Film’s Most Fashionable Moms


Happy Mother’s Day to moms of all ilk — cat and dog moms, included. The word “mom” can conjure up some frumpy, matronly images. Moms who keep it super cas’ are ok by us, but the mothers on our film-inspired list have a way of taking fashion to the next level. They’re more interested in sartorial matters. We’ve gathered a few of the most fashionable mothers in movies to pay homage to the mums that have a unique aesthetic. Some of these mothers aren’t very nice, and some of them are downright vile — but, damn, they look good doing it.

Mommie Dearest

Faye Dunaway’s marvelously dressed and malicious Joan Crawford emasculates a boardroom full of executives, destroys her family, and drinks herself into oblivion — all while looking fierce in massive diamond brooches, furs, and shoulder-padded dresses stacked high to heaven.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Only Tilda Swinton’s character could look chic in a pixie cut and her minimalist best while coping with her strange son’s difficult childhood and dangerous behavior.

Stella Dallas

You can take the girl out of blue-collar Massachusetts, but you can’t take blue-collar Massachusetts out of the girl. Mom Stella is the daughter of a factory worker who marries rich and tries to claw her way to the top. She’s criticized for her plain-speaking ways and gaudy dress, but we’re kind of in love with what Barbara Stanwyck’s got going on in 1937’s Stella Dallas.


The game of seduction demands inappropriate footwear and bodycon dresses in David Mirkin’s Heartbreakers, starring a sultry Sigourney Weaver as one half of a mother-daughter con-artist team out to scam wealthy men.

Postcards from the Edge

A former screen legend (Shirley MacLaine) can’t give up the glam and tries to force her struggling actress daughter (Meryl Streep) back into the dark of her shadow. An acid tongue is always delivered best with strands of pearls — at least in her mind.

Imitation of Life

Douglas Sirk’s 1959 race-class melodrama stars a glamorous Lana Turner as an aspiring actress whose daughter — primarily raised by the family’s African-American nanny/housekeeper (Juanita Moore) — develops a crush on mom’s boyfriend while Turner’s character is busy swirling on the stage.

All About My Mother

Cecilia Roth’s Manuela looks stunning in red in Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother. After losing her son, who yearned to know the identity of his father, Manuela travels back to Barcelona to search for her ex-husband — who is now named Lola (Toni Cantó).

Rosemary’s Baby

Mia Farrow’s famous pixie hairstyle has a lot of history behind it — and a recent twist to the tale. From the Hollywood Reporter:

In the film, when asked about her short-short cut, Farrow’s character says, “It’s Vidal Sassoon. It’s very in.” However, it was never in with Farrow’s new husband at the time, Frank Sinatra. Legend has it that Sinatra told Farrow not to cut her hair or there would be repercussions. However, Polanski wanted the haircut. Once Farrow went through with it, Sinatra served her with divorce papers. But the haircut was copied by women all over the world, and it came back in the nineties, during the “waif” period of supermodels like Amber Valletta and Kate Moss. But on May 10, the day after Sassoon died, Farrow tweeted this: “Ppl ask: Vidal Sassoon trimmed my inch long hair as publicity prank 4 RosemrysBaby Actually I cut my own hair 2yrs earlier. He was nice. RIP”

The Shining

Unlikely style icon Shelley Duvall dons a blazer, brooch, and cowl neck for her miserable adventure in the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s horror film The Shining.

Edward Scissorhands

Suburban Avon lady and mom to adopted son Edward, who has scissors for hands, looks like the picture of feminine ’60s charm in Tim Burton’s 1990 movie.

Serial Mom

Don’t wear white shoes after Labor Day around Kathleen Turner’s Serial Mom, Beverly Sutphin, or she’ll gore you with a fire poker. Beverly brings the J. Crew/’50s housewife chic to the neighborhood — and a huge body count.