Buffy the Vampire Slayer will always be one of my favorite shows — for its witty banter, for its well-rounded characters, for its messages of female empowerment — but there is one thing about it that has not aged well, and that is the clothes.
My God, the clothes.
Being a show about teenagers, Buffy was always very trend-centric, sartorially, and those trends … well, let’s just say they haven’t aged well.
Exhibit One: Willow’s hats. Girl. Girl. What is this on your head? What's happening here? Did a mind-controlling demon with a penchant for Delia's get to you? What are you doing?
Most of Ms. Rosenberg's bad hattitude (ba-doom-ch) came about in Seasons 2 and 3, when the Scoobies were still in high school. But she couldn't go cold turkey, AND NO THAT IS NOT AN IN-POOR-TASTE REFERENCE TO HER MAGIC ABUSE PROBLEMS, GOSH, WHO DO YOU THINK I AM EVEN? This hat is from Season 4, the aka The Season With Riley, God Didn't He Suck? But No Offense to Marc Blucas, Who I'm Sure Is Lovely.
Willow routinely got her beanie on during earlier seasons, which makes no sense at all. You live in California. Also, the hat + bad sweater + overalls combo below makes this the Willow Rosenbergiest outfit Willow Rosenberg ever wore.
The hat below is pretty normal by real-world standards, if a bit on the obnoxious day-glo side, but it's still enormously stupid. Willz, Buffy’s wearing a light jacket. You just have on a sweater. Below that sweater, you're wearing a miniskirt and tights. It is not cold enough for that chunky-ass beanie. Buffy school scenes are full of that sort of dissonance: The Buffster will be wearing chic autumnwear, while in the background extras wander around in Hawaiian shirts and speedos. Maybe extreme microclimates are a symptom of life on the Hellmouth?
The reason Willow’s hats can be a Chosen One of the Day and not a “God, I hate everything about you, I can’t even come up with one redeeming feature” (hello there, Xander’s awful patterned button-downs) is that … yeah, OK, my wardrobe in middle and high school was pretty on par with young Willow's. As in olive green corduroy overalls (don't tell me overalls are back in now, I don’t want to hear it) and some of the most atrocious sweaters known to man. And, I am confident enough in my current fashion sense enough to admit to you ... bucket hats.
Really, I may judge Willow for her collection of terrible headwear, but at least it’s relatable. Who didn’t have a yellow bucket hat when they were young and impressionable? OH, YOU DIDN'T? IT’S OK, WILLOW HAD TWO.
But sometimes you feel a bit too serious and somber to pop something yellow atop your noggin, so you have to go for the comparatively more dignified purple bucket hat. I'm not kidding. I think I might have had this hat.
But I definitely didn't have this hat.
Incidentally, this McDonalds Grimace monstrosity from the Season 5 episode "Fool for Love" is the last hat Willow ever wore, presumably because post-2000 hats weren't as popular with the youths and/or someone finally took Willow's hat collection out back and staked it. Sadly, whatever happened didn't happen soon enough, as Willow's fondness for horrible headgear had by that point already infected the Buffster herself.
Get. The hell. Out.