How to Dress Like Cate Blanchett’s Ocean’s 8 Character, Who Is Definitely Queer, Right?

Um, we need to talk about Cate Blanchett’s Ocean’s Eight character. Specifically, we need to talk about the set photos that have been popping up that show Cate Blanchett wearing what can only be described as “Carol Aird’s wardrobe if Carol Aird were a modern-day rockstar and not a 1950s housewife.” Here I was, thinking Sarah Paulson’s casting was the gayest thing to happen to this movie. And then along came Cate Blanchett in her multiple leather pants and her blazers and her longing looks at Sandra Bullock. It’s like Blanchett did Carol and then said “you know what I want to do next? Something much gayer.”

There is, so far, zero official confirmation as to whether Blanchett’s character — or any character in Ocean’s Eight, for that matter — will be queer. We don’t even know most of the characters’ names. So I am operating under the assumption that they all are queer. Don’t let me down, Hollywood!!!!

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Blanchett’s wardrobe for the film includes a lot of different takes on suiting, a lot of leather, and a lot of metallic shoes. I’m pretty sure Blanchett’s character will wear approximately 75 different outfits over the course of the film and is only involved in this heist as a way to increase her leather pants budget, which is already astronomical. Every outfit combines undeniably queer aesthetics, and I’m already planning my entire winter wardrobe around these very bold, very gay looks. The last time set photos got me this riled up was when we got our first few looks of Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann in Ghostbusters.

Here are seven of Blanchett’s already iconic looks from the movie with ideas for how to recreate them on a budget that does not require executing an elaborate heist.


Cheetah Girls, If Cheetah Girls Were More Explicitly Gay And Not Just Subtextually Gay

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First off, I will take this moment to reiterate the fact that Cheetah Girls ranks in the Top 5 Most Subtextually Queer Disney Channel Original Movies. I have to get that one off my chest every few weeks or so. Now, Blanchett was wearing this printed coat in the first set photos that came out, and it was our first glimpse at the wonderfully queer costuming to come.

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ASOS Geometric Necklace Pack // Glitter Faux Leather Booties // Forever 21 Floral Square Scarf // ASOS Slim Coat in Leopard Print or Y.A.S. Leopard Print Coat or Forever 21 Leopard Print Faux Fur Jacket // RiverPanda Gold Metal Mirror Waist-Belt // Nasty Gal Flare Game High-Waisted Pants // Sleater-Kinney Silhouette T-Shirt (She is wearing some sort of graphic tee, and I can’t quite make out what it says, so I’m just choosing something gay) // ASOS Aviator Sunglasses In Brushed Gold


Modern-Day Queer Willy Wonka

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My dear friend Jillian came up with the name for this look, and she is not wrong. Blanchett is literally wearing a green three-piece velvet suit. Now, this is not an easy look to replicate without spending hundreds of dollars, so I’ve come up with a slightly more practical outfit inspired by the original.

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Black Heeled Ankle Boots // Thai Silk Accent Scarf // New Look Pajama Style Velvet Jumpsuit  // Forever 21 Layered Chain Necklace 


Hop Onto My Motorcycle And Let’s Ride Into The Sunset

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I SWEAR IF CATE B AND SANDY B ARE NOT ACTUAL GIRLFRIENDS IN THIS MOVIE, I WILL LOSE MY SHIT. Look at these two perfect gals being pals along a rocky beach. How many vests does Cate Blanchett’s character own? Here’s an embarrassing but relevant story about myself: In 6th grade, I started wearing vests because Cameron on the television show House M.D. wore vests. Please share any and all vest stories you have in the comments.

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Parallel Lines High-Waist Leather Look Pants or River Island Plus Leather Look Pants or Contemporary Faux Leather-Paneled Leggings // ASOS Plaited Bangle // Black Velvet Vest // ALDO Aravia Leather Heeled Ankle Boots or ASOS Rosaline Heeled Ankle Boots // Anny’s Silky Solid Tie Scarf // Rhythm Carnation Bomber Jacket


Campy 1980s Villain Chic

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Will the other members of Ocean’s Eight comment on the fact that Blanchett’s character looks like she is perpetually about to crash a party in Gotham and start threatening people? Please note that her belt has two wolf heads on it. Unless you casually have $600 to drop on a Gucci belt, you’re not going to find something exactly like this two-headed wolf belt (even the Gucci version only has one wolf head!).

