Book Style // Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Eleanor West)


The kooky “headmistress” of the school in Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is quite the character, if not by her actions, at least by her outfits. This zany outfit inspired by Eleanor West is a mix of colors, patterns, and textures that stand out in a crowd.

Let’s take a look!

We first see the true Eleanor West, when Nancy enters the school. A passage on page eighteen describes Eleanor as:

She would have looked perfectly respectable, if not for her electric orange trousers, paired with a hand-knit sweater of rainbow wool and a necklace of semi-precious stones in a dozen colors, all of them clashing.

So for Eleanor’s look I wanted to take the orange trousers and hand-knit sweater and make sure there was a tailored silhouette to them. So I started with some orange Victoria, Victoria Beckham Tailored Pants and a Saint Laurent Striped Knitted Jumper. To get a necklace that clashed with this already loud outfit I added a Betsey Johnson Tropical Punch Long Necklace.

We don’t hear about what shoes Eleanor is wearing, but I don’t think Eleanor West acts her age when she dresses. So, I think she would be drawn to the Fluevog aesthetic. Specifically, I think she would love the Fluevog Tziporah Slingback with Appliqué in Lilac and Teal. This shoe feels like it’s unique enough to go with the rest of the outfit, but still contrasts enough to stand out on its own.

Then to add some more bling to this outfit, I few extra multi-colored pieces of jewelry starting with a Bohemian Multilayer Bracelet Women’s Beads Crystal BraceletI complemented these colors with a Gab+Cos Designs Sterling Silver Rainbow CZ Band Ring and a pair of pink BaubleBar Artemis Tassel Drop Earrings.

For makeup, I wanted this look to have a bit of color, so I included the NARS NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette with a selection of colors, I think Eleanor can pull of a more subdued look or something a little brighter. For her eyes I added the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette. This palette has some really electrifying colors that I think will suit Eleanor’s personality well. To define her eye, I complemented the palette with the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in “Spandex.”

Last, but not least, I wanted to give Eleanor a bright lip color. Urban Decay VICE Lipstick comes in over 100 shades, and I settled on “Frenemy” for Eleanor, which is a bright pink with a blue shift. To define her lips I also added the matching 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil.

SHOP THE LOOK: Pants | Sweater | Shoes | Necklace | Bracelet | Ring | Earrings | Cheek Palette | Eyeshadow Palette | Eyeliner | Lipstick | Lipliner | Explore the Look on Polyvore

The Book That Inspired the Look

Book Cover - Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuireEleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is available wherever books are sold. You can purchase a copy at Book Depository, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local independent bookseller.

You can also add the book to your Goodreads shelf

What do you think of this look inspired by Eleanor West from Every Heart a Doorway? Could you see yourself wearing any of these pieces in real life? 


Published by Lauren Busser

Lauren Busser is a fiction writer and essayist. She is an associate editor at Tell-Tale TV, where she writes about all things tv. She has had fiction appear in five : 2 : one magazine’s #thesideshow and her nonfiction has appeared in Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. You can find her talking about tv, film, and knitting on Twitter @LaurenBusser.

6 thoughts on “Book Style // Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Eleanor West)

  1. Oh, this is such a bright outfit! I don’t think I could pull off this look in real life, but I love the jewelry you picked ahah. I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s definitely on my TBR! I can’t wait to read it. Lovely post!


    1. I don’t think I can either, but it was so much fun to put together! Eleanor is so cooky! Honestly I see this outfit and I think: “Helena Bonham Carter needs to put on a white wig and she can totally pull this off!” I can’t wait to see your thoughts on Every Heart a Doorway. It’s a great novella!


  2. I’d wear the rainbow-striped sweater and the orange pants together. In my particular case, though, I’d swap out the pants for an orange skirt, since I don’t wear pants, but I like the combo. I’d wear the boho jewelry, definitely, but not with that outfit. I’m not as outré as Eleanor!


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