Do you remember how, as kids, superlatives were the pillars around which we built our identities? We didn’t have distinct points of view; we had favorites. A favorite color or a favorite food was enough for us to feel fully formed. I laugh when I think of mine because they weren’t chosen with any care or discernment, all that mattered was that I had them.
One such example was my favorite actor in the whole wide world, Meg Ryan. I’m pretty sure she was the only actor I really knew by name but her hair was the same color as mine (crucial) and she had two first names (required) plus You’ve Got Mail, you know? But so what if my love for her as a kid was a little unfounded? Hindsight is 20/20 and I still support the fervor. It even grew into a permanent soft spot. Seeing her today in a movie feels like jumping into a little pocket of childhood comfort.
She’s played plenty of memorable characters, particularly those imagined by my hero Nora Ephron. And like those played by Diane Keaton, each was made that much more iconic by virtue of her style. And that brings me to the question at hand: Which Meg Ryan are you?
Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally (1989)
You’re as likely to pair a bowler hat with wide-leg trousers as a cotton turtleneck with high-waisted jeans. Hell, why not a blazer with some Bermuda shorts?
Your clothes are comfy and loose and menswear-inspired and your hair’s a little wild and messy to match the spirit of your optimism.
[Photograph by via MGM Studios Inc.]
Annie Reed in Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Three words: long voluminous trenches. That’s your base coat, so to speak, and you keep it simple so that the focus remains up top. Red lips, sad eyes, can’t lose. Your hair is the frame, and it’s straight and neatly swept off your face, braided or ponytailed to enable you to most efficiently look for love.
You’re not afraid of swaddly fabric and lots of it, including scarves.
[Photograph by AF Archive.]
Alice Green in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
Your style is a little hard to pin down because you’re just as likely to wear a massive knit sweater with a patterned skirt as you are a plain sexy black dress, but then, your personality is equally hard to pin down.
Sometimes you play it sweet, sometimes you play it dangerous. Your unkempt bob and aviators are never missing from either equation.
[Photo by Peter Sorel.]
Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail (1998)
You’re a sucker for smart layers, both clothing and hair-wise. Pencil skirts over tights and under cardigans. Button downs under sweater vests and a tie. Matching striped pajama sets.
You’re a snuggly person with a snuggly personality: turtlenecks and story time are kind of your thing. Under all that softness is some serious gumption, though.
[Photograph via Warner Bros. Pictures.]
Alice Bowman in Proof of Life (2000)
You’re a world traveler in both spirit and aesthetic. You’re not afraid to throw together items from different parts of your life because you yourself are complex: leather belt plus sarong, shearling vest plus striped tee. You leave your worn button downs half untucked and your short hair messy because you have shit to do. Your brown leather boots always sport the perfect patina, proof of your adventures.
[Photograph via Warner Bros. Entertainment]
Sarah Hardwicke in In the Land of Women (2007)
You’re kind of like a house cat in that your sleepy attitude and soft exterior belie your housebound tendencies. You love casual clothes: cotton T-shirts, wool scarves and cashmere cardigans. When forced to go outside, you throw on a belt and a scarf or, on special occasions, a button down tucked into some belted chinos. Very ’90s suburban mom of you.
I’m Sally Albright and don’t want to know if you think that’s wrong. Who you are?!
[Photograph by Lorey Sebastian via Warner Bros. Entertainment.]
Feature photograph by Ron Galella via Getty Images.