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Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Empty Places”

July 11, 2010

The roulette wheel has spoken. The episode to be dissected today is season 7′s “Empty Places”, one of the show’s last episodes ever and the first from season 7 that I’ve tackled. But first, our results from “Buffy Vs. Dracula” must be weighed.

For best dressed, the only two candidates with a substantial, double digit percentage of votes were Anya and Buffy. Despite sulking her way through the episode, Buffy was the winner, grabbing 40% of the vote to Anya’s 30%.

Sulking never becomes anyone when they're wearing pink pants and a jaunty scarf.

There were three solid finalists for Worst Dressed- Xander with his rhinestone Hawaiian print shirt, Riley with his flowing muscle tee, and Willow with her everything. Riley held down 17% of the vote, Willow came in second with 26%, and Xander bedazzled the competition with a very solid 40%, making him the winner of his very first Buffy Fashion Roulette Worst Dressed award. Congratulations, Xander!

Sparkle on, you crazy rhinestone.

Now, “Empty Places.” Because the apocalypse looms and every episode only lasts for a day or so, there isn’t a lot of fashion variety among the characters. Some of them only wear one outfit, which is tragic. Luckily, there are like eight hundred people in “Empty Places”, meaning there’s a point to this. Whew.

We begin the episode with Buffy pensively patrolling the streets, which are packed with cars full of Sunnydale citizens desperate to make their way out of town. It looks like a hurricane evacuation, or maybe REM’s “Everybody Hurts” video.

Strangely, Buffy is wearing a coat, and beneath the coat she has tied a sweater around her waist. Is that a real thing that people do? I definitely live in a region of the country where layers are of paramount importance, and I can’t recall ever having seen someone wearing a sweater tied around their waist underneath their coat. I’m not sure what is going on with this outfit. The coat’s all exposed seams-y, which could be a metaphor for Buffy’s impending vulnerability, but it’s probably not because everybody wears exposed seams on this show. The pants are an odd choice, as well.

Hey look, Clem’s here! We can’t see much of his outfit, but it ain’t bad. It’s very Clem. He dresses like a burnout who temps at construction sites, or maybe a freelance editor. He drives a cool car, too. Punch bug!

Meanwhile, Giles and Willow are pretending to be from Interpol, which makes me get Interpol stuck in my head (Interpol the band, not Interpol the agency/FBI warning folks from VHS tapes/Carmen Sandiego stalkers). Giles looks goooood! He’s a very classy dude, that Giles. Check out the trenchcoat/turtleneck sweater combo. Only someone like Giles could pull that off. Willow doesn’t look so bad. Her hair looks good- the color is impeccable in the sunlight. The outfit isn’t terrible by Willow’s standards, although really, who knows what paisley horrors may lurk beneath her jacket? The cuffs seem to be an ominous giveaway that something is typically amiss.

Willow and Buffy are visiting Xander in the hospital because ohmigosh, it’s the one right after he loses his eye and how could the roulette wheel DO this to me, make me get all teary-eyed while I’m trying to make fun of people’s clothes all immature-like? It’s just not fair. NOT FAIR.

Buffy has taken the sweater from around her waist and put it on, and she’s taken her coat off and is holding it. That’s more like it, Buffster. Sarah Michelle Gellar seems to have a cold in this episode and her voice is all scratchy, so she sounds like Lindsay Lohan. Tee hee.

Hey, d’ya wanna feel really horrifyingly depressed really quickly? Yeah? Okay, check out Willow’s face when Buffy told her that she’s not gonna stick around to play card games, even though she said she would.

Back at the house, Anya and Andrew are giving the Slayerettes a news update about ubervamps. Andrew’s in a hoodie and jeans, which is fine and good. Emma Caufield’s comic timing really hit a peak in season 7, didn’t it? I am a bit baffled by her outfit, though. I think they bought a dress and added trim to it. Of course, the trim does not match the dress at all. I’ve included two photos for your perusal.

Here’s a closeup of the sleeve trim. Check out how nice her hair, makeup and accessories are. Kudos, Anya!

And here you can see the trim on the bottom of the dress, which matches the trim on the top but not the dress itself. I don’t understand. I DON’T UNDERSTAND!…

…and neither do the Slayerettes. Let’s check out what some of our favorites are wearing.

I can’t tell what’s going on with Rona. All I can tell is that she has on some black jeans and a t-shirt. Well, at least it’s not the Ronoveralls.

Amanda, aka “Slayerette most likely to be a Joss Whedon devotee,” is wearing a nice, comfy cashmere sweater.

Kennedy’s hair looks pretty awful, but hey, she’s just hanging around the house so whatever. Pass.

Faith and Kennedy are in the kitchen sharing a slightly-altered bag of Ruffles. Faith’s shirt is diabolically misleading. It looks like a nice prep school shirt, but when you peep it from the side it has those trashy criss-cross shoelace-looking weaves where the seams should be. That is soooo Faith.

Dawn is dressing like more of a tween than she did when she was a tween, if that’s even possible. Hey, at least she’s not walking around in stilettos with her boobs hanging out. I’ll take it.

