The Queen’s Gambit starlet is a fashion icon in the making.
The Queen’s Gambit starlet is a fashion icon in the making.
This is the show that made chess sexy: The Queen’s Gambit. Amidst all the very stressful competitions and drunken nights, a style star emerged. During the seven-part miniseries, main character Beth Harmon transforms into a true fashionista, taking down her opponents in expertly designed mini dresses.
Many viewers, including me, had the same thought: how do I put their gaze on my body? Don’t ask me anymore, we have an answer.
Styling for The Queen’s Gambit was created by Berlin stylist Gabriele Binder. She was inspired by icons of the 50s and 60s, including Jean Seberg, Edie Sedgwick and later the Biba style. Some things remain constant for Harmon over the decades: his love of checks (a reference to the chessboard), his bright red square and his adorable necklaces.
Here are a few things to watch out for if you’re trying to mix a little Harmon into your look.
Beth’s makeup changes a lot over the course of the show, a symbol of her growing maturity. She normally goes for a classic ’60s look, a bold lip, and a winged lining. There is only one point where she tries a really wild style, pictured above. The makeup team claims it was in fact meant looking bad, as contextualized by his night of heavy drinking and spiraling. However, I think it’s badass and I tried it myself. We’ll leave it to you to decide. You might like to stick with a single wing.
The first item of clothing Beth can buy with her own money is a plaid maxi dress. Tea length (like tea time, understood?) Is a style that cuts just past the knees. While it’s a bit retro, it’s also universally flattering and unabashedly feminine. Try to take a round skirt or a long tea dress. As Beth shows, the dress can be worn over a blouse. You can also store it under a sweater or jacket. In the 1950s, they had fewer rooms in their closet and thus knew how to make them versatile.
Adopt straight lines
Beth really took the fashion leap in the ’60s, the decade of the anti-hourglass. Straight-cut jackets, sweaters and dresses dominated, all shown on Beth during the show. While in stark contrast to our current curvy-obsessed society, a straight cut can often be very flattering, especially on the mini dresses that Beth loves so much. His also often feature geometric patterns or prints.
Refine your interior clothes
Even at home, Beth still manages to look dashing. She often pairs plain black pants with a square sweater or t-shirt. Minimalism is the key to a refined style, so try investing in a few relaxed pieces that can be tweaked through a number of different outfits. A well-fitting pair of pants will serve you well and dress up any top. A soft, quality sweater with subtle details can really tie the whole look together. Here Beth is wearing a cream top with buttons at the neckline. Slip on a pair of loafers and this look is ready to hit the streets.
Switch to monochrome
Here is a trend that is still relevant today. Monochrome is the easiest way to create an outfit that catches the eye. Beth uses this technique frequently. Here she is in an all white look, although at other times she can be seen all black. Anna Wintour has famously said that the one thing she would never wear is all black, but on the other hand, this is one of Audrey Hepburn’s most famous styles. And who are we to chat with Audrey? Beth takes the trend to the next level by including her accessories, a pair of healed boots and a beanie, in her monochromatic scheme.
If there are two things you can count from Beth Harmon in her rotation (besides checks obviously), it’s Peter Pan scarves and necklaces. Beth mainly chooses to tie her scarves around her head and let the tails fly from her bob. Peter Pan collars appear on everything from dresses to that button-down cardigan. Again, these details are proudly feminine, just like Beth. She shows that ferocity and femininity can go hand in hand.
If you want even more tips on how to dress like Beth, you can’t go wrong nodding at her muses or her classic mid-century sensibilities.
Credits: Photos courtesy of Netflix.
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