Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner — in Fact, Her Whole Wardrobe Belongs in the Spotlight
When I first started watching 1987's Dirty Dancing — and I say "started" because I built it into my weekly routine, allowing it to become habit — Baby became an instant style inspiration. Baby Houseman, played by Jennifer Grey, clearly knew how to dress for the summer months, thereby arming me with a handful of outfit options for my favorite season. Since Baby's story arc starts at a place where she's modest and reserved and ends with her embracing her free-spirited, rebellious side, her clothes follow suit.
When she and her family first arrive at the family resort in the Catskills, she's wearing sophisticated summer day dresses and girlie blouses with long denim shorts. But her wardrobe (or whatever she packed in her suitcase) is eventually broken down and deconstructed — literally and physically! — as she lets loose and jumps into the water with Johnny to practice the lift for their dance routine.
During practice sessions, we see Baby in crop tops, '80s-acid wash jeans, and sheer tights that are nothing short of flirty. But by the end of the film, she owns her sex appeal wholeheartedly and leaps into the late Patrick Swayze's arms in a backless pink dress that's become synonymous with her character. Has my love for Baby's looks become evident? Good, because I've recreated them all from head-to-toe, and let's just say I've had the time of my life doing it.
The Tie-Up Blouse and Denim Bermuda Shorts
Baby wears this look for a practice dance session with Johnny, and it's totally effortless and absolutely sexy.
rag & bone Rosa Cotton Bermuda Shorts in Clean Black
The Polka-Dot Co-Ords
While Penny wears tights and bodysuits, Baby went her own way in a cutesy little pink polka-dot set, which clearly establishes her as the "rookie" in this scene. IDK about you, but I friggin' love it!
The Modest Summer Dress
Johnny tries to get Baby to loosen up, but her modest, knee-length summer dress speaks to the more sophisticated life she's used to.
The Bohemian Blouse
Baby plays the innocent card in this white stitched boho blouse and a pair of high-rise jeans.
Warp and Weft CDG Plus Vintage High Rise Straight Saint Germain
Warp and Weft CDG Plus Vintage High Rise Straight Saint Germain ($49, originally $98)
The Wet n' Wild Look
Johnny and Baby end up getting soaked when they practice her lift in the lake, but the all-white outfit, consisting of a tank, jeans, and sheer blouse, just somehow works for her.
The Bodysuit and Cutoffs
Baby belts her denim shorts and wears white low-top sneakers, going for a minimal basics look that speaks to the dancer in her.
Levi's 501 High Waist Cuff Long Denim Shorts
The Wrap Shirt
Baby practices the more serious, romantic moments in the routine in this white cropped wrap shirt and tights.
The Pink Dress
Ah, but of course. Baby's finale moment comes in this memorable pink dress with a low back that gets paired with strappy shoes.