Fashion on screen: the legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I’m a bit late to the party here, having only started Buffy the Vampire Slayer this Autumn. It started as my friend Helen began fan-girling over the series to such an emotional level that I had to see what I was missing out on. 

As I watched the series, I would go back to Helen with my thoughts as I slowly began to understand her attachment to the series. I’d note that I’d seen these storylines in television series that came out after Buffy but that I had watched earlier. I realised that Buffy was groundbreaking in television, creating trends that I continue to see on TV today. 

Beyond the storylines, the show’s costume choices have had instrumental impacts on popular culture. For the 2020 A/W season, staples from Buffy’s wardrobe have made a comeback (as if they ever left!). Chunky boots, straight-leg jeans, oversized jackets, and an emphasis on print have saturated fashion blogs and influencer Instagrams. These trends were worn time and again by Buffy throughout the series, often accessorised with a wooden stake in hand. Knit sweaters, dungarees, and denim maxi-skirts that were essential to Willow’s wardrobe have enjoyed a comeback too. 

Whilst it’s impossible to stay away from spoilers when watching such an iconic show, I have forced myself off of the fan-pages until I finish the series. However, I haven’t been able to keep myself away from the Instagram account @Buffystyle, whose posts analyse each of the characters through their iconic wardrobe. Sometimes, the account focuses on single episodes, other times they single out a statement piece, like Willow’s dungarees or Buffy’s cross necklace, and explore what they meant in terms of characterisation.

Since watching the series, I’ve realised the effect Buffy had on my fashion choices before she strutted across my TV screen. My chunky boots, leather jacket and love for prints were a result of the series’ influence on pop culture. I’m only on season five so far, so only time will tell what my wardrobe (and bank account) will look like when I reach the last episode. 


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Morgan Burdick

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December 2021
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