Later in the day, Buffy heads back to now-deserted Sunnydale High.

Now she’s put her coat on over her replaced sweater. Three looks in one!

Caleb dresses so poorly. He mismatches his blacks (sooo pedestrian) and wears jeans that look pleated even though they’re not. He’s such a failure.

…wait, he KINDA dresses like Spike. (But just kinda.)

Faith has taken the Slayerettes to “let off some steam” at The Bronze. This seems to have translated into “underage drinking.” Faith looks, you know, classic Faith. Midriff bared, tight jeans, surrounded by fratty dudes. Personally, I love it.

Kennedy is wearing a jean jacket which would normally look all badass on her, but her hair makes it look a little soccer mom-y. In this screen capture she looks like she wants to jump Dawn’s bones.

I know, that’s creepy. Look at how cute and lively Dawn looks here! And don’t you know Michelle Trachtenberg was absolutely THRILLED to wear this top and to curl her hair? It shows.

Bad Buffy is in the shadows as usual, so I can’t snark on her too hard. The ruching is a little silly-looking. The best part of this scene is that Evil Buffy has the same scratchy throat-inducing cold that Buffy has. HMMMM…

Back at Da Club, Amanda is underage-drinking in a giant sweater coat and ill-fitting khakis. No wonder she didn’t get carded.

One time I ripped something in my shoulder and I had to wear a sling for weeks. It sucked and I hated it and I had to ask my roommates to help me get dressed for at least a week after it happened. I had to drape coats over one shoulder and I wore as many sleeveless and button-up items as possible to make getting dressed as tolerable as possible. That said, I have no idea what Rona was thinking here.

Faith took out some cops and Buffy helped. Since she’s no fun, everybody has to go home. Check out the sparkly shirt-wearing Slayerette on the left who’s being carried out of The Bronze with a bottle in her hand. That’s my kind of woman right there.

The Special Spike Accessory Of The Day is Andrew riding bitch with a football helmet on. I give it high marks.

Hey hey, it’s Principal Wood! He looks pretty sexy in that leather jacket.

Oh man, Xander’s home. But he looks really good! Willow still has not revealed what she’s wearing under that jacket. I think I like it better that way. Anya has changed into a sweater t-shirt and I’m not sure why. It is midriff-baring. Also, her belt has lots of shit on it. I’m not saying that we should regulate our outfits based on our partners’ hospital release status, but were I in her situation, I would not wear this outfit. At least it didn’t have a big picture of an eye on it, though. Were Willow circa season 4 bringing Xander home, she’d totally make that mistake. The eye would be on a surfboard and beneath the eye it would say, like, “Calfornia Eyeball Surfing Co” or something.

Ok, so NOW Buffy has ditched both the coat and the sweater and is wearing only the sheer white long-sleeved shirt that was beneath it all. I think the costumers did this on purpose, to make it look like she was wearing many different outfits throughout the show while managing to preserve some semblance of continuity. This is a good idea, except that the sweater worn ’round the waist beneath the coat is completely and utterly ridiculous.

Oh yeah and check it, drunk girl is right behind her, and it looks like she’s already hungover. Between this Ke$ha lookalike and the sideways-belted, go go boots-wearing Slayerette to her left, Buffy could start a band.

Vote below. There are so many options to choose from!

27 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2010 10:25 AM

    I imagine on laundry day Spike wears his OTHER most common outfit, nothing.

    The Sunnydale laundromat must be an interesting place. Between the demons, yards of brightly colored, metallic and tie-dyed fabrics, blood stains and magic talismans accidentally left in pockets the place must be a horror show. I wish it had it’s own spin-off.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 12, 2010 10:56 AM

      Please keep commenting; you make me laugh so hard every time!

      • July 12, 2010 2:09 PM

        Please keep posting! With the show off the air for so long it’s hard to find great, new Buffy snark on the internet (I’m a huge fan of the show and Spike in particular, but like a 10 year old I believe the only way to express appreciation for something is by mocking it). And I’ll do my best to comment something humorous, although I make no promises. That’s a lot of pressure.

    • Chris permalink
      July 12, 2010 9:48 PM

      I would watch Joss Whedon’s SUNNYDALE LAUND-O-FRESH in whatever awful time slot Fox saw fit to place it. Every. Single. Week.

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 12, 2010 9:51 PM

        I always thought it would be funny if they did webisodes about all the times we didn’t see the Scoobies get rid of those demon corpses. A little five-minute ditty with Buffy and Xander dragging a giant demon body into the woods and cutting it up while Willow watches and sips her latte could be hilarious. (Am I gross for that?)

      • Chris permalink
        July 12, 2010 9:56 PM

        Haha I can almost hear Willow’s helpful dismemberment suggestions! (If it’s gross to want to see that, I don’t want to be Not Gross.)

