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Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Buffy Vs. Dracula”

July 7, 2010

“Buffy Vs. Dracula”, the first episode of season 5, displays a serious character shift in our Buffy Summers. It’s the first episode where, after encountering the First Slayer, we see her embracing the primal hunter aspect of her slayer identity. It’s a key weapon in how she defeats plenty of big bads to come. It’s equally relevant as an analogy for finding power in being who you are, in loving what you are put on this earth to do, and in doing what you do to the fullest extent possible. As far as television narratives with an empowering and individualistic slant go, you can track a great one right back to “Buffy Vs. Dracula”.

Also, in “Buffy Vs. Dracula”, Buffy wears multiple pairs of fanciful leather pants.

You know the drill.

How the game works: I choose an episode of Buffy, pore over it carefully, and judge compelling examples of the characters’ fashion by today’s standards. At the end of every episode, fashion winners and losers are nominated in a poll. The winners are announced in a future entry.

The rules: I only have three so far, although that is subject to change. Uniforms (work, military, etc) do not count. Neither do “period pieces” (i.e flashbacks to Ye Olde England, Ireland, China, etc) or costumes (sorry, Halloween episodes fans). Most of the dressed monsters on the show wore regular clothing, so their wardrobes are up for debate just like anyone else’s.

The last episode reviewed, “After Life”, gave us the most accurate results yet, as The Bitter Buffalo was linked on Whedonesque and the poll received a massive amount of votes. Despite the hundreds of votes cast, the winner and loser were very apparent. With around four-fifths of the vote, Buffy was declared Best Dressed in Sunnydale.

In an equally overwhelming un-victory, Willow handily won the Worst Dressed award with around three-fourths of the vote. I presume most of those votes were cast, as commenters have suggested, in memory of poor Elmo, who was skinned alive to make this outfit. (Kudos, sassy commenters.)

Ah, “Buffy Vs. Dracula.” After I finished viewing it I decided that it’s one of those rare episodes where the fashion has much to do with plot and, most importantly, theme. Much of the point of this blog is to complain about how the execution of fashion ideals on the show doesn’t fit with the vision of who the characters are, but I haven’t encountered much fashion that intersects with theme. Hmmm. Interesting. Let’s tackle it, shall we?

When we open the show, Buffy is unsuccessfully trying to sleep in her boyfriend’s arms. She’s wearing a cutesy, functional purple tank top.

Buffy gets her yayas out by sneaking out and beating up a punk vamp at the cemetery. Cool! I couldn’t get a good screen shot because she’s mostly a badass blurry fighting machine the whole time. Presumably most of these shots are of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double, so there’s a lot of hair in the face, headless body shots, et cetera. Here’s my best presentation of her outfit. (Sorry, guys.)

It’s a nice three-quarters length leather jacket, a green blouse and jeans that still fit well. Kudos, Buffy. You can’t see it too well, but the collar has some nice ruching detail going on.

I’m not quite sure why Buffy got all gussied up just to go out and stake some baddies, but she dressed all tough and mean and shit, or at least the Buffy version of that. I can get behind it. I also like the sly wink and nod of how she placates her boyfriend by sneaking back into bed in her girly pajamas.

Speaking of Buffy’s boyfriend, have I ever told you how much I hate Riley? Because I do. I freaking hate him. He’s a bossy, competitive, misogynist jerk. Luckily, I’m not alone in hating this guy. So follow me please, as I take you on a beautiful, dreamy photo montage through an ideal Buffy-Riley afternoon beach date.

Buffy has a football. The football is fun! She looks all cute and summery in her tankini and sarong, and with her hair pulled up in a knot. Buffy is really happy.

Then Riley, dressed like some nasty redneck who would have hit on me in sixth grade Vacation Bible School, decides to knock Buffy off of her Pedestal Of Happiness by telling her that she throws like a girl.

Buffy throws the ball back to Riley.

Marcia Brady moment!

And then,

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, Anya’s looking super adorable in a vintage-y pink shorts bikini, while Xander looks pretty typically Xander, but he’s definitely wearing one of his better outfits.

