Let’s dress like we’re in The Parent Trap

If you were a child of the 90s, you probably loved the movie The Parent Trap. I absolutely did. And I still do!

In fact, while I was trying to fall asleep the other night, I started thinking about the film and realised just how great the costumes were. Some people count sheep, I count sartorial successes.

Seriously though, the film is 20 years old and a lot of the outfits are 2018-appropriate. That’s pretty impressive for a 90s movie – as much as I love Clueless or 10 Things I Hate About You, I wouldn’t seriously fancy rocking Cher’s pink fluff or Kat’s cargo pants.

Grab a cuppa and a biscuit. Get comfy. We’re about to take a trip to 1998: 

Californian and cool vs London and ladylike

The genius costuming begins (props to the wonderful Penny Rose) when we first meet Hallie and Annie at summer camp. Their outfits introduce them perfectly.

Hallie is all about that laid-back Californian cool in shorts, a denim jacket and sneakers. (Side note: I really want those sunglasses and that golden retriever.)

Annie, on the other hand, is serving prim-and-proper Englishness in a checkered two-piece and Chanel-esque capped-toed pumps.

Note the matching hairband. And the hip-bumping butler. If you don’t have a choreographed handshake in your life, now’s the time to develop one.

While a two-piece skirt suit isn’t the most 2018-friendly, I spotted a checked trouser suit on the lovely Liv Purvis the other week. It’s the latest thing on my ‘but I need it‘ list.

When I first watched The Parent Trap, I wished I could dress as cool as Hallie and, to be honest, I’d still wear her outfit. Can you go wrong with checked shorts, oversized denim and a T-shirt? No, it’s a classic.

Are you Team Hallie or Team Annie? Shop below:

Camp style

Even though they’re wearing camp uniforms, Annie still looks prim and old-fashioned and Hallie looks modern and cool. Two very different vibes, just by contrasting a polo shirt with crew neck T-shirt, and tucking something in rather than leaving it out.

How many times have you seen that knotted-bandana-as-a-hair-accessory look on Pinterest? I would absolutely do that if I could just work out how to tie it.

And my favourite look from the movie? Or any movie ever?

Forget Belle’s golden gown or Holly Golightly’s little black dress, I’m all about Hallie’s bottle-green varsity jacket.

You know when they’re all playing poker and you hear: ‘I’ll take a whack at it’?

Enter Hallie Parker, with Bad To The Bone as her soundtrack and a sock (?) full of loose change swinging in her hand. The jacket, the sunglasses, the bad ass attitude: Lindsay Lohan has never looked cooler.

The Hallie Parker starter kit:

Villains are always stylish

Ah, Meredith. She’s beautiful, she’s stylish, and she’s basically a garbage human being. Or maybe she’s just a misunderstood PR exec with a penchant for red lipstick?


As kids, we hated Meredith on sight. But let’s be honest, as adults, wouldn’t we all like to look and dress like her?

Elizabeth James is a queen

The wonderful Natasha Richardson, who plays Hallie and Annie’s mum, is a stark contrast. She’s also beautiful and blonde, but she has a much softer look than Marilyn, I mean, Meredith. She’s all about the neutral, natural shades.

This white’n’beige outfit she wears to wander around London is a prime example:

Props for the busting out the pastel blue suit, Hallie-pretending-to-be-Annie. It’s a bold look, but I can almost guarantee you will see similar on the High Street this year (there’s definitely an eggshell blue suit in Zara right now). Ditto Elizabeth’s off-white overcoat.

Matching (sort of)

I’m not going to lie, after watching The Parent Trap, I really wanted a sister to match with. Two years later, I got one – but to be honest, it was hard to coordinate outfits with a baby-gro.

The yellow ensembles are my favourite of the coordinated outfits. Hallie-pretending-to-be-Annie looks all preppy in her headband, Peter Pan collar and cardigan. Annie-pretending-to-be-Hallie is a bit cooler with her patterned sleeveless top. And glasses on a chain? Will that be a thing again?

Being twins, Hallie and Annie also wear the exact same thing but in different colours:

Outfits for your twin/sister/best friend:

Into the woods

The last collection of outfits is from the famous camping trip. I just have a few points to make:

1. I love that Meredith turns up in a pastel blue suit (see, it’s athing) and just so happens to have skin-tight gym gear with her. Which is totally what you’d wear to camp in the woods.

2. I’m fairly confident I own Elizabeth’s blue chambray shirt and jeans combo.

3. I’m vaguely obsessed with Hallie and Annie’s outfits. Again.  

What to wear for a camping trip, as told by The Parent Trap:

So, if you’re stuck for outfits this spring, you know where to find inspiration. And to quote Hallie quoting Elvis: ‘Thank you, thank you very much’.

Images: The Walt Disney Company

1 Comment

  1. February 24, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    I love this film. Natasha Richardson's baggy shirt, I agree bring it all back!

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