Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Studio Ghibli needs no introduction. Blending humanistic storytelling with rich fantasy elements, films from the Japanese animation studio range from the whimsical to the epic, and from the heartrending to the heartwarming. Who can forget the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro zooming across the sky, or San from Princess Mononoke riding into battle? As varied as they’re richly imagined, Studio Ghibli’s works have indisputably won their place in the anime hall of fame.
Here, we explore what your favorite Ghibli film may reveal about your sense of style! Read on to see how your love for a certain forest spirit translates into a preference for dungarees over old-school glam, and why your appreciation for quiet moments over epic storytelling doesn’t mean that you have a dull wardrobe.
1. Whimsical Yet Dark – Spirited Away
For fans of dark whimsy, Spirited Away ticks all the right boxes. The coming-of age tale woven with surrealist touches is full of memorably quirky characters, like the ravenous spirit No-Face and the evil witch Yubaba. If the heroine Chihiro’s journey resonates with you, there’s a strong chance you’ll appreciate the left-field, the whimsical and the kawaii. Leopard-print pinafore dresses and exquisitely color-blocked cardis are right up your alley, as are silky shirts emblazoned with butterfly embroidery. Contrary to expectations, you probably own at least one classically elegant statement piece to balance things out, like a versatile trench coat or a date-ready summer dress. What you don’t do is the unrepentantly hard-edged. Floaty linens and combat boots? Check. Pleather and chains? Pass!
2. Major Kidult Energy – My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro is one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved works. Fantastical, big-hearted but never simply escapist, the 1998 classic is the film you loved as a child and still do as a grown-up. Sure, you have a tendency to analyze later masterpieces such as Spirited Away in academic detail, but it’s the simple pleasures of My Neighbor Totoro that make you re-watch it year after year. With its memorable depiction of the titular character, the high emotional content behind the cutesy animation, and Hayao Miyazaki’s trademark lyrical touch, this anime allows you to get in touch with your inner child. Incidentally, this is something you also do through your wardrobe choices. You probably own an extensive collection of graphic tees to pair with your signature dungarees or denim mini, and you revel in kidult details like oversized buttons, gummy bear charms and cartoon prints on socks.
3. Bright, Light and Dreamy – Only Yesterday
A trip down memory lane that ends on a life-changing note, Only Yesterday is one of Studio Ghibli’s most introspective gems. Rather than epic battles between fantastical creatures, the film is rooted in realism as it follows heroine Taeko who heads to the countryside one summer to visit relatives – a journey that’s interspersed with snapshots of her suburban childhood. Moved by the film’s quiet nostalgia? Chances are you prefer understated cuts in vintage-style patterns, such as polka dots and ditsy florals, rendered in a pastel palette. In lieu of minis and crop tops, you probably go for pretty blouses, dress pants and floaty midi skirts. Never the type to do things in excess, you’re always spot-on with your accessorizing game, whether it’s a strategically placed tortoiseshell hair clip or a straw bucket bag with a ladylike touch.
4. Feral and Femme Style – Princess Mononoke
Featuring not one but two kickass female characters in the form of Lady Eboshi and wolf girl San, Princess Mononoke is a love letter to women who are as fierce as they are feminine. If this epic tale speaks to you above all other Studio Ghibli classics, there’s no question that you appreciate a statement-making entrance, and that you’re not afraid to march to the beat of your own sartorial drum. Whether it’s copping San’s wild, carefree spirit or Lady Eboshi’s tough glamor, you’re a sucker for street-style ensembles that are dramatic yet wearable. From contrast-seam tees to plaid minis with triple buckles to bright yellow boots, you’re all about wowing people with bold, surprising details while keeping things comfy.
5. Classic Silhouettes and Alterna Chic – The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises is ruminative, melancholic and emotionally devastating. If you prefer the master animator’s thoughtful 2013 work over his earlier and more high-energy efforts, you probably opt for timeless pieces with a dark yet dreamy edge. On an everyday basis, you gravitate towards grown-up cuts, evergreen colors and clean, simple lines, but you also indulge in subversive chic. You’re never satisfied with your outfit until you’ve elevated it with something extra, whether it’s a cameo brooch or a rhinestone belt! You’re mature enough to appreciate the value of a crisp white shirt or a classic shirt dress, but also in tune with your inner child when it comes to incorporating quirky details like a dramatic Peter Pan collar or a tonal belt with a circular buckle.
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