Can I just say how much I love these? I love how each girl is surrounded by items that have a special/symbolic meaning to her!
An interesting thing about Rei’s clothes is that, early on, the animation staff don’t seem to have had much of a grasp on her style. Her personality came out strong and clear from the beginning, but she was initially often dressed in outfits that would have looked exactly right on Usagi.
Look at the outfit she wore to the Dreamland theme park:
That is exactly Usagi’s colour palette. She and Rei look almost like they’re trying for a co-ordinating couples outfit thing. I think Rei’s outfit, with pink skinny jeans and canvas slip-on sneakers, has actually come back round into style.
And then there are the magnificent rolled-up pink dungarees with sleeveless white teeshirt. This is such an Usagi outfit. All it needs is for the pin on the pocket to be a bunny face instead of a flower. I think those are the socks Usagi wears with her denim-jacket-and-pink-skirt combo.
So I don’t think those early outfits are really representative of Rei Style. The key to Rei’s fashion style is that she can dress in a much more mature, sophisticated and sexy way than the other girls and have it look right - not like a younger girl trying to look older, not like she’s trying too hard. She just has an edge that they don’t. Her sleek black hair and slightly angled eyes (you know what I mean, the outer corners are tilted up, the opposite look from Ami’s) have a lot to do with that.
I really dig a lot of her clothes, so that it’s hard to pick a favourite. Rei-watching is very rewarding.
For example, here’s what she wore for her crap date with Mamoru, to a porcelain doll exhibition.
- The date was crap, but I love her outfit - the hoop earrings with beads are delicately balanced between simple and glamorous, and the combination of stone-coloured blazer, sweetheart-neck black top and smart brown shorts is really chic. This is an outfit I would expect to see on a reasonably sophisticated woman in her early twenties, and Rei is making it work at fourteen.
- Rei’s choice of clothes makes it clear that she considers her legs a good feature, and she’s finished this outfit with her favourite red heels. I suspect her of actually wearing the shoes from her superhero uniform with a date outfit, because they boost her confidence and make her legs look aweome.
- Speaking of co-ordinating couples outfits, while she was dating Mamoru Rei wore a lot of blazers, and I absolutely believe that was strategic.
- The colours here are quite muted. It’s not that Rei never wears brights or pastels, but when she does, I don’t find the look as ‘classic Rei.’
Rei will sometimes do something really bold and fashion forward. For a Beverly Hills 90210 value of fashion forward.
BRENDA WALSH TOTALLY WORE THIS OUTFIT YOU GUYS. I JUST CAN”T FIND A FULL-LENGTH PHOTO OF IT FOR THE LIFE OF ME.
So what kind of outfit would I pick as quintessential Rei Style and a favourite of mine? Well, I think Rei’s best fashion season is winter (I have no idea if she’s a Winter in that whole getting-your-colours-done way). She looks great in sleek layers of warm fabrics, particularly in deep red, grey and black. If there’s some leather in there, so much the better.
With that in mind, I declare it a tie between this outfit (with bonus Makoto, you’re welcome):
and this one:
(jeez I wish I could find a bigger version of that - there’s this one but it’s not as clear)
It’s no accident that both outfits look expensive. Rei has that Ronnie Lodge haughty rich-girl thing going on. She also has her own WHOA HOT DAMN thing going on. Accents of gold (her earrings, the zipper tabs, her belt buckle) add to the impression of luxury. The upper outfit features shiny black leather boots, while for the SuperS movie she evidently decided ‘the more leather, the better’ and decided to make the libido of every susceptible person in the vicinity go THWOMP. I am sincerely trying not to be gross about the fact that a character who’s fifteen at the time is wearing VERY SEXY PANTS but this is obviously difficult.
Next time: Makoto!