Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude
As committed WhoWhatWear.com editors, we never turn our fashion switches off. Our clothing-inclined brain is always on alert, which means we detect all sorts of inspiring material while off-duty. Most recently, after a midnight movie marathon, one of our staffers proposed an unexpected but totally dead-on correlation between the fall runways and the cult classic dark comedy, Harold and Maude. We revisited the seventies film (shame, some of us watched it for the first time) to confirm that this idea was pure genius and began constructing today's story.

No doubt we have dreamt up some bizarre and diverse movie muses (like the Sisters Lisbon and Dr. Jones) in the past, but this idiosyncratic love story between a man who stages suicides for attention and a 79-year-old free spirited woman came as a bit of a surprise. Regardless of subject matter, the parallel sartorial themes linking the protagonists to the present day runways are undeniable. The film features a heavily neutral color palette, with accents of plaid, tough fabrics, gray leggings, leather biker jackets, lace-up boots, and more! Even Maude's milkmaid braids prove relevant to contemporary trendsetters. Sure, Maude may have been a crazy old lady, and Harold was definitely in need of more than just his weekly therapy sessions, but the funeral-going duo certainly had style.

As a nod to Maude's penchant for daisies, we chose French Connection's Francoise Flower Dress ($178) as one possible foundation for an outfit inspired by the renegade. Wear it with some of APC's Bordeaux Sheer Ribbed Tights ($70) and Urban Outfitters' Snowball Hoodie Scarf ($38) for a spirited match that's much like the hood of Maude's signature dark brown and purple sweater. Choosing shoes for our H&M (not to be confused with our favorite budget-friendly clothing Mecca, Hennes & Mauritz) look was quite challenging, because the film showcased so many covetable pairs: suede ankle booties, driving shoes, and lots of lace-ups. We happily went with Jeffrey Campbell's Victor Booties ($178), because they suit seamlessly with our aforementioned dress and tights. Another base piece we adore is Topshop's Cord Button Through Mini Skirt ($60)-the warm color and youthful structure are very Maude. Since layers played such a prominent role in H&M, consider adding a vest (we like Heritage 1981's Velvet Pinstripe Vest ($23) to any like-minded ensemble you wear and complete the look with a neutral, preferably double-breasted, trench like Mayle's Belda Coat ($761). We propose a different kind of accessory to conclude this story and your outfit-Totes' Sunflower Umbrella ($16)-as a final ode to Maude's often-worn bright yellow slicker.-Jessica Amento

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