Can anyone explain to me why Willow and Tara aren’t wearing bathing suits at the beach? Willow may be wearing one under her outfit, but Tara almost certainly is not. Do these people think that lesbians do not swim, or that sun tans are only for the benefit of adoring male eyes? Willow’s outfit isn’t so terrible, although I wish she were capable of wearing shirts that don’t say dumb things on them. Tara has tween hair and she’s fully clothed. The whole thing is so odd.

I also think it’s really weird that in Sunnydale, people are allowed to construct cement grills on the beach. Is this a West Coast thing? No matter, because Willow tries to light it with magic and accidentally summons a rainstorm. (FORESHADOWING.)

Later that night, Buffy’s having some serious Mom time with Joyce, who is wearing Barbara Bush’s paisley-ed throwaways.

Later Buffy goes out to slay, where she runs into Willow, Xander, and Dracula, who introduces himself as Thacula.

Let’s go ahead and get out of the way that Buffy looks great. I know red leather pants aren’t really the rage anymore, but Buffy could bring them back. Her sweater is a little off when contrasted with the pants, but it looks really comfortable and tones the Red Leathah down a bit. Plus, her hair is pretty perfect.

Xander and Willow, on the other hand, look absolutely terrible. Willow takes a typical garishly colored, ruffled shirt and skirt set made out of Laura Ashley bedsheets and makes it look even uglier by throwing a clashing tie-dyed top over it. (Imagine a voice similar to Cindy Lou-Who’s when she asks The Grinch why he stole Christmas: ‘Why? Why did you do that, Willow? Why?’) Xander looks way, WAY worse than he usually does. Xander’s fashion typically fades into the background; here at Buffy Fashion Roulette he rarely receives any votes either way. That’s why this outfit is so shocking. Specifically, it’s all pretty acceptable until you get to the tropical shirt. Its colors are blinding- corals the hue of raw hamburger, lapis-colored bodies of water. Worst of all, although the capture I got doesn’t make it perfectly clear, this thing is bedazzled. There are rhinestones all over this thing, and you can see them twinkle whenever he moves. I think this costuming choice may have something to do with portraying Xander as a bit of a buffoon, someone who’s ripe to be made into Dracula’s butt monkey. I’ve gotta say though, this is taking things WAY too far.

Dracula looks like Dracula. I couldn’t get a good close-up shot, which is a shame because his collar is REALLY pointy. It’s almost disco-looking.

Back at Giles’ place, everyone’s gotten a little more comfortable. We can see how much Xander looks like a teenage grocery clerk on The Golden Girls, and what Willow’s shirt looks like without the tie dye jacket. It’s pretty awful. Those vampires from “The Freshman” should have come back from the dust and tacked  her to the Monet wall. Anya looks alright, though a little atypically toned down. Poor Tara does not match at all, of course, and she’s stuck with dopey florals and that damn pastel tie dye she’s always relegated to.

The sweater’s kind of cute, though, and her hair doesn’t look bad at all. They didn’t weave any crap in it, or twist it into eighteen ponytails with mismatching bejeweled bobby pins.

Buffy’s wearing a roller rink shirt. She should be a derby girl. She wouldn’t even have to come up with a fake name; she could just be Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Anyways, even though the shirt is fake-vintage, I like it. The winged skate reminds me of a gigantic sign on top of a rink in my hometown that I grew up going to, and I’ll probably get a tattoo of it someday. That said, my sentiment may be clouding my judgment. You make the call, folks.

Grandpa Giles needs a nap.

Everyone exits and it’s total Bad Fashion On Parade, conga line-style. Riley’s back there in a baseball shirt. Has Buffy hit him in the face with anymore footballs? No? Oh. Moving along.

Hey, check out Dracula’s pointy collar!

Spike shows up for a minute ‘cos of contractual obligations and all. He’s wearing the same thing he always does, plus he’s got a crossbow.

When Thacula comes in the night, Buffy sure is wearing some cute pajamas. Very “innocence under thrall.”

