Earlier this season, we previewed some of the summer’s most stylish movies. We then (inevitably) started waxing nostalgic about our favorite films from summers past—those VHS’s we watched until the magnetic tape wore thin, and the lines we repeated until they became colloquialisms. (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” and “Hold on to your butts.”)
Why wouldn’t we want to honor those movies, too? Here, we’ve selected the most stylish characters from six of our all-time favorite summer films, and curated outfits that remind us of their costumes.
American Graffiti (1973)
Fitted bodice dress, Alice and Olivia ($440); Jitney sandal in black, Marais ($147); Openwork cardigan, Mango ($27.99 on sale)
Best-dressed character: Debbie
Why we love the look: Vintage-inspired dresses with that fit-and-flare shape have had a renaissance of late, thanks to TV shows such as Mad Men and Masters of Sex.
Where to wear it: An alfresco dinner. The cardigan’s open weave makes it the perfect sweater for a cool summer night.
Read more about what to wear on patios and how to style summer sweaters.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Crepe halter top, Tibi ($138.60 on sale); High-waisted shorts, River Island ($60); Champion originals, Keds ($45); Hand-cut leather belt, Wolf & Badger ($99)
Best-dressed character: Frances “Baby” Houseman
Why we love the look: Jean shorts, Keds, a basic tank…think breezy summer fashion at its finest.
Where to wear it: A street fest. If Baby’s moves are any indication, it’ll help you shimmy through the crowds with ease.
The Sandlot (1993)
Ruched halter swimsuit, J. Crew ($98); Jungle Red lipstick, NARS ($26); Cat-eye sunglasses, CRAP Eyewear ($56)
Best-dressed character: Even though our 10-year-old selves are still crushing hard on Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, we have to give this one to Wendy Peffercorn.
Why we love the look: This ruched one-piece is flattering for most any body type, and it’s hard not to look fierce while peeking over the tops of these cat-eye shades.
Where to wear it: Pool party! Beach party! Anywhere with a large enough body of water!
Check out other examples of pop-culture-inspired swimwear.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Blouse with cropped sleeve, Zara ($19.99 on sale); Tailored skinny jeans, paper denim & cloth ($152 on sale); Beckett sunglasses, Warby Parker ($95); Harper moto boot, rag & bone ($575); Arrowhead ring, Pamela Love ($625)
Best-dressed character: Dr. Ian Malcolm
Why we love the look: Don’t get us wrong, summer’s vivid color palette is fun, but this all-black ensemble is a refreshing break from the neon norm. Plus, Goldblum.
Where to wear it: This would be too hot for an outdoor music festival, but perfect for a late-night show at a corner bar.
Find more summer concert style ideas.
Now and Then (1995)
Cutout chambray dress, Intermix ($495); Architecture Outing bag, ModCloth ($89.99); T-strap flats, Francesca’s ($28); Glam lipstick in Lotus, NYX ($6)
Best-dressed character: Teeny, obviously. She grew up to be a movie star!
Why we love the look: The cutouts on this dress are perfectly flirty, and the dusty-pink bag reminds us of the foursome’s amazing treehouse.
Where to wear it: No treehouse? Then post up beneath some trees for a picnic in the park.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Clifton ringer tee, Spreadshirt ($31.10); Track shorts, Madewell ($49.50); Slip-on sneakers, Bucketfeet ($65)
Best-dressed character: ‘70s chic abounds in this cult favorite, but we’ll go with McKinley for his classic summer-camp style.
Why we love the look: It’s colorful, comfy, and nostalgic all at once.
Where to wear it: If summer camp’s not in the cards, then organize a WHAS viewing party in your backyard.
Also, see our tips for styling your home like a summer camp.