This summer marks the tenth anniversary of the iconic chick flick classic The Devil Wears Prada, and every woman around the world has been re-watching the film and remembering why they loved it in the first place. Sure, the characters are a big part of it – Meryl Streep’s portrayal of the icy media queen Miranda Priestly is flawless and terrifying, Emily Blunt’s sassy assistant is spot on, and it’s basically the role that put Anne Hathaway on the map.
However, the real reason that the film resonated so much was because so many young women at the start of their careers saw themselves in Andy’s character. They knew the struggle of working a job you weren’t crazy about because you had long-term ambitions you thought it might help achieve, they knew the struggle of working for a crazy boss and being unsure of how to achieve a work-life balance, and they knew what it was like trying to make it on your own in the big city. Not all women managed to acquire a wardrobe as killer as Andy’s, but they could definitely identify with her career journey.
Are you ready to travel down memory lane and nod along with all those moments when you felt like the screenwriters were basically reading your mind? Here are 15 times The Devil Wears Prada was basically your life.
15 When Andy has to put together a work wardrobe
Okay, the concept of a work wardrobe was a bit exaggerated in The Devil Wears Prada, given that Andy worked at a fashion magazine where the wardrobe expectations were much, much higher. However, let’s be honest – unless you lucked out and manage to get a job in a casual environment, chances are your first post-college job will require a totally different wardrobe than what you wore to class. You’ll likely have to keep the mini dresses and flirty, semi-sheer tops for the evenings and weekends, and stock up on a few staples like blazers, pencil skirts, and dresses that go to the knee. It can be confusing. You may not be expected to come up with high fashion looks like Andy does in the film, but in most professional environments, you have to somehow strike a balance. You want to let your personality show a bit, but you want to look professional at the same time. It’s a tough balancing act!
14 When Andy has to keep her eyes on the prize
Let’s face it – unless you’re very, very fortunate, chances are you won’t walk out of college and step immediately into your dream job. No matter how hard a worker you are, you’ll likely need to pay your dues in some job that is only quasi-related to what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, hoping that you’ll eventually rise up in the ranks and earn your perfect job. Andy Sachs knows this. When she found herself unable to find a job in ‘serious’ journalism, like she wanted to, she takes a job at a fashion magazine – despite having absolutely no interest in fashion – because she’s told working for the venerable Miranda Priestly is an invaluable stepping stone in the media world. It’s something that basically anyone in any career path has had to deal with – you always have to start somewhere, stay humble, and hustle until you get your dream job.
13 When a mentor basically saved Andy from disaster
When you’re new in an industry, or fresh out of college, it can be tough to navigate the culture at your new job. Every office is different, every industry is different, and those within it often don’t have the time or energy to show you the ropes. One of the most valuable things you can do when you’re starting out in your career (or, quite frankly, at any point in your career) is find a mentor you can learn from. It could be someone in your industry, or it could be someone from an entirely different world – the point is, they can help point you in the right direction and give you some advice on reaching your goals. In the movie, amongst the sea of catty fashionistas unwilling to help the frumpy new girl, Andy finds Nigel – and while he gives tough love and doesn’t coddle her, he helps her out and becomes exactly what she needs to understand the unique world at Runway.
12 When Andy struggled to find a work-life balance
As Miranda’s assistant, Andy has to be on call essentially 24/7. While your boss may not be calling your cell at 2 a.m., you likely get emails when you’re trying to relax and find yourself stressing about things that need to be done at the office. When you’re starting out in your career, it can be tough to figure out what your ideal work-life balance should be. On the one hand, you’re young and want to have time to socialize with your friends and spend time with your partner. You want to be able to meet friends for after-work drinks and laugh over a movie with your girlfriends at home while putting on face masks and drinking wine. However, you also want to impress people at work, so you’re likely the first to volunteer to take on extra duties and the first to offer to stay late when necessary – after all, you never know what your superiors will take note of. It’s hard to find the perfect balance.
