Jennifer Beals’ Iconic Cut-Off Sweatshirt In ‘Flashdance’ Happened Because Of A Laundry Mistake


Jennifer Beals is best known for playing the role of Alex Owens in the 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. However, one piece of the iconic wardrobe happened by accident.

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. Although we all know better than to dry most of our clothes on high heat, we all have made this common mistake. However, many of us would just give away the clothing item or put it in the back of our closet. Luckily for Beals, she was creative with how she wore her shrunken sweatshirt.

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Even with a shrunken sweatshirt, Beals knew that “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 the sweatshirt out, she decided to make the most of it and cut out the neck area. The actress recently revealed that her fashion mistake is how her gray sweatshirt in the movie became iconic.

‘It Was Based On A Fashion Accident’

In a recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Beals and Fallon exchange laughs on his opening interpretation of her iconic sweatshirt. The show host then brings out the movie poster and asks Beals to share more about the sweatshirt. Surprisingly, the actress admits that the cutoff sweatshirt was based on a piece from her wardrobe that was shrunk 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 goes on to ask the question we all want to ask: Does Beals still have the sweatshirt? Turns out, she does! In fact, she keeps it safe and sound in storage. What’s more, she also has the red band jacket from the movie. Obviously, Beals understands the importance of these iconic looks in fashion history.

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