Styling a Capsule Wardrobe: Spring/Summer Modern Witch

It’s not a year with mgetsdressed unless there’s at least one summer witch post! And now that the 4th of July is over, we know what the next major US holiday is πŸ‘€πŸ¦‡πŸ‘€πŸŽƒπŸ‘€πŸ¦‰πŸ‘€. I wanted to do a slightly more modern and casual take on the witchy look this time. More witchy in spirit across the whole set of looks. A black heavy palette with a few of the classic motifs, rather than trying to maximize the mysterious-cottage-at-the-edge-of-the-village look in every single outfit.

Items

  • Gap asymmetrical ruched dress, image via ThredUp (item sold)
  • Woven linen/cotton relaxed fit black overalls (Jetcube via Pinterest, but the site seems kind of sketchy)
  • Free People Hailey Babydoll Mini Dress (Zappos, Dillards, Nordstrom in case it comes back in stock). For the purposes of variety, I think any more flouncy short dress with a relaxed cut would fit here. I just wanted a change from big sleeves since I tend to lean on those.

Aesthetic

Witch

  • Black dresses, of course. I usually think of witchy dresses being more flowy if they are revealing, and more Victorian-style full coverage if they’re fitted.
  • I wanted to bring in a pant based option, and I liked the overalls for more of a cottage feel. Because we will be going slightly more modern on the shoes and accessories, I didn’t want to use jeans or any other iconically 20th/21st century clothing styles.
  • Mostly black. But with some pops of white/cream for visual interest, since we’re not going the highly textured layering route and I didn’t want it to look too flat.
  • Plant and celestial motifs

Modern

  • Lace-up boots are the classic witchy footwear. But if you think about it, that’s more just because at the time, boots are just what people wore? I usually think of witches being more concerned about getting their witch business done rather than looking like a fashion plate, so I think that fairly no-nonsense shoes in the same color palette can mesh with the more boho rather than victorian witch aesthetic. The sandals are more of a trendy style with the square toe, but they’re just cords and leather, so there’s still overlap with the traditional witch style there.
  • I wanted to try a more youthful take on witchy without going kiddie costume. For ‘modern’ in a fashion context, I usually think ‘mature, but in touch’ (vs say, ‘trendy teen’). So since the sport sandals and Converse are youthful, I wanted to keep the bags and the third shoe more on the sophisticated side. Clean and non distressed shapes for the bags.

Styling

Not pictured, but this would really push any of these outfits towards a witchy look. I’m thinking

  • Natural / loose hair – the wild haired witch doesn’t care for high maintenance salon looks. Or if you’re gonna put hair up or back, keep the style softer, like a loose side ponytail instead of Ariana Grande hair.
  • Sheered out makeup, or alt makeup (e.g. sparse brows and a super dark lip)
  • Tattoos and alt piercings – y’all ever see those indie witchy boutiques that have a more minimal vibe, until you realize that they’ve basically just put Gap tier shift dresses on models with baby bangs, a nose piercing, and palnt and astrology tattoos? Obviously don’t get a tattoo just for an outfit, but I think this is a detail that often pushes a modern witch vibe, since witches are alt.

Outfits

1 – the accessories here are on the sleek and modern side by themselves, but the slouchy overalls pull it more to the ‘out of time’ (as in, removed from the centuries, vs ‘timeless’ like ‘People say that trench coats are timeless. Sure, but the cut of trench coat still changes every couple of years’) and cottage life side.

2 – With the more matte accessories and less overtly sporty shoe, this look leans more cottagecore. But the trendy shoe keeps it from going full Beatrix Potter. I’m picturing the scarf worn over the hair.

3 – With the all black wide brim hat, botanical print, and overalls, this one’s probably the most witchy of the overall sets. But the sneakers keep it more everyday/urban. The sneakers don’t feel like a statement in the way chunky sneakers with a full on frill puff sleeve cottagecore dress would though, as the base outfit is pretty minimal.

4 – Getting some resort vibes from this. I wouldn’t call this look witchy on its own as it’s so sleek, but it also doesn’t stand out from the other outfits in a group. Just cause you enjoy an overall witchy vibe doesn’t mean you have to look like the Wicked Witch of the West every day.

5 – Long black dress and wide brimmed hat representing. I love how the bolder style graphic keeps it from feeling too self-serious. The block print in particular is great because it still leaves the whole piece with a sliiiightly earthy edge.

