Fashion Analysis: Cher from Clueless

Welcome back to another Fashion Analysis post, a series in which I analyze five different outfits and explain why they work (or don’t work) for the wearer’s body type. In this week’s post I’ll be analyzing Cher from the movie Clueless, who is played by Alicia Silverstone. Note: there will be some very minor spoilers for the movie Clueless in this post.

Cher’s Body Type

Based on my research and analysis of her photos, I’d say that Alicia Silverstone is a Natural. If you’re not familiar with the Kibbe body types system, I suggest taking the test and finding out your own body type, and then reading my basics of the body types post before returning to this post.

I’ve seen quite a bit of debate online about whether Alicia Silverstone is a Soft Natural, Soft Classic, or Natural, but I find that she has a lot of Natural lines. Her face is rather blended, so I understand why people may think that she’s a Soft Classic, however it’s important to remember that a person’s body type is holistically determined, and overall Alicia has the balance of a Natural.

With that being said, I think another reason why people tend to guess that Alicia is a Soft Classic is because Cher wears a lot of preppy outfits in this movie. The preppy style is one that’s associated with the Classic family, so in this post I’ll be explaining how Cher rocks the preppy look while still using the lines of her body type.

Outfit #1

The Opening Scene

This is the very first outfit we see Cher wearing, in the opening of the movie. This is also one of my favorite movie openings, second only to The Devil wears Prada which takes number one on my list. Here, Cher is wearing:

  • White button up shirt
  • Black blazer
  • Blue-grey argyle mini skirt
  • Knee-high sheer white socks
  • Grey heels

This outfit shows off a technique that Cher uses a lot to make her preppy style match the lines of her body type: boxy shapes.

Her blazer is a prime example of this. It ends at around hip length, and doesn’t have any shaping through the waist, which creates a very squarish shape around her torso. This balances out the shorter silhouette of the skirt, which also has a slightly boxy, squarish shape.

A small detail you might not catch at first glance is that Cher hasn’t tucked in her top. If she had, this outfit might feel too short for her longer Natural lines, but she’s left it untucked, which adds a subtle amount of length.

Something else I want to touch on with this look is her hair. Cher’s hair has been tousled to add volume to it, and at different points during the movie we can see Cher touching or tousling her hair to add volume. This is a great detail, because the fluffy and full look of her hair perfectly compliments her Natural lines!

Outfit #2

The Iconic Yellow Plaid

If you’ve seen Clueless than you were probably expecting the plaid look to show up. After all, it’s totally iconic! In this outfit Cher is wearing:

  • White crewneck
  • Yellow cropped cardigan
  • Yellow plaid blazer
  • Yellow plaid skirt
  • White over-the-knee socks
  • White heels

This outfit doesn’t work as well for Cher’s body type as some of her other looks, but one thing that was done well is her use of colors.

Having the top part of the outfit consist of almost entirely yellow creates this great rectangular shape of color, which is fantastic for her lines. However, if I were to change this outfit I would make her blazer a few inches longer to create a bit more of a vertical line.

My favorite part of this look is actually the socks and heels! They match in color, which elongates the look, and is a very cool touch.

Outfit #3

The Matchmaking Outfit

This outfit shows how much Cher pays attention to details. Of course while she’s trying to play matchmaker for her teachers she’d be wearing red, the color of love! This outfit is made up of:

  • Red headband
  • White button up with pin stripes
  • Red cropped sweater vest
  • Red plaid skirt
  • Black knee high socks

Like in the first outfit, Cher hasn’t tucked in her top, which helps the ensemble work with her Natural lines. If the shirt was tucked into the skirt it’d have much more of a Flamboyant Gamine vibe, but because she’s left it loose (and the overall fit of the shirt is slightly loose too) it gives it a lot more of a Natural touch.

Another small detail that helps these clothes work with her lines is the headband. While Cher is wearing a lot more of a Classic hairstyle in this outfit, the width of her headband matches well with the slight width that Naturals have in their bone structure.

Outfit #4

The ‘at Home’ Outfit

This simple ensemble is my favorite one in the movie, probably because I have a thing for minimal looks in neutral colors. Here Cher is wearing:

  • White cardigan
  • White crew neck shirt
  • Black pleated mini skirt

I love how this outfit shows us how when Cher is just spending time at home, she dresses down a bit, opting for comfy and simple pieces.

The cardigan is what makes this outfit work well. It’s a bit baggy, the rolled up sleeves adding some texture to the look, and it complements Cher’s Natural lines. One little change I’d make would be to go with a longer shirt left untucked, to match with the longer lines of the Natural family. I would’ve also loved to see her in a slightly messy claw clip hairstyle while at home instead of a sleeked back ponytail.

Outfit #5

The Driving Test

The last outfit that I’m going to analyze is the one that Cher wears to her driving test. In this outfit Cher is wearing:

  • Baby blue cropped sweater vest
  • White sheer blouse
  • Blue-grey argyle skirt

Does the skirt look familiar? It’s the same one that Cher wore in the first scene of the movie. It’s a small detail, but I love it when costume designers in films reuse clothing pieces. It makes the character’s wardrobe feel finite and grounded in reality.

The sheer blouse is a great example of Cher wearing something that complements her Natural lines. The blouse is loose fitting and fairly long, as it hits at around mid-thigh. If it wasn’t sheer it could probably be worn as a mini dress.

I really love the movie Clueless and Cher has one of my favorite wardrobes of any movie character. I adore both her iconic sense of style (a minor addiction to Nancy Drew books as a child gave me a love for the preppy look), as well as how she has such an awesome selection of clothing. The costume designer, Mona May, did a fantastic job of showcasing each character’s personality through their wardrobes and dress sense. If you haven’t seen Clueless yet then I recommend giving it a watch, especially since I’ll be analyzing two more characters from the movie in the coming weeks.

Thank you for reading this post, and thank you to my friend Samia for helping me with line edits! See you next week for another Fashion Analysis post!

4 thoughts on “Fashion Analysis: Cher from Clueless

  1. Beautiful! Your insights are outstanding! I never understood the Kibbe body types until discovering your website. I’m a Romantic with a Classic face and I try to dress more classic with a little asymmetry in my clothing to match my face to my body. My guess is Cher might have also been trying to add that balance as a Natural with a short skirt and a longer shirt, to balance her outfit a bit. I hope that makes sense. This is so fun!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s