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  • Writer's pictureErica DeMatos

Ten Winter Films to Watch for Style Inspiration

From Didion's Play It As It Lays to Carol.


When you wake up on an icy morning and the last thing you want to do is get out from under the covers, it can be hard to imagine changing out of your warm nightwear and slipping into something a little less comfortable. We’ve rounded up ten winter films with classic looks to reference all throughout the snowy season to keep you warm and stylish.

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1967, dir. Mark Robson)

If you want to honor classic Old Hollywood silhouettes and colorways this winter, look no further than Mark Robson’s Valley of the Dolls (1967). The movie warns of grandiose glitz and glamour, apparent in the film’s fashions. Sharon Tate’s Jennifer North wears an icy blue buttoned coat and accessorizes with a buttery brown scarf, gloves, and knee-high boots during her walk through Central Park.

THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964, dir. Jacques Demy)

Forever a fashion icon, Catherine Deneuve’s character, Geneviève, uses fashion as a means of self-expression during wartime. Costume designer Jacqueline Moreau famously used bright colors and pastel shades to honor the beauty of Cherbourg. Geneviève’s monochromatic knee-length coats and oversized hair bows are perfect for a modern Sandy Liang girl looking to dress up this holiday season.

PLAY IT AS IT LAYS (1972, dir. Frank Perry)

Play It As It Lays depicts a warmer winter season, set between Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the Mojave Desert. Maria (Tuesday Weld) dresses for the weather in thick knitwear — typical California wear for the December month. Maria is a fan of a turtleneck and her ultra-60s wavy hair complements her casual Los Angeles attire.

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001, dir. Wes Anderson)

We all recognize Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous look as Margot in her oversized fur coat and smudged black eyeliner in The Royal Tenenbaums. Gucci even had a Fall 2015 show where you can see a modernized, simplified take on Margot’s ensemble. Channel Paltrow this winter by throwing on your best fur and strutting down the street to Nico’s “These Days.”

BLACK SWAN (2010, dir. Darren Aronofsky)

Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film Black Swan does not stray from classic ballet aesthetics, with Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) making sure she incorporates the perfect shade of ballerina pink in her wardrobe at all times. Complete with a feathered scarf and slouchy Uggs, these looks are sure to keep you warm, fashionable, and perpetually innocent.

THE SHINING (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

The only thing scarier than Jack Torrence is itchy wool sweaters. Shelley Duvall plays Wendy in The Shining, who keeps herself warm during the cold Colorado offseason by wearing layers. Wendy’s turtleneck-flannel-overalls combination is a cute yet rustic take on bundling up for the snow. (We recommend accessorizing with a baseball bat to achieve this look!)

LITTLE WOMEN (2019, dir. Greta Gerwig)

Though the March girls could not afford to care much about fashion, Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran made the outfits interesting by playing with cozy layers, full-toned colors, and diametrical patterns. I particularly like Meg’s (Emma Watson) ensemble in this scene, with contrasting shades of green and purple and clashing patterns of plaid and gingham.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990, dir. Tim Burton)

Yes, this Tim Burton classic is very much a Halloween movie, but my yearly rewatch makes it a Christmas tradition in my heart. Kim’s (Winona Ryder)  all-white, off-the-shoulder outfit is reminiscent of snowfall, making her look like an angel with blonde, ringlet curls and pink-blushed cheeks. 

EYES WIDE SHUT (1999, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Transparent lace overlays and voluminous updos are referential of ‘60s fashion, a big trend for 2024 alongside this year’s release of Sophia Coppola’s Priscilla. If you have a glamorous holiday party to attend this month and you want to be the mysteriously sexy girl in the corner, Eyes Wide Shut is a must-watch for some dress inspo.

CAROL (2015, dir. Todd Haynes)

Not unlike the frigid temperatures of the winter season, Carol is a picture of fleeting moments of unexpected warmth despite the cold. Rich reds and tartan; headbands and berets; fur and Louis Vuitton: opulence and rebellion born from years of obeying traditional gendered structures all meet timid demure in a 1950s New York City department store. 🌀


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