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Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Part I

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Fashion inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Photo credit

In every generation, there is a chosen one…she alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She will inspire legions of die-hard Whedonites, multi-disciplinary academic conferences and studies, and Geek Chic inspired-by articles. She is the Slayer.

You knew this was coming. I recently watched all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time and developed a serious-as-a-stake-through-the-heart obsession with the show.

This time around, we’ll focus on outfits inspired by the Scooby Gang — but fear not, ye Spike and Angel lovers, Part II will feature sets inspired by your favorite Big Bads!

Want to add a little more Geek Chic to your day? Check out previous articles about: The Dark Knight trilogy-inspired fashion, Pokemon-inspired fashionThe Amazing Spider-Man-inspired fashionDr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog-inspired fashion Star Wars Prequel-inspired fashionLost-inspired fashionThe Avengers-inspired fashion,Sailor Moon-inspired fashionDoctor Who inspired fashion (plus Part 2 and Part 3), Sherlock-inspired fashion,Star Wars Original Trilogy-inspired fashionThe Hunger Games-inspired fashionThe Big Bang Theory-inspired fashionthe Lord of the Rings-inspired fashion, and Star Trek-inspired fashion.

Know Your Geek: About Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, was loosely based on his script for the 1992 movie of the same name. The show aired for seven seasons, from 1997-2003, first on the WB Network and later on UPN.
  • The show is set in fictional Sunnydale, California, a Hellmouth, which means lots and lots of demonic activity and a higher-than-average mortality rate for Sunnydale residents. Buffy is a teenage girl who has been chosen as the Slayer: she has near-super powers and must shoulder the responsibility of protecting the world from forces of evil. With the help of her friends and her appointed Watcher, she prevents apocalypses, saves the world a lot, and occasionally dies.
  • The show featured a novel juxtaposition of monster-of-the-week thrills and honest portrayals of adolescent struggles; in many episodes, the horrors of high school often mirrored or even surpassed those of the supernatural. Whedon once described BtVS as “My So-Called Life” meets “The X-Files.”
  • Under Whedon’s direction, BtVS pushed the limits of television: for example, there was a musical episode, as well as an episode with virtually no dialogue.
  • In addition, BtVS pushed social boundaries: for instance, Tara and Willow’s relationship was the first long-term lesbian relationship ever depicted on U.S. television.

Outfits Inspired by the Scoobies

Try an outfit or two inspired by Buffy and company: after all, life’s a show, and we all play our parts…which also means you have to dress for the role! And remember: I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

Buffy

buffy-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Buffy Summers, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a California teen who likes shopping, dancing, and stabbing monsters through the heart with pointy wooden stick things. Although she’s great at her job, she sometimes yearns to be like other girls… specifically those who don’t need to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

In season 1, Buffy frequently wore microscopic mini skirts, but later in the series, she appeared more often in pants or longer skirts. (Apparently, Sarah Michelle Gellar protested the needless oversexualization of her costumes!)

buffy
Product Information: Jacket, Top, Jeans, Boots, Bracelet, Ring, Earrings

Get Buffy’s sexy but classy look with a timeless combination of red, white, and black. A drapey white top evokes Buffy’s dress in Prophecy Girl, as well as her penchant for cowl-necks. Add a trendy pair of oxblood coated jeans for an edgy touch. It seems that a leather jacket is a must-have for both Buffy and her undead paramours, so make sure to slip one on!

Understated accessories keep the focus on the clothing pieces: a claddagh bangle alludes to the Irish ring that Angel gives Buffy, while wooden spike (Spike?) earrings and a cross ring reference some of Buffy’s weapons of choice.    

Willow

willow-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Willow Rosenberg, played by Alyson Hannigan, is a shy, bookish girl with serious hacking skills, and, as we find out later, a powerful knack for magic. She eventually becomes a formidable witch, though she does run into trouble when she loses control.

More so than any other character, Willow shows a clear style evolution throughout the show that parallels her rising confidence and self-assurance. Although she has some memorable getups in later seasons (more on that next time), this outfit is inspired by Willow’s ’90s-licious love for quirky oversized sweaters, miniskirts, and beat-up sneakers.

willow
Product Information: Sweater, Skirt, Tights, Shoes, Necklace, Earrings, Ring, Laptop case

A Willow outfit without a fuzzy sweater would be like a world without shrimp (though we would surely tire quickly of a world with nothing but shrimp). Add a denim skater skirt and a pair of oxfords instead of sneakers to bring her nineties look up to date. Hot pink polka dot tights add a pop of color without overwhelming the rest of the outfit.

