5 Winter Outfits Inspired by Jo March from Little Women
by Veronica Rush
So. I saw Little Women. First of all, I’m not too proud to say that I totally cried my eyes out in public. Me and the stranger sitting next to me are definitely bonded for life now after witnessing each other ugly-cry. Not to mention, with this being my first ever experience with any version of Little Women, Jo March, played by Saoirse Ronan, is now my new favorite female character, like, ever. Most inspiring however, were of course, the outfits.
While costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, already gave the girls a more modern spin, I wanted to challenge myself to try bringing the costumes even further into the modern day. So read on for some serious style inspiration and don’t worry, there are no spoilers, only great outfits ahead.
From the moment I saw Jo March in the first scene, I knew I had to write a piece about her style. Between her effortless hair and the way she plays with menswear, she’s the 1800s equivalent of the “it” girl. For this look, I chose a black peter pan collared dress that even had a little black bow just like Jo’s top.
The hemline of the dress being so short really helps catapult it into the modern day but I chose the oxford shoes to give a slightly more vintage feel. Beneath that, I layered my Johnny Cash band tee because honestly, this may just be me totally projecting, but I feel like if Jo were alive today, she’d be a little rock n’ roll. And as a play on her green jacket, I chose my vintage green/gray blazer. The beret I added simply because… well, quite frankly, my hair seriously needed a wash.
I absolutely adored Jo’s layering in this scene, but it was really the scarf that got to me. It’s the perfect pop of color against her more muted wardrobe. Not to mention, I love how Jacqueline Durran artfully uses red to emphasize Jo’s wonderfully firey personality.
My version of the look gets a totally modern, french inspired twist by swapping out jeans for the maxi skirt. Being that I didn’t have a red scarf myself, I chose to add the pop of red instead to my headwear… why did that vaguely sound like a Dr. Sues line…? Anywho, I digress.
I had a very similar white button up top that I thrifted a few months ago, and a vintage blazer that felt like a cross between the color of her blazer and the pattern of her skirt. Bonus points for the fact that the interior lining is another shade of red.
I was so excited to add my own scarf to the mix as it gave me an opportunity to do some print mixing, which I adore! It works well because it’s a muted color palette in the same family as the blazer. And to finish everything off, I went with these precious little mary jane flats I just thrifted over some socks for a look reminiscent of Gucci.
This jacket was by far my all time favorite moment in the movie. Jo wears it multiple times and with it’s military-esque structure and embroidery, I found myself wondering if it wasn’t a treasured piece her father had given her from the war.
Being that I knew I already owned something wildly similar, I couldn’t wait to put this outfit together. It started, of course, with this amazing thrifted jacket that almost perfectly resembled Jo’s. I then went for a lacey white minidress with a similar neckline as a play on her nightgown. Finally, I threw on these brown boots to tie the look together.
Fun fact, I originally envisioned the outfit without the pants, (which I still think would be a great look), but as I was changing into this outfit in my car for the picture, I realized there was no way in hell I was bracing the cold New York air barelegged.
And voila, the pants became part of the mixture! Truth be told, I love the overall effect though. This outfit in the movie reminded me of a Free People ad anyway, and dresses with jeans seemed like something Free People would do.
SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:
If this wasn’t some grade A winter style inspiration, I just don’t know what is. A red cape people, A RED. CAPE. Honestly, in a who-wore-it-better competition between Little Red Riding Hood and Jo March, I’d have to vote Jo here.
Sadly, however, I do not yet own a red cape. So my version of the outfit includes this red tie front blazer with a deep V-neck. Inspired by the fabric of Jo’s Skirt, I paired it with this thrifted top coat, which incidentally has some red piping on the interior so it was a wonderful match. I added a tawny colored baker boy cap to like hers and finished off the look with a little navy blue ribbon tied around my neck, not only to mimic the tie of her cape, but also to bring in the blue from her dress.
SIMILAR ITEMS HERE:
I figured I’d finish up with this scene to give us all a bit of Spring/Summer style inspiration as Winter rolls on. The basket bags, the straw hats, the pastel colored dresses. I think I might have actually drooled over these looks when I first saw them.
For my final look, I still wanted to make it Winter appropriate, so I swapped out Jo’s cropped jacket for this white thrifted sweater. Underneath it, I layered a navy gingham dress, and while she’s not wearing that pattern here, we see plenty of plaid and gingham in the movie overall.
I am an absolute sucker for basket bags, but I didn’t want the outfit to be too on the nose. So to modernize it, I chose one of the trendier baskets we’ve been seeing quite a bit of in recent years. I also couldn’t resist adding the woven hat, a perfect way to throw a little Summer into such an otherwise cold weather ensemble. And lastly, for the footwear, I went with these trusty brown boots yet again, which, in this outfit especially, were a near perfect match.
There you have it folks, 5 outfits inspired by Little Women’s Jo March! Which one of these looks was your favorite, and how would you bring these looks into the 21st century? Let me know down below! And if you liked this, you would love my Style Steal series on my YouTube channel where I choose one person whose style inspires me, and attempt to thrift outfits they might wear. Until next time, don’t forget, the world is your runway! 🙂