7 Grease fashion looks that still make perfect sense today

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Billie Bhatia
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Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson Grease movie dancing scene

This weekend marks Grease’s 40th anniversary. Here, we take a look back at the film’s most iconic outfits. 

It’s been 40 years since the class of Rydell High graced our screens, serenaded us with songs we couldn’t forget the lyrics to even if we tried, and taught us some integral life lessons. Namely, being cool isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; summer loving can last a lifetime; and if you wear skin-tight trousers and a bardot top, the man of your dreams will literally fall to his knees. 

While some characters’ names have become hazy over the years, it’s impossible to forget Grease’s inimitable fashion (the leather! The pink jackets! The Fifties skirts! Cha Cha’s dress! Sandy’s perm! Danny’s grey tracksuit!)

In an ode to the film’s greatness, we’ve rounded up its best fashion moments – all of which, in a twist of fate, feel very on trend for s/s 2018.  

Want to see the fashion on the big screen? Check timings at your local Cineworld and Everyman Cinema – they’re hosting special anniversary screenings of the film this weekend.  

The tighter-than-tight, whiter-than-white running shorts

Call Me By My Name recently brought back the teeny-tiny shorts look for men. But before Armie Hammer, there was John Travolta. 

We don’t know whether our fondness for this look is because we associate it with Danny’s desperate attempts to win Sandy’s heart, or because Travolta, in his youth, was kind of a babe. Either way, gym kit never looked better. 

That time Rizzo’s shirt was so 2018 

Rizzo in purple shirt in Grease film

When Pantone released ‘Ultra Violet’ as their colour of 2018, their inspiration was obviously Rizzo prancing on a bed, singing Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee. 

Painted as the villain but really the hero of the film, Rizzo had a tough gig. But we’ll forever be indebted to her for providing both the colour of the year, and for encouraging us to go trouser-free at sleepovers. 

When Danny was Gucci before Gucci 

Danny Zuko and ChaCha dancing Grease

We were extremely p**sed off at Danny Zuko when we first watched this scene, even though Cha Cha DeGregorio’s epic dance moves meant we also didn’t want it to end.

But can we just talk about the fashion? Danny is basically in next-season Gucci here, while Cha Cha is channelling all kinds of Fifties fabulousness – with a level of sass that’s almost impossible to recreate. 

The ultimate pink jackets      

Name a more iconic look, we’ll wait. The Pink Ladies were way ahead of their time: bomber jackets are still on trend today, and if you’ve got one with your name emblazoned on the back, even better.

Hair rollers and ribbons are less of an essential look in 2018, but they do add an extra level of individuality. We could get on board.  

When Sandy was accidentally Gen Z 

Danny Zuko and Sandy on a date in Grease
Danny Zuko and Sandy on a date in Grease

Sandy could have plucked this number right off Zara’s s/s 2018 rails. A Gen-Z yellow, full-skirted, polka dot midi dress worn on a date where milkshakes could be involved? Sign us up.

The look that sparked a million fancy dress parties 

Grease final scene of film at carnival

There’s so much fashion greatness in this picture that we don’t know where to begin. Kenickie’s turned-up trousers, tucked-in T-shirt and workman boots are very Dalston hipster, while Rizzo is serving up the colour clash of the season. It takes a woman who really knows herself to work peach and orange with this kind of strength.

Then there’s Sandy’s all-black outfit, versions of which have been repurposed for fancy dress parties for the last 40 years. This look will forever go down in history. Who doesn’t want to grind a cigarette into the ground with a red shoe and snarl, “Tell me about it, stud”?

The iconic one you definitely forgot about

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Rso/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886160m) Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta Grease - 1978 Director: Randal Kleiser Paramount/Rso USA Scene Still Grease (1978)

This underrated gem is our all-time favourite look from Grease. Danny’s grey sweatpants and sweatshirt scream ‘street style icon’, while Sandy’s giant red frames - complete with frame chain - are perfectly geek chic. And her clean-cut high-waisted skirt and tucked-in polo shirt combination still looks fresh. Perfection.

Can’t get enough Grease nostalgia? One writer make the case for Rizzo’s redemption here.  

Images: Getty Images