11 When Andy just owned her outsider status
When she interviewed with Miranda, Andy didn’t pretend to be a fashionista. She was totally honest about the fact that her interests lie in a different sort of journalism, but she sold herself because she was a hard worker who was willing to do whatever it took. Miranda saw something in her that she liked, and Andy proved to be so good that she quickly surpassed Emily in the rankings. The lesson? You never know what you’ll be the right fit for. Whether it ends up working out in the end or not, as in Andy’s case, you have to put yourself out there and march to the beat of your own drum. You’re never going to be perfect at everything, and there’s no use trying to be like everyone else. Work on the skills you know you’re amazing at, pursue the things you’re passionate about, and eventually things will fall into place.
10 When Emily had to fake it till she made it
While the job at Runway is just a stepping stone for Andy, for Emily, it was the bottom of the totem pole for exactly what she wanted to do. She knew she wanted to work in fashion, and she knew Miranda’s assistants were almost always promoted to higher positions within Runway, so she was just putting in the time until that happened. However, even for someone who sees their dream on the horizon, it can be difficult to deal with such a tough boss day after day after day. Emily constantly worked herself to the bone for Miranda without any praise or gratitude whatsoever. So, even she had moments when she had to close her eyes and remind herself that she loved her job, she loved where she was at, and that she’d make it through. You’re not always going to be absolutely crazy about every element of your job – but if you know if the positives outweigh the negatives, sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.
9 When Miranda showed you how to voice your opinion
Okay, this is not so much a moment you related to as one you wished you could relate to at that time in your life. There’s no doubt about it – Miranda was absolutely terrifying. A boss who screamed would have been less intimidating than Miranda with her soft, chilling statements. However, there was one thing that she showed loud and clear – no one was going to tell her what to do. When she didn’t like something, she said so. When she wasn’t impressed by someone, she said so. She wasn’t willing to accept anything substandard. While you don’t want to be the type of boss who rules by sending her employees into a tailspin the moment she steps foot into the office, there’s no doubt that Miranda was a total #girlboss. She owned her power, she knew what she wanted, and she worked hard to get it. We all kind of wish we had the moxy to tell people when they were underperforming and basically just being too lazy to do their jobs.
8 When Andy was clueless about some aspects of her new job
Everyone remembers the scene in the film when Andy takes one of her first messages on Miranda’s phone and almost immediately commits a faux pas by asking someone from one of the biggest fashion houses to spell their brand – something she should absolutely know. While it’s a bit temperamental of the person on the line to hang up simply because someone didn’t know their brand, the fact remains – sometimes, there are things in a job that you’re just expected to know. In the case of Andy at Runway, that was how to spell every brand in the fashion industry – and how to recognize them. In another job, it may be a different skill. Within a short amount of time, Andy is taking messages flawlessly and never insulting the designers with her lack of knowledge. Even though you’ll likely have the Gabbana moment at some point at the beginning of a new job, you’ll soon reach mastery – trust us.
7 When Andy had enough of stupid men
Andy’s serious relationship in the film with Alex fizzles out because of her inability to balance the demands of her work life and her personal life, and soon after, she falls into the arms of the suave and charming Christian. She gets wrapped up in the whole fashion world and ends up making some choices that the old Andy never would have – and at one point, she gets absolutely fed up with Christian’s Casanova attitude and delivers the withering one-liner. Every woman has likely experienced that moment. Sure, it may not be after a rendez vous in Paris. It may have been just a moment of being cat-called on the street by some moron. However, every women has felt that wave of exasperation and the urge to shut down stupid men and their patriarchal views. Andy wasn’t another one of Christian’s playthings – she was a strong career woman with goals and dreams and she wouldn’t stand for his idiocy.
6 When you were jealous of that girl who eats everything and stays slim
From her declarations of being one stomach virus away from her goal weight to her diet of eating one cube of cheese whenever she feels faint, Emily’s constant dieting is both tragic and a recurring source of comedy in the film. It’s insane because Emily is crazy thin – she just can’t see it. However, in the moment when Emily gets upset at Andy for a variety of reason and ends with a frustrated “you eat carbs, for christ’s sake,” we all identified. Some women are blessed with crazy metabolisms and can eat burgers every day while staying thin and it can be absolute torture to see a friend or acquaintance eating a fifth cookie as you’re sipping on soda water or inhaling a small salad because you know you’d gain weight immediately if you ate like she did. We totally got Emily in this scene. We’ve all been there at some point.
