If you talk to me for more than three minutes, I’ll probably mention (once, if you’re lucky) that I spent a semester in Madrid. Churros and falling in love for the first time are among the reasons I’m drawn to talking about the experience ad nauseam, but being introduced to the film Jamón Jamón might take the cake. Although the movie is famous for its chaotic storyline — and for launching the careers of Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem — I am personally in awe of the fashion, which is strikingly uncomplicated in comparison to the plot.
The styling is unintentionally great because it’s primarily functional. The story is set in a steamy, provincial Spanish village, and the characters romp around in short hemlines and sleeveless tops. Penélope in particular executes what I like to call “come as you are” style; with apparel that is equal parts no-fuss and flattering, simple accessories and hairstyles that embrace humidity instead of fighting it, her looks land at the intersection of comfortable and confident. In other words, the fashion in Jamón Jamón, which came out in 1992, might actually be the prototype for summer 2018’s “it” look. Keep scrolling for some of my favorite examples.
A Polka-Dot Sundress and Jelly Bag to Match
I’m convinced this exact image is on the design mood boards at Reformation and Realisation Par. The silhouette and pattern of Penélope’s dress align seamlessly with today’s preponderance of brands that capitalize on the vintage aesthetic, and don’t even get me started on the jelly purse! Those babies sell out on Lisa Says Gah all the time.
Itsy-Bitsy Athletic Shorts
Word on the street is that gym shorts are having a moment right now, but this image makes me wonder if they ever should have gone away. Javier takes a rather literal styling approach — tank top, tube socks, sneakers — but his bravado inspires me to try a pair on for size.
Mid-Size Silver Hoops
I’m a proud supporter of macro earrings — which are on the opposite end of the accessory-size spectrum from micro bags — so I was surprised by how much I was drawn to these demure, medium-sized hoops. After giving it some thought, I realized it’s all about the combination: the half-updo and square neckline open up some really chic neck-to-decolletage real estate, providing the perfect frame for earrings that might otherwise fade into the background.
A Big Ol’ Belt With Plentiful Silver Hardware
Javier looks like a quintessential “bad boy” here, thanks to his belt. With its silver hardware, it could conceivably fit into the wardrobe of a cowboy, a motorcycle gang leader or a pirate. That’s the bad boy trifecta — a trifecta I personally want in on, from a sartorial standpoint, given that it perfectly encapsulates the concept of well-accessorized effortlessness.
A Kooky-Printed Bikini Top
Despite what her attire may suggest, Penélope isn’t en route to the beach. On the contrary, she’s cooking indoors, and thus making a case for swimwear as loungewear. I suppose this is a functional choice given the sweaty potential of standing in front of a stove in an arid environment, but the bikini’s Matisse-like print certainly has some sartorial cachet. It seems likely that her updo was executed swiftly and simply to get the hair off of the back of her neck, but don’t be surprised if I spend an embarrassing amount of time in front of a mirror trying to replicate it exactly.
Two Fistfuls of Sizable Rings
This collection of rings is certainly an outlier amidst the film’s pervasive minimalism, but I couldn’t suppress an “oooh, ahhh” when they gleamed on the screen before my eyes. Can you blame me? Anyways, keep scrolling to return to regularly scheduled programming.
A Sheer Slip Dress
Here’s my conjecture on why wearing nightgowns during the day has become such a thing in 2018: There’s something charming about looking slightly out of place — like when dogs wear shoes, or when babies wear fancy clothes. For that reason, this look is quite possibly my favorite in the entire film. I also love the way her black, lace-up espadrilles contrast with her airy, sheer slip; without the visual weight of the shoes, she looks like she might just float away.
An LRD (a.k.a. Little Red Dress)
I’ve spent the whole summer searching high and low for perfectly ruffled prairie gowns, so I was temporarily blind to the appeal of a dress with such a simple silhouette, in a solid color no less. Thank you, Penélope, for opening my eyes. This is the ideal throw-on-and-go-dress; comfy enough to withstand a lengthy, sun-filled stroll, but cute enough for any potential photo-ops along the way.
Are there any other films that you turn to for summer style inspo? Feel free to share in the comments.
Feature Photo via Everett Collection.