"I think we should make a choice, to do something radical and wonderful."
- Young Donna
A Boat To An Island Picnic
So the scene we're looking at today is when young Donna (played by Lily James) and young Sam (Jeremy Irvine) take a small rowboat out to an island for a picnic. Sam is wearing a half open dirty-white shirt with the sleeves rolled up paired with short blue shorts, while Donna is wearing a denim bralette and high waist jean shorts with cuffed hems. This was one of the most memorable denim outfits for me and like the other denim outfits worn by young Donna in Mamma Mia 2... it was somewhat of a surprise.
The not-quite-matching denim bralette and high waist jean shorts are a statement to Donna's bold and unconventional character, here she was with potentially the man of her dreams off the coast of the island of her dreams and she wore casual everyday denim (excuse the plug). This is the true Donna laid bare; vulnerable, casual, sexy, but still a powerful force to be reckoned with.
"For Lily, I went to Los Angeles and looked at a lot of vintage shops and found really key pieces, but because we needed doubles for dancing and stand-ins, we had things made."
Costume Designer Michele Clapton
via Hollywood Reporter
The Denim Bralette
The Denim bralette or bikini top is a darker blue than the jean shorts Donna is wearing in this scene which is to communicate to us the viewers that Donna is a normal average woman wearing normal sometimes-not-matching clothes, but with a vintage twist. For a five percent discount on your cart use code DONNAJEANS178. Featuring a seam across the middle of both cups, spaghetti straps tied at the back and a sweeping V neckline the bralette is an unusual and unexpected item, however this bralette would have been typical to this era. So what is a seemingly plain denim bralette is actually essential in telling the story of Donna's character.
The Jean Shorts
This high waist retro style jean short is already all the rage right now but this particular pair does not feature pearling, rips, scars, scuffs, or frays. This pair of jean shorts is clean and all retro style and features a slightly longer leg than is popular now. The high waist is of course critical for this look and the slightly longer leg makes this a more modest and less provocative outfit, which again is important to tell Donna's story as she is not out to turn heads or catch eyes with this outfit, this is the true everyday Donna, take it or leave it.
So the message here is that Donna's individuality comes from being true to herself and wearing what she feels most comfortable in. So what is indeed radical is how Donna puts her true self out on display and not what is expected, which in and of itself is more rare and more priceless than any chic or expensive outfit.