The Style in ‘The Parent Trap’ Is Even Better Than You Remember
08.08.17

If you think about it, the 1998 reboot of The Parent Trap is a sartorial tour of the suburban ‘90s. The plot supplies all the right ingredients: 1) an ensemble cast 2) of stereotypes clashing 3) in a wide variety of settings. Penny Rose, the movie’s costume designer, had a delightfully heavy hand in communicating that via clothes. The style in the movie tells the exact same story as the movie itself. It’s so straightforward, so endearing.

ANNIE LITERALLY DRESSES LIKE MADELINE. At one point she is wearing a full suit on a casual Saturday, because, DUH, she’s British. Hallie wears pigtail braids and flannels because she lives in California, obviously. It’s all so on-the-nose and better than I remembered. So maybe the story is a little fucked up, but it’s not afraid to be a caricature of itself and that’s fun.

Consider Hallie and Annie’s inaugural Camp Walden looks.

Here we see Annie from London:

No, your eyes do not betray you: That’s a tweed skirt suit (heads up, Pandora Sykes) plus matching headband and cap-toe flats. If this isn’t full-look inspo I don’t know what is. Also, if choreographed handshakes are missing from your life, let this be a wake-up call.

And then Hallie from California:

Is that a pajama short I see? Her denim jacket and sunglasses of the modest-auburn-oval variety are so 2017 I can’t even deal, ‘tude included.

You know I’m partial to a camp look and Walden is full of them. Lots of scrunchies, bandanas and loose cotton:

Heads up, that polo and those yellow headphones will be avail for purchase at Urban Outfitters soon.

Post-camp, when Annie and Hallie go back to each other’s abodes, shit gets extreme:

Is that a powder blue probably-three-piece suit for a Saturday stroll? Why yes it is. As for her mom, it’s beige and cream as far as the eye can see. Menocore before its time?

Let’s contrast against evil-stepmom Meredith:

Red lip, red nails, gold ring, gold earring, white dress, black hat. Not a hair out of place and full makeup because trying was cool and it’s cool again.

The rest of the California style is v ranch and it’s ideal:

Chessy is my style icon. Are those not Kammpants? I basically wore this look yesterday and will wear it tomorrow. (Please note Hallie’s flannel and pigtail braids in foreground because California.)

What to pack for a weekend away: A one-piece and matching scrunchie, plus XXL t-shirt to be worn over.

Back to her London twin for a much-needed nightgown pause:

Why the fuck aren’t all of us wearing nightgowns to bed!!!! We’re idiots.

When the whole family meets at a hotel for the first time, we get a whole lotta look. When’s the last time you wore a blazer and drank a martini?

Too long for me. Please let me know when shoulder pads are cool again and I’ll start coifing my hair accordingly.

And then!

Question #1: Do you take care to match your family when spending time with them? If no that’s a mistake.

Question #2: Do you wear enough beige and cream? Answer is always no, always also a mistake.

Question #3: Are Annie and Hallie not perfectly depicting two opposing style tribes of 2017?

Please analyze the following two photos:

This is Gen-Z yellow in its earliest iteration. Also, Hallie is wearing round wireframe glasses on tortoise shell croakies and it’s affected me on a molecular level.

The full lqqks continue. Annie should prob read this Allure piece by Sable Yong.

EXCUSE ME! Twins are back. You heard it here first. Find your closest friend and oversize Polo oxfords in adjacent shades of millennial pink and start tricking ppl.

^What are we all wearing on the weekend if not this?^

Another two style tribes! Amelia’s on the left, I’m on the right, we hate each other. Please join me at the next photo.

I love a hike look. Knotting superfluous materials around my body under the guise of utility is one of my favorite pastimes. Looks especially good with a bad attitude. If their half-ponies were half-buns we’d be in Brooklyn biz.

Manhattan hike look:

Can be found at Outdoor Voices now, meet u there.

And finally, the cliche 90s matching family that I’m not sure existed IRL but did in spades in catalogs:

Henley’s and button-downs welcome, as long as purchased at Ross for the express purpose of taking an annual holiday-card photo. Pinning that coral buttoned-to-the-top henley to my fall inspiration board.

Am I being dramatic or is this not way better than you remember it? Validate my opinions in the comments.

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  • Hayley

    I loved this Haley, well done.

  • Kate

    Also freckles are very trendy right now.
    P.S. in the pic with Chessie, believe that’s Annie impersonating Hallie, not Hallie (I think it’s right before Chessie finds out she’s Annie) (omg I know this movie by heart).