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Boohoo Leather Look Zip Detail Pant // Calvin Klein Stretch Purple Dress Shirt // ASOS Skinny Tie // Public Desire Darla Black Mirror Heeled Ankle Boots // Wolf Head Belt


Power Clashing While Power Posing

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I will be the first to admit that Blanchett looks a little bit like curtains here. But she is Cate Blanchett, so she looks like hot curtains. You, too, can look like hot curtains with the right power clashing combo. Mixing paisley with another pattern seems to be the right way to go.

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So Glad You Sassed Bootie // Stretch-Knit Flare Pants // Miss Selfridge Longline Duster Coat or H&M Long Jacket // Vintage Paisley Long-Sleeve Shirt // River Island Gold Aviator Sunglasses


Oh You Really Thought I Was Just Going To Wear One Three-Piece Suit In This Movie?

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Three-piece suits ain’t cheap, but if you’re in the market for one, ASOS has some of the most affordable options. But you can still pull off Blanchett’s bold look by mix-matching different pieces. It won’t look as cohesive, but Blanchett’s general aesthetic in this movie is quite audacious, so mix-matching still seems faithful to the character.

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ASOS Curve Curb Chain Cuff Bracelet // Satin-Back Suit Vest  // Contemporary Flap-Pocket Flared Pants or Forever 21 Texture Flared Pants // ALDO Guion Layering Necklace // ASOS Longline Tux Jacket or Forever 21 Single-Button Blazer // ASOS Rachelle Heeled Ankle Boots


Rocking Velvet On Leather Because I Don’t Give A Fuck

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In addition to mixing patterns in this movie, Blanchett is also mixing materials. Like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, leather and velvet make a very cute couple.

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Wintage Velvet Blazer or The Fenty Blazer // ASOS Jersey Vest // New Look Chelsea High Patent Boots // Tripp NYC Faux Leather Pant or EDENKISS Women’s High-Waist Faux Leather Legging

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a Brooklyn-based writer, television critic, and comedian who spends most of her time over-analyzing queer subtext on television, singing "Take Me Or Leave Me" in public places, and assembling cheese platters. She has a cat named after Piper Halliwell from Charmed, and her go-to karaoke song is "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch. Her writing can also be found at The A.V. Club and The Hollywood Reporter, and she wrote the webseries Sidetrack. You can catch her screaming in all-caps about Kalinda Sharma, Jennifer Lopez, and oysters on Twitter and Instagram.

Kayla has written 171 articles for us.

36 Comments

    • Aye, but heels do okay in/were invented for stirrups
      Like the saddle kind on the majestic black Frizian the priestess-warrior-queen of my heart that is Cate Blanchett rides upon.

  1. This is hilarious OMG, I can’t stop laughing! Especially this: “I will be the first to admit that Blanchett looks a little bit like curtains here. But she is Cate Blanchett, so she looks like hot curtains. You, too, can look like hot curtains with the right power clashing combo.”

  2. I’ve been obsessing over her clothes for this movie since I saw the photos last week, thanks for this!

    Also, until you just mentioned their names together in this article, I didn’t realize how much I need the two Kates (McKinnon & Blanchett, obvs) to star in their own movie as lovers. Carol 2.0?

  3. I had a vest phase at age 9 because I guess enormous red framed eyeglasses were not embarrassing enough for one third grader.

    Can’t say I’m upset about Cate Blanchett in a vest, though.

  4. Modern-Day Queer Willy Wonka is already surely one of the best outfit ideas going before you even add Cate Blanchett in the mix.

    Thank you for this article. I had missed all of these set photos, and had I gone to see the movie without being forewarned I think I would have risked a public display of emotions (read: happy sobbing) in the cinema.

  5. Ok so this goes against my general policy of bringing up men in a conversation when not completely necessary, BUT. Part of why I love this article so much is that it is also giving me a guide to dressing like Harry Styles, which is a life goal I developed this year. There is an amazing tumblr post comparing Cate Blanchett’s coats to his. (Does it absolve me a little that Tegan and Sara also love Harry’s styles?) Anyway thanks this is great.

  6. I saw these pictures and immediately got a Leather Tuscadero vibe especially with the hair and everything. I’m not ancient to make that reference, I just watched Happy Days reruns when I was younger.

    • SUZI QUATRO! *fanpersonsounds*

      I watched Happy Days reruns too, but I never saw her and have only had uneven quality collection of youtube vids to observe her glory.

      This one is supposed to all of the Leather Tuscadero performances

      Also if anyone wants a song to enhance their enjoyment of this How To Dress Like… I’d go wit Wild One by Suzi Quatro

      “I’m a red hox fox, I can take the knocks. I’m a hammer from hell, honey can’t you tell?”

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