Star (or pentacle) earrings allude to Willow’s magical powers, while a wolf ring refers to her first serious relationship with Oz. Finally, add your tech accessories: studious Willow would love this fun trompe l’oeil laptop case!

Xander

xander-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Xander Harris, played by Nicholas Brendan, starts out as the hapless sidekick but eventually establishes himself as a vital part of the Scooby Gang.  He’s normally a wisecracking, goofy guy who’s extremely loyal to his friend. However, his loyalty sometimes causes him to be vindictive and unforgiving. (Also, he has beady eyes.)

Although he tones down his taste in prints by the end of the show, Xander boasts an impressive collection of truly atrocious shirts that barely squeak into the so-bad-it’s good classification.

xander
Product Information: Cardigan, Blouse, Jeans, Sneakers, Earrings, Ring

Get Xander’s look without looking like a walking Ringling Brothers ad by choosing a subdued charcoal print blouse and bold — but solid colored — cardigan. High-waisted jeans keep the cropped top appropriate, while floral Keds add another fun dose of pattern.

Garnet earrings represent Xander’s role as the “heart” of the Scooby Gang, while an eye ring references an unfortunate event near the end of the show. Think of it as a funky party weasel look, in the best way possible!

Giles

giles-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Rupert Giles, played by Anthony Stewart Head, is the Watcher assigned to mentor Buffy throughout her stint as Slayer. He goes undercover at  Sunnydale High as the school librarian, which isn’t all that far removed from his real job. Despite his bookish background, though, Giles eschews the rigid formalities of the Watcher’s Council and does his best to help Buffy. In the process, he becomes a surrogate father to her.

Giles typically dresses in the staid fashion you’d expect of a tea-sipping librarian, but we do learn that he has a bit of a rock-and-roll past.

giles
Product information: Blazer, Pants, Top, Loafers, Watch, Necklace, Earrings, Glasses

Brush up on your ancient Sumerian spell books, or at least look like you did, in this preppy look inspired by Sunnydale’s favorite librarian. A tweedy blazer and corduroy pants are classic fall looks.  Add a trendy spin to these mainstays with a Peter Pan collar blouse, round sunglasses, and beige loafers.

Time to accessorize! Books are Giles’s first love, so slip on a pair of book charm earrings, then add a guitar necklace that refers to his days as “Ripper.”

Tara

tara-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Tara Maclay, played by Amber Benson, is a kind, introverted student at UC Sunnydale. She’s a practicing witch and first meets Willow in a Wiccan student group. The two have an instant connection that eventually blossoms into something more. Tara is initially wary of disturbing the Scooby Gang’s existing dynamic, but she proves to be an essential member of the group. Although she deeply loves Willow, Tara has an unwavering sense of morality, even when it means she must make painful sacrifices to honor it.

Tara typically dresses in long layers with organic-feeling fabrics.  She often wears peasant skirts and subtly tie-dyed tops.

tara
Product information: Top, Skirt, Sandals, Necklace, Earrings, Scarf

Snag Tara’s earthy-goddess vibe with relaxed pieces like a tie-front peasant blouse and ochre hi-low skirt. Flat sandals are both cute and comfortable. (You’ll definitely feel more in touch with nature if your feet don’t ache!) Accessorize with dainty pieces like a turquoise and feather pendant. Delicate tree earrings provide another touch of nature while also referring to Willow. Finally, add an airy leaf-print scarf. You’ll have everyone under your spell!

Anya

anya-header
Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Anya[nka] Jenkins, played by Emma Caulfield, is a 1000 year old ex-vengeance demon who once spent her days punishing unfaithful men in highly creative ways, but has now been bound to this mortal coil. She interprets everything extremely literally, has a somewhat irrational fear of bunnies, and despite her demon background, has a very human-like obsession with money.

Anya’s style is hard to pin down, but she does tend to wear fitted 1930s silhouettes that show off her figure. In the musical episode “Once More With Feeling,” she dons an adorable set of Ginger Rogers-esque lingerie for her song and dance number.

anya
Product information: Dress, Pumps, Stockings, Earrings, Necklace, Bangle, Bralet, Tap shorts

Pay tribute to Anya with a sleek retro-inspired ensemble: a scarlet brocade dress is sexy without being revealing. Pretty underthings always pep up my day, even if no one sees them – it’s sort of fun just to know that you’re wearing them!

