Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a cult classic for many reasons — the legendary Big Bads, the shipworthy romances, the Whedony dialogue. But more than any of that, Buffy has firmly cemented itself in '90s culture. This is evidenced by then-timely pop culture references, bad early-days CGI and of course, the fashion.
Buffy Summers may be the Chosen One, destined to save humankind from the supernatural underworld, but that doesn't mean she can't look good doing it. The Slayer may stop the end of the world, but end-of-the-century fashion is something to be celebrated. Here are her best outfits on the show.
10 Weather-Inappropriate Fashionista
Who doesn't love a big, cozy sweater? Just thinking about it conjures up images of snowy days, roaring fires, and curling up with a good book and a marshmallowy hot chocolate. But you know what cozy sweaters don't make us think of? Southern California.
Yet from time to time, the Chosen One had a penchant for choosing thick, white sweaters as part of her ensemble. The only time this really makes sense is when her and Angel's angsty romance made it snow. But fighting off a hell goddess, all one can think of is how sweaty Buffy's about to get. Still, there's no denying that our Slayer looks phenomenal — even if her appearance is more suggestive of tossing another log on the fire, not clobbering Glory with a hammer.
9 Basic Black
Buffy likes her clothes. It's really a sheer miracle that the Summers home didn't burst apart with how many outfits she crammed into it. But when it comes to slaying, nobody can accuse Buffy of not dressing with practicality in mind. When patrolling, she wisely favors inconspicuous dark clothing, usually black. And while you might not see these clothes on a catwalk in Milan, they're some of Buffy's best fashion choices.
There's an air of effortlessness in these long-sleeved black blouses that completely matches Buffy's personality. Maybe that's why she's selected them for some of her biggest battles ever. It's much easier to ram a sword into your soulmate or pummel the crap out of your best friend if you're dressed this sharply.
8 Here Comes The Bride
Pity this gorgeous wedding dress was confined to a fantasy sequence, because Buffy really makes for a beautiful bride. The glowing white from this Vera Wang work of art perfectly complements Buffy's sunny SoCal complexion.
While it may be the wedding gown of our dreams, this scenario quickly turns into a nightmare. After marrying the love of her life, she and Angel head outside where he promptly bursts into flames because, oh yeah, sun. At least he didn't get blood on the dress.
7 The Good Slayer
Buffy's nighttime attire may be decidedly dark, but she takes a much brighter, more upbeat approach to her school clothes — especially in contrast to resident bad girl, Faith. Her brief walk on the wild side notwithstanding, Buffy is everything Faith's not: thoughtful, considerate, and in possession of a moral compass thicker than gossamer.
When it comes to their contrasting wardrobe, Faith embraces darkness and Buffy skews more towards pastel, as seen in this piece of purple perfection.
6 New Girl on Campus
Between the last outfit and this stylish Betsey Johnson number, you'd have no idea Buffy Summers spends most of her time staking vamps and beheading demons. Our heroine takes a firm step away from her Slayer roots for her first day of college with this flirty cherry-print dress. Buffy may have had a truly terrible start to her post-secondary education, but anything is mitigated when you're wearing a dress this cute — even a cranky "Pop Culture 101" professor.
5 Not Quite A Homecoming Queen
At the beginning of the series, Buffy bemoaned her calling as the Slayer. She just wanted to be the "it girl" of her high school. Sadly, she had to give up her popularity to save the world. Besides, when Buffy arrives at Sunnydale, there's already a resident Queen Bee — or should we say Queen C?
Buffy and Cordelia vie against each other for the coveted title of Homecoming Queen. Tired of their mud-slinging, the Scoobies force them to spend alone time together...only for the girls to be hunted by a motley crew of demons. They come out victorious, but their dresses take a beating. Poor Buffy spent a year's worth of allowance on hers. But you know what, B? The wear and tear is totally working. Talk about Slayer chic.
4 Totally '90s
When it comes to embracing '90s fashion, Buffy is in for a penny, in for a pound (of accessories). In the first couple seasons of the show, our Slayer sure loved her classic knee-high boot-mini skirt combo, as evidenced by the outfit she wears for her first day at Sunnydale High. In case anyone was confused about what time period they were in, the decade-defining "snappy" (hair clip) is prominently present and accounted for.
3 Coated In Fashion
Carrie Bradshaw has her shoes; Buffy Summers has her coats. Seriously, how does Buffy afford all them all? Wasn't she almost bankrupt at one point? Yet she has a new coat every episode. Maybe they were all from that Hank Summers-sponsored deadbeat dad guilt/shopping trip he took her on in between Seasons 1 and 2.
Whatever the reason, the Slayer has some gorgeous outerwear. This sea-green trench is a particular standout. It was even showcased in a slow-mo running sequence. Okay, maybe this was because Buffy is racing to save Kendra — too late, FYI — but we think the costume designers had some pull and just wanted to draw attention to Buffy's stylish duds. We don't blame them one bit.
2 All Dressed Up In Big Sister's Clothes
Buffy sure loves her leather jackets. But when the time has come to end Faith — Buffy's would-be first human kill — it's time to kick the badass wardrobe up a notch. Enter, red leather pants. Faith even comments on the get-up, her voice dripping with "impressed" sarcasm.
Well, forget her. We're genuinely impressed. Buffy would have even succeeded in her goal if Faith hadn't hurled herself off the balcony. Now, we know this almost-outcome has everything to do with Buffy being the better Slayer...but we're sure the outfit didn't hurt.
1 Love the Dress
Buffy may not be an anarchist like Faith, but she's no rule-follower. From the start, Buffy makes it clear that she slays her way. Yes, she'll get the job done, but to do it, Buffy will never sacrifice the two things she holds dear: her friends and her fashion.
In Season 1, she's all set to go to the school dance in this gorgeous outfit that nobody can stop commenting on. But there's a tiny hitch — that darn prophecy predicting her death. Buffy's instinct is to run, but she is the Slayer and more importantly, there's no way she's passing up the opportunity to wear this showstopping white number. Of course, Buffy being Buffy, she pairs it perfectly with signature leather jacket.