Audrey Hepburn was onto something when she mused, “Everything I learned I learned from the movies.” Take note, aspiring writers: While you toil away, waiting for your work to morph into the next number-one New York Times bestseller, there are a few things you can do to at least look the part of a brilliant, award-winning author. Simply turn to the movies for a few style tips.
Think about it: If Midnight in Paris taught us anything, it was that a disheveled, strategically unbuttoned white Oxford shirt can make us look just like Ernest Hemingway. After all, how many times have you fantasized about piling into the corner booth of a smoky Parisian café and carousing with Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, the four of you debating over your latest essay, all radiating a devastatingly stylish-yet-scholarly aura? Perhaps achieving your dream look means gleaning wardrobe inspiration from Harper Lee or the Beat Generation. Or maybe, just maybe, you truly enjoy channeling Jane Austen in full Regency period garb. Whatever makes you happy.
Regardless of your vision, you too have the potential to own that elusive je ne sais quoi that screams, “I am a published genius!” All it takes is a Netflix account and a little imagination. With that in mind, here are the best writer style tips, according to the movies.
David Foster Wallace In The End Of The Tour
In a nutshell: Unless you own a good bandana, you can kiss finishing your Infinite-Jest-length opus goodbye.
John Keats In Bright Star
This one's for the poets among us. The higher-popped the collars on your matching blazer, vest, and shirt, the better the melodic, Keats-like verses will flow from your quill. Additionally, cast frequent, angsty looks at your lover.
Virginia Woolf In The Hours
Trying to achieve that trademark Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf look? It's all about the center-parted bun — the lower and wispier it is, the better.
Ernest Hemingway And Zelda Fitzgerald In Midnight In Paris
Much like his prose, the Hemingway look favors simplicity. I've already mentioned the strategically unbuttoned white Oxford shirt, but for extra points, always keep a wine bottle in hand and pick many fights with your counterparts.
Prefer writing as wildly as you party? You'd better go full flapper — I'm talking bobbed hair, rouge lips, and a goldmine of jewels — to do Zelda Fitzgerald justice.
Jane Austen In Becoming Jane
Austen is hard to beat in the category for most demure style — just look at that romantic updo. For added effect, softly curl your side bangs and resist James McAvoy's advances (you have writing to do).
Anaïs Nin In Henry and June
Not for the faint of heart, pulling off an Anaïs look calls for a 1930s style as bold as the woman's work: Vampy makeup, slicked hair, and one great black dress.
Harper Lee In Capote
Embrace your no-nonsense side with Lee's classic, 1960s American sportswear look. Your most sensible slacks and blouse should do the trick. Leave the theatrics up to your bestie, Truman.
Allen Ginsberg In Kill Your Darlings
One more for the poets. Break out your finest sweater vest, blouse, and hipster glasses to emulate the young Ginsberg's East Coast prep attire. Get yourself to the nearest jazz bar and get working on your very own Howl.