How to Dress like Beth Harmon | The Queen's Gambit

To the surprise of many, I use to be a little chess nerd and competed in countless tournaments from 7-12.  There was a point in my life where I had stocks of chess books, had chess classes/clubs 2-3 times a week, and watched/read every chess-related publication.  I was your typical nerd and was indeed teased for it. Thus, to see The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis was adapted into a Netflix series was definitely exciting.  Nonetheless, this post isn't a review of the movie, rather, it is to offer advice on how one can channel Harmon's stunning 60s' attire without breaking the bank.  Chess is finally fashionable. 

Colour.  Harmon's stunning wardrobe evolved subtly as the character grew more successful. However, her garments generally stuck to pastels, stones, and neutrals but played with patterns such as plaid or checked prints.  The colours she chose were rarely bold and daring, but soft yet strong.  Having a closet filled with neutrals may appear boring but there is an air of elegance and hardiness in it which tends to go amiss.  It's far easier to put together an outfit as such hues and shades compliment one another effortlessly.  

A-line.  An A-line silhouette is one where it is tight or form-fitting at the top, tapering itself around the hips and outwards; much like the letter 'A'.  This is a very gradual flare that is flattering by synching at the waist, giving the illusion of an hourglass figure, whilst remaining modest.  A line outfit ideas include skater dresses, high-waisted midi skirts, and even high-waisted boyfriend jeans with a narrow blouse or T-Shirt.  Something about this shape screams 'power' and 'femininity' which is what Harmon's character represents throughout the series. 

Scarves.  Whether it's a neckerchief or a hair scarf, it never fails to say Audrey Hepburn or the 60s. I've loved hair scarves and neckerchiefs for the longest while.  A patterned scarf can easily act as a feature piece of an outfit. It's the perfect touch of glamour. 

Layering.  We rarely see Harmon layering in this series.  Albeit the weather permits for midi-skirts and sleeveless dresses, it is undeniably sleek to wear fewer pieces and accessories.  I am guilty for wearing multiple garments at times but Harmon clearly demonstrates that less is more.  She hardly strays beyond a one-piece dress or a midi-skirt and a blouse.  This emulates classic French fashion; simplicity is key. 

Outfit-repeater.  It is clear that Harmon has her favourites for which an extensive amount of credit goes to the stylist, Gabriele Binder.  Especially in this age where sustainable fashion is gaining importance, I really appreciated and loved how we see the same white with black-trim blouse or beige turtle neck jumper reappear in subsequent episodes.  It's unreasonable to wear something new everyday!  Capsule wardrobes are ideal, particularly when one is jet-setting across the world to Fashion capitals such as Paris for a tournament.  It also emphasises the versatility of certain garments; you can wear them in the comfort of your own home, to a formal event, or when meeting friends. 

Collars.  We often see an array of collars: bowtie, Peter pan, turtle neck, or or low cut V-line. The detail of the monochrome outfits rests in the collar.   We see a stunning pussy-bow when Harmon is in Paris, about to face Borgov with a mean hangover, or beautiful Peter Pan dresses and blouses paired with a swinging 60's skirt.  

Trimming.  Chanel piloted the stunning contrast-border we often see in the high-street and in this show.  It is evidently classy and chic.  It requires little to no accessories or prints as it is a statement in itself.  We see this theme running through the character's wardrobe as the series progress.  

And there you have it.  It is very easy to dress like a glamorous chess champion, without having to be a chess grandmaster or shop designer.  

Thank you for reading!

All images courtesy of Netflix.

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