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

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Shannon - Boston University
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Fashion inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!