Legally Blonde Turns 20: Imagining an Elle Woods Pinterest Board

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With nostalgia for this early-aughts classic at an all-time high, enjoy a visual tribute to Reese Witherspoon’s unforgettable, pink-loving character.

It’s been twenty years since Elle Woods taught the world how to bend and snap in Legally Blonde, but her influence still permeates throughout fashion and pop culture. Giant pool floats? She did it first. Going to law school after becoming known as a style maven? Eat your heart out, Kim Kardashian. Toting a tiny dog around in a designer handbag? Also Elle.

Reese Witherspoon, who brought Ms. Woods to life with her bubbly charm and impeccable comic timing, has said that the Harvard-bound sorority girl is still one of the most inspirational characters she’s ever played. “I’ve had more young women come up to me and say, ‘I went to law school because of Elle Woods,’” she told The Today show in 2018. “It’s very incredible to see how long movies can last and how important they can be to young people, generation after generation.”

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon at the world premiere of Legally Blonde in Los Angeles. Image via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

So, how can the rest of us tap (and snap) into Elle’s appeal? Check out the iconic character’s (imaginary) vision board below for ideas.

The Inspiration: Pink Fashion

Images via Christian Berard/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, John Rawlings/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, and Sante Forlano/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock.

Elle’s signature hue was chosen after Witherspoon and costume designer Sophie de Rakoff met with real-life sorority members in Los Angeles before the movie started production. “We knew that she needed a signature color, and we were like, ‘Do we really want it to be pink?’” de Rakoff, told Entertainment Weekly. “‘It’s so on the nose. It’s so feminine. Could we do lavender? Could we do light blue? Is there another color that we could do?’ When we met all the sorority girls, [we knew] it had to be pink.”

Images via Frances McLaughlin-Gill/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, Karen Radkai/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, and Arthur Elgort/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock.

Even after Elle stuns her doubting ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) by getting into Harvard and moves east to attend, her commitment to the shade never wavers. “It was about taking the idea of a wealthy, California sorority girl, and also a character that was very much obsessed with fashion,” de Rakoff said. “What would that look like when she went to Harvard, to the East Coast? How could she be a fish out of water, but still be true to herself? It was always about, ‘What would Elle want to do in this situation?’”

The answer, of course, was to wear pink.

Images via Arthur Elgort/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, Franco Rubartelli/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock, and Guy Marineau/?Condé Nast/?Shutterstock.

(Fun Fact: In addition to establishing pink as an acceptable color for law students to wear to class, Legally Blonde marked the beginning of a years-long collaboration between Witherspoon and de Rakoff. The pair have since worked together on Just Like Heaven, Four Christmases, This Means War, and most recently, Witherspoon’s Apple TV+ series The Morning Show.)

The Inspiration: Tiny Dogs

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

Every superhero needs her sidekick, and Elle found hers in Bruiser, her fashionable and saucy chihuahua. Like any true Southern California dog, Bruiser often coordinated his outfits with his owner. Moonie, the canine actor who played Elle’s loyal companion, was by Witherspoon’s side when she accepted her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. He retired from acting in 2014 and died in 2016, but every chihuahua in a sweater owes him a tip of the dog-sized hat.

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The Inspiration: Girl Power

Elle, like so many real women, contains multitudes—she loves lipstick, sequins, and tiny dogs, but can also stun a judge with her ability to use legal jargon in everyday life. “She was a modern feminist, you know?” Witherspoon has said. “She enjoyed getting dressed up and having her hair done, but she also was fierce and knew what she wanted and was determined to get it.”

Naturally, Elle would paper her vision board with “girl power” slogans.

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The Inspiration: Bright Pool Floats

The video essay that Elle submitted for her application to Harvard only took up about two minutes of the movie’s ninety-six-minute run time, but it was so iconic that it inspired Kim Kardashian, who announced her own plans to study law in April 2019, to recreate the entire thing, blonde wig and all. (Witherspoon, for the record, approved.) Two necessary ingredients? A pristine pool and a large magenta inflatable.

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The Inspiration: Convertibles

Elle refused to give up her kicky convertible after she moved from California to the chilly East Coast, because even a serious law student needs a stylish automobile. In both the original and the sequel, however, her car was one of the few things in her orbit that wasn’t pink. Asked why Elle’s color preference didn’t extend to her vehicle, Witherspoon replied, “I don’t know. That was a big question. I kind of debated that one!”

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The Inspiration: Eye-Catching Shades

No Elle outfit is complete without a stellar pair of sunglasses, even if they’re just perched on top of your head. For proof, see Ariana Grande’s Legally Blonde homage in her 2018 “Thank U Next” music video, featuring a giant purple pair (and her own dog Toulouse as Bruiser).

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The Inspiration: Pink School Supplies

Because Elle Woods would never take her contract notes in a plain black notebook when she could have a pink one. Neither would Amanda Brown, who co-authored the novel that inspired the script, drawing on her own experiences as a fashion-obsessed student at Stanford Law School. In fact, she said she wrote her novel using pink supplies of her own. In a 2003 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown explains, “I wrote it all on pink paper, with my pink furry pen. I finally found an agent who picked it up out of a slush pile because it was on pink paper.”

Images via Shutterstock’s Legally Blonde Retrospective Collection.

The lesson? Always ask yourself what Elle Woods would do!

Pink is fun and so is fashion! Let’s combine the two with these inspiring articles:

Cover image via Tracy Bennett/?Mgm/?Kobal/?Shutterstock.

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