    • kellymcd

      AND THEN SHE STARTS CRYING SO HARD AND ASKS IF SHE CAN HUG HER OMGGGGG

  • Ashley Hamilton

    I have spent every summer of my life trying to perfectly re-create the jean jacket/ plaid green shorts look.

  • Jennifer

    Aww, this was good 🙂

  • Andrea Raymer

    having recently become a redhead I don’t think I ever fully understood the importance of the Blue one piece moment of this film until I purchased my own this year. That shot is a piece of art reminiscent of Stephen shore and I need to find a pool PRONTO in order to recreate this moment in cinematic history.

    • Anna Pepperspray

      I was just thinking: can we please talk about this perfect colour of hair that makes the clothes look cooler than possible?!?!

  • Allie

    This is V. important.

  • Jaime Gelpi

    this needs to go down as one of the best fashion articles ever written

    • nicholeNYC

      100% “Knotting superfluous materials around my body under the guise of utility is one of my favorite pastimes. Looks especially good with a bad attitude. If their half-ponies were half-buns we’d be in Brooklyn biz.” gaaaaaaaah!

      • Ana

        That was my fave part of this article! Haha We’d be in brooklyn biz, I meeeean!

    • Ana

      I know! I agree! It definitely should be recognized as the article that showed that 2017 is totally inspired in loose fashion pieces from the 90’s.

  • notinlondon

    Where do I even start? I saw this in the theater with my sister, and boy was I inspired. Not only did my Mom let me dye my hair red (temp, but whatever), but I also had my eye on several summer camps. I attended none of them, because I had no twin out there. Anyways, I LOVED this movie, and it made me who I am. Bye.

  • Charlie

    All of this!! But I am missing the dress Elizabeth is wearing as advised by Martin (who comes along as their friend, not their butler): “And may I say, as a friend, if I were seeing my ex after 11 years and I had your legs… I’d wear this little baby. You’ll kill in it!”. (She did by the way!)

    • Charlie

      I love the casual look and updo of Mildred Plotka too 😉

    • Elizabeth

      Oh Elizabeth was iconic in that scene, sloshing around post-Meredith martini with Velcro rollers and a cigarette. That dress was true perfection.

    • (Martin enters hotel room in speedo)
      Elizabeth: MARTIN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
      Martin: Going for a dip ma’am, do you mind?

      Martin is THE BEST!

    • Tess

      Was about to comment the same thing. Love that dress, I’ve never wanted a dress from a movie more.

  • Marlene

    EXTREMELY RIGHT!! BINDBLOWN😍😍

  • Jo

    Would you believe I only saw the parent trap for the first time this year! I thought at the time the clothes were excellent. Also watched Crocodile Dundee the other day and Linda Kozlowski’s whole look was amazing..

  • Love this movie. Especially the camp pranks, the torn photo, and Oreos dipped in peanut butter. Love the yellow outfits the most.

    • Andrea Raymer

      I sent people out for Oreos and peanut butter at camp MR. Is it really camp without it?

  • Amelia Diamond

    you’re insane and perfect

  • Rachel

    YESSS!!! I was literally watching this last week thinking how good the
    style is and that MR should write about it!! You read my mind!

  • TCAN

    B e a u -tiful article, Haley !

  • patyof

    “When’s the last time you wore a blazer and drank a martini?” holy shit!!!!! what am i doing with my life?!?!?!?

  • Allison

    But also, can we talk about the wedding dress photo shoot scene…? I MEAN COME. ON.

    • PJB

      YES. the black or white top hat moment???

  • Jordyn Nicole

    Elizabeth James was the bridal boutique. Some foreshadowing perhaps for another set of twins!?

    • Amelia

      this changed my life just now

    • Erika Galan

      omg

  • AbiTX

    I am still in love with the blue hard candy nail polish they used

    • Katie

      SAME. had the mabelline equivalent back in the day and most recently bought a navy/dark forest green color as the grownup version.

  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    hahahahahahahaha this is sooo good!

  • Saskia Pedersen

    Haley just a slight correction — I do believe that is Hallie not Annie in the questionable “Asian”-inspo dress 😉

  • Maggie

    This is amazing

  • L Winfree

    OMG this is why I love manrepeller.

  • Cadyn Scott

    Perfection.

  • Courtney Johnson

    Well this is really the best- back in the day all I wanted to be was Hallie Parker. Also the poker scene where she wears the bomber jacket with an up do !!!

