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Enough with the never-ending 90s revival and the rise of athleisure! Let’s revisit fashion of the 60s with Beth Harmon, world-class chess prodigy and all-round style icon. Dominating almost every frame in the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, Beth’s simple, sleek yet powerful style encapsulates the restless spirit of the era − think carefree silhouettes in classic fabrics, enlivened with countercultural touches. Bringing her pared-down luxe to the chess competition circuit, Beth − played by Anya Taylor-Joy – shows that she’s all about winning in style.
The Queen’s Gambit tracks Beth’s meteoric rise from orphan to chess superstar, and her wardrobe undergoes a similarly radical evolution during that journey. As she heads into the Swinging Sixties, she forgoes the pinafore dresses, circle skirts and wholesome blouses of her early youth for a succession of breezy tees, A-line skirts and shift dresses. What defines Beth’s style is a faithfulness to simple shapes while also embracing far-out trends of that decade. The result? Perfectly balanced ensembles that wouldn’t look out of place today. Her wardrobe is filled to the brim not only with mod dresses in delicate materials that are perfect for cocktail hour, but also slouchy cardis, geometric-print blouses and sleek slacks that bring a maverick touch to weekend wear. Add Audrey Hepburn-esque headscarves, cat-eye sunnies and woollen berets to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for a 60s style icon.
City-hopping around the world is an integral part of the series, and Beth’s sartorial instincts sharpen with every trip. In Paris, she exudes je ne sai quois in a chess-inspired shift dress that’s grown up without losing that gamine touch. Back at the hotel, she settles down in a casual ribbed knit sweater that’s a clear precursor to today’s loungewear. Her final all-white outfit leaves the most dazzling impression. Combining a woollen beret and a structured winter coat with flowing dress pants, our heroine comes across as both regal and chic – a fitting homage to her status as queen of the chessboard.
This time, we reinterpret some of Beth’s most iconic looks with a little help from the YesStyle selection!
How To Dress Like Beth Harmon:
1. The Vintage-Style Blouse
The blouse − simple or embellished − is an integral part of Beth’s wardrobe as she segues from 50s primness to 60s liberation. I’ve chosen a whimsical white one with a cat-shaped collar, a bold design in green and yellow checks, a beribboned one in cream corduroy, and a breezy, V-necked version that nods to the 60s tee. For a head-to-toe 60s look, pair with Beth’s signature navy blue pleated mini to hit that sweet spot between polished and casual.
2. The Mini Dress
Beth’s most arresting looks are a combination of sophistication and foxiness. I try to capture her allure in four mini dresses evoking 60s energy and modern sass. Exude timeless appeal in this navy blue dress embellished with white contrast piping and gold buttons, or opt for more sex kitten vibes in this form-fitting, bright green piece. In a homage to that 60s staple – the black turtleneck – I’ve picked a bodycon dress with a winter-appropriate collar and a provocative hemline. Another sassy idea is a monochrome tweed dress in a carefree fit that channels the silhouette of the 60s shift dress.
3. The Statement Coat
This winter, invest in a statement coat but do it the Beth Harmon way with vintage details and simple, sharp silhouettes. Take your pick from four versions: a duffle coat in grayish blue, a houndstooth version splashed with pink, a flared version with a lacy collar, and an ivory version that recalls Beth’s final all-white ensemble. Now all that’s missing are some sleek ankle boots and a leather beret!
4. Countercultural Pieces
Venture deep into 60s underground style with slouchier shapes, more casual pieces and bold prints! This monochrome shirt is both modernist and baroque, perfect for a hipster look. Alternatively, try a V-neck vest featuring psychedelic patterns in jewel tones. Pair with classic boot-cut jeans beloved by 60s teens. For cozy vibes, this slouchy, ribbed knit sweater will come in handy, especially during lockdown days!
5. Checkmate Chic
Beth’s wardrobe overflows with subtle references to the chessboard motif. Here, I swap her sleek sophistication for bold, in-your-face appeal while remaining true to the chess theme. To make a head-turning entrance, go for a cropped tee with checkered sleeves or dual-tone pants with allover checks. If you’re feeling bold, extend the chess queen vibes with checkered socks in a mesh fabrication. Or go for this fluffy, Barbie pink cardi!
6. Down Memory Lane
Emulate Beth’s iconic school girl look with this pink, padded pinafore dress before throwing on a burgundy cardi with a frilled Peter Pan collar! Amp up the hipsterish, throwback vibes with a few essential accessories of the era, such as a faux leather satchel and classic black and white oxfords.
Not Your Average 60s Babe
With her lean frame, haughty glamor and penchant for a lunchtime cocktail, Beth may seem to resemble other style icons we associate with the 60s. But her laser focus, fierce ambition and strategic mind clearly set her apart from the crowd – that and her ability to put together a killer outfit at a moment’s notice!
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