Add some references to Anya’s distinctive personality quirks with your accessories, like a bunny charm necklace, dollar sign stud earrings, and a glitzy “wish” bangle that alludes to her former profession of granting the wishes of scorned women.

What did you think?

Would you wear these outfits? Are you a Buffy fan? Who was your favorite of the Scoobies? (I absolutely adore Anya!) Besides Buffy Part II: The Big Bads, what other geeky inspirations would you like to see? (An ’80s fantasy-comedy movie next time you say? As you wish!) Let me know in the comments! 

Posted on on September 13, 2012 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , ,

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58 Responses to “Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Part I”

  1. 1
    September 13th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I really LOVE this! I’m a huge Buffy fan and simply adore your Buffy and Giles themed outfits!

  2. 2
    September 13th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    These posts are my favorite! I’d love to see some Game of Thrones inspired fashion. It’s my new geeky obsession!

  3. 3
    September 13th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    These are the best posts! Also love seeing some LGBT characters get some love on this site.

  4. 4
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Love it – but where are the vamps? Spike? Dru? Darla (on “Angel”)? Dark fabrics, gothic silhouettes, tons and tons of leather?

    Oh and Cordelia?

  5. 5
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Whoops – didn’t see the clearly labeled “part I” – my apologies! Great posting.

  6. 6
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Been waiting for this for so long! I loved the Buffy and Giles outfits! Can’t wait for part 2!

  7. 7
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    The bunny necklace on Anya=AWESOME

  8. 8
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    YES! I love how you managed to nail their initial style as well as how their style evolved. I didn’t think you’d do Buffy’s outfit without a skirt but you really captured her more matured style, Season 7, esque. Tara and Anya are perfection. While Willow’s outfit is VERY Season 1 & 2 centric, I do wish you had covered some of her college transition, when she stopped letting her mom dress her.

  9. 9
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m sooooo excited and happy for this geek chic! Buffy (and Angel) is one of my all time favorite shows. (Anya is perhaps my fave character, right next to Spike and Angel and Fred and… it’s so hard to choose just one favorite!)

    Can’t wait to see part 2! :D

  10. 10
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I am such a huge Buffy Fan!!! Love this post you really nailed the oufits.. especialy Buffy and her heel boots :-). Looking foward to part 2 :-)

  11. 11
    September 13th, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    That was fun! I’m just writing my thesis und Buffy and in a break a had a look at college fashion and found this! I’m glad writing my thesis on the show doesn’t make me sick of it. Can’t wait to see part two!

  12. 12
    September 13th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Great post! I love this series.
    What about Supernatural?

  13. 13
    September 13th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Also can’t wait to see Faith and Spike inspired outfits! how about a supernatural one as well :-)

  14. 14
    September 13th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Loving this! Buffy is my fave show – please do more from the Buffy verse like Cordelia and Dawn :)

  15. 15
    September 13th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I love this so much! Buffy is my favourite TV show of all time, can’t wait for part 2! (and maybe one on the series Angel?? )

  16. 16
    September 13th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    AHHH! HUGE BUFFY FAN. These are great and spot on. I only wish Spike were included haha.

  17. 17
    September 13th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Ahhh, this is perfection. I do love early Buffy outfits much better but A+++++. Sorry. BTVS related things make me too excited. Can’t wait for part 2.

  18. 18
    September 13th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    YES!!! I was hoping this would happen soon.

  19. 19
    September 13th, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I love the Buffy outfit and the BTVS series as a whole. Can’t wait for part 2!

  20. 20
    September 13th, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Love your website. great outfit ideas but you facts are wrong. Buffy was from 1996-2003 It went for 7 seasons. Just thought I’d let you know

  21. 21
    September 13th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    In sitting here in my room fangirling. I love this! Absolutely LOVE Willow’s outfit-but I could never pull it off.
    Brilliant! :3

  22. 22
    September 13th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @Emily: fixed! thanks for pointing that out!
    @BL & Ashleigh: Keep an eye out for a Supernatural post! I’m almost done with season 2 and I’m hoping to get caught up before the Season 8 premiere. Completely obsessed. (And I cannot wait to get to season 4…I already adore Castiel even though I shouldn’t know about him yet!)

  23. 23
    September 13th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    AH! But i would love to see darker colors and vampire and gothic type outfits, too! looking forward to part two

  24. 24
    September 13th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    So. Freaking. AWESOME.