The next day, Buff’s looking a little hung over. Maybe she had a little too much Thrall the night before? I remember LOVING those pink leather pants, because they’re so Buffy- they’re pink and shiny, but Lord help ‘em, they’re badass leather pants. The cutout sleeves of her top are weird, but they’re okay. And she only wore the Pucci knockoff scarf because the Thrall voice told her to.

These days I still love the pants, but I notice on closeup that they have a weird pattern on the legs. That’s disappointing. Say, check out that withering Thrall hangover glare.

Xander is currently not in control of his facilities as he too is under the thrall of the Dark Prince, yet he’s NOT wearing a dumb-looking rhinestone Hawaiian shirt. Hmmm. Riley looks like a turd, as usual.

Willow looks…. well, let’s just stick to the basics, since we keep going over these same few points over and over again. Sheer sparkly hippie clothes. Ill-fitting pants. Corny, juvenile accessories. Clownish makeup. In other words, it’s a banner day for our Willow.

Meanwhile, back at the Summers abode Joyce is really upset because she let Dracula in. He was just so charming! And so are you, Joyce. Even though her clothes are nothing special, they’re just so Everymom. I love that in Joyce.

Joyce lets loose an accidental lesbian joke and Tara and Willow have some giggles. Look, they even have SMUDGE STICKS. How stereotypically lesbian is that? Maybe next they’ll cast a spell on Dick Cheney and brew some chamomile tea for their mountain dulcimer-making party.

I’ve gotta say though, as much as I hate Tara’s clothes, her hair and makeup looks really nice. She’s one of those rare people who’s really gorgeous without a lot of (as we say in the South) ‘doin’ up’, and being on a teen-targeted show didn’t do her any favors. She looks best when they give her simple hairstyles and either go easy on her makeup or make her look like a classic movie star.

Over at Xander’s, Anya is none too happy about being on Buffy babysitting duty. We only get a split second to check out her getup before Xander shoves her into a closet and jams the door shut with a chair. It’s a shame, because I like this outfit. It’s one of those things that would look stupid on most other people, but Anya pulls it off with her wacky housewife-y ways. (I love that pin!)

So Buffy goes to Dracula’s castle and defeats him and blah, blah, blah. He wears this outfit, which is fine, I guess. It’s very expected and he flat irons his hair and the collar is very pointy.

Then Buffy goes back to Giles’ to talk about how she feels like a killing machine these days. It’s a really inspiring speech, but remember how poor Jessica Simpson got raked over the coals for gaining a few pounds and wearing really unflattering high-waisted jeans during a concert? Yeah, Buffy wore ‘em first.

Giles looks alright, though. Cashmere and corduroy are two very dependable Giles textiles. (Textgiles?)

Awwww, Joyce. That green is a great color on her!

More awwwws; we meet Dawnie for the first time ever. What the hell does she have shoved in her pockets? Is she shoplifting already? Those pants are lumpier than a sack of Bezoar eggs. Moooooom!

Vote below! There are only a couple of clear-cut candidates for best-dressed, but the worst-dressed field is wide open. It should be an interesting poll.

 

43 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2010 10:00 AM

    oh, man. it is 95 out up here and I am reading this at the coffee shop instead of starting a paper and I just want to watch this episode again. sadly, I am missing my seasons 5/6.

    keep on with the Riley hating. I’m on my 5th or 6th watching of season 4 and goddamn I hate him so much. Tara, though, grows on me more each time. I hate how they make her look so damn frumpy. and give her such atrocious posture.

  2. July 7, 2010 10:43 AM

    i feel like as bad as willow looks her clothes are “better” than in high school. no more corduroy camel toe.

