The witches are here, and they are looking fabulous. While October may be the season of the witch for most people, true witches are using fashion to look magical and create spellbound looks all year round, even casting their charm on the fashion industry. From Alexandar McQueen’s 2007 autumn/winter collection dedicated to a Salem witch trial victim, to the witch-inspired fashion videos on TikTok. As we sift through the various outfits inspired by The Craft and “What Would the Sanderson Sisters Wear Today?” posts, we can't help but wonder: What does an actual witch wear?
Below, we spoke to a few witches to learn more about what it takes to be (and dress like) a modern-day witch.
What is Witchcore?
Currently, #witchcore has 83.2 thousand posts on Instagram, but that doesn’t make defining the style aesthetic any easier. No longer associated with just pointy hats and long black dresses, witches are found within hundreds of different subcategories. However, to keep things simple, witchcore can be defined as an aesthetic that is focused on the themes and practices of witchcraft, which has become very popular both in and out of the fashion world. Halsey’s If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power? Witchcore. Stevie Nicks’ entire aesthetic? Witchcore. People in cotton sun dresses making teas based on magical correspondence? Witchcore.
While the style is traditionally found in goth and alternative fashion that heavily features pentagrams, all-black outfits, and bell-sleeved dresses, it can be found in almost every other popular fashion subcategory. Witches bring green witchery to cottagecore, Y2K witches draw inspiration from Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Craft, and dark academia witches thrive with influences from dark themes and vintage.
“A witch is, first and foremost, a person in power,” says Dana, a secular witch who’s Instagram account @spacewitchix highlights her personal style (which gravitates around “dark bohemian, neo-witchy, and avant-garde”) and crushing disability stereotypes. As witchcraft rises in popularity on social media, more people are claiming the title. Which, Dana says, is a good thing.
“To be a witch is to rise against the traditional expectation of gendered conformity and to reclaim the forbidden fruit of individual power and expression," she says. "And if that is done via fashion, literature, online covens, or wearing a pointy hat, then that’s where it starts."
However, for those who want to add a little more magic and intention into their look, that’s where glamour magic comes into play.
“Glamour magic or fashion magick or fashion alchemy is intentionally using style, self-expression and beauty as a means of spiritual practice or of magical practice.” says Gabriela Herstik, witch and author of the book Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft. Herstik has a background in fashion journalism and fashion writing, and although she discovered her interest in fashion and witchcraft separately at first, they ended up overlapping “eight or nine years ago.” Since then, she has been infusing magic in her regular routines: “What I realized about my own practice is that I already have all these rituals that I’m doing, like shaving the side of my hair or wearing lingerie or taking photos of myself or doing my makeup or doing my skin routine—things that already have some structure. The ritual is already there, but if I bring intention and be more aware while infusing another layer of meaning to it, it can really become a part of my magical practice.”
Other witches use magic as part of their fashion routines and rituals because, according to Kimi Peri, a self-identifying white witch and fashion blogger, magic is everywhere. “I feel it in the air and within other people.” Peri, who defines their style as a “mix of grunge, gothic, vintage with anime and cosplay elements,” enjoys blending fashion and witchcraft together to “enchant” people. “My passion is to show and tell people to wear whatever they want. To exhibit confidence and the ‘different.’”
How to Infuse Fashion Magick in Your Wardrobe
“Magick is most powerful when it’s woven into your life,” says Herstik. “There are a lot of different ways that glamour and fashion magick can work, but it’s really when you work with style and beauty and rituals of self-expression as something that’s more than just aesthetics." Each witch has their own special practices and rituals they use when creating magical outfits, but here are a few examples that can help you get started:
- Tarot Cards: Herstik, Peri, and Dana all use tarot cards in their own crafts, and Herstik got her start mixing fashion and magic when she started a blog post about creating outfits based on tarot cards. Doing a tarot pull to get some advice on what to wear that day or taking inspiration from a certain card could help you with your outfits.
- Flower and crystal correspondence: If you’ve been on Witchtok or Witchstagram for more than a few minutes, you know how popular plants and crystals are to witchcore, so use some of that magic for your daily style, as every plant, flower, and crystal has its own magical correspondence. Peri enjoys carrying charms, scents, and jewelry with them. Herstik recommends infusing them in your makeup and outfits. “I’ll match my makeup with a rose if I want to embody that energy,” she says.
- Setting intention: You don’t need to cast spells or brew potions in order to make magic happen. Magic is within each and every one of us. If you put in the intention, it’s magic. “I truly believe that I am the spell,” Dana says when talking about her craft. So, if you want your leather jacket to make you look powerful, or your dress to make your date fall in love with you, simply wear it while saying its purpose out loud. Remember, you have the power.
So, What Does a Witch Wear?
Now to get to our big question: What does a witch wear? We asked our three witches to enlighten us.
“My favorite look is a freshly shaved side with black cat eye and red lipstick or orange lipstick. It feels like I’m wearing my favorite heels on my head. My favorite outfit is probably something short, tight, slutty with my heeled Doc Martens boots and my patent Vivienne Westwood bag that says 'sex’ on it.”
“My favorite VII & Co. faux leather jacket, which has lots of pins on it gifted to me from different people throughout the years. I still have a handwritten note by a friend of mine from back then in one pocket, which keeps me safe, too.”
"A wide-brimmed hat.”
Final Thoughts on Witchcore
The rise of witchy styles and witchcraft have shown that there is no right way to be interested in spirituality and fashion. Social media has allowed us all to find our own style inspirations in different settings and has given us the freedom to stray away from the mainstream stereotypes in order to find something that is truly magical. As Herstik says, “glamour magic can lead you to creating a style that is aligned with who you are and not who you’re expected to be.”
Below, check out a few pieces that may get your started on your own witchy style journey.