5 When Andy just channeled the awkwardness
Once she receives her makeover, Andy visually fits in with the fashion crowd in the movie. However, there’s always a little part of her that seems to be more comfortable writing and working on her own than schmoozing at a party. Sure, she can pull out the charm when she needs to, and can get assertive when something needs to be done for Miranda. However, in scenes like this, we’re reminded that she’s just like us – finding herself stuck in situations where she’s not exactly sure what to do. Despite being grown adults, most women have gotten stuck in a situation where they just felt uncertain as to what the protocol was, whether it be something as little as where people take their lunch break at a new job or what you’re supposed to say when you see someone you don’t really know but feel like you should know. Just channel the awkwardness and own it.
4 When Andy got an opportunity she didn’t expect
After her interview with Miranda, Andy 100% doesn’t expect to get the job. Sure, she knows she’s qualified and would likely be great at it – she just knows that she doesn’t have the fashion chops that all of the other applicants likely had. However, little does she know, that deficiency doesn’t really matter to Miranda – she was just looking for someone strong and competent to join her team. So, when a defeated Andy is stopped in the lobby of the Elias-Clarke building by Emily, she’s totally surprised that she’s gotten the job. Everyone has had those moments where you feel like you totally messed something up and it ended up being flawless in everyone else’s eyes. You can’t always see yourself the way that others see you, so there’s really no point beating yourself up because you thought you messed up a presentation or totally fumbled a social interaction with someone important. Most of the time, you did better than you thought, so don’t stress.
3 When Andy was stuck at a formal event instead of where she wanted to be
There’s no doubt that getting all dolled up and going to a glam party or for a great night out at a restaurant or event can be a lot of fun, sometimes. You put on some tunes, have a glass of wine while you’re getting ready, shimmy into your favourite dress and put on your highest heels ready to channel your inner Beyoncé. The key word is sometimes. Even the most social butterfly wants some time to rest and recharge solo every now and then. When she gets tapped to go to the prestigious gala because Emily is too sick to fully do her duties, Andy would much, much rather be hanging out with her boyfriend Alex. She’s stuck at the formal event because of obligation, and she would absolutely rather be in jeans and a t-shirt with Alex. Sometimes, you just have to put on the party dress, smile, and pray that everything ends early and you can just go home to your Netflix and cozy clothes.
2 When Andy knew she had slayed it
There are countless instances in every woman’s life when she’s changed about seven times for something, whether that be a casual get together with friends or a big party. Sometimes, you just can’t seem to find the right outfit, and everything in your closet just doesn’t seem to work. Then, every now and then, you get one of those days – whether it’s because you’re rocking a new outfit you just bought, or whether you’re just feeling totally confident in an old favourite, you feel like you’re absolutely slaying it. As you walk down the sidewalk, you hear runway music playing and you add a little strut to your step. You flip your hair and smile at everyone you meet because you basically feel like a supermodel. Sometimes, those moments come courtesy of thigh high Chanel boots and a careful makeover at the hands of your chic mentor. Sometimes, they come when you just get an outfit on point. Either way, who doesn’t love that feeling?
1 When Andy was the low woman on the totem pole
One of the smallest details in The Devil Wears Prada is likely something that countless women identified with. After Andy starts, one of her jobs is to put away Miranda’s bag and coat every morning after Miranda comes into the office. Seems simple enough, right? Well, it is – but she first has to suffer through the moment when Miranda casually tosses her belongings onto Andy’s desk as if her assistant is her slave. There’s no hello, no thank you, no good morning – just a silent toss of her things as she breezes right past Andy into her office. While most women won’t be forced to put away their boss’s haute couture every morning, they will know the feeling of being the low woman on the totem pole. From fetching coffee to making copies to doing the tasks that no one else wants to do, every woman has been there before.