A Fly-By History of The Witch Costume

Merry Meet, but what’s that? Double bubble, toil and trouble the Witches are descending – although, can you tell apart your 2000’s Witch from her 1900’s ancestor? No? Well, grab your neighbor’s cat, pick up that stick in the garden, mount that Vileda brush (ahem, broom) and prepare yourself “Sisstaaas”; we are going to cackle till our voices hurt while we soar high in the clouds above memory lane.

Our first visit is to our aforementioned 1900’s Witch. With a strangling neckline paired with a floor length button up dress of the time, these Witches clearly opted for a sleek robe of attire, in black of course, to cast their curses in.

Pintrest: @jordannicole019

Next are the spellbinding ladies of the 1910’s, who appeared to favour a more comfortable dress code with their puffy dresses, loose ¾ sleeves and snazzy capes, but they did pay homage to those before them by pairing the look with a cinched waist and traditional conical hat.

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While we are in the air, let’s visit our elders of the 1920’s shall we? It looks like we’ve caught our crones taking tea in their layered-up finary. Just look at the ruffles of the capery and the size of their hats! Oh the black-magic of it all! Perhaps that’s where their feline familiars are kept?

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TO THE 1930’S WE GO! (Karen, please keep up – the head of your broom is loose and you’re lagging) Long and flowy capes made an appearance here in all their velvet glory. Out are the frumpy dresses and in are the sleek and chic interpretations of the classics gone before us. Flared sleeves? Patent leather kitten heels? Both paired with an embellished conical hat? Oh the luxuriousness of it all. Not a torn rag in sight.

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But we move on to the free spirits of the 1940’s and some serious magic must have happened during this time because our illustrated Witch seems to have less of a costume. But,of course, this was the pin up era, and who can pin anything up higher than a Witch? So it makes sense.

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The 1950’s appear to be a little more conservative though, with this Witch (actress Dusty Anderson) seemingly taking inspiration from the previous decade while adding her own twist. LOOK AT THAT TRAIL! ( Susan, stop thinking about those dusty net curtains under the stairs, they will not look as fabulous as this)

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In the 1960’s we Witches got a bad rep thanks to Hollywood and the writers of children’s stories but did we hide and pity ourselves? No, we embraced the attention, but just look at how they thought us to be! Although, yes Jane, that conical hat is glam goals, but that’s not the point!

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Onto the 1970’s and the era of the non-witch wonder Stevie Nicks. A loose hippie dippy costume was all the rage for the 70’s season of halloween. Layered jewelry and a free spirited attitude was all that was needed to be a true 7th wonder of the world.

Pintrest @JoanArc

Let’s fly-by the 1980’s shall we Sissstaaa’s? The dark look is back but with a glam twist and a bit of sparkle. Keeping the free flowing spirit but defining the look with a dark lip, smokey eye and a dash of gold.

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Now we are in familiar territory – the 1990’s and who better to lead the way than Melissa Joan Hart in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”? The show caught the imagination of thousands around the world and brought the spirit of witchcraft into the mundane everyday – no longer was it frowned upon to lock yourself in a cupboard and pretend you were elsewhere when you stepped out…. (We know you did that joanna, don’t deny it)

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Clearly M.s Sabrina had fans in high places – during the halloween season of 2000 future princess Kate middleton sported a short bejeweled skirt and slinky cape to her spooky suave, and paired it with a hot pink bag no less! If that’s not a representation of the modern witch Sabrina taught us all to be than I don’t know what is.

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The 2010’s were a mash up! A true mix of all the decades gone before us. Bright hair, sparkly outfits, dark makeup or none at all. Anything and everything went in this period but some things are consistent, like the conical hat for instance

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And here we are back in the 2020’s. An entirely new decade that is shaping up to be a surprising on. But what will this season’s costume of choice be? We’ll have to wait and see….

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Now, put those brooms away and go forth to conquer the day sissstaaa’s ! Caahahaaahahahahahaahaahahah we’ll reunite around the fire at midnight.

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