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What would Beth from the Queen’s Gambit be wearing today to attend her socially-distanced chess matches? 

By Marissa Lee.

If you have yet to watch Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, I suggest diverting your attention to your television. Although this piece does not contain spoilers, it’s in your best interest to watch the show before reading; it’s simply that good. 

Beth Harmon, the show’s protagonist, is everything television needs right now: as we struggle with societal demons and re-enter another round of possible quarantine confinement, viewers may seek solace in a story like Beth’s. From her torrid upbringing that introduces her to a life of addiction and hardship and a natural talent for chess, the short first season takes us from Beth’s life at an orphanage to finding herself as an international chess master.

Not the focal point of The Queen’s Gambit, yet perfect testament to her character, are Beth’s sartorial assignments. Steady and sultry, reflective of her character, Beth is consistently outfitted in a dress or midi skirt, consistent with the show’s time period of the ‘60s. Beth’s chess matches often land her in a salon full of men expressing dubiety of her playing abilities, yet she commands their attention, from pencil skirt to fiery orange bob.

Although her wardrobe adheres to that of a typical ‘60s woman and her lifestyle is more about keeping it together than keeping a finger on the pulse, there’s a steady self-assuredness about Beth that is a true testament to her resilience. Her love of and talent for chess combined with her hard-headed mission to break boundaries paired with her typical every-woman-wardrobe is proof that you can really do it all, sometimes to your own surprise.

So, what would Beth be wearing today to attend her socially-distanced (or even online) chess matches? We’ve certainly moved on from the ‘60s – right? It seems the opposite, actually. The aforementioned midi skirt, a mid century favorite propagated by women from the 1950’s and on through the ‘70s, seems to have made a resurgence in all its boiled wool glory. Designers like Thom Browne and Marine Serre are emulating the garment in it’s true ‘50s form, while brands like Off-White and Dries Van Noten are offering interpretations of the garment that may not have flown at the sock hop. 

A perfect marriage of the two comes in the form of this Burberry Ruffled Plissé Skirt, perfectly adhering to Beth’s tastes, both feminine and sultry. On-brand with her fiery personality and hairdo, Beth might sport this Meryll Rogge Red Wool Crepe Turtleneck alongside the skirt for a form-fitting yet fittingly ‘proper’ ensemble. Rarely without an accessory on her head, whether it be a coquettish beret or a beautiful silk headband, Beth might subscribe to this Maison Michel Red Miwa Headband to complete her look. Although she is known to frequent a lower kitten heel (as many women of the day did), these high-rise Mia Eyelet Mules from Italian brand Wandler may be more up to speed for this decade. Last in the lineup for an elegant (and completely radical) finale, are the Alexander McQueen Gold Beetle Earrings, perhaps a little out of pocket in typical 1960s fair, but would no doubt finish off her outfit (perhaps while distracting her opponent).