  3. Corey permalink
    July 7, 2010 12:17 PM

    I think it’s within character for Willow to be weirdly dressed, and Xander, too. They’ve never been outwardly ‘cool.’ They’re nerds and outcasts. Buffy has no excuses, and Anya, well she’s 1200 years old so should have learned by now. As for the Riley-hating…I always liked Riley! I certainly wouldn’t call him misogynistic. He’s tradition blossoming into current times and it’s hard for him, but he’s open to change. C’mon, he’s military. You can’t tell me their philosophies and expectations aren’t a little backward and traditional.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 7, 2010 12:55 PM

      I agree that Willow and Xander (and Tara) would probably dress weirdly. As a former outcast youth, I fully get that. The problem is that they don’t dress like anyone else on the whole stinkin’ planet. Xander seems like the kind of guy who would wear band shirts, jeans, button downs, et cetera. Rhinestones?? With Riley, he felt threatened by the fact that Buffy’s a superhero and took it out on her constantly. I think we’re supposed to see some misogyny in the way he treats her, and to think, gee, no wonder she dates vampires.

  4. buffyanne permalink
    July 7, 2010 12:50 PM

    Love the site. I think it’s ironic how Giles keeps getting the most credit for his look when he was the most ridiculed on the show by the Scooby Gang for his look. I never really noticed how poorly Tara was dressed before. I think it’s because I love her character so much.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 7, 2010 1:08 PM

      I think Giles gets credit because he dresses in a consistent, timeless way. It’s not that he necessarily looks hot and sexy; he just doesn’t look all that dated. Go Giles!!!

  5. July 7, 2010 5:00 PM

    I admire the fact that although Spike’s outfit rarely changes at all and yet you’ve taken the time to comment on his wardrobe for each episode he’s in. In this post in particular I like how you’ve begun to focus on his accessories. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on wheelchair, garden gnomes, Zippo, bottle of whiskey, Drusilla, and countless other accessories.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 7, 2010 7:37 PM

      WAHHHAHAHA! You gave me a big LOL with that, ma’am. Whiskey bottle will be a good one. “Those kittens are a waste of my time, as is the basket they’re in.”

    • Emmie permalink
      July 8, 2010 10:08 PM

      I too wait with breath that is bated!

  6. Irene permalink
    July 7, 2010 5:21 PM

    Great reviews. I am looking forward to your take on Once More With Feeling and the series finale. Are you planning to do similar reviews on Angel and How I met Your Mother? Or any other for that matter?

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 7, 2010 7:35 PM

      I might do some early episodes of Angel, but I doubt that it would be as much fun as Buffy is. A lot of it would be like, “Angel is wearing his duster again. Oh, and look, he’s wearing it again.” Maybe I could do a special edition for Waiting In The Wings? That could be entertaining.

      • Irene permalink
        July 7, 2010 9:01 PM

        Waiting In The Wings is a good one. Also, consider She from the first season. There is Wesley in a hand knit sweater and an alien chick in leather. I am pretty sure Cordy wears something worthy of a few words. But generally you are probably right, fashion wise it is less noteworthy.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 7, 2010 9:20 PM

        Yeah, I’d probably need to pick a Cordy-centric episode. Maybe one of those ones where she’s going around on lots of auditions? Although Wesley in a hand-knit sweater is pretty tempting…

      • Irene permalink
        July 7, 2010 9:24 PM

        Harmony should be a gold mine for a fashion critique as well. I can’t remember the name of the episode with Cordy’s auditions, but it was a sad one, she was being badly treated while spending a day wearing a bikini in front of jerks.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 7, 2010 9:27 PM

        The first episode I did, “Pangs”, had Harmony in one outfit- it actually wasn’t that bad! About half of it was kinda hot, and about half of it was a total disaster. It was a very polarizing ensemble.

      • OdetteO permalink
        July 9, 2010 5:46 PM

        How about the “Disharmony” episode when Angel buys Cordy new clothing (“New clothes! I have new clothes! New clothes, new clothes!”) – or Harmony’s clothes in “Harm’s Way?”

  7. July 7, 2010 6:47 PM

    That frilly boob-tube with spaghetti straps that Buffy wears at the end is the pits. It’s a horrible colour and it and those jeans make her look pregnant.

    You are right about Tara (well, Amber Benson really) she does look gorgeous without doin’ up.

