Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds
Popular opinion rules that trophy wives have questionable taste, but that’s simply not true! Just look at Mrs. Park in the Korean smash-hit Parasite. From her perfect bob to her matchy-matchy (yet still alluring) looks, she breathes new meaning into the words “conservative chic.” With Christmas just round the corner, we can draw inspiration from the acclaimed movie’s take on the trophy wife aesthetic when assembling our holiday wardrobes!
Grown-Up Glam According to Mrs. Park
Beautiful, privileged and gullible, Mrs. Park leads a charmed life, at least until the Kim family arrives at her doorstep and usurps the household. Her life revolves around her husband, her children and the help. Fully dressed up even in the comfort of her own home, she pads about in silk shirts and satiny ensembles that look like they’re all dry-clean-only. As for colors, she favors pale neutrals – champagne, beige and almond as well as dazzling whites, all of which seem to signify insulation from the outside world. Free of bright florals, edgy embellishments and street-style touches, her wardrobe is simple yet unreservedly luxe.
A champion of co-ords and an expert at injecting high-end glamor into classic silhouettes, Mrs. Park provides lessons on how to do “trophy wife style” without coming across as safe, tacky or matronly. Take, for example, the all-white ensemble she’s wearing when she first appears in the film. Not everyone would dare to go white-on-white, but by pairing a sheer pussybow shirt (which offers a peep of décolletage) with a form-fitting midi skirt (complete with mock buttons), she manages to exude both angelic vibes and undoubted sexiness. Her double-breasted checkered skirt suit, worn during an early turning point, comes charged with distinct Jackie O vibes, while one of her final outfits – cream-colored linen blazer, crisp white shirt and artfully creased gray pants – provides a more relaxed version of the trophy wife ideal.
Film stills taken from Parasite
How to Make Her Style Your Own
Head-to-toe trophy wife attire might be more costume than everyday fashion, so I’m presenting two subversive takes on Mrs. Park’s most iconic looks. I’ve kept her predominantly pale palette, enriching it with plenty of figure-flattering shapes and richly textured fabrics, and added girlish touches to make her style more accessible.
1. Glamming it up on the social circuit
The trophy wife is usually a social butterfly. What better places to show off her latest fashion haul than the clubhouse and the ballroom? To make the perfect entrance, look no further than this figure-hugging yet modestly cut accordion-pleat knit dress rendered in low-key beige with a scarf-neck. When the chill hits, pay homage to Mrs. Park’s preference for structured pieces and wrap up with this classic loose-fit tweed blazer in contrasting gray, which comes embellished with gold-tone buttons and glittery trim. Take inspiration from her minimalist jewelry collection by indulging in these dangly gold-tone disc earrings featuring faux pearls, which are tasteful without being boring. To raise the style stakes one final notch, tie the look together with textured pointy kitten heels in off-white, which offer a quirky twist on standard leather versions.
2. Slumming it on the grocery run
Looking luxe while you’re going on a grocery run is a typical trophy wife trait. She wouldn’t be caught dead in ratty T-shirt and jeans! Here, I’ve put together a wardrobe that’s casual without losing that gilded edge. First, slip into a cream-colored tee or tank before adding a breezy linen blazer in beige. Complement with an accordion-pleat skort in a muted yet impactful pattern that gives the outfit a dose of youthful flair. Choose your jewelry wisely – Mrs. Park always goes for pieces that are simple yet uber-shiny, and this gold-tone bracelet and bangle set hits just the right spot between bold and classy. Keep things in the same fashion-forward vein by going for this sleek shoulder bag that comes in the palest green with a metal clasp. A good handbag is the staple of every lady who lunches! Finally, slip into beige mules that suggest leisurely afternoons strolling through the city’s finest shopping malls.
Unleash your Inner Trophy Wife
With its emphasis on luxe, high-maintenance fabrics, ladylike silhouettes and formal elegance, the trophy wife aesthetic is worth emulating, if only in moderate doses. Punch up a normcore outfit with a sophisticated tweed jacket, or make a statement in allover white by indulging in contrasting fabrics such as silk with denim and wool with chiffon. Mix, match and experiment to your heart’s content. After all, it’s you who calls the shots. Unlike Mrs. Park, you’re nobody’s accessory!
Official international poster for Parasite