  • mariahg

    Can we talk about how everyone tried to cut their own hair or pierce their ears after watching this movie (double swag points if you did one or either of these things at camp)?

    • Andrea Raymer

      I definitely cut myself some side bangs after watching this movie. the worst part is I already had normal bangs so I really was just cutting a weird hang-y down piece of hair

      • mariahg

        I tried cutting my own bangs, which led to said emergency hair salon appointment that resulted in a bowl cut a la Corey in Boy Meets World (the early episodes). Ahhhhhhhhhh, the MeMoRiEs

    • Dkap

      Double AND triple pierced my ears at sleep away camp. My mother almost had a coronary.

      • mariahg

        Please tell me you did it with an apple and an ice cube? 😉

        • Dkap

          Of course! Oh and also some bengay for numbing. Definitely not concerned with being sanitary.

  • Tayler Lord

    would also like to give special mention to my fave character, tie dye girl

    • Allegra

      i love tie dye girl! truly my aspiration in life was to be ass badass as she was in that first scene where she helps hallie with her bags

  • It doesn’t get much better than this… damn.

  • Despairing that Hallie’s cloud pajamas are not included

  • Abigail Larson

    Natasha Richardson’s style in this movie has and will be my forever aspiration.

  • Meredith is my FASHION ICON. I literally did a post on the costumes in the The Parent Trap in 2014. Not even mad about it. Glad we’re on the same page! See: http://colleenwelsch.com/2014/08/the-most-important-90s-fashion-moments.html

  • Chandler

    This really makes me crave some Oreos and peanut butter. SO. GEWD.

  • Serena

    I wore a pink chinoise dress for junior prom (six years after this movie came out) because of Hallie’s look in this movie. It’s so iconic.

  • Hannah Degn

    Literally the best thing I’ve read all week. New number one fan of yours Haley. Thank you for validating my lifelong obsession with he parent trap.

    • Kiks

      True story: I owe my screen name here and real-life nickname to this movie in a totally stupid and roundabout way. My little sister was completely obsessed with the scene with Meredith’s mom: “Hiiiiiiii, pet. You may call me AUNT VICKY!!!”

      So she started calling me Aunt Kiki. It stuck. She’s the only person who calls me that, and it still makes me smile every time.

  • Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins

    could not be better

  • lacherrito

    Now do the original with Hayley Mills and Maureen O’Hara! The fashion is great, the haircuts are not.

  • Allison Russo

    It’s Chessy, not Jessie??? my childhood is full of lies

    • Selina Moses

      It took me so long to realise that. I wonder what it is short for because in my book that is not a name

  • Nik Aliye

    This is so on the nose I want to die

  • Kay

    omg THANKS HALEY

  • Laure

    This is pure perfection. I usually think that laughing is more of a social signal meant for others. But this made me laugh out loud. Alone.

  • alana

    yes to everything, EXCEPT that stupid top hat on the bride in the photo shoot.

  • Erika Galan

    This is everything.

  • Maggie Lanham

    I will never not love Natasha Richardson’s style in this. Racked did a great companion piece for this for any of you Meredith lovers and/or haters! https://www.racked.com/2017/7/20/15998504/parent-trap-meredith-blake-style

  • Ryan

    Style icons honestly

  • Ryan

    We need Elizabeth’s date night dress tho. The one Martin picks👗👗

  • PCE

    This makes me miss Natasha Richardson. I ADORED her in this.

    • Kiks

      So good. My sister and I watched this movie dozens of times.

  • Natalie L Howlett

    I think people probably thought my headband phase was Gossip Girl inspired, but it was in fact all due to The Parent Trap. I had that exact same peach one with the bow, I swear.

  • Hil

    I REMEMBER. I loved their clothes, especially when they’re setting up their parents on the boat. This is my soul style.

  • i love this but where is hallie’s look from the poker scene I’ve been trying to emulate that for my whole life

  • Shevaun

    The level of detail in this piece is crazy but also the outfits are crazy good so
    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    also, one of my favorite 90’s movie lewks is Lee Lee Sobieski from Never Been Kissed. It’s all headbands, glasses on chains, mathlete sweatshirts and bodysuits and I’m dying.

    • kellymcd

      YESSS the blue body suit

  • Selina Moses

    I love this film and I love all of the yellow (pretty sure it was influence in my later and now for a few years obsession with the colour). We Brits don’t dress up our kids like that anymore really but I remember even when I was a kid in the 90s we were decked out in matching suity things or sailor dresses or things like that for occasions so it’s not that far off. Also the Mandarin collar thing was big where I was in the late 90s/early 2000s and I definitely had a top like that

    https://retrocasual.wordpress.com/

  • That’s what you call I C O N I C

  • Ashley

    What about Natasha Richardson’s hair? Totally channeling Princess Di ….nobody rocks perfectly coiffed short hair like this anymore!

