“Pretty Little Liars” costume designer Mandi Line has her work cut out for her with the character of Spencer, played by Troian Bellisario. In the book series of the same name, Spencer is very preppy. But Line says Troian is such a hipster – very in fashion and edgy – that her style comes out no matter what. So to keep Spencer’s conservative wardrobe from getting boring, Line gets far more creative than argyle and sweater sets. She often shops at American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and J Crew for urban pieces with a boho feel.
Line shares the thinking behind a few favorite outfits:
1. “Here Spencer is wearing a blazer that is very preppy but hip with an ’80s touch. The paisley blouse underneath is trendy. Everything Spencer does is very meaningful. Her necklace is a karma necklace that also can be worn as a bracelet. It’s very simple, not over-the-top like Aria. The belt is a really cool vintage belt. Her jeans are classic, she doesn’t do tears or rips. Spencer is great in nice, skinny jeans. She’s probably got some sort of tall riding boot on. Her style is very plain, she never wears crazy earrings that weigh 500 pounds each. Spencer would never be that loud. Her clothes are approved by her mom, and she doesn’t do anything to rock the boat.”
2. “This photo is from a photo shoot, which always are a conglomeration of minds. The background is soft and beautiful, so I threw into the mix, ‘Why don’t we do pastels?’ Using pastels is a way to feature each character equally and tie in with the background. Everything is based off one core thing. We had every color pastel dress in Los Angeles you can think of, and this one is almost a flapper dress. Spencer, no matter what she does, has a vintage feel to her because she’s got this timeless body, beautiful hair and classic face. Only a person with very thin arms and legs can pull this off. Her fringe is horizontal, no one can pull off horizontal fringe like Troian. She is so statuesque. The dress is timeless and perfect for her. What helps elongate her is the jewelry. It moves nicely.
3. “We’ve been stuck in fall for almost two seasons now. For every choice I make I have to realize there will be a jacket with it. I found this great little lace blouse that had a baby doll look to it. I found the jacket down in Warner Brothers, and it’s vintage and it’s so tiny no one else could wear it but Troian. And of course Spencer is going to have obnoxious pearls in because that is Spencer and it ties in with the buttons. I’m so matchy-matchy I could make you gag. But it works in the photos and it’s so over-the-top viewers like it.”