Love them or hate them, witches have played an important role in pop culture history. While many women were wrongly accused of witchcraft in the past, people have developed a strong positive fascination with witches due to numerous portrayals in various media platforms.
Not all of them are perfect, but our favorite witches give the big, fat middle finger to the patriarchy—they’re female symbols against toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes. And who could ever forget how chic they all dress?
We take a look at some of the most prominent witches of film, television, and Broadway, their impact on pop culture, and of course, all the helpful style tips they bring along with them.
The witches of American Horror Story: Coven
If Wicked’s Elphaba went full-on high and modern fashion, she’d probably dress like the witches from American Horror Story: Coven. The show was famous for its portrayal of witch fashion, with numerous pieces coming out online on how to cop their sophisticated and effortless all-black looks. The plotline was actually also quite terrifying, but had imperfect and complex female characters who are still heavily referenced in today’s internet meme culture.
Style must-haves: little black dress, big, dark hats, black pumps and/or boots
The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz
Once the word “witch” comes to mind, the first thing someone would probably visualize is The Wizard of Oz’s notorious Wicked Witch of the West: green skin, pointed nose and chin, matching black pointed hat—you know, the works. Known as Elphaba in the musical Wicked, she really only has one look, wearing a long black dress and carrying a broomstick wherever she goes. Hers is the most common witch costume that many people still don every Halloween. A cultural icon, if you ask us.
Style must-haves: green face mask, stereotypical witch hat, broom
The witches of the ‘90s
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were staples of female empowerment in ’90s television, showcasing tough and independent women who didn’t need men to (literally) fight their (similarly literal) demons. These witches rocked trends famous in the ’90s to the early 2000s and each protagonist had their own individual style. Sabrina often wore chokers. Buffy’s Willow donned long, A-line skirts. The Halliwell sisters of Charmed were all about bare midriffs and sleeveless tops.
Style must-haves: sheer blouses, crop tops, fuzzy sweaters, patterned skirts
Samantha Stephens from Bewitched
For a show that ran from the ’60s to the early ’70s, Bewitched was actually pretty woke, subverting gender roles and various stereotypes against women. It was also considered to be one of the first feminist sitcoms on American television. You’re telling me a man in the ’60s needs to come to terms with the fact that he’s married to a woman far more powerful than he is? Yes please. Samantha Stephens also always had the best hair ever and wore the most stylish dresses, all while showing her mortal husband who’s boss at home.
Style must-haves: printed dresses, pearl accessories, lots and lots of hairspray
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
Best known for being the brightest witch of her age, Hermione Granger was the epitome of an unassuming, down-to-earth, low-maintenance girl when it came to style. I mean, who wouldn’t want to save time and effort and simply take advantage of naturally beautiful curls? She also probably didn’t need much of a skincare routine, either. Outside Hogwarts, Hermione dressed comfortably in cozy jeans, sweatshirts, and jackets, only really glamming up when she had a wedding or a Yule Ball to attend.
Style must-haves: Denim jackets, hoodies and beanies
By Denise Fernandez
This story was originally published in SCOUT 31 and has been edited for web. The digital copy of SCOUT’s 31st issue is accessible here.