Movies give us quotes that define a generation and outfits that spark entire trends. Think of any movie that’s set in a high school and the clothes are so vital to the overall plot that they become like a character in the movie themselves. The fashion in some movies—think Clueless or The Great Gatsby—are so incredible, we can’t wait to rush out and claim them for our own closets. But out here in the real world, students, girls especially (and almost exclusively), are limited in what they can wear to school.
School dress codes are strictly enforced. While the rules vary widely from school to school, certain parameters seem to be standard: no cleavage, no bare stomachs, skirts usually need to end within a couple inches of the knee (if not longer) and tank tops, if they’re allowed at all, need to have thick straps. So, why then are the outfits that give us total FOMO on the big screen all things that you would have never been allowed to wear to class? Here, 10 iconic movie looks your principal probably would have never, ever stood for.
When Clueless came out in 1995, Cher’s yellow suit was practically as famous as Alicia Silverstone. But as much as we all drooled over her closet and Paul Rudd in equal measure, there’s no way any high school student would actually be allowed to wear a skirt this short in class. And thigh highs? As if.
If you miss the days of platform heels, this adorbs plaid skirt is the perfect what to get your Cher style fix.
Get it HERE
2. She’s All That
For whatever reason, Taylor Vaughn rocked a sweater tube top to class and everyone, teachers included, were totally cool with it. Never mind the fact that a sweater tube top doesn’t even make sense as an actual piece of clothing, because if it’s cold enough to wear a knit it should be too cold to bare your stomach and shoulders. Whatever, when your BF was on the Real World, you do what you want. Out here in the ~actual~ real world, showing up to school in a top like this will get you sent to the office for sure.
3. Easy A
Olive Bridge Entertainment
Olive (played by Emma Stone) was literally wearing lingerie to school and her teachers were like, “Meh, it’s a phase. Off to class with you!” But wearing a tank top with straps that aren’t thick enough is grounds for girls to be snagged on a dress code violation. Thought this was a comedy, but maybe it’s actually a fantasy flick?
Lace Corset Top
Corset tops are pretty much always sexy AF, and now that you’re not in HS, you can totally rock one without risking suspension! Also, having a bra that’s built right into your top is super-convenient.
Get it HERE
4. Mean Girls
Remember the fingertip test? Where if your skirt didn’t extent past your fingertips it was too short for school? Apparently this rule didn’t apply to the Plastics, because they wore whatever they wanted to class. But try to copy this style and wear it to 9th grade English class? That will happen when fetch happens.
5. The Craft
Sure, we all played Light As A Feather at sleepovers for years, because of this movie, but did you ever stop to think about how unrealistic their outfits were? These girls went to a private high school with a dress code that all the other kids seemed to follow, and yet, not once did they get called out by teachers for their giant necklaces, black nails, or raccoon-inspired eye liner that no one else wore. Did they bind all the teachers from saying something?
6. John Tucker Must Die
20th Century Fox
Ashanti’s got abs for days, but no school would let a student rock them in class like this. Samsies for these skirts and that backless halter. Super-cute looks we all wanted to copy, and then got in trouble at school for trying to.
7. The Girl Next Door
20th Century Fox
What isn’t unbelievable is that they shot a sex ed film in the school and got away with it. What’s hard to swallow is that they allowed this girl into prom with that two-piece dress. Every spring, the news blows up with girls who were turned away from prom for wearing totally appropriate dresses showing far less skin than this one, because schools get their kicks by telling girls to cover up. This is the ~real movie magic~.
Cleavage, midriff-showing, and thin tank top straps makes these outfits a triple threat to any dress code out there. And there are schools who won’t let girls wear leggings and yet, Rose McGowan is sheathed in some sort of pleather. Whatevs. Carry on, murderesses.
Now that you don’t have the hall monitors looking you up and down every morning, rock these these scuba inspired leggings and feel like a total badass.
Get it HERE
9. 10 Things I Hate About You
Bianca’s prom look was prim, proper, and totally to die for. But with schools today cracking down on dance dress codes, showing even a hint of tummy will make sure you dad gets his wish that you don’t go to prom at all. Doesn’t stop us from wanting to wear it though!
Since you know you’re now remembering that scene when Bianca explains the difference between like and love to Chastity using Sketchers and a Prada backpack, feast your eyes on this studded beauty. Because you wanted one then, but you’re a big girl who can actually afford one now.
Get it HERE
10. Bring It On
As 97% of the clothing in Bring It On are strictly sports bras and cheer uniforms, Misty’s duds were easy to forget. But let’s look at what she wore to class and got away with shall we? A shirt that says “Rub Here For Good Luck.” Shouldn’t she been in detention instead of at try-outs? We would be.