Ranking Anya Taylor-Joy's Winning Outfits in The Queen's Gambit
The clothes in the hit new Netflix series are nearly as exciting as the chess games (warning: mild SPOILERS ahead!)
A Retro Queen
"So the pretty girl has taste to go with her other gifts," Beth Harmon's chic Parisian friend Cleo says at one point Netflix's hit show The Queen's Gambit. She jokes, "You make me sick."
And indeed, protagonist Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) does have it all. The Queen's Gambit may be about the riveting (and male-dominated) world of chess, but that doesn't mean that the female chess genius doesn't have some serious style of her own.
Click through to see our favorite looks.
24. Plain & Simple
At the start of the series, Beth is saddled with plain clothes: a collared shirt, plain smock dress and a cardigan.
Her short bangs are certainly a sight to be seen, though.
23. Check Her Out
For a girl who loves chess, she wears a lot of checkered clothes. This continues on through the series, as costume designer Gabriele Binder incorporated squares and checks into Taylor-Joy's many looks, reminding us that chess isn't just a game she plays, but her whole life.
This low-cut checkered dress paired with a white collared shirt is both utilitarian and chic.
22. Mix and Match
She also paired the same dress with a black lavallière blouse.
21. In It to Win It
This navy dress marked a foray into color, though the Peter Pan collar kept it super youthful. It was the perfect look for the cover of LIFE.
20. Classic '60s
Harmon rocked this mockneck, three-quarter sleeve top and another checkered skirt with a whole new, sophisticated haircut.
19. Mellow Yellow
There's nothing wrong with this yellow blouse and grey skirt combo, but we love when we get to see the character experiment with fashion, and this look felt a little plain.
18. Fit for a Champion
For a particularly tough match, there were no checks in site (unless you count a checkmate) when Harmon wore this navy boatneck top and complementary cream skirt.
17. Game On
Harmon's head scarf adds something extra to this otherwise simple and structured look.
16. Mint to Be
Though extremely hungover, Harmon manages to find a conservative mint green dress (complete with a pussybow), for her match with Grandmaster Borgov. She may feel bad, but she looks great.
15. Bathing Beauty
Why do we suddenly want to own a swim cap?
Even a swim in the pool is a fashion statement. Harmon wore a black and white checkered (of course) one-piece with a triangular cutout and black belt.
14. Out and About
Harmon paired a patterned silk shirt with a cozy cardigan for a trip to the store. If we looked like this when we ran errands, we would run a lot more errands.
13. Check Marks the Spot
For the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, she wore a checkered dress with a black trim, accompanied by a black bolero.
12. Heads Up
We are mostly obsessed with the headbands that Taylor-Joy and her costar Moses Ingram (who plays Beth's childhood friend Jolene) rock while playing squash.
11. It's In the Details
At first glance, this looks like a simple cream dress, but if you look closer, you'll see that the buttons at her shoulder are — you guessed it — checkered.
Binder told The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, "Almost immediately we realized that we’d often see her mid-shot, sitting at the chessboard. We wanted interesting necklines. Something that stood out but didn’t overwhelm."
10. Keeping It Light
The subtle texture of Harmon's skirt and collared shirt marked a departure for the character.
9. Cool and Cozy
We wish we had these black trousers, cream sweater and colorblock cardigan so we could study chess and become Grandmasters ourselves. (That's how it works, right?)
8. Sleek and Elegant
While we love her chessboard-inspired aesthetic, this relaxed, all-black casual look is classic in an Audrey Hepburn way.
7. Playing With Pattern
As the show shifts from the early to late '60s, it's fun to watch Taylor-Joy's character experiment with color and patterns, but still with cheeky chessboard nods.
6. Think Pink
This pink A-line, boatneck dress feels classic and softer than the other looks Harmon wears to observe her competitor, Vasily Borgov, while at a tournament in Mexico.
5. Playing It Cool
This navy miniskirt and red-and-navy striped top is made even cooler with cat-eye sunglasses.
The series' costume designer told The Hollywood Foreign Press Association of the look, "We are starting to see her personality – that of a young girl, as she grows in confidence, and moves into her own – both at the chessboard and in life."
4. Eye Love This Look
Sure, at this point in the show Taylor-Joy's character is spiraling out of control, but her Twiggy/Edie Sedgwick-inspired eye makeup is still amazing. Paired with a mint hat and mustard top, it's the late-'60s look of our dreams — and acts as a subtle callback to her mint dress in the match with Borgov.
3. Russian Beauty
When Harmon finally makes it to Russia, her outfit is fit for a spy film — all sleek lines and sharp contrast. From the trench to the wide-legged trousers, it's clear that she means business.
We told you that there are a lot of checkers in this limited series, but this coat is our favorite.
1. All White Everything
If we learned one thing about chess watching The Queen's Gambit, it is that the person who plays the white pieces (and therefore starts the game) has the advantage.
After a series of wearing mostly dark colors and staying away from white, Harmon finally proves herself in the finale, and dons this all-white outfit that's fit for a Queen...of chess, anyway.
Costume Designer Gabriele Binder intentionally designed this piece to "mimic the profile of a White Queen piece in chess."
Want to know more about the costumes? Check out The Queen and The Crown: A Virtual Costume Exhibition, a collaboration between Netflix and The Brooklyn Museum, for a self-guided tour!