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Headbands. Hats so preppy they go right out the other end and become weird fashion statements. Jaunty little capelets. Before there was Blair Waldorf, there was Madeline. That little French girl was one of the most stylish characters in fiction, and she just goes to show that money does not buy style. Blair had all the money in the world, and Madeline was a little orphan girl, and they were equally stylish. (Being a little French girl helps.) Here are some of the most important fashion lessons from Madeline:

1. You need a squad.

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Madeline rolled everywhere with her girl squad of 12 little French girls who dressed identically and did everything in two straight lines. That takes some organization! I don’t know how they decided which girls got to stand at the front of the lines, but I like to think they rotated, like the way ducks and geese take turns being in the front when they fly in a V.

2. But don’t be afraid to stand out. 


Madeline always traveled with 11 other girls dressed exactly like her, but she never completely blended in. She was the smallest one, and the one with bright red hair. Find your tribe, but don’t lose your individuality. Also wear a cape. Their little blue capes are adorable.

3. The most chic dog is a scruffy dog.

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Madeline would not seem nearly as charming and insouciant if she were walking a purebred poodle on a Goyard leash, would she? Fancy dogs may telegraph one’s social aspirations, but nothing says, “I’m confident in my awesomeness and my place in the world” like adopting a cute, scruffy shelter dog. (OK, you get bonus “effortless” points if you can get one of those dogs that always has one ear flipped inside-out.)

4. Don’t fear accessories. 

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A lesser woman might be afraid to wear a giant yellow hat, but not Madeline and her friends. They’re basically Beauxbatons, but with better hats and no magical powers. That’s OK, though, the hats are pretty great.

5. You need a little cape. 

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Now that I think of it, the Beauxbatons wear tiny little capes and matching hats and they really might as well be Madeline and her friends. Are we totally sure that orphanage was not a magic school?