I feel like I lived ten whole lifetimes waiting for ‘Little Women’ to hit theaters. And when it finally landed on December 25th, I was feverish for all 11 of my waking hours, my stomach in knots prior to the 7pm showing. My family could not get me to shut up about it. (This isn’t even sensationalized–call my mother if you want proof.)
Sweet, heavenly Greta Gerwig—she did not disappoint. I was transported through space and time to meet a new, emotionally rich cast portraying the March family and I felt as close to them as I did when I was 9 years old (when I thought I was a Jo and I was really just an Amy). And it seems most everyone agrees with me.
But beyond the beauty, intelligence, and overpowering emotion–no joke, I’m crying as I type–transmitted through the screen, I was awestruck by the gorgeous costuming from Academy Award-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran. The individual yet cohesive color palettes, the cheeky wardrobe-swapping between Jo and Laurie, and the volume from sleeve to skirt were all so lush that immediately after viewing I asked myself the obvious question: “Where the fuck is my waistcoat?”
I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt compelled to March it up, so I hurried to Instagram to ask the Man Repeller community for their LW style questions. And you delivered, like a cute little letter in the March/Laurence tree-trunk-mailbox, lol. Below are some of the most pressing questions you brought to the table, accompanied by my ideas on how to escort the finery of Greta Gerwig’s ‘Women’ to the year 2020.
1: Where Can I Get a Cute Little Cross-Body Sweater Wrap?
This was by far the most FA of the Qs. I admit I couldn’t stop looking at the human swaddles worn by Beth, Marmee, Jo, etc whenever they were on screen. How cozy? How practical?? After a little research, I found the closest possible thing ready for purchase from Aran Sweater Market: a wool/cashmere wrap. Alternatively, a knit infinity-scarf with a large loop that can be twisted around your waist and shoulders seems like a perfect fit over a billowy blouse.
2. Oh, Where are Those Billowy Blouses Hiding, U Ask?
Many of you wanted to know where to get those Tim-as-Laurie sleeves. By the way, you know he styled himself for the film, right? It’s viscerally upsetting. Anyway, SLEEVES. Etsy is your girl for this. A quick search of “vintage romantic long-sleeve blouse” will yield a multitude of options. For example: Allow me to intro you to RAWSON, an Etsy shop that frequently sources romantic blouses. This one? Laurie’s screaming. This one for $26? Meg is green with envy.
The RealReal also has a bundle of billowy-sleeved options, like this one from Sandro or this Paco Rabanne tunic. If you’re partial to something with more of a modern twist, I recommend this statement-collar blouse from Ganni.
As for styling tips, don’t be shy. A full romantic look does not need to be full Scarlett O’Hara. Worn with an eccentric mini skirt or a pair of trousers and a bundle of modern costume jewelry à la Leandra, you surely can achieve a look that says “I’m ALIVE in 2020.”
3. Oh You Want to Wear It With a Waistcoat? Let’s Chat.
One of the most tender aspects of Durran’s costuming, which Mallory was actually the first to point out to me (via this tweet), was the sharing of a certain brocade waistcoat in different scenes between Laurie and Jo. It was a small way to exhibit their profound closeness, as well as Jo’s free-spirited heart in choosing to dress differently from other young women of her time.
So, get yourself a damn waistcoat. Here’s a plaid one, a suede one, a tweed one, a velvet one and a brocade one. I plan to wear mine with one of the above romantic blouses, a skinny jean (yeah, I said it!!) and a tall boot. Capital.
4. But, You’re More of an Amy or a Meg and a Waistcoat Seems Too, Idk, Boorish. Let’s Get Glam.
A few respondents asked for more ways to incorporate the ever-popular velvet ribbons into their wardrobes. Etsy is once again the response to your call. Velvet trimmings come in a multitude of colors, though I’m most partial to blush and olive and black. You can wrap one around your ponytail or weave it into a braid without being too precious. Depending on the length you choose, it can also function as a belt to a waisted dress, or the pussy bow/bow tie to your romantic blouse.
5. BUT WAIT, What About Jo’s Glorious Green Writing Housecoat?
This was admittedly the most important article of clothing to me (other than Jo’s mini bowler hat which I will be searching for until death).
In Gerwig’s film, Jo wears a green military-style costume jacket whenever she writes. Depending on how committed you are, searching for “military lapel jacket” or “steampunk lapel jacket” will give you a variety of jackets worthy of Jo’s fantastical worlds, like this, this, this and this beauty, if you happen to have a million dollars. I recommend wearing à la Jo, with a classic sleepleisure dress that would make Beth proud, plus a pair of loafers.
What’s the last thing you need to complete your March sister style? Probably a little blush, to capture the flush of their baked-to-perfection cheeks. (And let’s be honest… it’s probably Cloud Paint.) I would maybe (un)polish things off with a braid you’ve slept on all night.
Otherwise: Have I painted a vivid enough picture, for you? What else can I help you finesse re: March sister style so you don’t feel like a Civil War re-enactor? Just like Marmee, I’m here to cradle you emotionally in the comments.
Feature Photos via Sony Pictures.