and red is my favorite color, so I’d love to wear an outfit similar to this. Elle wears this outfit on her first day of helping Callahan with an important murder case, and the neutral colors are her attempt at being quite professional. Although I love neutral colors, I do love Elle’s colorful looks, and so it’s obvious that in the context of the movie this outfit isn’t true to her.
This outfit consists of:
- Black dress
- White ruffled blouse with black polka dots
- Red rose pin
Lets talk about the blouse first! Overall, a perfect blouse for a Soft Gamine. The polka dots are small and animated, and because of her body type, they look borderline minimalist on Elle, especially in neutral tones like white and black. The high neckline is perfect as usual, and the red pin at the collar adds a bit of contrast and visual interest.
While the black dress does create somewhat of a long line of color on Elle’s frame, I actually think that in this case, it doesn’t need anymore contrast, because the blouse provides enough on its own. Black and white paired together creates the sharpest contrast that one can get, so adding another color block isn’t necessary.
If the rose pin wasn’t there, then maybe I’d suggest adding a white or red belt to this outfit, but I don’t think it’s at all necessary.
Elle’s makeup in this scene is lovely. It’s professional and a touch glamorous with the red lip, and overall I think that red lipstick shade is perfect for her skin tone, and also provides a nice touch of contrast. I think that Elle would look great with shorter hair in this outfit, especially since her hair is so neatly curled, so I’d love to see this outfit with either a shorter haircut or a bit of a tousled look to her hair.
Elle’s Triumphant Outfit
When Elle triumphs at the end of the movie, and wins her case, she wears an iconic pink dress, which she pairs with strappy heels and a dainty necklace.
I think this dress is great for members of the Gamine family because of all the color blocks!
The dress has a lovely light pink belt at the waist line, along with light pink cuffs and lapels. Overall, the amount of color blocking on the dress, as well as the locations of the color blocks, are perfect.
This dress is also quite fitted through the sleeves and at the waistline, which is another great touch.
Overall, Elle wears a lot of outfits that are great for Soft Gamines, and incorporate lots of color blocks, fitted elements, and softer touches.
Legally Blonde is a fun film to watch, so if you haven’t seen it yet, then I recommend giving it a try!
2 thoughts on “Fashion Analysis: Elle Woods from Legally Blonde”
Thanks so much for such a great post! Hmm, I thought I was soft gamine, but I would feel terribly uncomfortable in all outfits, except for the fist one. Maybe I am a flamboyant gamine? It would be lovely if you could do a post on flamboyant gamines please. Thanks!
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Thank you, Tatiana! I do have a Flamboyant Gamine lined up for a Fashion Analysis post in April, and after I’ve done some more different body types I’ll likely analyze a different Soft Gamine, so that there are different examples for different styles within the same body types!