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Lost_Robin

Wizarding Fashion

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Lost_Robin

As some of you may have seen, I've fallen down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out wizarding fashion. I know that in canon it's a bit eccentric and mostly is made up of robes, but I find it highly unlikely that the robes have been the same style since they were invented. I am by no means a historian, but I feel like wizarding fashion and Muggle fashion would have diverged a little bit after the Statute of Secrecy.

That being said, I like to imagine that not even the fashion of the wizarding world can escape the influence of Muggles, and it does seem as though parts of wizarding fashion was based on the Muggle world. Maybe I'm conflating the books and the movies, but the 'traditional' wizarding fashion always gave off a sort of Victorian vibe to me. It just seems a bit odd that people were only described wearing robes, but maybe they started using a utilitarian style after the First Wizarding War? Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

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RonsGirlFriday

Are you more wondering about the fashion of the robes themselves, or the extent to which wizards started adopting more Muggle-like attire such as jeans, trousers, etc?

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Lost_Robin

More about the robes themselves, I think. We get very few details in canon, and it's always been intriguing to me. I always imagined them like fancier bathrobes as a kid because that's what robes meant to me, but I wonder if they have a variety of styles/cuts.

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RonsGirlFriday

I think they do. I recall Hermione's dress robes for the Yule Ball were described as "floaty" (and I think it was specified in the books she did wear robes, not a dress as we would typically understand it) so I would think a number of fabrics are available.

I imagine regular, contemporary robes being sort of a simple silhouette like a judge's robe or graduation gown (but maybe a heavier fabric, which would make it drape nicely) -- or like the style the kids wear at school in the films. Maybe more old-fashioned or formal robes being more medieval in appearance, huge sleeves, embellishments, etc.

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grumpy cat

i found it kinda silly that wizardkind would limit themselves just to simple robes when there are so many possibilities with magic and fashion and enchanting clothes.......soooo i decided to do my own take on it and introduced wizarding fashion, along with designers, models, fashion weeks in physical fatality :P

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Lost_Robin
11 hours ago, RonsGirlFriday said:

I think they do. I recall Hermione's dress robes for the Yule Ball were described as "floaty" (and I think it was specified in the books she did wear robes, not a dress as we would typically understand it) so I would think a number of fabrics are available.

I imagine regular, contemporary robes being sort of a simple silhouette like a judge's robe or graduation gown (but maybe a heavier fabric, which would make it drape nicely) -- or like the style the kids wear at school in the films. Maybe more old-fashioned or formal robes being more medieval in appearance, huge sleeves, embellishments, etc.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I'm surprised that they don't really have fanciful robes in canon, but that doesn't really seem like something Harry would notice. I imagine that the robes would be heavily influenced by medieval times, like you said, and they would probably look like very old-fashioned Muggle clothes. I've always pictured the Hogwarts robes as looking very much like they did in the movies, but I was about six when the first movie came out, and I read the book shortly after.

3 hours ago, grumpy cat said:

i found it kinda silly that wizardkind would limit themselves just to simple robes when there are so many possibilities with magic and fashion and enchanting clothes.......soooo i decided to do my own take on it and introduced wizarding fashion, along with designers, models, fashion weeks in physical fatality :P

This! I don't know anything about fashion, but I would hope that they have fashion trends. I mean, Witch Weekly has to have more than just crosswords, right? I've always imagined the magazine a bit like Cosmo, and there would have to be trends and such. I will definitely have to read physical fatality.

I'm very bad at fashion stuff (aka I wear jeans and a t-shirt when I'm not at work), but it's always intrigued me to think about how they would dress. Like, there could be silk enchanted to feel exactly like water. They could have moving designs. So many possibilities.

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grumpy cat
15 minutes ago, Lost_Robin said:

They could have moving designs.

a thing i actually wrote haha :P but yeahhh, i really love the idea of wizarding fashion because like...magic! maybe it's because i work in the creative industry, but i've always loved imagining wizarding architects and designers (not just fashion) and artists in general. hogwarts has moving paintings and moving staircases but ahhh there can be so much more of it. *_*

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Lost_Robin
2 minutes ago, grumpy cat said:

a thing i actually wrote haha :P but yeahhh, i really love the idea of wizarding fashion because like...magic! maybe it's because i work in the creative industry, but i've always loved imagining wizarding architects and designers (not just fashion) and artists in general. hogwarts has moving paintings and moving staircases but ahhh there can be so much more of it. *_*

I just feel this so much. We don't get to see too much of wizarding culture in the books, and I've always wanted to develop it a bit more. Like, they had to create their own fashion and architecture and such. They were isolated from the Muggles, so they had to develop on their own. I don't know much about fashion or designers, but I know a bit about music, and, while I enjoy the idea of them listening to Muggle classical music, they clearly have their own singers and such. Like, I want to see houses that are bigger on the inside (which I'm including in something) and the fashion being as magical and wonderful as the moving paintings.

