Here’s a confronting thought: you have aged 15 years since the greatest era in pop culture history. The year was 2004, Bennifer (Lopez edition) had just broken up, Mean Girls was making its debut and Ryan Gosling affirmed his heartthrob status with the The Notebook. As for Hilary Duff, of Lizzie McGuire fame, well, she was on top of the world: 16 year-old and acting opposite One Tree Hill superstar, Chad Michael Murray.
Yes, this week, A Cinderella Story, one of the greatest teen romantic comedies that thrust the band Hinder into existence, celebrated a decade and a half anniversary since its release. At the time film was a smash success—grossing almost four times its budget—and since, its risen to cult status. It was a film for teens in the IMing-era, chronicling the early days of online relationships far before the arrival of Tinder or even Facebook.
While the film’s plot stays true to its name—structured around the school’s favorite jock, the evil stepmother and the always kind, hard-working, long-suffering, beautiful invisible girl—it was anything but cliché, and the same can absolutely be said of its looks. Whether it was Sam’s paired-down chic, Fiona’s Y2k extravagance, or the co-ordinating California-inspired outfits of the movie’s mean girls, there were some big style takeaways from the film, and we rounded up the best of them.
Underwear as outerwear
Lace-trimmed camis traditionally worn as underwear instead paired with a low-rise jean? Don’t mind if I do. Now every time you see a bra-top, a corset or a satin slip dress on the town, know A Cinderella Story came first.
Fur-trim never goes out of fashion
The Josie And The Pussycats-cum-Jennifer Coolidge flared sleeves, fluff-hem aesthetic was pulled straight out of the bedroom wear and into mainstream style. It wasn’t long before it was everywhere in the early ’00s, and the legendary actress only cemented its status. To this day, one could don a garment with a fuzzy hem and turn heads for fashion forwardness.
Big choker energy
Where would Sam be without her trademark accessory? Her pendant choker is the ultimate boho chic statement—screaming, I’m a Cali girl and couldn’t care less. No wonder the style has enjoyed several comebacks since (that is before fast fashion canceled them for all of us). We eagerly await its next renaissance.
Suits and separates
The co-ordinating sets, long collars, buckle-up fasteners, lace-up features and, of course, fluff hems, is this A Cinderella Story or an I.AM.GIA campaign?
Cargo pants as casual wear
Long before your favorite influencer opted for cargo pants, A Cinderella Story made military-wear chic. These baby pink cargo pants would absolutely still hit today, and frankly, we wish we had a pair.