The life I want, there is no shortcut.

Over the past few years, Carey Mulligan has quickly become one of Hollywood’s sweethearts. With humble beginnings playing Kitty Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, she is now set to star in Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby as Daisy Buchanan. I’ll leave my feelings about that out of this post…

Her offscreen fashion sense is impeccable – come on, have you seen that pixie cut? – and she is constantly photographed wearing stunning ladylike silhouettes. These same styles are worn by Mulligan in her Oscar-nominated role in An Education. The film is set in the early 1960s, and as you can imagine, the costumes are killer. Just take a look at this dress.

I can explain how much I adore this. It’s subtly sexy and hugs her curves without being too tight or revealing. The pattern also keeps it young and fresh. It is so easy to pull off this look in 2011.

From left to right: Moonlight and Roses Dress ($90, ModCloth), Nude Kitten Heel Court Shoes ($52, ASOS), White Garden Dress ($35, Fred Flare), Oriana T-Strap Pump ($98, Chocolat Blu), Forest at Dusk Dress ($55, ModCloth), Raspberry Elevated Oxfords ($148, Anthropologie)

Look at all these options! They hint at being retro, but are completely wearable. The first dress is perfect for summer, but is modernized with an asymmetrical neckline. The dress in the center has a looser skirt, but the cinched waist and square neckline still give off a vintage vibe, as does the pattern. The dress on the right will be incredible for fall and the gathering on the bodice is uber flattering. Throw on a pair of kitten heels, and you’ve got a flawless daytime look with an old-school edge.

I could go on and on about how incredible the fashion in this film is, but I highly recommend you see for yourself in An Education, a coming-of-age story about a girl in 1960s London who questions whether she should pursue her education or the older man of her dreams.

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I want that trophy, so dance good.

John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, a cameo by Steve Buscemi…

How can you not love Pulp Fiction? Quentin Tarantino’s pastiche masterpiece is fronted by an all-star male cast, but Uma Thurman’s character Mia Wallace takes the cake in the fashion department during the famous dance scene at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.Check out that crisp white button down shirt! She adds in black crop pants and gold loafers, with a black velvet blazer to top it off. A very classic look. I’m a huge fan of this style- I practically live in my men’s white button-down shirt, and when I wear pants (which I rarely do), I tend to prefer a cropped style.

Button Down Boyfriend Blouse ($72, MM Couture), Slim Crop Pants ($50, Gap), Distressed Metallic Gold Penny Loafer ($136, Rebecca Minkoff), Gilded Herringbone Toms ($54, Toms Shoes), Velvet Blazer ($335, D&G)

You most likely have a white collared shirt and pair of cropped pants in your closet (Gap is my denim/pants retailer of choice!), but gold loafers? Probably not. Still, I would consider loafers to be a worthwhile investment given the recent popularity of masculine shoe styles for women. If you’re still not ready for that risk, you can’t go wrong with gold herringbone Toms (absurdly comfortable and for a good cause). Mia’s velvet jacket – and this D&G velvet blazer – are too die for, but a nice trench coat would also do the trick.

Get dancing, lay off the cocaine, and PLEASE watch Pulp Fiction.

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Well, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to wear the proper clothes.

Most fashion enthusiasts will unanimously agree that Grace Kelly was one of Hollywood’s biggest fashion icons. Her classic, elegant style was evident in both daily life and on the screen as the star of several fashion-forward films of the 1950s. I had a hard time choosing just one of them to focus on for this post- it came down to a fierce battle between Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.

But, let’s be honest… how could I pass this up?  A deep v-neck, cinched waist, full skirt… I could go on and on about how much I love this. All of Grace Kelly’s costumes (designed by the genius Edith Head) were completely flawless in Rear Window, but this one takes the cake.

Called her “Paris dress,” this style is completely chic. So, how would we do this in 2011? Easy.

Mesh Overlay Skirt (ASOS, $60), Halter Leotard (American Apparel, $25), Patent Leather Skinny Belt (Ralph Lauren, $42), Leather T-Strap Platform Sandals (Kelsi Dagger, $60)

The volume of the skirt and the deep v of the leotard are reminiscent of the dress worn by Grace’s character Lisa Fremont, but the length and halter keep the pieces modern. Pair it with a simple thin black belt, strappy leather heels, and a little red lipstick, and you’re all set to solve a murder mystery.

Also, if you haven’t already, check out Rear Window (1954), a film that follows a wheelchair-bound photographer as he uncovers the truth behind the murder his neighbor appears to have committed. It’s easily one of my favorite Hitchcock films.

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