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Breakfast Club at 30: why Bender, Allison, Brian and co are still fashion icons

Brian … the Acne studios take. Photograph: PR

Famously consisting of a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal, the five members of the Breakfast Club packed in a whole lot of style references. And, for a film where each character only wears one outfit throughout – with the exception of that makeover – it has had a pretty massive fashion influence. As the John Hughes classic turns 30 it has been celebrated at SXSW with cameos from actors Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, and a heart-stopping rendition of theme song, Don’t You Forget About Me by a local choir. Anyway, here’s how Bender and friends influenced fashion – this season and beyond.

Calvin Klein rocks the Andrew look. Photograph: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images


The geek of the group, Brian was actually massively ahead of his time. He pre-dated normcore by about 30 years. His outfit here – plain sweatshirt, chinos, boring trainers and white chunky socks – could be part of the anonymity-loving trend. Given a fashion twist by brands like Acne, Brian is a bit of a cult hero. He has had to wait a few years but Brian is now officially part of the in-crowd.

Alison, channelled by Balenciaga. Photograph: REX/REX


Jock style is a favourite of fashion – and Andrew is the 80s archetype. Muscle vest, jeans, trainers and even a medallion. The muscle vest is a thing for spring, as part of the latest round of sportswear – this time based around athlete style. And that, rather neatly, brings us back to star athlete Andrew. Find the look in collections from Calvin Klein to Astrid Andersen. Or just buy a Nike vest for an instant Breakfast Club-approved look.

Alexander McQueen spring 2015 … Bender lives! Photograph: PR


A Marlon Brando for the 80s, Judd Nelson’s rebel is a classic of the genre. He has the whole look – biker jacket, plaid shirt, biker boots and earring – and has inspired the style of teenagers from the 80s right up to now (see: Dalston) and made plaid a perennial in fashion. The scene when Claire gives him her diamond stud – adding a bit of bling to his black fingerless gloves – is burned into the collective retina of an entire style tribe.

Loewe … the Molly Ringwald look de nos jours. Photograph: REX/REX


Allison’s endorsement of Sugar-Puff sandwiches ruined the teeth of a generation. A sort of girly goth, the all-black, all-covered outfit, with that shaggy haircut and thick kohl made monochrome OK for fashion. What is not OK is the makeover. It goes without saying this is a crime against fashion. We beg to differ with Claire.


The group’s princess – who has that first-world problem of being popular – might be a brat but she’s also Guardian columnist Molly Ringwald. Therefore, she can do no wrong. Her combo of scrub-type blouse, midi skirt and knee-high boots is high-80s style at it’s best. It has been a prized find in thrift stores for 30 years and is now on the radar of JW Anderson. His Loewe collection for autumn is very Claire Standish indeed.

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