Margot Tenenbaum Style – Wes Anderson’s coolest sartorial muse

Margot Tenenbaum style never seems to date. The moody and mysterious savant sartorialist is unequivocally my ultimate style crush, trumped only by the nonagenarian starlet that is Iris Apfel. The poker straight hair, that heavy black eyeliner and penchant for privacy, most of which is spent chain smoking in the bathtub (during drama school, I went through a phase of smoking cigars in the tub while reading Bukowski) – all adds to her aloof-yet-alluring charm. The adoptive Tenenbaum is a harbinger of effortless cool with a signature look that exudes an imperturbable nonchalance – a look that screams “I am who I am” without affectation or mendacity. Oh, to be as cool!

Here’s the thing. Or five.

  • I am not adopted though I oft thought I was due to having much older siblings with almost black hair (since I am practically a natural blonde because it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?).
  • I have never been described as a child genius although I did once win a short story competition that allowed me to have my poem read out in a robotic voice by the only computer in my primary school.
  • I have had several clandestine relationships which I absolutely cannot tell you about but I will say that one was with the grown-up version of a child star.
  • I have dabbled in terrible poetry, better-than-average short stories and almost-good drama. As a child, I would stage my plays in the sitting room for anyone who would listen/watch/feign interest.
  • I ran away from home several times but I only got as far as the green several hundred metres from my house so inevitably my parents never noticed because I was home by tea-time.

Margot Tenenbaum style and me

So I guess what I’m trying to do is draw parallels between Margot Tenenbaum and me, however tenuous they might be. Because almost sixteen years after the release of The Royal Tenenbaums, her signature style is still lauded as one of Wes Anderson’s most iconic characters.

The oversized mink coat, made by Fendi especially for the film adds an air of sophistication that belies her quietly rebellious nature – the one that saw her marry at an impossibly young age, experiment with her sexuality as a young university student and replace her ring finger with a wooden one after her real father accidentally chopped it off. Again, to be as cool…….

Even though Wes Anderson’s iconic movie was released in 2001 (I know, scary), the legacy of the Tenenbaums lives on. Lacoste revived the style for its autumn/winter 2015 ready to wear collection but this time it was another Tenenbaum that was in focus – Richie Tenenbaum, the  headband-wearing tennis star played by Luke Wilson. The sweater reading Rene Did it First was an homage to Rene Lacoste – the originator of the iconic polo neck. The look was 1970s meets 1930s playful tracksuits and camel coats – but this was a tennis inspired look that worked just as well off the court.

Margot Tenenbaum style – Three Tips for Nailing It

  1. Procure a camel coloured fur coat. Mine is faux fur (natch) and although it was very expensive,(bought in Pinko in BT2) it was such an investment piece.

  2. Flat iron your hair within an inch of its life. I honestly don’t even remember life before GHDs.
  3. Kohl-ify your eyes. Wear all of the kohl and when you feel like your eyes are significantly rimmed with enough eyeliner, apply another coat. You cannot have enough mascara. I repeat. Do not skimp on the eyeliner or mascara.


Top: Penneys

Coat: Pinko

Skirt: Topshop

Shoes: Nine West

Socks: Asos

Suitcase: My Great Uncle Jimmy’s


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