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It Girl Glossary: How to Dress Like the Final Girl

“The Final Girl is boyish, in a word. Just as the killer is not fully masculine, she is not fully feminine — not, in any case, feminine in the ways of her friends. Her smartness, gravity, competence in mechanical and other physical matters, and sexual reluctance set her apart from the other girls.” — Carol J. Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film

It was 1992 when the term ‘final girl’ was born, referring to the trope in horror films, particularly slasher, where one girl overcomes the killer and survives. This character, however, was quickly typecast as intelligent, pretty but as pretty as her friend, and of course, virginal. Since ’92, many sources of media have mocked this trope. In the 1996 film Scream, for example, they list one of the rules to survive a horror film as ‘don’t have sex.’

Aside from all of this, the final girl falls into its own ‘It Girl’ aesthetic. The Final Girl, as Clover explains, is ‘boyish.’ Her plans — either babysitting or partying, there’s no in-between — are hijacked by the killer, her outfit slowly becoming covered in blood. By the end of the film, her prom dress, flannels, or sweats are stained red. But how can we recreate this aesthetic?

Every film portrays a different final girl, but they tend to possess a relaxed, androgynous style. Often times, they play with a mix of feminine and masculine clothing pieces. If they wear a delicate lace vest, they’ll wear it with baggy jeans and battered Converse — or a well-fitted dress underneath an ill-fitting jacket. For a lounging look, however, think flannels and men’s boxers, or vintage band t-shirts.

Due to the genre’s dark themes, horror films tend to have darker colour palettes, and this bleeds into its costuming. Often times, characters will wear dark colours or earthy tones, as these have a natural grunginess to them. Because of this, 90s grunge pairs itself well with the Final Girl.

This ‘boyish’ nature reflects itself in their hair and makeup, too, which is relatively natural. The Final Girl makes minimal effort in getting ready; if they wear makeup, there isn’t much, and their hairstyles are easy — either their hair is down, or up in an effortless ponytail, sometimes a claw clip.

The key to the Final Girl is dressing comfortably. Because, of course, how can you run from the killer in heels?

Written and edited by Lucy Eaton

This post is part of Loose Magazine's It Girl Glossary, exploring the aesthetics of different it girl archetypes, and how to recreate their style. To see more, check out the page 'It Girl Glossary'.


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