Every Outfit Selma Blair Wears In Legally Blonde, Ranked

Vivian Kensington’s style is classic New England prep with a dash of dark academia.

Two of Selma Blair's best outfits from Legally Blonde

When we first meet Selma Blair’s character Vivian Kensington in Legally Blonde, she wears a powder-blue Oxford shirt and sweater vest set, accessorized with a pearl necklace and navy velvet headband. It’s the perfect ‘fit to cruelly dunk on Elle Woods, who just f*cked up a cold call in her very first class at Harvard Law School. Vivian, newly engaged to Elle’s ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III, is positioned as the old-money brunette antagonist to Woods’ West Coast, all-pink-everything heroine.

Hopefully, by now, 20 years after Legally Blonde came out, you know that actually, Vivian and Elle end up best friends. (In fact, an early draft of the script left open the possibility that they’d get together — you know, romantically.) Two decades later, there’s almost no aspect of this truly excellent movie that hasn’t been dissected to bits, except for Selma Blair’s outfits. Vivian’s incredible New England prep looks stand in stark contrast to Reese Witherspoon’s iconic sorority sister style, and deserve no less adulation. And with the rise of #DarkAcademia on TikTok, it’s the perfect time to reexamine Vivian Kensington’s style (especially since Legally Blonde leaves Netflix, devastatingly, on Halloween).

Below, check out every single one of Vivian Kensington’s outfits from Legally Blonde, along with an honest and mostly fair assessment of how great they are.

All Blue Everything


Elle’s first impression of Vivian is this “horrible preppy girl who tried to make me look bad in front of the professor,” as she tells Warner after class. This look is truly the epitome of preppy, in a good way. 10/10 villain vibes.

Earth Tones For Days


This shot — of Elle dunking right back on Vivian in class — shows off Vivian’s absolutely massive pearl-cut engagement ring. The ring feels a little too formal in contrast with Vivian’s brown floral-print blouse, which she pairs with a khaki-colored sweater vest. This look gets a 6/10 for slightly too many shades of beige.

Purple’s Majesty


Anyone who’s read the Clique series viscerally understands the power of purple, particularly in a preppy context. While the stripes on Vivian’s button-down feel a little Abercrombie & Fitch circa 2008, her cozy aubergine angora sweater gives textbook dark academia. Vivian gets an 8/10 for coordination. Her evil henchwoman, whose name I don’t remember or care to look up, gets a strong 9/10 for her extremely patriotic look.

Halloween Party ‘Fit


Vivian is at her meanest when she and her unnamed henchwoman trick Elle into coming to a Halloween party in a Playboy bunny costume. Joke’s on her, because Elle quickly upbraids Vivian for looking “so constipated.” Her look here feels a little bit more business casual than Harvard Halloween, but is redeemed by her cream turtleneck. 6/10.

Argyle Attack


This outfit hurt me in my soul. Though Vivian’s camel-colored shacket is the perfect layer for New England fall, the multiple levels of argyle going on are legitimately offensive. It’s not her sweater, which would be basically fine on its own, but the choice to pair it with a bedazzled hat that’s truly baffling to the point of upsetting. -10,000/10.

Cords On Cable


This is the platonic ideal of dark academia aesthetic. Vivian’s gray-green corduroy jacket gives an edge to yet another cashmere sweater, only this one’s cable knit. Accessorized with a pearl necklace and a withering glare, this is an outfit that’s designed to evoke the crunch of fall leaves and the tears of first-year students. 14/10.

Coordinating Layers


I love this outfit because for one, Selma Blair really looks amazing in this shade of blue. For another, the woman is layering a turtleneck sweater with another sweater. 9/10 for simplicity and for warmth.

Improved Argyle


Now this is a proper use of argyle. The brown and beige sweater vest warms up Vivian’s starched white button-down, and her signature strand of pearls peeks out from under her collar. 8/10.

Super Casual Bedtime Look


Another excellent periwinkle sweater shows up when Vivian pops by Elle’s room to compliment her integrity in handling Brooke Wyndham’s alibi. While a cashmere sweater and pearls wouldn’t be my casual nighttime dorm look — in the same scene, Elle wears an oversized Harvard sweatshirt — Vivian manages to look at home in a Kennedyish sort of way. 7/10.

Cardigans For Callahan


This outfit is best described as fusty — all the better to match Vivian’s ‘tude in this scene. (Again, I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie; it’s after Vivian walks in on Professor Callahan groping Elle, which she incorrectly interprets as Elle sleeping her way to the top.) Though Vivian sports really great turtlenecks throughout the film, the combo of this thin striped number, paired with an even thinner v-necked cardigan, feel as ungenerous as Vivian is in confronting Elle. 2/10, despite the hint of velvet headband.

Courtroom Elegance


This might be my favorite of Vivian’s looks. In this courtroom ‘fit, a somber black turtleneck and gray glen plaid jacket bear witness to Vivian realizing that actually, she was wrong about Elle and Callahan. (Perhaps she was wrong about Elle, period!) 9/10 for the look itself, 10/10 for the emotions behind it.

Graduation Gown


Speaking of emotions! The movie ends by cutting to Harvard graduation in 2004, where we learn that not only are Elle and Vivian best friends by 3L, Warner graduates without honors, a girlfriend, or any job offers. Talk about sweet revenge. While you can’t wear this outfit many times besides the last day of law school, it’s the perfect look for an, ahem, perfect day. 10/10.