All Puffy Coats and No Cute Clothes Make Haley Go Crazy

I’m sure there are a lot of great things about winter, but fashion is not one of them. Everyone gets lost in a sea of slush and blinding flurries and makes the foolish decision to stop caring about fashion and instead focus on, you know, not freezing to death. I just happen to believe that you can do both. I have the perfect film for my inspiration: the stylishly prescient 1980 Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining.

I’m not really a fan of horror movies, but The Shining is a different sort of film. It doesn’t rely on gimmicks or gore; The Shining gets inside your head and really makes you question your perceptions. You can read all about the various symbolic meanings to the film here – is it about alcoholism and spousal abuse? Is it a metaphor for the oppression of Native Americans? Is the Overlook Hotel really haunted, or was Jack Torrance a murderous psychopath all along?

Kubrick was not exactly known for being an easygoing kind of director; he was more of a “demanding-hundreds-of-takes-until-Shelley-Duvall-cries” kind of director. I doubt that wardrobe just happened – it’s much more likely that Kubrick was trying to send the audience visual clues about his characters, at the very least that they are the classic Midwestern lower-middle-class family. Kubrick wants you to watch and think that could be me. And then preferably sleep with the lights on for the following week. The film had the opposite effect on me… I still slept with the lights on for three nights after watching it, but the clothes only inspire my winter outfits. The Torrance family is dressed in such a stereotypically normal style that I find the message goes all the way around and becomes subversively fashion. If nothing else, I just really respect their commitment to fashion even in the face of certain death.

The Torrance family really excel at that Midwest collegiate look – tweed and cable knit for texture, lots of browns and navy blues for colour, key to every struggling writer’s wardrobe.

Wendy Torrance has her best outfit when she first arrives at the Overlook Hotel. I love the cream turtleneck under the corduroy blazer and her skirt is just the perfect length for her boots.

My other favorite Wendy Torrance outfit comes after the phone goes dead – a yellow sweater and flared blue jeans. I couldn’t get a close up, but I think she might be wearing CLOGS. Clogs! So fashion forward. This is exactly the sort of 1970s look that I love.

The real sartorial star of this movie, though, is Danny. He has a seemingly never-ending wardrobe of letterman jackets, hand-knit sweaters, and plaid button-up shirts that I would gladly steal.

I’m not going to recommend accessorizing with knives though.

I feel it is my responsibility to remind you that warmth and fashion can go hand in hand, and to please keep not freezing to death high on your list of priorities. Gloves, scarves, and hats are necessary for surviving the winter. Don’t repeat Jack Torrance’s fatal mistake.

- Haley Mlotek

13 thoughts on “All Puffy Coats and No Cute Clothes Make Haley Go Crazy

  1. Haley, I love this. The Shining became one of my favorite films after watching it in a Gothic Literature course, but I wish we had of taken this satorial take on the film.
    Danny’s costumes are pretty perfect, especially the Apollo sweater.

  2. This is awesome! I wish I could have gone as Danny for Halloween when I was a little kid now that I know his style. Plus, I didn’t realize until now that Scatman Crothers looks like he belongs on a yacht with his navy blazer and pocket square.

  3. Shelley Duvall is aesthetically AWESOME in this movie. Her romper dresses and high collars are fantastic. I also seem to remember something with amazing, Victorian mutton sleeves. When you pair those collars and turtlenecks and long skirts and boots with her crazy-long limbs and enormous eyes, she’s the world’s most stylish Praying Mantis. It’s exactly right for a film like this.

    The thing that makes Danny so kickass is his amazing non-fashion practicality. He’s not some nascent hipster adult, you know? (I realize that makes me sound like an old person. Bah Humbug. I don’t care.)


  4. This post is brilliant! I’ve seen the Shining so many times and never think of it from a sartorial perspective (maybe because i watch it through the spaces between my clamped together fingers) but you’re right: Danny’s outfits are FLY!

  5. That yellow sweater is a trip, and I think vintage. I have been doing a little bit of research on green version, embroidered, appliqued with sequins that dates to about the 1940s and was made in Mexico for the tourist market. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Coincidentally, I watched The Shining for the first time last week in ages and had the exact same sentiments regarding Shelley Duvall’s outfits. Didn’t really take into consideration Danny’s style though – I think I was too concerned for his mental health to take into consideration his physical appearance. I love when collars peek out from underneath knit sweaters, odd I didn’t notice it. Danny works it well.

    Also, some people might not agree, but the outfit she was wearing when the doctor visits Danny is also fantastic.

    Awesome post.

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