Ever since seeing the movie An Education and hearing that she, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, may help bring to life one of my favorite novels, The Great Gatsby, I have become obsessed with Carey Mulligan. It’s not only her noteworthy thespian skills, but also her unique, modern take on ladylike retro fashion. The 25-year-old actress always achieves an air of sartorial sophistication, which truly sets her apart from the rest.
While Carey may at times look young and boyish with that super cropped pixie cut, her personal style is the complete opposite, embodying the ’50s ladylike trend, an enduring style that is flirty, feminine and sophisticated.
One would think that Carey would look like a little girl playing “dress up” in her grandmother’s closet or that she ought to be walking down an on old school red carpet. Instead, to the surprise of many, her modern and quirky approach to retro style brings a modicum of youth to her look, making her the envy of fashionistas all over the globe, putting her at the very top of Harper’s Bazaar‘s Best Dressed list for 2010.
Mulligan’s fashion sense lies in somewhere in the balance between modern and retro; between classic and edgy; and between young and old, a miracle elixir which she concocts by mixing and matching retro and modern silhouettes, clothing items, accessories, embellishments, and patterns. By creating a look with contrasting details, Carey truly creates a stand out style.
Check below to get an education in Carey Mulligan style!
1. Make a statement! Although Carey’s looks are mostly classic and minimalist, she always makes sure to incorporate one piece that really makes a statement. Whether she wears a big necklace, modern heels, a funky bag, or a hat, she always manages to add the right item that makes her classic look instantly edgier.
Alexis Bittar ‘Miss Havisham – Modern Georgian’ Statement Necklace, $475. This necklace is big, bold, and beautiful!
Lauren Merkin Caroline Embossed Snake Clutch, $250. This clutch is gorgeous and is the perfect statement piece for any outfit!
2. Modernize the classics! Most of the pieces Carey wears are considered to be classic silhouettes, but she always seems to find classic items that have a modern twist. By choosing embellished or bold patterned classic silhouettes, Carey transforms a classic look into something fresh and new!
Topshop Nude Embellished Gem Mesh Dress, $125. This may look like a classic shift dress, but it is nothing of the sort!
Leifsdottir Strapless Floral Printed Dress, $378. This simple strapless dress is transformed by its adorable pattern into a playful and fun dress!
3. Welcome to the ‘50s! Carey is all about the retro styles—not only do they flatter her figure, but they also look super cute.
Anthropologie En Plein Air Dress, $258. Wear this retro dress and you will look as if you stepped right out of the 1950’s/1960’s!
Zara Brocade Dress, $80. This dress has a super cute retro cut and is shiny—what more could you ask for?
4. Pump it up! Carey’s shoe of choice is definitely the classic pump. Pumps are a great choice to make any outfit instantly chic and sexy!
Sam Edelman Lorissa Spike Pump, $195. These pumps are classic in the front and edgy in the back— the perfect Carey Mulligan balance.
ASOS PUMP IT UP Suede Platform Court Shoe, $98.62. These are almost identical to the pumps Carey wore!
5. Explore new lengths! Carey is all about the knee length or longer skirts and dresses. You hardly ever see her in any short. This spring is all about the midi’s and maxi’s, so why not see how low you can go?
Marc by Marc Jacobs Colorblocked Halter Dress, $598. This dress is long, but still manages to look just as cute and sexy as a short dress would!
Chiffon Double-Layered Full Length Skirt, $58. This long basic skirt is a great classic to mix and match with edgier finds!
– SARA STERNBERG