November 20, 2023
It’s officially the “holiday season”, which means it’s unofficially “re-watch season” — the time of year when we return to some of our all-time seasonal favorites. It used to mean pulling out old VHS’s or DVD’s (and praying they were in the right cover), but these days it’s more than likely that it’s googling “what streaming services do I use to watch, Miracle on 34th Street?”.
There’s a certain comfort that comes from the John Hughes-ness of it all. These films feel like a moment captured in time, and they transport us every time we watch them. Maybe it’s because we’ve watched them since our formative years, or maybe it’s because the movies are generally well cast, wonderfully written, and brilliantly scored. But for us, the two things that stand out as much as anything are the costume and set design!
I know—shocking that we would pinpoint style and interiors as something that sends synapses firing and makes us lean in a little more. Life imitates art, right?
We’ve dedicated this site to achieving (er, attempting to achieve) those feelings of coziness, comfort, and relaxation that we see (and draw inspiration from) so much in movies! So it’s only natural that those components would make us feel connected to films we’ve watched over and over again.
Recently, we dressed up as the McAllister’s from Home Alone for Halloween (Sam was Kevin, of course, and Anna’s sister and her husband generously dressed up as Harry and Marv)! As we were skimming through the movie to get inspo for our costumes, it hit us how much the look and feel of the McAllister home, the wardrobe of the wet bandits, and aesthetic of the film as a whole really feel timeless when you see it though a 2023 lens.
Traditional interiors are having a major moment, the 90s feel eternally woven into the fabric of ongoing fashion trends, and the desire for character and warmth in the home feels as prevalent as ever. Certain shots from this movie feel ripped from Ralph Lauren or J Crew catalogues of yore — or heck, lookbooks from FW 2023!
It’s with this perspective in mind that we wanted to revisit some of our favorite old movies and take a look at the fashion and interior choices that feel at home in our world now. We want to point out the best moments, style, and decor that inspires us, and even find ways to replicate pieces of it with products that feel updated for the timeless styles that are apparent in films like Home Alone.
Starting in the suburbs of Chicago makes sense for a lot of reasons; but putting aside the fact that we just dressed up as these characters for Halloween, we have always loved how much this movie nails some of the perspectives of being a kid for so many of us who grew up in the suburbs in the 90s. The house feels like a museum of our childhood homes, or our grandparents house that had the same wallpaper in 2007 that it had in 1987.
The interior design and decor of the house effortlessly pulled in elements of maximalism, art-deco elegance, and gave off all the quintessential vibes of suburban Americana. It isn’t pretentious or gaudy for its cavernous halls, but rather welcoming, home-y, and intentional (all of our favorite things!)
The house itself is a character in the movie, and it’s arguably integral to the plot — it is after all the “silver tuna” Harry had been pining for well before he stood in the foyer in his faux police uniform, and the damsel-in-distress Kevin must save and protect in the end.
Now, imagine the McCallister’s home is a modern saltbox designed home with beige interiors and a minimally decorated space with only neutral colors. How does that change the movie?
Would we really believe Harry and Marv had targeted this home as the one brimming with “odd marketable securities”? Or would it feel more like the ultra-modern 90s home the neighbors from Christmas Family Vacation had?
I mean, would Kevin McCallister still even be the same kid? Imagine a young Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays Kevin instead of Macaulay Culkin, or Ray Liotta plays Harry!
(Okay, sorry, we’re getting too hypothetical here.)
When we moved to NYC, we knew we wanted a major change, so we moved into a high rise with high ceilings, lots of windows, clean lines, and a hyper modern feel. It was such a stark juxtaposition from the charming warmth we grew up with, and it was welcomed for a time. But after a year in a box, we started to feel it was a bit cold for our liking, which is partially what prompted our move to the Upper East Side!
Once we got our hands on a space that naturally felt warm, cozy, and full of charm (er, quirks), our inner McCallister started to spring forth: traditional sensibilities to accentuate all the space already has to offer, a touch of maximalism to add interest, and modern accents to keep things from feeling cluttered or stuffy. We’re obviously a few loud wallpaper choices, hanging paint cans, and loose Micro Machines short of truly replicating the house, but every time we see this movie, we’re given a renewed appreciation for the charm and comfort of it all!
Maybe it’s because the 90s aesthetic has gone from rotating fashion trend to the ongoing blueprint of personal style, but the wardrobe in Home Alone evokes a similar sense of comfort as the set design. The strangely simultaneous sense of nostalgia and familiarity draws straight from the textiles and styling of every character’s clothes that you see!
Even though the film was released in 1990, we could wear every single piece that was on screen, and it would be just as elegant and stylish as it was then. And to achieve that level of classicism is a tough assignment. But just in the same way that John Williams’ score and Joe Pesci’s performance stand the test of time, so too do the traditional style choices made in this movie.
It’s not even that any choice is overtly 90s in nature — it’s just a classic, well put together wardrobe dripping with prep, ivy, and traditional workwear styles (all of which are replicated again and again by fashion houses, established brands, and boutique designers all over the world). The fits of it all are distinctly billowy and effortless in the way we all envy (not to speak for you, but, I mean come on), and the coat choices are a thing of beauty — the kind of stuff you catalog away for inspiration when you’re searching for that perfect investment coat you plan to hand down to your kids or grandkids down the line.
And the guys knew what they were doing, too.
Uncle Frank was a freeloading jerk, but he had drip. And the wet bandits? Those boys knew how to layer.
The wild thing about looking at some of the wardrobe choices in this film is not that we would wear these things (as if we’re some high fashion, big brained individuals that others may not relate to), it’s that this is what people are generally wearing again. This visual and personal style “vocabulary” is has sort of become the foundation for how people “talk” today.
This realization that recently crystalized for us has made revisiting these old movies that much more fun for us this Holiday season, and we hope it will be for you, too!
If there are any films or tv shows that you find you want to use elements of in your own life, I recommend screenshotting scenes of things you like, or pinning things to a Pinterest board, and then create a mood board for all of these elements you love. (Canva is the ultimate place for a digital mood board in my opinion!)
But don’t forget to bring your own uniqueness in it! Like with anything in personal style, it’s not about copying and pasting a lookbook onto yourself because you like it. It’s about finding the combination of things that makes you feel comfortable and excited to get dressed every day.
What are some styles or fashion from tv or films that you all enjoy? We’ll be sharing more of our favorites throughout the holidays! (In fact, next up is The Holiday!)
*Disclaimer: We do not own any of the imagery from the film Home Alone used in this post.