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There isn’t a romantic comedy that I won’t watch. Whether it’s Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant struggling to survive in the Midwest or Drew Barrymore having her first kiss in a baseball field, I’m all in. But I’m not blind either. There are more bad rom-coms than there are amazing ones, and I’ve watched my fair share of stinkers. But even if the plotline isn’t good, I’ve always found a silver lining: the clothes.
Rom-coms have their recurring tropes: the final-act kiss, the flirty quips between the leads. But one thing that I can almost always rely on when I watch a rom-com is fabulously dressed characters, from the hot-pink dresses Isla Fisher wears in Confessions of a Shopaholic to the drop-dead-gorgeous wedding gown in Crazy Rich Asians. To fuel your fashion-loving moviegoer, we’ve rounded up 12 rom-coms where the style is almost (if not) better than the story. The plots can sometimes disappoint, but fashion will always be a highlight.
The Devil Wears Prada
No fashion film list is complete without 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. The film, which centers on Andy Sachs, an assistant at a high-fashion magazine, is filled with fun fashion moments, from the beautiful coats and bags that Miranda Priestly flings on desks to the iconic montage of Andy transforming from a bargain-bin shopper to one of the most well-dressed employees at Runway magazine. Though the film barely qualifies as a rom-com (Andy’s romance takes a back seat to her relationship with her boss), there are more than enough fashion moments to enjoy.
Sex and the City
Rom-coms have always been associated with fashion, but Sex and the City took it to the next level. The HBO TV series premiered its first film in 2008, and though the storyline was met with mixed reviews from fans (don’t even get us started on the second movie), the fashion didn’t disappoint. From Carrie Bradshaw’s dreamlike Vivienne Westwood wedding dress to the many colorful and fashion-forward looks all four of the women wear, the fashion in Sex and the City make it a must-watch even if you have lukewarm feelings about the franchise as a whole.
Crazy Rich Asians
2018’s Crazy Rich Asians was history-making in more ways than one. In addition to its all-Asian cast, the movie was a damn good rom-com, and it included one of the genre’s most well-known tropes: amazing clothes. The film is about an American professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend—unaware that he’s the heir of one of the country’s wealthiest families. The storyline is a breeding grown for beautiful, luxurious clothes, and it doesn’t disappoint. From the gold hand-painted wedding dress that Araminta Lee walks down the aisle in to Rachel Chu’s gasp-worthy blue gown, Crazy Rich Asians is full of fashionable eye candy.
1990’s Pretty Woman follows Vivian Ward, a down-on-her-luck sex worker, who meets a wealthy businessman named Edward Lewis. The film is chock-full of sassy monologues (including this iconic one), shopping sprees and outfits worthy of copying, from Vivian’s off-the-shoulder red dress to the matching polka-dot look she wore with Edward to a polo match.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Based on its title alone, 2009’s Confession of a Shopaholic should be filled with beautiful clothes, and surprise, surprise, it is. The film follows Rebecca Bloomwood, a writer who has a shopping addiction so big that it leads her to serious debt and broken relationships. Though the movie is a cautionary tale for those who spend too much on clothes, it’s also a feast for the fashion lover.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
2018’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before premiered only a couple months ago, but it’s already made an impact in terms of its retro high-school style. The film follows Lara Jean Covey, a teenager whose love letters to former crushes are accidentally mailed out. The movie is adorable and a much-needed breath of diversity that was lacking in the teen rom-com genre. But on top of that, the movie also includes a ton of Pinterest- and Halloween-worthy outfits, like Lara Jean’s colorful turtlenecks and denim skirts.
13 Going on 30
13 Going on 30 is a classic rom-com that has stood up to the test of time, both film-wise and fashion-wise. The movie follows Jenna Rink, an awkward 13-year-old girl who magically ages 17 years to become 30 and a writer at a big-time women’s magazine. The movie’s fashion mixes the whimsical outfits of an ’80s-born 13-year-old with the over-the-top style of the early ’00s.
If you were born in the ’90s, you’ve thought about dressing up as Clueless‘s Cher Horowitz for Halloween at least once in your life. The character, a teenage girl with a passion for fashion and gossip, became an instant icon when the teen rom-com premiered in 1995. Along with Cher’s iconic yellow-plaid schoolgirl outfit, Clueless also saw fashion-favorite looks from her bestie, Dionne, and the other preppy outfits that Cher wears throughout the movie.
Pink, pink and more pink is the color scheme of 2001’s Legally Blonde, which follows a woman named Elle Woods as she heads to Harvard Law School to win back the heart of her ex. Though Elle ends up ditching her ex to become a serious lawyer, her love for fashion never faltered, judging from the all-pink ensemble she wore in the film’s ending court scene.
500 Days of Summer
2009’s 500 Days of Summer might not have the flashiness and designer costumes that the other rom-coms on this list have, but it’s still filled with a ton of inspiration. The movie follows the relationship of a couple from beginning to end. It takes place in modern-day, but a lot of its outfits have a 60s-style flare, with sweater vests and denim skirts commonly seen on the characters.
2001’s Amélie is a French film and fashion lover’s dream. The movie follows Amélie, a shy waitress who decides to turn her life around. Unlike some of the rom-coms on this list, fashion isn’t a theme of the movie, but it definitely makes an appearance in the protagonist’s clothes, from her cool coats to her quirky accessories.
1968’s Funny Girl follows the life of Fanny Brice, a famous actress and fashion icon from the 1920s. The movie stars Barbra Streisand as Brice in multiple stages of her life. She models some of the character’s most beautiful outfits and hairstyles, from her iconic updos to the sparkly and flowy gowns she wears to parties.