  8. July 8, 2010 2:46 AM

    Is it sad that I loved Xander inspite of (or possibly because of?) his humorus and entertaining fashion choices? I always thought they made him the lovable dork that he was. To counter balance my Xander love can I just say I agree with you on everything you had to say when it came to Riley.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 8, 2010 2:31 PM

      I love Xander, too. And I love a lot of his outfits. The rhinestones though… it was just weird.

  9. Erin permalink
    July 8, 2010 1:06 PM

    I love this series on Buffy fashion, and look forward to future posts. You’re doing an awesome job!! I am a huge Buffy fan, but I’ve watched so many episodes and just thought “Who the HELL costumed this?” I’m a hobby costumer and can’t believe that someone got paid money to pick out some of these atrocious affairs. That said, there are plenty of successful outfits on the show. The Elmo hide shirt was not one of them!

    IMHO, one of the worst offenses is the end of Becoming Pt. 2, when Buffy looks at the school and walks away. Those pants are a total crime.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 8, 2010 2:31 PM

      Erin- maybe you could do a guest post sometime, or maybe we could do one together, or maybe I could interview you about some specific outfits. I’m interested in what costumers think of this!
      Can’t wait to check out those un-becoming Becoming pants!!

  10. Jack-Kay permalink
    July 8, 2010 4:15 PM

    Absolute mega-LOL to Bad Fashion on Parade conga line!!! Laughed so much.
    And also at the bunchy Dawnie pockets, never noticed that before, gonna rewatch v soon.

  11. Missy permalink
    July 8, 2010 7:18 PM

    The only thing I Adore about this ep is Anya’s Bikini
    It suits Emma so well
    and I’m a fan of Boyleg bottoms so that makes up for the fact that there Pink ;)

    Just to comment on Willow&Tara’s Non-Swimwear they make a point of saying they weren’t bothering to go into the water which I think is reflected in their outfits……though Willow does appear to have come prepared for possible water action

  12. Captain Elias permalink
    July 8, 2010 8:26 PM

    Honestly, I never paid much attention to the clothes as I eagerly devoured Buffy every Tuesday night at 8, but throughout all those years two Buffy-worn outfits clearly stuck out in my mind’s eye as so bad that they took me completely out of the scene (a rare feat.)

    The first was when Buffy says goodbye to Kendra at the end of Whats My Line? Part 2, and has these green/brown pants and black jacket. I think they made a doll out of that outfit, God knows why. But of all the possibly-dated clothes from early seasons, that was the worst.

    And the second was that last shirt she’s wearing in Buffy vs. Dracula, when she goes to see Giles. I thought it made her look enormous. I get that 3D fabric flowers is pretty in theory, but sweet Jesus the second I saw that I just thought “How is Giles taking her seriously right now? This is such an earnest conversation, but I don’t understand why she left the house with that. Did Drac make her a vamp, and thus no mirrors work for her anymore?”

    So,y eah, disappointed that wasn’t in the worst-dressed poll this time. But anyway, awesome idea, keep it up! And cut Riley some slack…he was just another way for gay boys to identify with Buffy. (Read: hard to resist an all american beefcake jock.)

  13. Maeve permalink
    July 8, 2010 9:46 PM

    Yes, I also hate Riley.

  14. Missy permalink
    July 8, 2010 11:22 PM

    You know, you can make a case for Riley perhaps being misogunistic, though I’m not so sure about it. I like his vulnerability and his utter devotion to Buffy. Remember, it was she who treated him like crap and pushed him away.
    However, and we’re getting to my point, you can’t call someone a misogynist and then use a CLASSIST elitist slur (“redneck”). How is hurling another offensive insult helpful?
    I do agree though that the costume designers on this show never really made an effort with the men.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 8, 2010 11:26 PM

      Just gonna say this- I’m from rural Mississippi. If there’s one thing I know front and back, it’s rednecks. There’s a huge difference between reclaiming a word that has been used against you (or, in this case, me) for years and when some “elitist” person uses it. So y’know, the saying goes- we write about what we know.

      I don’t think Riley was all that devoted to Buffy. I think he wanted her to be something that she wasn’t, and instead of loving her for who she was he spent all of his time trying to put her into a little box that she didn’t fit into.

