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It’s been nearly 15 years since Miranda Priestley powered her way through The Devil Wears Prada as fashion magazine Runway’s editor-in-chief, but her sleek sophistication, ruthless professionalism and superhuman work ethic have made her an enduring icon. One of the most stylish workaholics ever depicted on screen and a villain you can totally root for, Miranda is never less than impeccably decked out and exquisitely coiffed. Think structured designer jackets, statement jewelry and hair that looks like she’s always fresh from a salon blow-dry. With her penchant for withering one-liners and her ice-queen demeanor, chances are you wouldn’t want her as your boss – just ask Andy, Miranda’s perennially put-upon assistant. But there’s no denying she’s a legend for a reason: she lives and breathes fashion, works round the clock, and is more than ready to eviscerate the entire team when the “Winter Wonderland” spread is less than “wonderful.”
In true villain style (Cruella, anyone?), Miranda more than makes up for her lack of kindness with some of the most iconic outfits put on screen. If you think office wear is all about sleek conservatism or normcore, think again. Miranda’s wardrobe is filled to the brim with big, bold ensembles that hit the sweet spot between serious businesswoman vibes and runway energy, including a parade of unusually tailored pinstriped dresses, sequined jackets and power suits with a twist. She’s been known to go for furs and velvet in lieu of a good winter coat, and prefers animal print to whimsical florals. That doesn’t mean she’s not capable of showing restraint where needed, as evidenced by the devastatingly simple black gown she wears during the gala scene. But on most days, it’s her flair for dialing up the drama without seeming extra that makes her a style icon. Who else except Miranda can pull off a look involving olive-green furs, tinted shades, a designer silk scarf and crinkly leather gloves?
All film stills taken from The Devil Wears Prada
Breaking Down Miranda’s Style, Element By Element
For Miranda, clothes are as much an extension of her personality as a strategic weapon – they command respect. I’ve broken down her most dramatic looks into a number of key elements, from her ever-expanding belt collection and her weakness for statement hoops to her love of the trusty blazer. Incorporate these into your ensemble the next time you need to keep the spotlight firmly on yourself, or when you need a dose of Miranda’s take-no-prisoners energy to get through that morning meeting!
1. Sharp Tailoring and Alpha Energy –
“No, no, that wasn’t a question.”
What Miranda does best is breathe alpha energy into sharply tailored office staples like the white blouse, the pencil skirt and the black blazer. A homage to her pinstriped blazer, this pinstriped dress blends the structural elegance of a blazer with sassy touches like waist cutouts. For boardroom style with high-fashion overtones, stick to classic colors but opt for surprising silhouettes, such as this crisp white shirt with balloon sleeves and this flowy white skirt with prominent ruching and a daring front slit. Before heading out, throw on this high-powered tweed blazer featuring faux pearl buttons – a love letter to Miranda’s millet-colored, bedazzled version!
2. The Power Belt –
“Truth is, there’s no one who can do what I do.”
As Miranda proves, there’s no outfit, plain or extra, that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of her favorite accessory: a statement belt. Pick from the following for a confidence-boosting touch: a super wide, metallic golden belt complete with tonal self-tie detail, a sleeker version centered by a circular golden buckle, a woven alternative featuring a rustic wooden buckle, and a lace-embellished version that creates a waist-slimming peplum effect.
3. Runway Energy and Diva Vibes –
“You have no style or sense of fashion.”
Infused into Miranda’s professional-leaning attire are runway touches that vibe well with the diva-esque side to her personality, including furs in unexpected colors and, of course, that classic black ball gown. With reference to her most arresting looks, I’ve selected four street-style-laden alternatives that will carry you from cocktail hour to post-midnight rendezvous. For a touch of luxe, this party top in apricot-colored velvet can be worn alluringly off-shoulder. For full-on red carpet vibes, slip into this black velvet bodycon mini dress that’s a sassier cousin to Mirada’s floor-length ball gown. You can’t go wrong with a long furry coat in bubblegum pink if you’re seeking a dramatic entrance, but if you’re looking to blend in while still looking chic, this faux fur muff, complete with a silken bow, will provide the perfect finishing touch.
4. Animal Print –
“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”
To show that you mean business, ditch the ditsy florals and go for animal print in all its variations! Cop Miranda’s key look with this sheer leopard print blouse – perfect when styled with a sleek, rust-colored skirt. Alternatively, pair one of Miranda’s favorite crisp white shirts with this classic A-line midi skirt! To up the jungle vibes further, take the sassy, street-style-infused route with this lightweight, zebra print blazer… or embrace hyper-femininity with a modest but chic maxi dress in sea-green leopard print.
5. In-Your-Face Bling –
“Fashion is not about utility.”
Never one to shy away from confrontation, Miranda possesses a jewelry collection that’s similarly bold. Emulate her brassy energy by going for a chunky gold bracelet embellished with faux pearls, or dress up your décolletage with a double-layered necklace comprising a choker and an ultra-long chain complete with a lion head pendant. Push the envelope with statement hoops. For a dose of sleek sophistication, this swirly, faux pearl-encrusted version is just the ticket; for a more extra alternative, opt for this tasseled golden pair instead, which blends vintage vibes with boho energy.
The ultimate boss from hell? Tough love personified? A workaholic who eats her assistants for breakfast? A true professional who’s just scarily good at her job? Miranda Priestley is all these and much more. What’s indisputable is that villain or not, she’s already redeemed herself in the cinematic Hall of Fame with her killer sense of style! And that, as Miranda says, is all.
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