by Isabel Butler
It’s already that time of year again; cold days full of christmas markets and dark nights full of hot chocolates - and, most importantly, festive films.
Up until last Sunday, I had never seen ‘The Holiday’ before. But, being one of the most iconic winter binge watches, I had to get in on the action. And I’ve officially decided this year's winter fashion inspiration will be Cameron Diaz. No questions asked.
I loved the film, I’m not sure why it has taken me 20 years to even get around to watching it, and as a fashion fiend, the clothing and style of each different character intrigued me and has definitely inspired my future wardrobe.
In case you’re yet to get in on the action of 2006’s ‘The Holiday’, then let me give you a quick summary. Don’t worry, I’ll avoid any spoilers.
Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, the seasonal film follows two supposedly opposite women whose lives combine when they decide to do a house swap.
Iris Simpkins, played by Kate Winslet, is a society columnist for the Daily Telegraph - working in London but living in a cosy cottage in a small village on the outskirts of the big city.
Contrastingly, Amanda Woods, played by Cameron Diaz, is the owner of a successful movie trailer production company and lives lavishly in LA.
To make a long story short, due to struggling love lives Simpkins and Woods trade places for the festive period; taking the opportunity to learn more about themselves. You get the idea, so I’ll leave it there to avoiding ruining the magical moments you’re yet to see.
Now, onto the fashion. A primary focus due to the one and only Marlene Stewart, who’s won awards such as the first MTV Video Award for Best Costume and the Bob Mackie Design Award, being its costume designer.
Stewart has worked on a variety of films across genres, from period to contemporary to sci-fi, and has collaborated with some of cinema's most prominent filmmakers, the likes of which include Ben Stiller and Shawn Levy.
As well as leaving a mark on cinema, Stewart has also contributed to the music world, including several notable Madonna videos like “Material Girl” and “Vogue”. Stewart also designed a contemporary clothing line, “Covers”, which was available across major department stores in America.
As for our focus, ‘The Holiday’, we see Stewart’s knowledge of styling shine in protagonist, Amanda Woods, through a series of different outfits. From roll neck jumpers to chic cocktail dresses, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the best pieces in the fictional LA bigshot’s wardrobe…
Throughout the film, we see Amanda rocking long coats that fall at knee length - some even paired with heels, despite the snow.
When she first arrives at her vacation spot, Iris’ home, Amanda is wearing a black Valentino cashmere coat with white and gold accessories. It screams luxury. And Y2K. Her whole style reflects her lavish life back in LA, and her unawareness of the casual, small-town she’s about to fall in love with.
Later on, we see Amanda in a pale pink coat with cream fluffy accents, yet again showing her glamorous take on everyday life.
Not only does Amanda dress up in style, but she also dresses down in style.
In one scene, we see her in a silky white pyjama set. The shirt-style top shows the power she holds when in LA and reflects the more serious side of her life, and highlights her career-driven focus which has detracted from her love life. When in England, she reverts to more casual sweats whilst keeping up a neutral colour pallet of whites and cream where are often seen in Meyer’s films.
Amanda’s roll neck jumpers and other cashmere pullovers, continue to follow her clean colour scheme, paired with hats and scarves; layering up to create a stylish but comfortable outfit.
Dressing warm yet fashionable can sometimes prove hard, but Stewart, Diaz, and Meyers knew exactly how to combine the two and inspire generations of women.
In an interview with Vulture in 2020, Diaz explained how she and Meyers “collected every piece”, creating a wardrobe for Woods that “was just wall-to-wall cashmere sweaters and coats.”
Putting in a lot of thought to the character, Diaz went on to explain how they “spent the whole day pulling out outfits and putting them together, and talking about scenes and what we would wear, and what my character would wear.”
At the end of the film, when we see all the characters come together to celebrate New Year’s Eve, Amanda’s wearing a small black dress with a lined mesh skirt and chrome look straps.
While the occasion calls for everyone to be dressed to the nines, with each character seemingly in ‘black tie’, Amanda still sticks out amongst the group. With an LA bank account, her clothes ooze expensive, even compared to those she’s with. Despite a new English backdrop and more down-to-earth friends, Amanda’s lavish lifestyle will never leave her.
Much like today, an outfit is incomplete without the right accessories. Amanda can be seen throughout the film in different sunglasses, hats, and bags that elevate casual winter wear into main character energy.
Arguably the most iconic ‘fit in the whole movie, we see her style a cream pencil skirt and black V-neck shirt with an incredibly noughties oversized, black leather and diamond-encrusted belt.
Equally as 2000s coded, an item that constantly reappears is her huge, wrap-around sunglasses. Basic and black, they’re an easy way to level-up any outfit - and hide a hangover.
‘The Holiday’, as a whole, is a feel-good, comfort film that has inspired many of our wardrobes and undoubtedly will continue to do so for years to come.
Amanda Woods’ style embodies timeless fashion investments made of items that can be dressed both up and down. With a neutral colour pallet, it’s easy to put something chic together- inspiring the next generation of capsule wardrobes.
So, when you find yourself searching Pinterest for your next outfit inspiration, we recommend looking up ‘The Holiday’. May we embody Amanda Woods for many winters to come.
Edited by Emily Duff