6 – I’m picturing this one with the scarf worn on the bag (accessorize the accessories!) as with the high tops and columnar midi, it’s got quite a lot of vertical weight already without the bandana worn in the hair or around the neck.

7 – Perhaps the most traditional summer witch look, besides the Tevas. I was actually picturing this with the bandana worn over a 3-ply cotton mask for a bit of a old western vibe when the hat is on.

8 – This feels very night-out. I liked having both a more textured flouncy option to contrast with the more fitted knit dress.

9 – Just chilling. Weekend errands sort of look. Same dress though!

3 and 5 were my favorites, but I’d wear any of these πŸ˜„

MORE WITCHY!

For complete excruciating detail, see Guide to Creating Wearable WitchyΒ Outfits, but if we decided that we wanna go more witchy and purge the modern/sporty elements, then we want to replace anything that’s more of a 20th/21st century material or cut with something more historical or boho/earthy feeling. The traditional witch aesthetic is essentially ‘femme/androgynous goth boho’ and we want to stay on the ‘might have been around since the 1600s’ look rather than ‘might have teleported back from gothninja dystopian future’ vibe.

  • swap white converse for white granny boots – Specifically, lace-up boots for that old timey look. And not combat boots. This is an item that I think is most commonly found secondhand/vintage as there are a lot of Victorian/Edwardian repro boots and vintage options from the 1980s/1990s. The ones pictured are more of a lace-up western boot (I usually think of granny boots as round toed), but it still has a Victorian air to it. If you want witchy witchy you can of course go for black boots, but for the sake of the demo I thought it would be more fun to keep the colors.
  • swap foam/rubber flatforms for wooden clogs – clogs being more of a traditional shoe, that at least nowadays is still associated with a feminine style.
  • a more boho shape for the leather bag – like the more rounded and less structured shapes that come up when you search “hobo bag”, “slouchy tote bag”, “sling bag”.
  • more organic/irregular shape hoop earrings – for a more earthy vibe
  • style the overalls with an old timey pintucked or gathered romantic white blouse instead of a tee (not pictured)
MIA clogs // Madewell bag // Intentionally Blank boots // Free People earrings (these are much larger scale than as shown in the collages here)

Here are some of the less witchy looks from above with the accessories swapped out:

1 – The clogs with the overalls are much more of a gardening/cottage look than the sportier platforms. This look feels more like you could copy and paste it into all the garden pictures that come up when you search Pinterest for ‘witchy aesthetic’ or ‘witch house’.

2 – The left is starting to get into costumey territory, but I think the mini length and breezy cut of the dress keeps it from going full western saloon girl. I actually like the contrast of the modern print of the tote bag with that styling, while the canvas fabric is classic.

3 – I’m not sure I would keep the bandana for the witchified version. For my taste, since the hoop earrings are more of a statement, there are a lot of things going on in the outfit without one particular one serving as an anchor point. For the more modern version, the shoes have a more minimal and clean that doesn’t feel like as much of a contrast or statement with the dress.

I’ve been on a color kick the last couple of weeks, but after putting this all together all of a sudden I want to pull out of all my black swoopy things. One thing I love about these mini capsules is that it shows how you can get a lot of mileage from a highly curated dozen or so pieces when you find yourself liking multiple aesthetics but don’t care to try and combine them in every look. The capsule doesn’t have to be walled off from the rest of your style, either. We’ve reused three pieces from the previous capsule, and that one was fairly neutral-trendy (think mash up of Madewell and Who What Wear x Target vibes), and converse, black flatforms, and a canvas tote mesh pretty easily into jeans-and-tee outfits. Fun times!

5 Comments

  1. “y’all ever see those indie witchy boutiques that have a more minimal vibe, until you realize that they’ve basically just put Gap tier shift dresses on models with baby bangs, a nose piercing, and palnt and astrology tattoos?”

    How did you know? Is this universal?

    I love 2, 6, 7. You have really pushed yourself with the dungarees, and yet I can see it, especially this sort of apothecary earth magic style, which of course in the modern day would translate to the allotment, to sustainable living, and something comfortable enough to tend plants in.

    I always enjoy your posts, hope you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So excited to see a second blog post in as many days! I’m very cautious and indecisive about buying new things (limited storage space and limited fashion sense), so I especially love seeing the mileage you can get out of just a few curated items.

    Liked by 1 person

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