Buffy Fashion Roulette: “Something Blue”
Hello, friends. Miss me?
I owe the Buffy Fashion Roulette universe a big explanation, and an even bigger apology. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been missing in action since October, and it was rather sudden. I peaced out: didn’t give any notice, didn’t call or write. I imagine that my disappearance was similar to the feeling you get when the friendly barista at your local coffee shop randomly disappears one day. You might feel awkward asking the staff about it, so you sit there and wonder. Or you might ask them where she went, and they’re like, “dude, I dunno. She just up and left one day.” And that’s it; she’s just gone. It’s not the end of your world or anything like that, but she did make a pretty mean cup of coffee that you don’t get to have anymore. It’s a bummer, and it’s a mystery. Where the hell did she go, anyway?
I’ve received lots of nice comments and emails in my absence, which is a really wonderful thing. It’s nice to feel like I’m contributing something worthwhile to the world with my silly little project here, that I’ve been missed by the Buffy faithful. Throughout these emails three questions come up over and over again. I’ll answer them here.
Are you okay?
Indeed, I am okay. Thanks for asking!
Where are you?
I have been exceedingly busy these past few months. Because of my Pen & Pixel Graphics posts from the summertime, I got in touch with Shawn Brauch, a Pen & Pixel Graphics founder and the creator of those genius bits of culture. We’re working on an art book about Pen & Pixel Graphics; I’ll be writing the text to accompany a selection of his favorite pieces. The working title is Flossed And Glossed, which is pretty perfect. The project is a dream project; it gives me the opportunity to wax poetic about something that is deeply meaningful to me. Therefore, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on research for this book, brainstorming, and simply thinking hard about it. I want my contribution to this project to be as perfect as it can be.
I’ve also been busy with other things. The holidays make everyone’s heads spin, of course. I have school, a social life, work, and home life, all of which can get pretty hairy just like anyone else’s can. That said, I don’t plan on abandoning Buffy Fashion Roulette for long periods of time anymore. I’ve missed it. I like challenging myself to figure out methods of combining general snarkiness with a piece of pop culture that I love deeply. I like finding the contradictions between Buffy’s timeless themes and dated fashion. I also enjoy challenging myself to do projects that have some sort of a time/amount stamp on them; I enjoy the specificity of what I’ve set out to do, the same way that I enjoy collecting series of books and organizing things alphabetically. Basically, Buffy Fashion Roulette is a great deal of fun for me.
Are you ever coming back?
Here I am, and I apologize for the extended absence.
You may or may not remember that way back in October we last deconstructed “Flooded,” a cautionary tale about fiscal irresponsibility, the importance of properly utilizing copper piping in one’s home, and appropriate apparel choices for loan interviews/demon fights. Four months later, I am closing polling and reporting on the results of the recap. In one respect it was a monumental polling episode for Buffy Fashion Roulette. Third and second place were no surprise; the winners there were perennial victors Giles and Buffy, with 11.8% and 16.8%, respectively. The winner was a shocker, though: for the first time ever (and after lots of finishes at the bottom), Willow came out way ahead of the pack with a whopping 41.6% of all votes tallied.Willow’s win wasn’t a huge surprise within the fashion context of the episode- her clothes were shockingly not-terrible- but compared to her previous trend of losing all over the place? Straight up shock-ing. In non-surprising news, Dawn and Anya were 3rd and 2nd worst dressed (with 13.6% and 19.6% of all votes cast), and long suffering Tara couldn’t catch yet another break with 24.8% of the votes, based solely on this nightmare of a shirt choice:
The roulette was kind to us this week, bestowing a fan favorite of an episode upon us. “Something Blue” is one of my favorites, anyway. It’s fun; it foreshadows left and right; the writing is snappy and hilarious. It’ll also make you feel super bad for Willow. So, without further ado, here we go!
We open with a lovely shot of Oz and Willow standing on a dock somewhere. Actually, it’s one of those preseason promo shots that the WB (and eventually UPN) used to torment us with for weeks before the season premiere; I’m pretty sure I saw this exact same photo in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer 2003 Wall Calendar, minus the random photoshopped background. Why are they on a dock? Why is Willow’s hair not moving with the sea breeze? Whatever. The only thing that’s notable about this photo is that Willow’s shirt is the color of a hamburger condiment, as is per the usual with these types of things.
Willow is, of course, devastated at the abrupt loss of her boyfriend. Who wouldn’t be? She’s wearing one of those super busy shirts from that era in time. Lots of tiny pictures forming a pattern. Contrasting colors. Rhinestones. She’s super forlorn, and I’m not sure that this is the best shirt to wear when attempting to express that emotion.
