This Tuesday, some paparazzi shots from Woody Allen's latest untitled film ("a 'contemporary story' with academics [and] graduate students," according to the Boston Globe) surfaced online, showing Emma Stone — presumably playing a grad student — dressed in khaki shorts and billowy cotton blouses.
This isn't how most grad students dress (she's missing the unwashed hair and constant look of despair), however it is how almost every woman ever depicted in a Woody Allen movie is costumed.
This quirk of Allen's movies really becomes apparent in his later work: Vicky Cristina Barcelona features more drapey sweaters and cargo pants than an Eileen Fisher store. Similar wardrobe choices come up in Midnight in Paris. And To Rome with Love. And Blue Jasmine. And in "untitled 'contemporary story' with academics [and] graduate students." All of these movies (other than Blue Jasmine) credit Sonia Grande as the lead costume designer, but it's not just her aesthetic that's dictating the wardrobe choices. This trend of aggressively-practical-yet-expensive-looking women's clothing actually goes all the way back to 1969's Take the Money and Run — long before Grande's time — and is seen time and time again after that.
Getting the look seems relatively simple. All you have to do is:
- Own an unlimited amount of high-end button-downs, but only in a neutral/earth tones.
- Pair your button-downs with loose fitting trousers (linen preferred, but not required), also in a neutral/earth tones.
- Wear your hair loose and tousled.
- Be between 15 and 40 years old and fall in love with an obnoxious neurotic who is 15-1,000 years your senior.
If you manage to do all that (and be rich, white and have a job that allows you to wander beautiful cities all day), you're basically Diane Keaton.
Speaking of the Keats, she really owns this style and not just in Annie Hall (the film where it arguably worked best):
(Left to right: Manhattan Murder Mystery, Play It Again, Sam, Sleeper)
But Keaton's not the only one to wear it. Here's Allen's teenage girlfriend in Manhattan (he's been gross the whole time!), Meryl Streep in Manhattan and Charlotte Rampling in Stardust Memories.
And here's more:
(Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love, To Rome with Love)
(Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Melinda and Melinda, Midnight in Paris)
If you're getting bored by white button-downs, don't worry. Sometimes they'll shake it up and add a button-down in a muted color.
(Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Whatever Works, Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Blue Jasmine, Deconstructing Harry, Match Point)
Or they'll cover the white button-down with a blazer or sweater.
(Everyone Says I Love You, Hannah and Her Sisters, Hollywood Ending)
Maybe there will be a light pattern?
(Deconstructing Harry, September, Whatever Works)
Button-downs can be worn in bed, too.
(Cassandra's Dream, Manhattan Murder Mystery)
Variations of this goddamn short-sleeved white blouse come up so often that it is actually driving me insane.
(To Rome with Love, To Rome with Love, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Cassandra's Dream, Match Point, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger)
To be entirely fair, the Woody Allen woman (a phrase I hope to never repeat) does seem very comfortable in her clothes. That said, all of the ladies in his films, regardless of age, tend to look like a stereotypical Upper East Side mom — the type who does a lot pilates, enroll their babies in baby symphonies and wears a lot of Theory. Not a knock on that type of lady (like I've said, the look is easy and breezy and who doesn't want a life of continuous brunches), but I don't know a single person in real life who dresses like her.
You'd think that Allen — a man who's spent his whole life being obsessed with younger women — would have a better idea about how 20 and 30-something broads dress themselves, but no. It's his fantasy world and ladies — ladies in unstained white blouses, no less — just live in it.