If You Miss Marianne and Connell, Too: A Normal People Style Guide

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If you’re a real one, you might remember my Sopranos Style Guide from last month. Deep in the trenches of a Sopranos binge-watching session (still going through it, to be honest…), I paired some of my favorite brands with some of my favorite characters so that I could dress like a mafioso from the comfort of my own home. I had so much fun that we decided to make it a new TQE tradition. Yep, that’s right—there are many, many more TV show & movie style guides in your future. You’re welcome.

Next up: Hulu’s Normal People. Few things have been good about 2020, but on April 29th, quarantine got a whole lot better thanks to its release, a 12-episode series based on Sally Rooney’s novel. A huge fan of Normal People and Rooney’s first novel, Conversation with Friends, I was counting down the days until I could watch Marianne and Connell IRL, instead of just daydreaming about them.

I was expecting tear-inducing breakups and steamy sex scenes, but what I wasn’t anticipating was such incredible costume design. I wanted just about every single outfit I saw on the show, so I set out on a mission to find dupes of Marianne’s dresses and Connell’s track jackets. Once I was done, I realized it was just plain selfish to not share my findings with the world, so here you go: your favorite outfits from Normal People, and their e-commerce counterparts.

Oh and spoiler alert, obviously.

The Chain That Has Its Own Instagram

Seeing as it has an Instagram following of over 180K, I had to start with Connell’s chain. There are a lot of things to swoon over when it comes to the show’s leading man, but his always perfectly placed piece of jewelry tops the list. Its simplicity is what makes it really shine, so I knew to turn to Mejuri when looking for a match. Their Double Curb Chain Necklace is a Connell’s Chain Doppelganger and available in both Sterling Silver and Gold Vermeil, it’s a fraction of the price of what you might find elsewhere ($95 vs. $260, according to Mejuri’s website). Plus, every Mejuri item comes with free expedited shipping and a 2-year warranty, fulfilling your need for instant gratification and peace of mind.

First Kiss Fit

Just thinking about this scene makes my heart hurt. The awkwardness and all of the longing… ugh. Marianne wears a handful of chunky knit sweaters throughout the series, so it was hard to pick just one. Eventually, I landed on this purple, wide-sleeve number she wears for her first kiss with Connell. While the neckline on this & Other Stories piece is a bit less conducive for the off-the-shoulder look Marianne has going on here, it’s pretty spot-on otherwise. The Alpaca blend sweater is the perfect winter staple, best paired with a messy bun and a pair of Levi’s.

Connell’s Shoes (If He Kept His A Bit Cleaner)

This might not look like the best dupe at first glance, but I promise that if Connell’s shoes were given a good clean, they’d look identical to these Everlane Court Sneakers. It turns out Everlane does have some storefronts in the UK now, so I’m pretty sure costume designer Lorna Marie Mugan bought Connell’s entire wardrobe from there (she didn’t but like, she could have). The Court Sneaker comes in 10 different colors and is 100% carbon neutral thanks to Everlane’s partnership with NativeEnergy—so you can look good and feel good about yourself while doing it.

The Iconic Swimsuit

This is one of the many scenes in which I was yelling at my computer screen, and rightly so. If Connell had just asked to stay at Marianne’s over the summer, they’d probably be married and living happily ever after right now. Honestly, thank god he didn’t because his lack of communication skills gave us six more episodes. Marianne’s swimsuit is flawless in this scene—we didn’t think a one-piece could be any more perfect until we found JADE Swim. Featured in Vogue, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar, the brand carries swimsuits that work for editorial photoshoots as much as they do for a casual dip in the pool. Black and woman-owned, the brand aims to be both luxe and minimal, and their All In One Piece in Black hits the mark.

The Jacket Every High School Crush Wore

MeUndies’s tagline is “We exist to make you feel good” which is fitting because I’m pretty sure Connell exists to make me feel good, too. Both of these sweatshirts look like they were made for throwing on after a rugby game, which is probably why they remind me of hormones and my high school crush. MeUndies’ Hacci Zip Hoodie comes in Charcoal and Heathered Gray, and is ethically sourced and made with low-impact dyes. Described as “sooo cozy!” by an online reviewer, it’s the perfect all-day, everyday piece.

Heatwave Hookup

Right before this scene, Marianne puts a popsicle on Connell’s floor during a heatwave and it (obviously) starts to melt onto the floor. Annoying but somehow...sexy? Not sure how the directors managed to pull that one off, but I digress. One of the standout parts of that scene to me was Marianne’s pale blue tank top. While it may seem less interesting than her other outfits, a good tank is hard to come by. I’ve been OBSESSED with Entireworld’s tank tops for a few weeks now, and am so grateful to finally have an outlet to express said obsession. Their 100% organic cotton tanks feature a high neck that is super flattering and the ribbed fabric allows for the perfect amount of stretch. Like most of Entireworld's styles, the tank comes in a bunch of playful yet understated colors that work with just about everything.

Almost Forgot There Were Other Characters

We love Niall. He’s like a Golden Retriever—fiercely loyal to Connell, goofy and playful, and incredibly easy to get along with. The dinner at Marianne’s Italian villa would have been a million times worse had Niall not been there to lighten the mood. We loved the casual Hawaiian-esque shirt he donned, so we went looking for our own. Faherty, a family brand started in 2013, has a laid-back feel that perfectly encapsulates all that Niall is about. Their Short-Sleeve Kona Shirt is made with 100% Rayon for softness, durability and breathability, and features hand-printed in-house designs. Plus, it’s made with Natural coconut buttons. We think Niall would approve.

Peggy's Endless Array Of Patterns

Peggy’s not nearly as good of a friend as Niall is in our opinion (she was a little too silent when Jamie was being the….literal worst to Marianne at dinner), but she does have great style. Her wardrobe is probably the boldest of the bunch, almost always pairing bright patterns with a statement earring. Our favorite place to buy bold pieces with even bolder patterns is FARM Rio, a Brazilian brand with over 20 years of history. Their Macaw Mix Midi Dress instantly reminded us of Peggy, with its ruched detailing and lace trim. The brand is a one-stop-shop—you can find anything from dresses to swimsuits to headbands, and for each purchase, a tree is planted in your honor.

The Hero Of The Whole Damn Show

Not all heroes wear capes—some just wear long-sleeved v-necks. Lorraine definitely has the least interesting wardrobe on Normal People, but a piece about Normal People just wouldn’t feel complete without her. That said, we do love a good wardrobe staple, and Lorraine’s closet seems to be full of them. We especially love the v-neck she wears before confronting (and then supporting) Marianne about ignoring Connell’s messages. We found the perfect dupe in Cuyana’s Slim Wide V-Neck Long Sleeve Tee. Made sustainably in Peru, the Oeko-tex certified top perfectly exemplifies Cuyana’s “fewer, better” motto. Available in white and black, it’s breathable and oh-so-soft, making it the perfect shirt to wear on the job.

It’s Not Like This With Other TV Shows

I hope this filled a void for you as much as it did for me. Here’s hoping Hulu greenlights a second season; I promise to write another one of these if they do. And if all else fails, just remember you can always relive all things Marianne and Connell by watching the series again (and again...and again….). Happy viewing.

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