She has a t-shirt of Oz’s that he left behind, and she sniffs it like a creep. Let’s take a moment and be in awe of how awesomely expert Willow’s eye makeup looks here. It’s a bit unrealistic, considering that she would have cried it all over her face hours ago, but it looks nice. Good job, makeup department!
The next day at school, Buffy runs into Riley in the hall as he’s chivalrously helping the ladies of the UC Sunnydale Lesbian Alliance hang their banner. You know, I’m a homo and all, but if I saw that poster I would totally not join their alliance. Purple with daisies? What the hell do they do at those meetings, collect American Girls dolls and listen to LFO?
Buffy congratulates Riley on his coming out process. Riley’s wearing a typically boring Riley outfit, which is okay because he’s a boring guy. Buffy’s outfit is pretty boring as well. I notice that she has a tiny backpack. What does she put in there, tiny textbooks?
What is most noticeable about this scene isn’t the clothes, or the tween-y looking UC Sunnydale Lesbian Alliance banner. No, it’s the fact that Riley calls Buffy “a beautiful mystery.” What is this, a Shakira song?
Later that night, Willow accompanies Buffy on a patrol. From far away, her sweater doesn’t look half bad.
Once we get a little closer, the sweater starts to look a bit odd. It appears…constricting.
Oh my god, it’s a motherfucking poncho. A PONCHO.
Can someone explain why Willow would wear this stupid-ass poncho at all, much less on a patrol? It has nothing going for it. It’s ugly. It’s really, really tight. Are ponchos ever this tight? Literally, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It seals her arms to her side, leaving her defenseless during an attack; she can’t physically or magically do anything in this mess of a poncho. Is it even technically a poncho? Its technical name might be, “knitted tube for rendering oneself defenseless during an attack, with fringe on the bottom.” I dunno, maybe she’s so sad over Oz leaving that she wants to die?
Buffy doesn’t fare well here, either. She’s giving a speech about her romantic ineptitude while wearing a jacket that looks like it’s made out of the same material as those garbage bag getups Missy Elliott wore in her video for “The Rain.” Nevertheless, she towers above her constricted competition.
Okay, I need to take a break for a minute. I need to ask you guys a question. Does anyone else ever watch the opening credits, see this split-second shot of Kristin Scott Thomas’ sister wearing the Glove Of Myhnegon, and momentarily think it’s Brad Pitt in Legends Of The Fall? Because I do that ALL THE TIME.
Buffy and Willow stop by Giles’ house, where our favorite Watcher is contending with a whiny, bathtub-captive Spike. He looks pretty sexy all tied up in that bathtub, although he seems a bit malnourished.
Buffy feeds Spike pig’s blood from Giles’ Kiss The Librarian mug. She can’t stop sassing Spike, which is, of course, hilarious. She has removed the garbage bag-looking jacket, and looks much better, even though I’m confused by her hoodie’s black pockets and hanging pink string things. Giles is wearing a shirt and pants. Casual Giles Season 4, you know the drill.
In the living room, Willow has removed her poncho. One can presume that she has done this in order to free up her arms for reading. Apparently arm-binding torture tube sweaters are impractical for reading, but they’re flippin’ great for vampire slaying. Who knew?Willow heads over to Oz’s house… why, exactly? Is she trying to prolong her torment? Eh, I should give her a break. I would have done the exact same thing at her age. Nowadays I’d just mail a dead fish to the offender’s mother’s house. Anyways, she appears to have lost the poncho permanently. Did Buffy hide it when she wasn’t looking? Her outfit looks perfectly fine without the poncho. Why the poncho, Willow? Why the constricting tube of death? If you’re going to act out after a breakup, why don’t you just eat seventeen boxes of Oreos and watch “Passions” with Spike?
Oz’s room is completely cleaned out. The set designers did a pretty good job of applying realism to the furniture selection in the room. Everything is broken and looks like it came from the trash, which is certainly the way any good nineteen year old musician’s room should look. Willow is upset because Oz “sent for his stuff.” Oh, Willow. I know you’ve never paid rent in your life, but it’s much more likely that Devon and the rest of the housemates needed to rent out his room and put all his shit on the curb.
As she relates all of this to Buffy, Willow looks wicked adorable in her plaid pajamas. Also, I want that blue telephone.
Buffy lends an ear in her own PJs. She has crazy hair. I know we long-haired ladies always put it up in horrendous messes like that at home, but that looks ROUGH.
Giles is getting so sick of Spike-sitting. Like, for real. But you know, I’d be pissed off if I was locked in the bathtub during Passions, too. Incidentally, Passions is the whole reason I got into Buffy in the first place. That whole back and forth between the two shows, where Joss would write a Passions reference into the script and Passions had this episode where Timmy, the talking doll, held up a homemade Buffy poster and declared it to be his favorite non-NBC show? Yeah. That’s what made me decide to give Buffy a shot. (Trivia: Timmy was never in the bottom of a well, although one time Tabitha, his witch creator, threw him in the washing machine. I’ll never forget watching his face rotate around and around in the glass window while Tabitha appeared in a bubble in the corner of the screen and reminded viewers, “Chiiiildren! Do not try this at hooooome! Mwahahahaha!”)