  • Michelle

    Love all of this!!

  • This is perfection

  • cryptdang

    Pretty sure I knew all. the. words. to this movie at one point. Thanks for bringing it back to me (and in such relatably obsessive detail)! Will have to go re-watch.

  • molly_maureen

    as someone who references scenes and outfits from this movie on a weekly basis, i thoroughly appreciated this article. thank you

  • Yana Azova

    This made my day.

  • Ana

    Always been a fan of this movie, and their styles! I always wanted my mom to get me the tweed look that annie’s wearing in the first scenes of camp walden, and also I’m missing the fencing scene styles, and the styles they were wearing while being on the isolation cabin, but this article is gold! Loved it

  • leishajoy

    I’m sorry, JESSIE’S NAME IS CHESSIE!? My life has been a lie.

  • C. Killion

    The cap toe Chanel shoes…gotta have, still. Go with anything.

  • this is everything I’ve ever wanted in an article for my entire life I just hadn’t realized it until now

  • Ivy

    Who gone and brought the nail painting book that came with nailpolishes and started eating oreo with peanut butter ? ME. !!! Lol just rewatched the movie last night, man good old times !

  • Ivy

    Yes and even the over size pj looks are amazing fashion fowarded

  • KTDO

    DREAMY. 100000% agreed. also see: You’ve Got Mail

  • Ivy

    was Hallie’s hair not The Rachel of its day?

  • Isa

    you know what’s affecting ME on a molecular level???? this AMAZING POST

  • angela g

    But aren’t all Nancy Meyer movies chick full of amazing style and #lifegoals???

    • A Local Honey

      All of them.

  • Katie

    Had to sign up for an account just so I could comment on this. Truly the funniest and most accurate thing I’ve ever read. I do feel like an honourable mention should go to Hallie at the Poker game – bomber, oval sunnies (at night) & claw hairclip)

    https://media0.giphy.com/media/icdNK330grUIg/giphy.gif

  • Srishti Srivastava

    This is amazing ! I used to watch this film on repeat as a kid and what can I say absolute style goals too !! Srishti x

  • graceyu

    THIS. IS. AWESOME.

    I really really hope you guys do one on the “Thomas Crown Affair” (w/ Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo). I’m rewatching it for the 84th time and her style still hold up!

    • Marisa

      Yes PLEASE do a style breakdown of this movie – Rene Russo is SO stylish in it!

  • lateshift

    ok Imma let you finish but the ORIGINAL Parent Trap style was the greatest #HayleyMillsFTW

  • so glad someone is validating my point of view! that movie has been all over TV this summer and I took a few cues from the most interesting “pair of twins” in the history of movies. I’ve been scouting the internet for those tortoise shell croakies! I <3 you!

    http://www.i-life-u.com

  • emily moran

    But also FENCING LOOKS and forest green. This may be dramatic but at the tender age of seven this film helped me realize that I was deserving of a life filled with class and bourgeois sporting activities. And chic 90’s bridal gowns with simple spaghetti tops and full tulle skirts.

  • isabel-96

    this is genius and makes me want to watch the movie again and kinda change my whole style. i read your articles daily. you’re the besttt

  • sophie

    I know righT best movie ever

  • Alyssa Sage

    SO. MUCH. BETTER. This is gold.

  • Ashley Minyard

    A more relatable article has never been written.

  • fightyoctopus

    This movie was EVERYTHING to little me. Like, when I was pregnant in 2014 my due date was October 11th and I was SO PUMPED.

  • Bernadette Aylward

    the half pony with side bangs!!!!!! I loved that look with my loose polo and uniform skirt (plaid, but not as cute as Annie’s little suit.)

  • Holly Honeyford

    I just bought the dvd so I can watch it and look at all the outfits. Might buy something beige and cream too. Mmm

  • Olivia

    THIS IS AMAZING. Another movie that is equally deserving- Something’s Gotta Give, Diane Keaton!?!?!!? Also Amanda Peet but mostly Diane Keaton is #menocoreAF

  • I’m seriously a slut for film style posts. Keep it up pls! Amazing job, Haley!

  • Erika Lima

    Currently re-watching while vigorously taking notes.

  • MR, plz do this for all other low-key classics, thx!! <3