Decoding 8 Retro Zooey Deschanel Looks From She & Him Videos

Attention, inhabitants of Twee Land: Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward aka She & Him recently premiered the video for "Stay Awhile" and it is serving up some seriously vintage realness. The song is a Dusty Springfield cover slated to appear on the album Classics, which is, sure enough, all covers of classic songs. It's perfect since Deschanel, and her musical project, have always been about doing a modern take on the classics. It's just sometimes difficult to decipher what exact decade they're attempting to modernize.

My suggestion? Look to the fashion. Deschanel has a totally retro, hyper-feminine style that is seriously unbeatable on the red carpet, and in her music it tends to blend more seamlessly. Why? Because She & Him is a throwback band, their entire appeal is in creating new doo-wop tunes and covering Smokey Robinson. Let's just say I may have written a 13 page paper on it in college, and it may have gotten an A. In short, the devil is in the details, and if you pay attention to Deschanel's outfits in her, you can suss out what throwback vibe the duo is trying to achieve in each of their videos.


Here's a quick guide using eight classic Deschanel looks from all eight She & Him videos.


SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: Pale long-sleeved dress with a ruffled collar, black tights, flower barrette, excessively grainy filter.

Overall Throwback: While the dress is '60s reminiscent, maybe even bleeding to the early '70s, the cinematic prowess is straight out of the 1903 silent film "The Great Train Robbery." Way too arty and distracting me from what is probably a very cute outfit. Unacceptable.

"In The Sun"

SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: White shirt with peter pan collar, black tights, black flats, brown belt, teensy pearl necklace.

The Throwback: Both looks are supposed to be sort of a take on schoolgirl-with-a-modern twist thing since the video, you know, clearly takes place in a school. There's kind of a '50s vibe going on overall, but a lazy, noncommittal '50s vibe. Yes, the dancers in the backgrounds are wearing neckerchiefs, but are they really owning those neckerchiefs?

"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here" (Original)

SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: White long sleeved trapeze dress, silver mary janes, hair ribbons, cartoon birds.

Overall Throwback: She actually has a LOT of costume changes in this one, many of which involve cowboy boots, but I'll focus on the primary look. It's very much a late 1960s dolly look, very girlish and innocent. The cartoon birds, ghosts, and blood almost reinforce the late '60s idea by make it sort of a triply venture. That, or cartoon birds actually just flock to Deschanel whenever she sings, because she is basically a real-life Disney Princess. Very valid theory, I think.

"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here" (Steamy 500 Days of Summer Version)


The Look: Full-skirted embroidered gray-blue dress, embellished baby blue cardigan, matching blue headband, pearl bracelet, taupe mary janes.

Overall Throwback: Deschanel's dress is straight-up '50s, in fact I'm willing to put money down that dress is actually a vintage piece (10 dollars, who's feeling lucky?). The dance she does with the love-of-my-life Joseph Gordon-Levitt, however, is totally a blatant homage to the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rodgers dance routines of the '30s. Let me tell you, those dances got people out of the Great Depression, and this dance gets ME out of my great depressions. Baby animals videos work too.

"Don't Look Back"

SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: Geometric, high-neck blue mini dress, black-and-blue striped tights. (True Life: I owned about 50 pairs of those tights when I was 13)

Overall Throwback: WELL, it's supposed to be about the "future," but it (unshockingly) reads like a take on the '60s. So like, The Jetsons version of the "future."

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: Red baby dress, red bow, mary jane heels (possibly Louboutins due to the red soles)

Overall Throwback: This Christmas ditty is from the '40s, so the animated music video has a loose '40s feel to it. The gender roles are reversed, but it's still next-level creepy. Sorry, guys, no matter how many times I watch Elf I just can't get behind this song.

"I Could've Been Your Girl"

SheandHimVEVO on YouTube

The Look: Pink dress, blue crinoline, yellow flats.

Overall Throwback: TOTALLY a stab at the brightly colored, 5-minutes-before-the-Beatles early '60s. We're talking Bye Bye Birdie territory.

"Stay Awhile"

The Look: Pearlescent slippers, light blue dress with halter top and bubble skirt

Overall Throwback: I mean, the video itself is '50's all the way, but that dress has me all confused. I would worship it for the sparkly bodice alone and the modest halter is VERY '50s, but the bubble skirt? A slightly mullet bubble skirt? It throws off the whole video for me.

Images: Youtube; Giphy