Anyways, the color of Giles’ sweater is all wrong for potentially getting Spike’s pig’s blood all over it.
The next day, Riley and Stevie Nicks go on a picnic together. Oh, wait.
What was Buffy thinking here? She looks like a low-rent fortune teller at a high school carnival. She seems to have spent a good hour-plus on her hair, which also looks terrible. All of this makes her ill=informed outfit choice even worse. Riley, on the other hand, is dressed appropriately for a casual first date, although his white sneakers are dorky (don’t worry, I can always find something wrong with Riley).
Riley starts talking about how awesome cars and driving are. It is a really, really intense speech. It is so intense that it kind of freaks me out. He is so intense about it that Buffy should have gone running for the hills. Check out this creepy intense Riley face.
Intense. Sarah Michelle Gellar, meanwhile, makes no attempt to hide how perplexed she is by both the writing and Marc Blucas’ dialogue delivery in this scene.
Cars. They Are So Cool And So Awesome.
Meanwhile, here comes forlorn ol’ Willow with one flower on each boobie. It kind of makes her shirt look like a sadface. Maybe it’s appropriate?
Willow’s two-for-two on cute sneaker-wearing this episode. Check out Buffy’s face over having her date crashed.
Speaking of unflattering boobie decor in this episode, check out that waitress’s shirt. O.M.G.
Yeah, we’re Bronzein’ it. You know how we do.
All I can think to say about Anya’s dress is that it’s very grunge. I place it into its late 90’s/early 00’s context and neither love it nor hate it; I merely notice its grunge-ness. It’s too bad that we can’t see her shoes, because if she were wearing Doc Martens I’d straight up think it was an intentional throwback. Buffy, thankfully, has changed out of her Steven Tyler gear and is wearing a red eyelet tank top and what I think are grey leather pants.
Xander’s wearing a sweater that is neither brown nor orange. He looks fine.
Willow is drunk.
She’s moving so fast here that I can barely get a screen shot of her outfit. It’s bad, though. Does anyone else notice that she’s dancing with a lady here? Mmm hmm.
Willow runs back to the table and proclaims that the Blink 182 song that’s playing is “great!” Everyone gives her A Look. Why so judge-y, Scoobies? Getting drunk after a sudden, traumatic breakup sounds like a plan to me!
She can’t be all that drunk though, because later that night, as you know, Willow gets witchy in the dorm bathroom.
Remember how freaked out we were way back in “Buffy Fashion Roulette: ‘Wild At Heart'” when Willow was doing crazy magic in what we thought was her dorm kitchen? Well, doing magic in the dorm bathroom at 2 AM is way worse. Some girl is going to stumble in drunk and knock over a few candles, burning Stevenson Hall to the ground. At the very worst, everyone at UC Sunnydale will think Willow’s in a cult by noon tomorrow.
The next morning Willow feels certain that her spell has not worked. She cannot bend everything around her to her will, which strikes me as an exceedingly strange thing to hope for when you’re a nineteen-year old college freshman, rather than a dictator of a developing nation. Man, this is so season 6 foreshadow-y.
It’s hard to say much about Willow’s outfit here. She’s covering most of it with a pillow. As you know, Giles comes by and she accidentally curses him with blindness. To be more specific, the middle-aged man who has surely been through his own traumatic romantic losses (Jenny!) has come to chide the heartbroken teenager for being depressed and forgetful, missing her appointment with him. This causes her to fly off the handle and inadvertently wish for more than she actually wants. Geez, will everyone lay off of Willow here? Breakups are hard, especially ones brought about by infidelity, attempted murder, and regular murder, in that order. All of her friends have been through them before. Where’s the empathy, kids?
Anyways, I hate how Giles’s sweater has baggy sleeves. I find it doubtful that he would ever wear a sweater with sleeves that don’t fit.
Giles’ temporary blindness has always been one of the hardest parts of the entire series for me. I hate seeing him helpless, and I hate seeing him have to confront the fact that he’s getting old, which is arguably his biggest struggle during this season. I HATE IT.
Spike’s still a cutie. I wouldn’t mind having him tied up to various bathroom fixtures and pieces of furniture in my house.
And he escapes! It always cracks me up that Giles hung Spike’s filthy, never-washed leather duster on the coat rack along with his own clean coats and jackets. It would have made a lot more sense for them to store it in a trash bag.
