By Catherine Taylor
When the CW’s Riverdale first graced our Netflix recommendations in 2017, the show presented itself as a kooky alternative to the standard teen mystery – dramas that preceded it (we’re looking at you, Pretty Little Liars). Now in its third season, this melodramatic, sometimes cringe – inducing, ever – entertaining teen soap continues to shock viewers, and has made stars out of its previously unknown principal cast.
Arguably, the breakout star of Riverdale is the talented Madelaine Petsch, who plays fiery redheaded cheerleader Cheryl Blossom. Adored by Riverdale fans for her scathingly witty one – liners (“Is being the gay best friend still a thing?”) and her ever – optimistic attitude, Cheryl nonetheless has a darker, more complex side to her character, and her wardrobe reflects this. So buckle up, Vixens, because we’re about to show you how to emulate Cheryl’s enviable style, all on a student budget.
Perhaps the most prevalent feature of Cheryl’s style is her penchant for the colour red. Rarely seen without at least one clothing item in this bold hue, Cheryl’s love of red perfectly reflects her vivid personality. Historically, red has been the colour of choice for those seeking to emulate power and radiance, whilst simultaneously suggesting more sinister connotations: red is often used in film and television to foreshadow bloodshed and violence.
Red, much like Cheryl, is a colour of contradictions. On the surface Cheryl is calculating, fiery and ambitious. However, as the show’s seasons come and go, we discover an alternate side to Cheryl, what lies beneath her bubbly exterior. Add edge to any Cheryl – inspired outfit with one statement red piece: think bold coats or heeled boots in various shades of scarlet. Remember Cheryl’s iconic red cape coat? Obsessed.
As captain of her beloved cheerleading squad the River Vixens, Cheryl often incorporates preppy items into her wardrobe to best reflect her position as Queen Bee of Riverdale High. The Cher Horowitz of TV in 2018, Cheryl doesn’t shy away from patterns in her sartorial choices. Check skirts and coats are staples of her wardrobe, as are polka dot and star patterns. To achieve Cheryl’s preppy look, don’t be afraid to experiment! Pair a classic check skirt with a ruffle blouse for a look that’s equal parts flirty and feminine.
Alternatively, a notable feature of Cheryl’s style is the edge that she brings to even her most feminine outfits. In earlier seasons this took the form of Cheryl’s iconic spider brooch, which adorned everything from maroon leather jackets to white high-neck blouses. Think spiders can only be a staple of your Halloween costume? Think again, as there are subtle ways to incorporate everyone’s favourite creepy-crawlies into your look. ASOS is currently selling a cute replica spider brooch for less than €5, allowing avid Cheryl fans (namely, us!) to channel their favourite River Vixen on a budget.
In terms of textures, Cheryl’s holy trinity consists of lace, leather and fur. These types of items are typical staples of the winter months, with fur coats remaining a permanent fixture on the high street for autumn/winter 2018. Channel Cheryl’s classic lace top and leather skirt outfit combination for a night out, or alternatively dress down your fur jacket with jeans and trainers for an outfit that’s sophisticated, yet not over the top.
Finally, in terms of makeup, Cheryl’s look may in fact be the easiest to replicate of all the Riverdale leading ladies. If there’s one makeup staple you’re sure to never see Ms Blossom without, it’s her signature red lip. We’d recommend MAC’s classic Ruby Woo to nail this one. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but don’t tell Cheryl that we’re trying to copy her. She may be in the mood for chaos!