  25. 25
    September 13th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Love these!!

  26. 26
    September 14th, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Oh my gosh! I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer! I really like the Giles-inspired outfit!
    How about Digimon for a future post?

  27. 27
    September 14th, 2012 at 12:42 am

    OH. MY. GOD. YES.

    But no Spike outfit??

  28. 28
    September 14th, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Love the Xander interpretation! I would wear that outfit in a heartbeat. I second the GoT nomination, and concur with Caroline – it’s great to see gay couples acknowledged.

  29. 29
    September 14th, 2012 at 2:28 am

    PLEASE include Cordelia in part 2! She was awful, but she was still one of my favorites!

  30. 30
    September 14th, 2012 at 4:21 am

    I’m sorry, but why are you calling them the “Scooby Gang?” I didn’t watch much Buffy as a kid, so I’m not sure…

  31. 31
    September 14th, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Excellent! Would love to see Cordelia, Dawn, Harmony, Glory, Spike, Fred as well, if possible! ^.^

  32. 32
    September 14th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    AHAHAHAAHA!!! I literally got goosebumps!! Part uno!!? Will Angel and Spike be in Part deux? Best part in my morning! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  33. 33
    September 14th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    This was brilliant! You should totally include Cordelia in Part II!!
    (and do her again for Angel, as her style definitely changed)

  34. 34
    September 14th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @shannon :-) yes Castiel is amazing lol! great completly looking fwd to that one since already did a great job on Buffy

  35. 35
    September 15th, 2012 at 6:58 am

    YES!! I have been waiting for this!! very outfit is perfection (especially Giles’) Can’t wait for part 2! And maybe one on the TV series Angel?

  36. 36
    September 15th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I love Buffy! I’ve watched the movie and the show and I love both! Who doesn’t like a campy vampire movie? I agree, I would love to see Spike as well. :)

  37. 37
    September 16th, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I LOVE BUFFY!! Thank you!!

  38. 38
    September 17th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Will Angel and Spike be on part two?? This is much too exciting!! I’m pinning all of this! Oh and perhaps do Dark Willow as well?

  39. 39
    September 18th, 2012 at 6:29 am

    I LOVE THIS POST!!! CANT WAIT FOR PART 2

  40. 40
    September 18th, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    SO CUTE! I LOVE all of the Geek Chic posts… would you consider doing a Merlin one in the future? I would love you forever!! :)

  41. 41
    September 19th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Yes, the one I’ve been waiting for!! Love them all and can’t wait for part 2!!!! I vote for Wizards of Waverly Place for a future Geek Chic post :)

  42. 42
    September 20th, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Oh this has to be one of my favourite posts!

    You should totally do sets inspired by
    - cordelia
    - drusilla
    - spike
    - angel
    - faith
    - niki woods
    - riley
    and of course, glory/glorificus

    whedon’s etched out each character so beautifully that you can’t just detail out the scooby gang and leave the rest out!

  43. 43
    September 21st, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Huge Buffy fan – LOVE this article, such a cute idea!

  44. 44
    September 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Can you do something on PSY or Gangnam Style?

  45. 45
    October 1st, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I AM THE BIGGEST BUFFY FAN OF ALL TIME!!!!! This is amazing and too long overdue! But, I am left with a need for plus size clothing. I’m a fluffy girl and I need some bigger-sized oriented outfits, or at least some pointers.

    I SERIOUSLY can’t wait for part 2!!!!!!!!

  46. 46
    January 7th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    OMG! I love these! They are perfectly put together and… just yes! I cannot wait to see what you make for Spike!!! Please please post Part 2 with Spike, soonn!!!

  47. 47
    January 15th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I WANT PART TWO PLEASE!!!!

  48. 48
    January 18th, 2013 at 12:03 am

    You said you’d do Buffy part 2, where is it???

  49. 49
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Waiting on part 2!!!

  50. 50
    February 5th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Where is Buffy part two????????????????? I was really looking forward to it but now I’m not sure it’s coming.

  51. 51
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    LOVE this. Giles’ wardrobe was so good and I love the Buffy picks you have. Amazing.

  52. 52
    February 20th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Love your work here! I loved how you tied in little personality quirks with the fashion. LOVe Buffy and love the clothes! cant wait to see what else you come up with!

  53. 53
    February 21st, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    The link for the Zander-inspired blouse is missing and I really love it! Possible to fix that? =]

  54. 54
    December 20th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    :( spoiler alert?

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