Some Kind of Wonderful
In my years as an 80s film fan, I have found there is one teen-romance-drama movie that usually separates those who are in love with the genre from those who merely dabble in it. That film is Some Kind of Wonderful (1987).
This might be because Pretty in Pink, which was released the year before in 1986, had similar themes. High school social hierarchy, a teen from the wrong side of the tracks falling for someone considered the most popular, and a best friend who steals every scene. Both films were also written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch. Personally, I love both of these films, but for this installment, I decided to give this more underrated film a spotlight.
What sets Some Kind of Wonderful apart from its predecessor? Your heart will go out to the popular girl Amanda (Lea Thompson), because she definitely needs to get out of destructive relationship with rich and possessive Hardy (Craig Sheffer). You'll swoon over Keith (Eric Stoltz) who crafts one of the most epic dates in 80s cinema. But in the end, the one part of this film that will win you over, again and again: Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), a badass girl drummer with clever dialogue, who represents so many of us who guard our feelings and silently crush away, not to mention doing it all in effortless tomboy style.
That's why for me, when I think of Some Kind of Wonderful fashion, it always comes back to Watts. In a year which continued with Aquanet hair paired with pastels (skin-tight or loose), Watts was the girl who bucked trends and stayed true to herself. She is a beacon for those of us who love our hair short, our denims, and our basics. She may wonder what it's like to be Amanda, but in the end, she doesn't show up at the end wearing a pink dress. Instead she wears a suit with a driver's hat. She was the essentially the 80s version of a Teddy Girl and for that I will always be grateful for Watts.
For those starting back to school, I suggest taking a page out of Watts' book and wear what you like, no matter what's on trend. Below I have curated six essential pieces that can mix and match to create Watt's style and looks. As always, I select vintage / thrifted pieces to curate these looks (for both environmental and ethical reasons).
From top to bottom/ left to right: 1) a black vest. 2) a comfortable blue tank top (could also be in white) 3) A bandana (bonus if you can find one in blue and red). 4) A pair of red driving gloves. Fingerless leather gloves are slightly more difficult to find vintage. You could opt for black or you could alter a pair of kid gloves, as seen here. 5) Not just any black leather jacket will do, you will want a cropped leather jacket to emulate Watts. 6) Lastly, a pair of Bermuda shorts. You could create your own by cutting up a pair of jeans, but you could also thrift a pair as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week.