Jennifer Beals’ Iconic Cut Off Sweatshirt, ‘Flashdance,’ Was Caused By A Laundry Mistake


Jennifer Beals is well-known for her role in Alex Owens’ award-winning movie Flashdance. Although the movie is well-known for its theme of following your dreams, as well as the music that easily gets stuck in your head, Beals’ wardrobe is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the film. From the cut-off gray sweatshirt to the red band jacket she sports, the movie set the stage for ’80s fashion. But, one part of the iconic wardrobe was created by chance.

Beals’ Creative Take On A Laundry Mistake

Raise your hand if you’ve ever put your clothing into the dryer only to retrieve a child-sized version of the garment. We all know better than drying clothes at high heat. However, many of us have made this mistake. Many of us would rather throw the garment away or keep it in our closet. Beals was creative with the way she wore her shrunken sweater.

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Beals understood that even with a shrunken sweatshirt Beals could still be a great person. “a girl’s got to make a living.” She wasn’t about to let the undersized sweatshirt stop her from making it to her wardrobe fitting for Flashdance. Instead of throwing it out, she made the most of the sweatshirt and cut the neck. The movie’s iconic gray sweatshirt was the fashion error that made her famous, according to the actress.

‘It Was Based On A Fashion Accident’

Recent appearance The Tonight Show with Jimmy FallonFallon and Beals share a few laughs about Fallon’s first interpretation of the sweatshirt. The host brings out the movie poster, and Beals asks for details about the sweatshirt. Surprisingly the actress admits the cutoff sweatshirt was inspired by a piece she had in her closet that was dried in the dryer.

“It was based on a fashion accident,” admitted Beals. “I had my favorite sweatshirt in high school and I put it in the dryer for too long and at really high heat. So the neck part shrunk, and I couldn’t get my head through it, so I just cut out the hole. And I wore it to a wardrobe fitting for Flashdance, and Adrian Lyne, the director, really loved it. And Michael Caplan, the costume designer loved it, so he made a much better version of it for the film.”

Fallon continues to ask the question that we all want to know: Does Beals still own the sweatshirt? It turns out she does. She actually keeps it safe in storage. What’s more, she also has the red band jacket from the movie. Beals is well aware of the importance these iconic looks have in fashion history.

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