BY KAILEY TEDESCO
The past few years of horror films have been particularly kind in terms of their long-awaited subversions of typical female narrative arcs. Instead of presenting scream queens that spend the film running from man/monster/both?, it is now common for women in horror to cause all of the screams. These protagonists are powerful, beautiful, and aware. The inclusion of such characters ultimately leads to thoughtful explorations of gender, oppression, and the body through more understated (yet wildly terrifying) horror. While they are totally scary, they’re also complex and sympathetic. Not to mention, their outfits are all basically perfection.
Even though Halloween is over, we should totally continue to practice costuming. I’ve created the following style boards so that you can dress like your favorite recent horror protagonists year round. I tried to choose affordable and versatile pieces that could be worn together or on their own, but of course if you’d rather not shop online, you can totally use these boards as inspiration during your next thrifting haul!
Thomasin from The VVITCH (2015) — Who says frocks from 1630 can’t also live deliciously?
Jesse from The Neon Demon (2016) — Just make sure you pick a lipstick shade that’s sex or food related (or maybe not?).
Elaine from The Love Witch (2016) — I LOVE love and also every mini dress in this movie!
"Darling" from Darling (2016) — For an added touch of transgression, feel free to flip your cross around.
Kailey Tedesco is the author of These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press) and the forthcoming full-length collection, She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publications). She is the co-founding editor-in-chief of Rag Queen Periodical and a member of the Poetry Brothel. She received her MFA in creative writing from Arcadia University, and she now teaches literature at several local colleges.
Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. You can find her work in Prelude, Bellevue Literary Review, Sugar House Review, Poetry Quarterly, Hello Giggles, UltraCulture, and more. For more information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.