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Stage Inspiration: Fashion Inspired by Hairspray



First it was the classic ’80s film starring Ricki Lake that was oh-so popular at my childhood slumber parties. Next, it was the musical, and the original cast soundtrack my showchoir friends and I loved to sing along to. Then, it was the 2007 film that solidified my obsession with Hairspray!

So far, we’ve brought you fashion from Broadway classics Rent, Wicked, Les Miserables, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Phantom of the Opera. This week, lace up your dancing shoes and find your teasing comb, because we’re going back to the ’60s to explore the fashion from everyone’s favorite civil rights tale.

Ready to be Welcome(d) To The ’60s? Read on!

The Nicest Kids In Town: A Hairspray Summary

Hairspray is a story of acceptance, inner beauty, and the civil rights movement of the ’60s. Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager with larger-than-life hair, becomes an overnight celebrity when she is featured on the Corny Collins Show. She uses her newfound popularity to launch a campaign to integrate the Corny Collins show, much to the dismay of shallow and power-hungry star Amber Von Tussle and her mom, Velma. Along the way, Tracy meets new friends, helps her best friend Penny and mother Edna overcome their own insecurities, and falls in love with Link, Baltimore’s resident heartthrob.

Every single costume worn in the show (and movies) is very stylized and reflective of the times. Full skirts, sweater sets, bobby socks, plaid print, pearls, and BIG hair are a part of almost every girl’s outfit throughout the films and stage production. Pastel colors, floral print, and mary-jane shoes are also heavily featured. To snag a little bit of Hairspray‘s general look, combine pieces from the late ’50s and early ’60s for a modest, girly, and classic look.

Good Morning Baltimore


Tracy Turnblad – played by Ricki Lake in the 1988 film and Nikki Blonsky in the 2007 film – is a feisty teenager with big dreams and even bigger hair. She is the protagonist of the story and has a crush on Link, the star of the Corny Collins Show. Tracy’s signatures are her huge hair, hair bow, plaid skirt, and sneakers made for dancing! Add a girly top and lacy socks to complete the look.

Top, Skirt, Headband, Shoes, Socks

I Am Now A Checkerboard Chick!


Penny Pingleton – portrayed by Leslie Ann Powers in the original and Amanda Bynes in the recent movie – is Tracy’s geeky best friend. Her controlling mother tries to tie her down, but by the end of the film, she gains the confidence to stand up for herself. To get Penny’s geek-chic look, rock a Peter Pan-collared shirt under a printed dress. Finish the look with a cardigan, mary-janes, glasses, and Penny’s signature pigtails!

Dress, Blouse, Cardigan, Shoes, Glasses

Miss Baltimore Crabs


Velma Von Tussle is played by the incredible Debbie Harry in the original, and the divine Michelle Pfeiffer in the recent version of Hairspray. The former beauty queen hates Tracy and the changes being made at the Corny Collins show. Ms. Von Tussle is all about glamour, piling on jewelry and rocking fancy dresses every day. Finish the look with volumnous hair!

Dress, Necklace, Earrings, Shoes

Mama I’m A Big Girl Now


Amber Von Tussle – played by Colleen Fitzpatrick (AKA singer Vitamin C) in the original and Brittany Snow in the 2007 version – is the snooty queen bee of the Corny Collins show. Amber’s style is as girly as it can be, complete with plenty of dainty jewelry, mary janes, and a huge updo. Finish the look with plenty of princess attitude!

Outfit inspired by Amber from Hairspray: Vintage dress, mary-janes, necklace, tiara
Dress, Shoes, Necklace, Tiara, Hairspray

Big, Blonde, and Beautiful


Queen Latifah plays Motormouth Maybelle in the 2007 film adaptation of Hairspray. Motormouth dresses for luxury, and is a fan of feather boas, fur, and loads of jewelry. Finish the look with sparkling shoes and a diva attitude!

Dress, Shoes, Earrings, Fur Scarf, Ring

What Do You Think?

Have you seen Hairspray? Do you like the original movie, new movie, or stage version best? What do you think about ’60s fashion? What other musicals would you like to see CF cover? Leave a comment and let us know!

Posted on on October 27, 2011 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , ,

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27 Responses to “Stage Inspiration: Fashion Inspired by Hairspray”

  1. 1
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I’ve never actually seen the movie, but as divine as these outfits are, I think I might just have to add it to the Netflix queue:)

  2. 2
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    ^^ same here! My cousin has raved about it, but I was never interested, mainly because the new movie stars Zac Efron and I am trying my very hardest NOT to develop a crush on him. But two things clinched it for me — the fact that it’s set in the 60’s (one of my FAVORITE time periods, particularly in clothing), and that it’s about civil rights, which I’m extremely passionate about. I think I’ll go get it from the library.

  3. 3
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I didn’t know Vitamin C was in the original movie! Loved all the fun facts to a great musical. I just wish all the outfits weren’t so literal — I’d love to see a modern take on all the characters, which is why the dress picked out for Motormouth is my favorite.

  4. 4
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Please do the Phantom of the Opera next!!! Good post, though! I was Motormouth in our camps production

  5. 5
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I think you did a great job transferring Queen Latifah’s costume into something sassy but wearable

  6. 6
    October 27th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    These outfits are gorgeous, but I think you should have chosen plus size pieces for some of them. The whole point of the movie is celebrating yourself no matter who you are and what you look like, and it would be cool if the outfits reflect that, especially since size is one of the major aspects the movie looks at.

  7. 7
    October 27th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I tried to show this to a little cousin who was obsessed with Zac Efron–the movie didn’t do much for her, but I love it! I think my favorite outfit is the last one. I love that dress and those shoes and how it was modernized from the movie/musical.

    I think she did Phantom last time? There’s a link at the top of the page.

  8. 8
    October 27th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I really love the Tracy outfit!!!! <3
    I absolutely love this series!
    Can you do Spring Awakening?

  9. 9
    October 27th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    The looks are great, but it’s a shame in a movie with two great plus sized characters (Tracy and Maybelle) you didn’t do any plus sized looks. I know they translate but it still would have been nice to see a “Tracy” look that wasn’t on a size 0 model. Variety is the spice of life right?

  10. 10
    October 28th, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Love Hairspray! You should do Legally Blonde the Musical. :)

  11. 11
    October 29th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I’ve got “Good Morning Baltimore” stuck in my head and I can’t get it out.

  12. 12
    October 30th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    LOVE IT!!! Do Legally Blonde, Footloose, 9 to 5, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Wonderland…basically all musicals EVER :)

  13. 13
    October 31st, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Why couldn’t they found out who played motormouth maybelle in the original?

  14. 14
    November 2nd, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    YES. Love this post. The movie is so good – and the stage version is brilliant!

    Also, if I remember correctly, the last time someone did a post including plus-sized models (the Glee-Inspired one) people got up in arms about it! No-one can win :P

  15. 15
    November 12th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Do one over RENT pretty please!

  16. 16
    November 12th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Just kidding? Lol. Apparently I skipped part of this. Glad you already did it.

  17. 17
    September 20th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I went to see the play hairspray at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in Chanhassed Minnesota near the cities and it was the most amazing thing that i’ve ever seen you have to go there, oh and there food there is so amazing

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