How To Dress Well: Margot Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums

For that classic look of perpetual boredom and apathy.

Inevitably, during any given viewing of Wes Anderson’s 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums, I’ll pause it at least three times to stare at myself in the nearest shiny surface and forcefully plead with my part to straighten or yank painfully at my misbehavin’ curly brown hair, all in the hope that the next time I do the requisite pause-stand-stare routine, it will have miraculously turned into a dead straight, blunt blonde bob that looks less like a 23-year-old creepily taking style advice from a 6-year-old and more like the effortlessly cool, totally jaded Margot Tenenbaum.

Margot Tenenbaum is the adopted literary genius of Anderson’s dysfunctional Tenenbaum family. A chain-smoker by age 12, a Pulitzer Prize winner by age 15, and an all-round dispirited soul, the hallmark of her style is a distinct air of apathy that only comes when the letdown of peaking prematurely is coupled with the absence of a would-be-useless-anyways father.

While I’m not suggesting that in pursuit of Margot’s style you should emancipate yourself from your family, enter a weird relationship with your brother, chase much older men or come to the painful realisation that the best has been, you should at least consider becoming well practised in the subtle art of not giving two fucks.


Start smoking on the sly, stop washing your face, limit the smiling and, of course, find yourself a fur coat that will grow as you grow and stop superfluously pretending like you care about the latest fashion trends or even animal welfare. Please, you’re a literary genius, right? In the absence of willfully becoming a dark yet totally alluring pool of indifference, you could just pop down to the nearest chemist and pick up a never-ending supply of red hairclips, a bulk bag of kohl eyeliner, and a lip tint that will distract people from your slowly yellowing teeth.

Once you’re done here, raid the closet of a man in your life for an old pair of brogues and team with a deceptively sporty, striped tennis dress. Finally, locate upwards of $10,000, use it to purchase a much coveted Hermes Birkin bag, and then trash it. Because really, apathy is the best accessory.

Short sleeve stretch pique polo dress from Lacoste: $71.99
Match leather brogues from ASOS: $78.84
Goody Gumdrops cotton hairclips from The Iconic: $5.95
Hermes Birkin Bag from Ebay: $13,020.83

Hannah Wolff is a writer currently studying Art Theory and interning at Junkee. The twittersphere confounds her.

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