      • Doug permalink
        July 9, 2010 3:25 AM

        Plus, he went out and got sucked on by vamp girls (obvious metaphor’d?) to get even with her for Dracula (which she couldn’t control!) and because they “needed” him? What the hell was that? And you know, Xander was a regular guy, no super-strength, no magic, no outstanding intellect, no outside resources–and he was an integral part of the team who found how to be strong through being his normal self. But Riley? He starts losing his drug-induced super-strength and spends a dozen or so episodes whining about not being good enough and feeling pathetic and even tries to keep drug-induced strength when his heart’s on the verge of exploding. He was an idiot who lacked personality so much that he couldn’t possibly be an individual and could only exist as part of an institution and could only be there for Buffy if he was first and foremost there for the Initiative.

        And as unsettling as it is that Spike is wearing the same outfit all the time, it looks weird when he wears anything else. Like that bright blue shirt at the beginning of season seven, or that blue/gray camo shirt he wore in “Doublemeat Palace”.

        And I’d be interested to see you do some Glory episodes. She was probably the best-dressed badass on the show. And scabby minion chic is timeless.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 9, 2010 8:54 AM

        Yes, this.

      • Missy permalink
        July 9, 2010 10:59 AM

        I’m really really not sure the OP is reclaiming anything. She’s using “redneck” to denote her “other” – working class or rural, “ignorant” and “non-sophisticated” by urban middle class standards, which supposedly reflects in his choice of attire (how exactly? I’ve seen plenty of urban California boys dressed in a similar manner).
        I also disagree about Riley. I don’t think he was trying to get even with her for Dracula. It goes much deeper than that. He constantly felt like he is in some ways inferior or unworthy, a feeling that was probably validated when she shunned him or shut him out. Instead of hashing things out with her, he chose to inflict pain on himself by going to the vamps, endangering his well being. This internalization of pain and anger is very similar to cutters – both females and males – who choose to inflict pain on themselves instead of confronting the source of their anxieties. Compared to Spike, Riley is by far not the worst partner Buffy could have chosen for herself.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 9, 2010 7:04 PM

        Your assumption that I’m not reclaiming the word “redneck” is irritating at best and classist at worst. It’s incredibly ironic that you’re sitting on some high horse somewhere making assumptions about my class background, about my history and my identity as a human being, about my knowledge of what “redneck clothes” look like, and about my ability to inject life experiences into my writing- which I did when I described Riley’s outfit (his freaking outfit!!!). As a working class, rural-raised person, I can tell you that this type of assumption-making is something that I know well, that I encounter regularly. “She’s a good writer and she’s intelligent. Therefore, she could not possibly be from a working-class or rural background, because those people are ignorant and have bad grammar.” Part of having an identity is being able to laugh at aspects of it. If I couldn’t do that I’d probably die.

        Also? I’m not “the OP”; this isn’t a message board, it’s my personal blog. If you are so insulted by the way that I write a post about the freaking clothes that people wear on Buffy, you really don’t have to read it.

        Also also, I’d presume that comparing Riley being a passive-aggressive douchebag to cutting is insulting to a lot of people.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 9, 2010 7:07 PM

        Also, congratulations on othering the other! Nice job with that one, lady.

      • Denita permalink
        July 9, 2010 6:06 PM

        I’m from rural Texas and I found your use of the word ‘redneck’ offensive and insulting.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 9, 2010 7:08 PM

        I’m from rural Mississippi and my opinion is vastly different from yours. How stereotypically and wonderfully redneck. I’m embracing it!

      • Doug permalink
        July 9, 2010 9:20 PM

        You don’t think he was trying to even the score from what happened with Dracula?

        “I think, when this thing started, it was just some stupid, immature game. I wanted to even the score after you let Dracula bite you.” -Riley, ‘Into the Woods’.
        Way to have watched the show.