  2. Jack-Kay permalink
    July 12, 2010 10:57 AM

    I tell you what I always found slightly interesting about the costume half-continuity choice in this episode:
    the fact that Buffy’s sheer white kinda see-through top with some sort of black number/singlet to go with that she wears and alternates for the length of Empty Places – really reminds me of the style of outfit she sports for the entirety of Primeval at the end of season 4, an almost identical see-through white shirt/sweater with a black singlet underneath.

    And even more strangely she happens to look at exactly the same photo of her, Willow & Xander in Primeval as she does in the school in Empty Places before Caleb arrives – both times she does this is when the Scooby Gang is essentially falling apart (I think the only other instance she gazes upon the happier-times photo is in Dead Man’s Party at the beginning of season 3).

    I just always thought this was quite a considered costume choice rather than a coincidence, like a reference back to an old outfit from seasons before that she’d worn during a similarly (but not quite as intensely) trying time, however maybe I’m wishful thinking waaay too much :)

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 12, 2010 11:01 AM

      Normally I might think you’re reaching a bit, but the whole looking at the photo thing makes me think you’re probably right. You have a freaking eagle eye! It’s enviable!

  3. smeleanor permalink
    July 12, 2010 12:10 PM

    God, hate as I do the word lol, I just kind of lolled my way through that whole post. Lolorama.

    I’ve just started reading your blog, it’s actually awesome. I’d always thought the fashions of Buffy were utterly bizarre (and with Willow especially, really out of character) but as I dress like “a 7 year old boy” (being the latest in a long line of similarly themed comments about my clothes), I’d always supposed I just didn’t understand something integral about fashion and American culture.

    Apparently it’s not just me though, which as I say, is awesome.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 12, 2010 12:13 PM

      To which I reply, there’s nothing hotter than a girl who dresses like a 7 year old boy. Keep doing what you do!

  4. July 12, 2010 10:29 PM

    Please do this more often. Finding these made my whole day, it’s excellent.

    Except for you hate on Willow’s completely adorable fuzzy sweaters :<

  5. Nadia permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:17 PM

    The eye would be on a surfboard and beneath the eye it would say, like, “Calfornia Eyeball Surfing Co” or something.

    This is the greatest thing I read today. Also, so true.

  6. Doug permalink
    July 13, 2010 5:26 AM

    “Calfornia Eyeball Surfing Co”! :D
    I think I woke up the neighbors laughing. The hilarity comes from the sad truth of things. Poor Willow.
    Speaking of, maybe you should do “The Body”. We get a lot of looks at Willow’s wardrobe and she breaks down crying because she finally realizes her shirts all have stupid things on them. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t causation, but it’s correlation, damn it!
    Plus, Joyce wears that bitchin’ morgue sheet.
    Yes, I am a sick, terrible person who will be going to hell if it exists. It’s a disease, I can’t help it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  7. Joey permalink
    July 13, 2010 2:57 PM

    Please never stop until you do every single episode. ;) this blog is genius, you my friend, are hysterical, and I can’t wait to keep reading.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 13, 2010 7:38 PM

      Thanks! That’s a really sweet thing to say. I plan on finishing out the show, don’t worry!

      • Seán permalink
        November 6, 2010 4:44 PM

        By any chance, are you going to do Angel? I know nothing about fashion but this is just about the only good Buffy snark site I’ve found so I hope you keep it up!

      • msjacks permalink*
        November 6, 2010 6:13 PM

        Hi Sean: Thanks for your nice words! I was thinking of interspersing some Angel episodes throughout. I’m not as personally invested in Angel as I am in Buffy though, so I worry that the writing wouldn’t be as good. But I’ll probably throw some in sometime soon. If people want to see it, I’d like to make it happen.

        Thanks for commenting!

  8. July 14, 2010 4:20 PM

    Ooh yes do the Body.

  9. July 15, 2010 1:46 AM

    I love you. I’ve been on a “Buffy” bender all summer and have been mocking the fashion in my head the entire time. My husband doesn’t find it as amusing as I do, especially not my observation that Spike should never wear clothes.

    I kind of love Buffy’s season 7 wardrobe though, very classic.

    • msjacks permalink*
      July 15, 2010 2:04 AM

      I love you too! You and your blog are truly adorable. I hope you stick around!

      • July 15, 2010 2:06 AM

        <3! You are on my Google Reader, my friend; wouldn't miss a post!

      • msjacks permalink*
        July 15, 2010 2:07 AM

        Ditto, kiddo!

  10. buffyanne permalink
    July 16, 2010 1:04 AM

    Please do an episode with Oz. He had such a distinct style especially in relationship to Willow’s. Maybe Phases or Doppleganger.

    • Doug permalink
      July 16, 2010 3:00 AM

      Doppelgangland, good one. Willow’s pinkest, fuzziest sweater, and Vampire Willow fashion.

  11. eric permalink
    July 16, 2010 9:02 PM

    do “this year’s girl” or “who are you?”

  12. Chris permalink
    July 18, 2010 2:01 AM

    I’m sorry, but after what you said about that screencap of Dawn and Kennedy I couldn’t resist making this http://tinypic.com/r/3d3ci/3
    This just in: I am a bad person.

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