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Our favorite ragtag gang of mystery solvers returned this month for a captivating fourth season of cult-favorite sci-fi horror drama Stranger Things. The show itself? Both delightfully spooky and delightfully ‘80s.
Costume designer Amy Parris embraces the nostalgia that makes the show so popular, sourcing and sorting through vintage pieces shipped directly to set. Dressing characters in Indiana, California, and Russia was a tall order – as well as aligning clothes to their respective maturity levels (and, the designer admits, how much they had to run away this season).
Through our roster of go-to DTC brands, and some powerful brand collaborations, we’ve discovered and curated some looks that fit the show’s atmosphere and signature 1980s nostalgia.
As this is for a later season, beware of spoilers.
ELEVEN: Cobbled-Together Yet Endearing.
Eleven does her best. She picks what’s available, attempting to blend in with everyone else (but never quite hitting the mark). The end result is a comfortable, clashing, yet endearing mix of clothing items borrowed and handed down.
Eleven reverts to a grungy flannel that makes her feel at home, like this Logan Flannel Shirt from PX ($60). She would love the functionality of this Ace Denim Shirt from Just Female via rental service Nuuly ($88 for six pieces monthly). For dressing up, like in her roller rink look, she might layer using this Lulu Dress ($196) from Tach Clothing.
SHOP LIKE ELEVEN:
NANCY: Mature Details And Flattering Silhouettes.
Nancy’s style is classic, feminine, and showcases her maturity. It’s never too bold – and often veers to preppy – but often gets creative in its tailoring or detailing in a way that shows her consideration of her figure.
Even an outfit as casual as a t-shirt is dressed up with a corset-detailed or smocked waist maxi skirt, like the Thea Smocked Waist Maxi Skirt ($55) from Current Air, and a two-tone sweater like the cable knit Ottoman Cardigan ($130) from At The Venue. A favorite of mine? The aptly-named high waist Throwback Straight Jeans ($108) from Just Black Denim.
SHOP LIKE NANCY:
DUSTIN: Ironic, Functional Layers.
Dustin has a big personality, which radiates through his clothing. His shirts are geometric and layered. His hats (like this Seager x Huckberry collab, $30) undoubtedly have a punchy saying splashed across the front. Overall, his style’s goofy and embraces a kidlike spirit during times of larger-than-life adult danger. The actor who plays him, Gaten Matazarro, claims this season’s wardrobe is his favorite series of looks yet, and we have to agree.
He’ll pick some patterned socks, and ideally a vintage t-shirt and patterned button down ($62) combo – and no, it does not matter if they match. In fact, it’s better if they don’t.
SHOP LIKE DUSTIN:
MAX: Muted Athleticwear To Get Through The Day.
This season, Max dresses exclusively to get through the day, paying no thought to anything other than her overwhelming grief. She throws on clothes thoughtlessly, her sadness apparent through a darker color palette. In this way, we see the differentiation between her previous, colorful personality and the unfortunate way this event has changed her.
A color-block nylon parka ($320) is her go-to comfort item. Her brand preferences are largely unisex, especially because she’ll wear items of her brother’s to feel closer to him.
SHOP LIKE MAX:
ARGYLE: Skate & Surf Exuberance.
When part of the cast moves to California, the color palette gets brighter and more retro, a playful nod to 80’s surf and skate culture. Nobody embodies this more than Argyle, the careless and joyful friend of Jonathan’s who picks them up from school with a splashy pizza truck and mismatched shoes. (To get the look, buy two pairs of casual sneaks in the same style, like these $89 pairs from the Cariuma collection!). He’s hippy-dippy. Considering his plant-assisted smile, a blanket pullover (like this $148 pick from Outerknown) is a must. He might also love this solar-powered MVMT watch ($178.60) crafted from reclaimed ocean plastic pollution.
SHOP LIKE ARGYLE:
ANGELA: Pastels Don’t Make You Nicer.
Angela is a classic mean girl, torturing Eleven with her roller rink clique. Needless to say, she dresses the part, relishing the best of the trends. (Um, can you say Jazzercise?) She has a high half-up ponytail with a silk scrunchie ($18). This AYR piece ($145) is a perfect match for her bubblegum pink short sleeve button down she wears to school; in fact, she’d vibe with our entire “dopamine dressing” style guide.
Add in some bootie shorts ($70) and high socks to capture all the best (a.k.a. worst) of the 80’s trends.
SHOP LIKE ANGELA:
A Quick Crash Course In Everyone Else.
This season, the cast of Stranger Things expanded significantly. We met Argyle, Eddie, and Angela. We have Steve, Robin, Jonathan. And of course we have the OG kids crew: Lukas, Mike, Will, Dustin, Eleven and Max. Add in all the adults: Hopper, Mrs. Byers, and the other parents, and you’ve got quite a few styles.
Across the board, you can channel the Stranger Things style lexicon with moody yet vibrant colors: navys, mustards, classic reds. Retro details abound. No character dresses up too much – perhaps because they know they have to be ready to fight monsters at any given moment; as a whole, their clothing is unisex. Almost gorpcore.
Here are some brands that capture the vibe. When in doubt, opt for flannels, short sleeve button downs, funky vintage t-shirts, corduroy jackets, rain jackets, functional pants, and dark sneakers.
SHOP LIKE THE CAST