Stylish Movies: The Mummy

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Recently I did a brief series on Evie’s outfits in The Mummy (1999) on Instagram, but I decided Evie's style deserved a whole blog post dedicated to it! Many people seemed to connect with her character and style as well and a blog post always gives one the opportunity to wax a bit eloquent in a way brief IG stories can't. I consider her a female version of Indiana Jones; a book-lover and history expert ready for adventure. Perhaps a bit less ripe for adventure than Indiana who runs away at a young age, but still when adventure presents itself to her Evie grabs it with both hands. Her outfits are definitely vintage inspired and great inspiration heading into spring and summer. It's also fun to follow her style progress through the film.
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The Mummy is a loose remake of the film by the same moniker from 1932, so this film also takes its inspiration from that era in terms of style and costuming. However, it’s not about silken 1930s glamour; Evie’s outfits are practical and smart. Most notably though, Evie’s wardrobe features a number of masculine inspired elements—in fact in the first few scenes her outfits mirror her brother's almost perfectly. Matching striped tops, khaki bottoms, dark tie, and spectator shoes? Check. Just look at how identical they are! Given the fact that Evie is one of the only female characters in the movie (she is the only woman in the film who speaks) and perhaps the "world" of archaeology she is trying to edge into, her masculine-inspired wardrobe is no surprise. She is a woman in a man’s world. Indeed other characters even note “They are led by a woman. What does a woman know?” Fortunately, while Evie might be used to this nonsense, she isn’t overly affected by it. Evie knows her worth and knows she just how much more she knows about history and Egyptology than the rest of them combined. She might want to be taken seriously by the boys and blend in, but she's still very a strong, opinionated lady ready to march into a prison and save a man!
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When we start the film Evie is a decidedly uptight librarian. Her brother quips that he’s a missionary and Evie isn’t far from looking the part (think Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen), but as the film progresses and Evie embraces the adventure and her feelings for a certain uncouth American, her style loosens up as well. It also gets darker, literally. In the first half of the film all of her outfits are composed of white and tan layers, even down to her feminine nightgown she is wearing when unceremoniously thrown into the river in the middle of the night. All of her clothes are literally lost as the ship burns and sinks, so Evie buys or borrows a dress from Bedouin women. As she first emerges from their tents in a little sheer veil and dark dress the transformation is startling. In a sea of sandy beige, she's a sudden explanation point of black. As Evie embraces this outfit though we find her more assertive than ever. She's not trying to be part of the boy's club anymore, she's a woman and she's in charge of this expedition. In a moment we'll see how even after she comes back home, she brings some of this style back with her...
Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 6.24.09 PM-downevi2mum6-down When they return to the city and O’Connell is trying to convince her to run away, Evie has access to her own closet again, but her style has changed. Before her clothes were always fully buttoned and layered with multiple elements—a masculine tie, a belted jacket, etc. In the Giza port scene she and her brother’s outfits are nearly interchangeable, but now she’s wearing a new dark coat on top of her neutrals (before the trip she never wore anything so boldly dark or declarative). Now her blouse is barely buttoned and her layers are minimal (side note: I'm also convinced she is literally wearing one of O'Connell's shirts in the scene where he's trying to make her pack). She’s let down her shields and is a changed woman. Even her nightgown has gone from innocent and white to darkly sultry while mirroring the first nightgown. Both are gently v-necked with pleated detailing on the bodice and trimmed in lace; she's embraced her "dark" side but unlike the borrowed Bedouin clothes, this is Evie. What’s so great is we see she has returned to the elements she wore in the beginning, men’s shirts, khaki skirts, lace-trimmed nightgowns, but she has relaxed (no mistaking her for a missionary now) and embraced her femininity and isn't afraid of getting attention. In this style evolution we can see her growth, but also the fact that she’s never going to stop being that librarian-weirdo-historian that we fell in love with at the start. She’s more outgoing and confident, but all those bookish elements that made her so charming and unique, aren’t going anywhere. And there's no mistaking her as her brother now!

I'd add that when channeling Evie's style, we don't need to get caught up in cosplay. Instead, I would take elements of her style and interpret it in my own way. My inspiration would come more from her penchant for white blouses with tan separates, round glasses, retro heels, and a stylish hat! 

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