Pretty Little Liars has grown to become what Huffington Post dubbed as "the best dressed show on TV." Costume Designer Mandi Line takes credit for dressing up the characters that inspire a number of fashionistas and a slew of blogs dedicated to PLL Fashion.
Mandi dishes to Michelle Persad how she achieves the look for each of the PLL's characters, from preppy Spencer (Troian Bellisario) to tomboyish Emily (Shay Mitchell). Here are five of the tips we got from Mandi on how to dress up like our fave PLL character.
1. Mix high-end with low-end items. Mandi sources the outfits for Aria (Lucy Hale) and Spencer in different stores, ranging from Barney's to Forever 21. "I love topping the outfit off with something super affordable because, say I do a $300 top, which I think is too much for our fans, I make sure the accessories are cheap."
2. Don't be afraid of repeating outfits.Mandi is working on a limited wardrobe budget and trailer space for the show so she admits that she repeats outfits for the cast. But she only does that on jackets and bottoms and not on dresses and tops. To pull off this repeating trick, consider spacing highly visible items such as dresses, tops and brightly colored outerwear farther in between wears. Bottoms and dark-colored jackets, on the other hand, can get away with successive days of wear or fewer space in between wears without much notice.
3. Wear clothes you feel comfortable wearing without sacrificing style.Fans love Emily for speaking her mind through her clothes, especially now that she has come out on her sexuality. It's as if Emily is the poster girl for self-expression through fashion. Mandi said she is inspired by the fans writing to her saying things like, "I didn't know how to dress. I didn't know who I was and Emily makes me feel cool being comfortable."
4. Pick one or two items and 'own it.'Take a cue from Hannah (Ashley Benson) who, according to Mandi, does not know what to do without blazer and heels. Pick one or two items that you love and wear it so often that they become your fashion statement and eventually your personality.
5. Dare to break tradition and push boundaries.Mandi describes Spencer's style as "classic with a twist," so she dresses her up in a way that she "looks like she stole something from her mom's closet, yet she went shopping and topped it off with something classic." Hannah goes all-out wild and wears higher heels and shorter skirts as the story progresses. Follow suit by daring yourself once in a while. Maybe one day you can wear your prepster outfit with an eye-popping neckpiece. The next day you can throw in an shocking jacket underneath your black dress.
Click these links for style inspiration from your favorite Pretty Little Liars characters: