Style Lessons From Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead

Children of the '80s likely remember the landmark American film Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, a harrowing tale of abandoned youth starring a young Christina Applegate as Sue Ellen "Swell" Crandell. In the movie, the best summer of Swell's life quickly turns into a horror show when her Australia-bound mother hires the babysitter from hell, Mrs. Sturak, to watch over her kids.

Luckily for Swell, Mrs. Sturak soon dies. Hooray! The non-silver lining of this cloud? After the kids stuff her into a trunk and drop her at the morgue, they realize they've left their summer spending cash on Mrs. Sturak's person. They've got their freedom, but they've got no money. Call mom? No way—this is the '80s, man. Swell and her eldest brother do a coin-toss with a Mama Celeste pizza box to see who'll be tasked with supporting the family. Mama Celeste (and fate) choose Swell, who first assumes she can work at a clothing store but winds up only landing a job at Clown Dog. After scrubbing the "happy fat vats" for the last time, Swell doctors a resumé to apply as a receptionist at General Apparel West, an ailing uniform manufacturer that she assumes makes designer clothes. Another twist of fate lands her an executive assistant job to Rose Lindsay, a VP at the company.

Swell navigates a world of QED reports, inventory meetings and awkward sexual advances quite well. She may have stolen some petty cash, but who's counting? Summer is going according to plan until the company's receding profit margin recedes...a lot more. In a last-ditch effort to save GAW, Swell puts on an avant-garde re-worked uniform fashion show at her family's home. She's quickly become the savior of GAW—but it all comes crashing down when mom comes home early and freaks out during the show. Needless to say, Swell's style throughout the whole thing is always on-point, even if it is a little heavy on the '80s. Shop her looks below.

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