"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie 'The Graduate'. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."
"There’s only two kinds of people in the world. There’s women, and there’s men. Summer Finn was a woman. Height : average. Weight : average. Shoe Size : slightly above average. For all intents and purposes, Summer Finn : just another girl. Except she wasn’t. To wit, in 1998, Summer quoted a song by the Scottish band Belle & Sebastian in her high school yearbook. “Color my life with the chaos of trouble.” The spike in Michigan sells of their album “The Boy with the Arab Strap” continues to puzzle industry analysts. Summer’s employment at the daily freeze during the summer of her sophomore year coincided with an inexplicable 212% increase in revenue. Every apartment Summer rented at an average rate of 9.2% below market value, and her roundtrip commute to work averaged 18.4 double-takes per day. It was a rare quality, this “Summer effect.” Rare, yet something every post-adolescent male has encountered at least once in their lives. For Tom Hanson to find it now in a city of 400,00 offices, 91,000 commercial buildings, and 3.8 million people, well that could only be explained by one thing: fate."
It should be no surprise to anyone that I'm a hopeless romantic. From my movie preferences to my taste in clothes, romanticism is very evident (Erin Fetherston is my absolute favorite designer. Her designs are very whimsical, feminine, and romantic -- what more can you want?) So alongside the line up of Serendipity and He's Just Not That Into You, 500 Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies of all time. And aside from the romance and of course, Zooey Deschanel, you can't help but fall in love with the costume design in this movie. And let's face it, the only person you're really looking at when watching this movie is Deschanel's character, Summer Finn (it's pretty much the only character, aside from Tom, worth discussing and I think we can all agree that she wins the best dressed category out of all the characters -- sorry Minka Kelly, you were in the movie for like two minutes.)
If I was the movie's costume designer, Hope Hanafain, all that I needed to know to dress Summer Finn upon reading the script are those two quotes above -- the opening narrative line and the line talking about Summer's irresistible effect. Those two lines alone sufficiently summarizes Summer's character: (1) she's absolutely beautiful (2) guarded. I think Hanafain did an amazing job synthesizing those characteristics and making it work for Zooey Deschanel frame. It was very smart of her to put Summer in a lot of A-line, full skirt designs with very modest hemlines and appropriate skin coverage. Anything too body conscious or revealing would've registered very wrong. The audience can definitely see that Summer is very beautiful, but she doesn't need to show a lot of skin and cleavage to make that point. I think the kind of beauty that Hanafain went for -- the kind of effortless beauty that Zooey's character doesn't really notice or pay much attention to -- was absolutely perfect for Summer.
I lovelovelove that polka dot dress with the bow in the back during the bus sequence and who can forget that gorgeous pale blue dress she wore during Millie's wedding. I also thought her work attire was very darling especially with the addition of the bows in her hair and even the looks which consisted of separates (and hoisery!) were very well put together. I think it's fair to say that Zooey Deschanel's personal style might've bled through her character, but I think it works in her favor, and for the sake of the movie, perfectly. Don't ever underestimate the power of costume design! The way a character is dressed in a movie can speak volumes.