There’s something I need to tell you all: I have magic. It’s true! Even I was surprised. Now, I can’t conjure flames or raise people from the dead—as much fun as it would be to reanimate Benedict Arnold and, I don’t know, light him on fire or something. What I do have is an otherworldly knowledge...of style.
Gaze into my Swarovski crystal ball and let me take you on a journey of flowing chiffon, oversized hats, onyx necklaces, and platform boots with maybe, just maybe, one too many buckles or zippers. We’re ranking the Top 20 Witchy Fashions from movies and TV from the past...oh, as far back as my abilities take me. My powers are strange and unpredictable. Who knows where they’ll lead.
It’s not just the Worst Witch we’re dealing with here, it’s the worst hats. Whatever sorceress decided these girls should don misshapen traffic cones on their heads should have their spellbooks revoked. I do want to give props for those cloaks, though. They may be gaudy, but they look cozy as hell.
Let’s hear it for the boys, as we need to get some warlocks on this list. Sadly, we don’t have much in the way of men’s magick makers except for The Covenant, i.e. that 2006 movie you never would have remembered had I not just pointed it out. I told you: I have magic powers.
Much like The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, or The Secret Circle, The Covenant thought our bewitching lads should dress real...by which I mean really boring. Come on, you had Interview with the Vampire in the palm of your hand as inspiration for men’s otherworldly couture, and you went with Backstreet Boys circa the Black and Blue tour. Even Twilight did this better.
The first couple seasons of Charmed were pretty harmless and fun went it came to style, but halfway through the series someone decided the Halliwells needed to be like those girls from Sex and the City...only witches. This meant having the sisters make some bizarre fashion faux pas (let’s not forget that one time they were superheroes). The show now serves as a time capsule of terrible ‘90s and early 2000s fashion. Will the new Charmed follow suit? The vision is still a bit blurry. But yes, definitely yes.
A trio of fashionable friends who, unaware that they’re witches, accidentally form a coven before being drawn into a polyamorous relationship with Jack Nicholson. It’s definitely got that ‘80s glam, and every character’s hair game is flawless (except for Jack Nicholson, who’s sporting a weird half-bun thing). Still, nothing about it screams super witchy to me.
Sure she only has one outfit and it’s a glorified potato sack, but she’s owning it.
It’s The Craft meets Hope Floats, a spellbinding combination for the Nora Roberts fans out there (guilty). Sandra Bullock’s Sally Owens is pretty milquetoast with her young mom couture, while Nicole Kidman (as Gillian) manages to kick it up a notch with darker colors and sweeping fabrics. However, the VIPs of Practical Magic are the aunts, played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. It’s like they refuse to ever remove their clothing, instead piling on layer after layer until they’re swaths of autumn-fueled patterns and texture.
She may have revealed a horrible goo face, but before that? Flawless.
Louise was a teenage nerd who found out she had powers and like a genius used them to become the most popular (and stylish) girl in school. She had the coolest clothes, the bounciest hair, and the hottest boyfriend a softcore montage through an abandoned barn could afford. Also, it’s a musical with the best-worst rap song in movie history—in case you needed another reason to finally see this movie, Kevin. Yes, I know you’re thinking about it. Magic.
Bewitched’s Samantha may have been the cool witch on the block, but her mother was the maven. She never approved of her daughter marrying a mortal, and liked to prank Samantha’s husband Darrin as a way to punish him for it. But I think we were the ones actually being punished. We all had to watch from a distance as Endora graced the room every week in her signature get-up, curls, and perfected eyeshadow, never giving us the time of day.
For most of the Harry Potter series, Hermione’s wardrobe consisted of oversized cloaks at school and zip-up hoodies on the weekends. But for the Yule Ball scene of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the smartest person at Hogwarts let her hair down, figuratively, in a show-stopping gown that made her the envy of everyone at the dance. [Editor’s Note: It should have been blue. -Jill P.]
Melisandre wasn’t the only style queen in Westeros, but she definitely ranked up there. Her signature color was red and she knew how to sell it with every ensemble. Long sleeves, deep-cut necklines, and the necklace that held the secret to her eternal beauty. She also gets a bonus for never letting something as pesky as wintry weather get in the way of high fashion. Internal fire isn’t just about keeping a connection with her god...it’s a great way to keep showing off her threads.
I love Melissa Joan Hart as much as the next witch, but her Sabrina Spellman was basically a VSCO girl before those were a thing. In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) and her Weird Sisters know how to combine sweet and dangerous into a witchy combo with their pseudo-puritanical school garb. They also get bonus points for their makeup, which always includes at least one perfected smoky eye and deep crimson lipstick.
The shoulder pads. The sleeves. The giant ponytail that rivals Ariana Grande. Zelena may have been the Wicked Witch on Once Upon a Time, one who had her share of great outfits, but Queen Regina reigned supreme in terms of her royal style. She rarely made a fashion mistake, because nothing could look bad once she was wearing it. And if you dared question any of her ensemble choices—yes, even the ponytail—she’d simply kill you where you stand.
It doesn’t matter if they’re attending class, playing Welters, or ruling Fillory, Eliot and Margo always have the right look for the occasion. They will always be the king and queen of their domain, even in exile, because there’s no one that looks better. Come on, how many other people can rock an eyepatch?
Elaine (Samantha Robinson) is one of the newest witches on the list, but she’s earned her place near the top. A perfect combination of vintage threads and modern chic, Elaine is a witch who stands out from the crowd of Hot Topic customers. It also feels fitting that she’s donning blue eyeshadow with this ensemble, a possible nod to Endora’s classic look from Bewitched.
This one is tough, because the Marvel Cinematic Universe outfit is, ummm, not the best. But I’m keeping her up here because the iconic look is so iconic. Plus, I’m holding out hope for the Disney+ series finally gives Elisabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch the threads she so rightfully deserves. I mean, just look at that helmet, the billowing cloak. Imagine how many amazing spells she could do with that powerful “vision.” One can dream.
They put a spell on us, indeed.
If you want to see perfect witch couture, look no further than the entire cast of American Horror Story: Coven. The ladies of Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies are decked head to toe in black lace, silky layers, and rich lustrous fabrics. And don’t forget the hats! A good witch doesn’t go anywhere without her awesome hat. Unless you’re the worst witch. Those poor witches get traffic cones.
Our favorite witchy couple certainly knew how to dress the part. For example, in “Once More With Feeling,” the pair donned these fantastic outfits that made them look like two of the cutest (and sexiest) magic-users on the planet. Of course, it was saddened by the fact that, at the time, Willow had put a spell on Tara to make them forget their recent fight. Then, Tara was later killed, leading Willow to embrace her dark side. It was one of the darkest moments of the series, but at least Dark Willow had a keen fashion sense too.
Seriously, was the top pick going to be anything else? The answer is no, no it was not. Because I have magic powers, and they all say Fairuza Balk kicks ass. These four witches defined a generation of girls experimenting with Hot Topic, ouiji boards, and sacred circles that they tried to cast in 20 minutes or less...ears straining to the door to make sure their moms weren’t coming to check up on them. Oh come on, it wasn’t just me, right?
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.