One side effect of a streaming culture that demands new, better, faster content for an increasingly thirsty viewership is that more YA novels are getting adapted into television series and movies. The most obvious and successful example of this is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but there are others. It’s nice to see a once derided literary genre become lauded. That said, I knew All the Bright Places, a Netflix film adaptation of Jennifer Niven’s New York Times best-seller, would probably be: a) charming, b) the kind of thing to make me cry in the office. I was not disappointed.
Besides being delightful and depressing, the movie is surprisingly well-costumed. As Jezebel’s Emily Alford recently pointed out, teens on Netflix tend to dress like aging hipsters, and All The Bright Places lives up to that expectation with expertly curated outerwear. Look at the couple in the image above. Elle Fanning (Violet Markey, the film’s protagonist) has no shortage of killer coats and patterned sweaters. Her beau Justice Smith (Theodore Finch) is a little less inventive, but sharp nonetheless. These are supposed to be teenagers and they dress better than me, now, at almost 30 years old. It’s as if they located the best thrift store in their town instead of looking like a bootleg Nirvana, which was most of my wardrobe in high school.
Exhibit B: Different neutral overclothes, but this time, it’s a tweed peacoat. Violet’s perfect argyle sweater is buttoned up all the way as if to say, “Yes, it’s junior year, I’m really into Wes Anderson now, but I could be into any twee director, someone obscure and French. You wouldn’t know her.” Theodore’s wearing a hunter green coat with a round collar that screams Carhartt. He looks expensive and effortless, two words I do not associate with adolescence. That’s on me.
In this particular scene, Violet and Teddy drive to visit a friendly man who has built his own tiny rollercoaster, which he keeps in his yard for curious travelers to test out. It’s quaint middle-America stuff, so no wonder she is dressed straight out of a Lord & Taylor catalog. On the other hand, I love Teddy’s ’70s jacket so much and I know Harry Styles would, too. Another observation: they’re supposed to be in Indiana, and I need to know if it is always just light-jacket-perfect weather in Indiana. If so, I’m moving. Buttigieg be damned.
This may be the same trench from the previous scene, but here’s a better shot—it’s reversible! She’s wearing it with a turtle neck top and a Scottish plaid skirt, like a character from Paddington! It’s adorable!
This is a similar look, but a different colorway. I do not remember kids in my classroom wearing such incredible clothing, or being so emotionally mature. Please note the t-shirt and jeans-wearing kids at their desks. Those basic boys and girls are my people.