        And msjacks use of the term “redneck” is something I don’t find offensive at all. She’s just poking a little fun at an aspect of her own heritage. She’s not saying all southerners are rednecks or anything of the sort. And she’s not saying it as someone up on their high horse from a non-southern background, nor as someone who looks down upon her background. This is another case of political correctness gone mad. We can’t even make jokes about the parts of our heritage that sometimes make us laugh and shake our heads? I have a strong Irish heritage that I’m very proud of, and I’d think it ridiculous if someone got as offended as you seem to have gotten if I made a joke about we Irish being big drinkers. I think at this point, seeing as how you’re sticking around a blog that offends you just to complain about how it offends you, you seem to be just looking for things to be mad about. If that’s the case, sheesh, open a newspaper and go be mad at BP. The world is bigger than one person’s light-hearted fashion critique, no?

        Is a troll on a Buffy blog called an “Olaf”? ;)

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 10, 2010 1:06 AM

        This whole conversation reminds me of the time I was hanging out at one bar with queer friends and we loudly decided to go to a different bar that was having a dyke night (which, incidentally, was called Dyke Night). This (presumably straight) guy sitting nearby came up to us, I guess thought we were straight, and gave us a long speech about how we shouldn’t use language like that and some of his best friends are lesbians and blah blah blah. We were like, dude, we’re a bunch of dykes and we get to describe ourselves the way we see fit. Period. It irks the shit out of me when someone tries to lecture me about how I deal with an aspect of my identity, whether it be surrounding class, background, upbringing, gender identity, sexual orientation, whatever, or when someone makes presumptions about any of those aspects of myself. I do my best to avoid snarking on aspects of culture that I don’t own, particularly people in marginalized communities, but as a member of a few of those said communities I hate having to tell people to back the eff off when I’m handling my business.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 10, 2010 1:07 AM

        Also Doug, I think you’re right, maybe every time someone acts troll-y I should post the screen cap of Olaf doing the upside-down keg stand. Party crashers!

  15. darryl permalink
    July 9, 2010 1:16 AM

    I’m looking forward to Once more with Feeling as well. I distinctly remember Willow and Tara’s like medieval long wavy dresses as they frolic through the park. And then I also look forward to Grave/Two to Go because of Anya’s nun outfit that made no sense at all :(

  16. SarahJane permalink
    July 9, 2010 5:24 PM

    While I do enjoy your writing style (very funny), I think you might be missing the characterization behind some of these costuming choices. Take Willow and Tara for example. Both have histories of verbal abuse (remember Cordelia, especially in season one? And Tara’s ever-so-charming–NOT–family?). Both girls are shy and awkward and hiding behind their clothes in different ways. Willow chooses fuzzy sweaters and t-shirts with dopey sayings, while Tara chooses drab, ill fitting ensembles.

    As far as Xander goes, his clothes say two things: one, as you so aptly mentioned, is bumbling buffoon, but the other (more important thing if you ask me) says “I expected more from my life than living in my parents’ basement doing odd jobs that hardly pay the rent.”

    What I think you’ve failed to acknowledge in this blog is that there is more to a costume than how it looks at first glance. These characters’ clothes tell a story.

    However, I have no excuse for Riley. He’s just a schmuck.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 9, 2010 7:07 PM

      I agree that the costumers try to tell a story with their ensemble choices. I just think they do a poor job. Why would a shy person wear something that would make everyone in the room turn and gawk at them? I’ve never known a shy person to wear eight ponytails, or to wear pink tie-dyed crinoline every day. I mean, that’s just me. I think the actors do a good job of pulling it off, though- particularly, I am impressed by the way that Amber Benson pulls her arms into her shirt sleeves, shrinks down into her gaudy outfits, tries to push her hair over her eyes. She “gets” her character a lot better than the people who dress Tara do.

  17. July 10, 2010 4:35 PM

    wow, I was not happy to miss that episode but I love your way of descibing the episode. I am happy and think that I have watched it.

  18. December 3, 2010 4:25 AM

    Hee, textgiles.

    Poor Tara. They take gorgeous Amber Benson and make her look FRUMPY. I don’t understand why they’re always putting her in unflattering tops and wide skirts. She’s PRETTY, YOU GUYS. She doesn’t have to hide that because she’s a lesbian, or wahtever.

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