Thinking back on one of my all time favorite movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, I was recently struck by the fact that the movie—a film whose title lures in audiences with promises of both “pirates” and “curses”—opened neither with pillaging nor plundering, but with a brave (and immaculately dressed) young girl on a ship at sea, speaking up for and saving the life of a young boy she spots in the water. Fans of the movie will remember this girl as none other than Elizabeth Swann—a heroine with plenty to teach us about independence, strength, and how not to wear a corset.
Inspired by her bold attitude and fashion, we’ve rounded up a handful of style lessons learned from this fearless heroine.
1. Style never sleeps.
One question: How? The fact that Elizabeth goes to bed with hair more perfectly styled than many of us could hope to achieve when going out stands as inspiration for us all.
2. A slip definitely counts as a dress.
Elizabeth was way ahead of the curve on this one. With ’90s fashion making a resurgence these days, so too are slip dresses. This quarter-sleeved, lace-up front gown would be welcome in any era.
3. Never wear too-tight clothes on hot days.
I think we all remember how this turned out. Though wearing corsets has been (mostly) retired from women’s daily fashion practices, Elizabeth’s heat/corset-induced fainting spell is a good reminder for us all to ease up on any clothing that restricts breathing.
4. Don’t be afraid to draw fashion inspiration from the boys.
Between Jack’s signature hat and Will’s infamous feathered cap, the men of Pirates have their hat game on point. Elizabeth sees their fashion prowess and raises them one impressive menswear-inspired look with this swashbuckling ensemble.
5. Wit and bravery never go out of style.
Though Elizabeth regularly proves her fashion merits with gowns and accessories, she never hesitates to join in the thick of fighting. Her quick-thinking and bold actions are her greatest attributes, proving an independent spirit and gorgeous sense of style go hand-in-hand.
What have you learned from Elizabeth Swann? Are there any characters you’ve felt inspired by lately? Tell us in the comments.