Clothes were the least favourite part of the show for me, but I couldn’t get over how well Buffy could kick ass in those pointy toed heels she’d wear. Some of the outfit choices were a little odd, but I loved that yellow coat she had that got all those grass stains when her and Spike were… But whatever.
I’ve tried commenting at lemondrop about a recent article there on Buffy and fashion and what’s available to buy now if you want to play a Slayer for any reason (kinks or vanilla?) but I can’t tell if they’re going into moderation limbo or getting lost, so I’ll repost here.
Two different articles from Slayage. First Real Vampires Don’t Wear Shorts:The Aesthetics of Fashion in Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
The aesthetics of fashion consists of three facets, or “looks.” First, and most obvious is the “look” of the trends and branding as a status symbol. The first season establishes fashion as a major aesthetic on BtVS. Buffy is portrayed as fashion-conscious (in fact, in the Revised Core Rulebook for the BtVS Role-playing Game, fashion is Buffy’s consistent “wild card”). She is fashionable enough, at the beginning of the pilot, to merit Cordelia’s attention and possible admission to the Cordettes. Much of “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (1001) centers around fashion concepts. Buffy agonizes over what to wear to the Bronze (“Hi, I’m an enormous slut! Hello, would you like a copy of the Watchtower?”), identifies potential vampires by their lack of fashion sense, and informs Giles that one of her greatest worries upon arriving at Sunnydale High was that she “would have last month’s hair.”
As Barnard (2002) notes, there have always been complex and shifting discourses connecting women, feminism, leadership and fashion. Many early second wave feminists took an interest in the way fashion contributed to the challenges women faced. They noted that women’s clothing was often restrictive and designed to exaggerate secondary sexual characteristics (De Beauvoir, 1972).The argument ran that the fashion industry contributed to the establishment of women as functionally inadequate creatures who were designed as objects of desire for men, whereas men wore functional clothing that coded them active rather than passive. Fashion, it was argued, contributed to our inability to take women seriously as leaders and workers (see Hollows, 2000 for a discussion of shifting feminist approaches to fashion).