Even though the movie Purple Rain came out only a year after my birth, it was one of my favorites growing up. Fortunately, my father was also obsessed with the movie so my young age didn't make me miss out on the amazing outfits that rules the screen. The death of Prince on Thursday marks a sad day in both the music and the fashion industry; Prince leaves behind a legacy of iconic outfits and hits that bridged the gap between soul and pop music, a gap that was particularly large in the '80s. In 1984, Prince landed his debut acting role as "the Kid" in Albert Magnoli's Purple Rain, which featured several songs and concert clips from the artist — and that meant clips of Prince in all his fashionable glory. Despite "the Kid" being one of the worse men one could ever date, (seriously, Apollonia put up with way too many of his dark demons) his glamorous attire made him irresistible to the ladies.
Prince was not the only fashion forward dresser in Purple Rain. Most of the cast had outfits that we'd pay a shameful amount to purchase at a thrift store. As we remember one of the greatest legacies in pop culture, let us not forget the movie Purple Rain: a movie ingrained in the minds of Prince fans everywhere, a movie where the stagy lines and outfits left a lasting impression in the '80s that will live on forever in Prince's legacy.
1. Apollonia's Negligee
Let's start with the outfit that IMO, is my ideal outfit to wear on a fancy night out. Apollonia debuts her band in a lace negligee, garter, and friggin' kills it on stage. Can't say the crowd's reaction would be any different had she lacked talent; she looked damn good that night.
2. Morris Day's Gold Blazer
Morris' character (cleverly named Morris) may have been jealous of P the Kid's growing popularity and hot girlfriend, but he needed not be jealous of his blazer game. Morris donned this glitzy blazer while performing on-stage and doing some pretty hilarious dance moves. Oh, and those high-wasted pants are everything that was right and wrong with the '80s.
3. Prince's Motorcycle Boots
Even in this decade, the search for the perfect pair of boots can be a real struggle, especially, when you don't have access to the Kid's perfectly heeled, pointed shoes that he angrily road on his motorcycle. TBH, these boots are a find that would clear up all the emotional pangs of growing up. Just not for the Kid — he still did a fair amount of pining and wallowing despite these cool ass shoes.
4. These Red Fishnet Sleeves
Don't worry, I've already started an aggressive campaign to make fishnet sleeves a thing again, because there really isn't a piece of clothing that looks this good and has this little relevance to your outfit. I suggest matching your eye makeup with your fishnets as Lisa Coleman has effortlessly done above.
5. The Kid's Opera Shirts
Prince not only brought his music to the big screen in Purple Rain, he also brought an array of opera shirts that made most of his outfits complete. These shirts are the opposite of sensible attire while performing, but when you think of Prince, you know this image burns in your memory.
6. Sensible Rehearsal Outfits
These two-piece ensembles scream '80s. Honestly, if all the work-out gear in stores looked like this, I'd probably be at the gym more often.
7. The Kid's Clunky Vest
This vest looks heavy AF, but that's no problem for Prince or The Kid. Studded, bedazzled, and spiked, this article of clothing says "elegant badass" like no other accessory ever could.
8. Apollonia's Motorcycle Outfit
Let's focus on the coat: It's a peplum style with shoulder pads and a swallowtail for those nice days where you take the bike out and still want to look like your fave vampire. The low-cut shirt underneath may not make any sense when you're on the bike, but I think we learned that many things in Purple Rain leave us with more questions than answers.
9. Prince's Infamous Purple Coat
This coat has been through a lot... maybe more than any of the characters in the movie. It saw the big stage, it was tossed around during foreplay, and it got to see its fair share of violence. Still, this studded coat was one of the best blazers in Purple Rain and I'm sure remains in mint condition.
10. The Kid's Motorcycle Gear
This was the Kid's favorite outfit, I'm sure of it, because he wore it in several scenes and it's the image that I think of when I think of Prince in Purple Rain. Literally dripped in leather with a studded belt and scarf, Prince looks like the man of my dreams in this gothy outfit.
11. The Crowd's Accessories
Wearing a studded choker around your neck was to the '80s what wearing a flannel wrapped around your waist was to the '90s, but let's not overlook the matching hat and blazer here either. I've never seen another outfit that was simultaneously ideal for watching a concert, attending a baptism, or going on job interview.
12. Morris Day's Suit Game
Morris Day's suit game was going strong in Purple Rain. The outrageous lapels and uncomfortable fabric were not new for Morris, who often had some of the best suits in the '80s, making the rivalry between him and The Kid extend beyond music and into fashion.
13. This Mesh Tank and High-Waisted Underwear Outfit
Let's end with one of my personal favorites: belted, high-waisted undies paired with a mesh tank top. This was pretty much what I would perform in if my ska band in high school ever took off. This outfit is bold, '80s-appropriate, and sexy as all hell. If you ever find yourself doubting that you can pull off mesh, remember the only rule for wearing mesh is loving mesh.
It's a sad day for the industry, but I'm thankful to have this excellent film around to watch forever.
Images: Warner Brothers