Back at the dorm room, Buffy wants to catch Spike and Willow’s still mopey. We can finally see Willow’s entire outfit, and it’s horrible. There are neck ruffles. There is a giant belt. There is a plastic woven necklace. It contains all of the worst typical elements of Willow fashion, and there’s no endearing fuzzy sweater to carry us through the nightmare unscathed. Buffy’s not looking too hot, either. Those are some mighty high-waisted pants, my friend.
For the first time in like, ever, we notice that Amy has come to college with Willow. She de-rats for a minute, thanks to Willow’s awesome spell!
Just so we’re clear, Naked Amy won’t be an option for Best Dressed. I learned my lesson that time Naked Pawn Shop Jewelry-Wearing Spike won.
Willow makes a creepy-eyed wish for Buffy to find Spike. She sounds like a petulant child uninviting someone from her birthday party.
Buffy finds herself on the lawn along with Spike. Her coat is absolutely atrocious. The collar is a different color from the rest of it, it’s all woven together with strips of leather… YUCK. It looks like something a dominatrix would wear to church on Easter Sunday.
Over at Giles’s place, he’s panicking and applying eye drops. Look, commenters, it’s the infamous Giles Pinky Ring!
Right after Willow and Buffy talk about watching Steel Magnolias together, we find Xander wearing a shirt with a magnolia on it. That’s just precious. I like this shirt, but I’m biased, as magnolias are both my favorite tree and flower.
Check out the weird cut of the leather at the ends of her sleeves. They are literally cut with pinking shears. YUCK. Her pink manicure/Goth-y ring combination are kind of hilarious, but in a good way.
Willow calls Xander a demon magnet, which results in badness. The romance of Buffy and Spike is causing Giles to drink heavily. When Buffy claims that she’s “living the dream” I always LOL. I can’t be the only one.
Riley runs into Buffy staring at wedding dresses. He’s wearing a sweater with a flesh-colored t-shirt beneath it. It’s fine. It is what it is.
Anya and Xander are gettin’ cuddly. From the waist above, everything Anya’s wearing looks on the up-and-up. She’s wearing a simple long-sleeved top in a flattering shade of red. Easy enough, right?
By the time they flee demons all the way back to Giles’ place, it is clear that she is wearing flares with weird shit where the flare part of the pants begin. It’s flames or peacock feathers or something. I’m not even sure. All I can say for sure is that this is an atrocious look on anyone. I know the wardrobe people hadn’t assigned a specific look to Anya yet, but this is ridiculous.
Buffy and Spike’s cuddle fest leads to a lot of icky feelings for the Scoobies. Fortunately, they figure that they should head over to the dorms and check on Willow, where D’Hoffryn has found her and wants to make her into a vengeance demon. Anya explains the whole vengeance demon deal to Buffy, but it’s hard to pay attention to her when we get a closer look at her patterned flares and platform flip flops. Are you kidding me with this, Anya?
Spike rightfully mocks a skirt of Buffy’s. Maybe he should guest blog here sometime.
Hey D’Hoffryn, why’re you gonna grow a sweet-ass beard like that and tie it up in a weird little ponytail? Let your beard hair fun wild and free, man!
Willow, as you know, tells D’Hoffryn thanks but no thanks, but keeps the talisman for later. Instead she bakes some seriously delicious-looking cookies. Anya is wearing a pink thermal shirt and has awful-looking eye makeup, at least from this angle.
Xander is wearing a football jersey-style shirt. It’s kind of weird, if you look at it closely. The grey stripes on his arms look like armwarmers.
Willow is wearing some Delia’s-looking shirt. When you read the message, it’s an attempt at irony. She probably borrowed the apron from Giles, so I can’t knock it too hard.
Giles is wearing a sweater that can merely be described as “very season four.” However, he can see again. Hurrah!
Oh, BUFFY. What were you thinking here? Those cuff-printed flares make Anya’s cuff-printed flares look decent. And what’s up with the sweater tied around the shoulders? Dear, sweet baby Jesus.
She throws the sweater back on later for a walk with Riley. It is a nice sweater. I covet it. But paired with those flares, nobody’s even noticing it. I wonder if Riley dares to look down at the horrors below. Buffy’s knees are truly the hellmouth to a terrifying, unknown world of printed pants cuffs.
Buffy jokingly tells him, “You have a lot to learn about women, Riley.” He gets super serious, grabs her hair, and goes, “You’re gonna teach me.” Whaaaaa? Between this and the “I Like Awesome Cars That Zoom Fast” speech, she should have known better.
I don’t for the life of me know who the best dressed character is in this episode, but I know who the top two contenders are for worst dressed. What do you guys think? Remember: vote for the cumulative best and worst dressed characters of the episode, not just an outfit that I snarkily reference in the poll.