Buffy The Vampire Slayer - The Style Moments That Slayed!
Updated: Sep 17
What's more 90s than Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Take one look at the costume design and you'll see what I mean. In this post, we look back at style moments from the hit show.
"If the apocalypse comes, beep me." - Buffy Summers.
You can’t talk about 90's pop culture without mentioning Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Joss Whedon’s popular TV show left its mark on a generation of teens. There were highly-quotable lines of dialogue (you can find entire academic texts on Buffy-speak!), memorable characters with relatable problems (minus the whole supernatural thing), and groundbreaking episodes that redefined what teen dramas could be.
We love a cheesy cast photo!
Sunnydale High School was the main setting for the first three seasons. Since it was located on top of a Hellmouth, students would run into vampires and demons on the regular. Whedon chose this setting to explore the horrors of growing up as a teenager. He also used certain plot lines to reflect real-life teen problems.
You had Buffy’s lover, Angel, turn into a literal monster after sex. You also had Willow, Buffy’s best friend, question her sexuality after meeting a vampire doppelganger that targeted both men and women. Sure, these metaphors were a bit on the nose, but they worked.
There’s one more thing that’s memorable about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It’s the outfits. I’m talking about the best and worst of 90s fashion all lumped into one show.
If you’re not convinced, just look at the Twitter and Instagram pages dedicated to the fashion of Buffy. Yes, you'll see frightening prints and strangely-placed accessories now and then, but there's some utter gems too.
I have no idea what's going on here either.
This is the perfect opportunity to explore style moments from the show. Without further ado, let's jump into a time machine and look at the best outifts.
Sarah Michelle Gellar + this black mini dress = yes!
Meet Buffy Summers - Sunnydale’s resident vampire slayer. Joss Whedon’s iconic protagonist subverted classic horror tropes. What if the blonde cheerleader isn't as defenseless as she seems and kills the monster that is chasing her? From this imaginary scenario, the character was born.
Buffy was a fashion-conscious teen. You might view it as impractical to wear heeled boots or tight leather trousers when fighting vampires, but without that outrageous styling we wouldn’t have the iconic Buffy looks we love today.
The Leather Look.
When picturing Buffy in your head, these looks are probably what you imagine first. On fan art and action figures, you'll see her donning leather trousers or a leather jacket - and sometimes even both!
A Younger Buffy.
In 'Becoming, Part I', Buffy looked as cute as a button in this middle school flashback. Bear in mind, this was before she knew she’d be slaying vampires for the rest of her life. That’s why the carefree ensemble was perfect for this scene. The entire look gives me Cher Horowitz vibes. I’m just in love with the barbie pink jacket, adorable patchwork miniskirt, and daisy cami top.
When she’s not wearing leather, you'll find Buffy donning a range of feminine pieces. Throughout the seasons we’ve seen peasant tops, floaty midi dresses, and a recurring cherry print. Yes, she slays vampires, but she embraces her feminine side too.
Coats Are Made For Running.
Buffy also had an extensive collection of long coats. After all, they’re perfect for when you’re sprinting around Sunnydale and need to look extra dramatic as you run.
Willow Rosenberg had a ton of character growth in the show, transforming from a cutesy computer nerd into a powerful witch. Once upon a time, she was used to being Buffy’s best friend and side-kick. However, the shrinking violet would become a formidable force in her own right. Her wardrobe reflected her growing confidence over the seasons.
Dungarees, fuzzy jumpers, and bucket hats. That just about sums up Willow's fashion sense in the early seasons. This was when she lacked confidence and felt comfortable wearing childlike pieces in fuzzy materials or crayon-pack colours.
That pink jumper.
When it comes to Willow and the many jumpers she wore, there is one piece that stands above the rest. This fuzzy pink jumper from ‘Doppelgangland’ was iconic. So iconic that Hot Topic even recreated it for their Buffy collection a few years back. Who knows why it has a daisy collar and those random patches on it? But also, who cares? I would wear it today (I feel no shame).
The Wiccan side.
As Willow turned into a powerful witch, her wardrobe transformed too. She hid behind the oversized jumpers less and opted for some tighter fits instead. It’s also obvious from these photos that red is totally her colour! (I need the dress on the right. That astrology print gets a yes from me).
I've already talked about Cordelia Chase in my mean girl style anatomy, but of course, I had to mention her again. Like Willow, this girl had character growth in spades (but you’ve got to watch the follow-up show Angel if you want to see most of it). Being at the top of the social ladder, she ruled Sunnydale High School with a sharp tongue. And, as you can imagine, her wardrobe was trendy and well-polished too.
Popular and preppy.
Nothing says status at high school quite like a preppy outfit (well, in teen dramas anyway). Cordelia must have had tons of these ensembles packed into her bougie wardrobe. She took her image seriously and always made sure she looked immaculate. After all, ruling the school isn't easy. This girl had a reputation to maintain.
The 'I'm so over you' look.
In 'The Wish,' Cordelia returns to school after finding out that her boyfriend, Xander, shared a romantic kiss with Willow (oh dear indeed). She steps out her car in a jaw-dropping outfit, showcasing to the world that she doesn’t need him. You’d think that monochromatic brown look would be nauseating to look at, but she pulls it off.
Faith Lehane exploded onto the show in season three. A foil to Buffy, Faith was the feisty and morally-questionable slayer that turned to the dark side. Later on in the show she had a huge redemption arc. To suit her badass personality, her style was the epitome of 90s cool as you’ll see from the examples below.
Do all slayers have to wear leather?
Faith rivaled Buffy with her leather clad looks. She looks great in those black trousers and they suit her rebellious streak. Only a select few can pull off a piece like that (and I think being a slayer raises your chances by at least 90%).
A tank top for every occasion.
9 times out of 10, Faith is wearing a tank top on-screen. They give off a sporty, tough-girl vibe that suits her character to a T. It's relaxed in comparison to Buffy's more put-together looks, but it still makes a clear statement.
You can't go wrong with a denim jacket.
Out of all the characters on the show, Faith’s wardrobe holds up the best today. She wore cool pieces in dark colours that are easy to mix and match. You could wear some of her outfits today and still look stylish. Just imagine how easy this staple denim jacket is to wear.
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Till next time,
Holly. @chicandcultural xoxo