I realize that was a bit rambly, but I just really like pretty things and thinking about how it could be even more magical. Right now, I don't have anything that would have a lot of fashion or pretty clothes, but there will be.

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abhorsen.
2 hours ago, grumpy cat said:

a thing i actually wrote haha :P but yeahhh, i really love the idea of wizarding fashion because like...magic! maybe it's because i work in the creative industry, but i've always loved imagining wizarding architects and designers (not just fashion) and artists in general. hogwarts has moving paintings and moving staircases but ahhh there can be so much more of it. *_*

ohhh i was going to say that i take the easy way out and just give them muggle clothes (which seems to be what younger people wear outside of hogwarts, anyway), but actually that's not quite accurate! i definitely add magic in - the jewelry I describe lovestruck boys with too much money giving girls they really really want to like them (lolololol) is always magical creatures that move around a bit (i prefer to think of myself as clear in my interests rather than predictable 😛), and i definitely talk about them charming their clothes to do things like keep them warm/repel stuff/whatever. and i definitely think about things like ornaments and decorations being magical and moving around.

usually those are magical creatures too, come to think of it. good god i really am predictable. 😂

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grumpy cat
1 minute ago, abhorsen. said:

magical creatures that move around a bit

a random waiter at a restaurant in chapter 3 of taobn has a moving dragon tattoo and the dragon is kinda shy and scaredy of new people so it hides under clothes when it meets new guests :kris: i forgot about it until just now but tattoos are art&fashion 🧐 moving tattoos. sparkling tattoos. colour changing tattoos. fun stuff

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abhorsen.
25 minutes ago, grumpy cat said:

a random waiter at a restaurant in chapter 3 of taobn has a moving dragon tattoo and the dragon is kinda shy and scaredy of new people so it hides under clothes when it meets new guests :kris: i forgot about it until just now but tattoos are art&fashion 🧐 moving tattoos. sparkling tattoos. colour changing tattoos. fun stuff

love it omg!!

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Crimson Quill

I always thought the fashion was a bit of confusing aspect which I think it's probably more JKR's worldbuilding. The scene in beginning seems to imply that wizards pretty much inclusive wear robes  and it's very wizard thing to do. I think that idea is enforced when in book four when we see the quidditch world cup and seems like wizards dressing in muggle clothes is unusual thing. I don't know if this applies more the older generation of wizards or not. jkr kinda implies that wizards have their fashions that are a lot different to muggle dress but doesn't do too much enforce the ideas honestly.  i love the idea that wizards having own dresses customs outside of muggle fashion, i would love to see that idea fleshed out more. @grumpy cat has some really cool ideas in her stories and I always enjoy seeing those in her writing. I would like to include more in my writing, that's something i'll be thinking about it for the future. 

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queenonyx

I agree wholeheartedly that JKR touches on wizarding fashion. I want to implement my own sense of wizarding fashion within my own fics so this thread has given me a few ideas. I am also looking at muggle fashion to generate more ideas. Does anyone else have resources for me to use?

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shadowycorner

I can't help but disregard most of wizarding fashion as it was implied in the books. People wearing robes all the time just seems impossibly impractical. I guess there's some kind of work wear, so the robes teachers wear at Hogwarts or the ones at the Ministry, but even those have a semblance of practicality. I think when it comes to the really traditional old-fashioned robes, it's either a thing of the older generation or is up to the individual. So some people when they go to work for example, they can wear either a suit or a cloak, it depends on what's their thing. Plus, I feel like most people were basically wearing Muggle clothing but under a cloak :D I'm sure people in their free time and at home just wear normal clothes with some fun magical enhancements maybe.

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RonsGirlFriday
15 minutes ago, shadowycorner said:

I can't help but disregard most of wizarding fashion as it was implied in the books. People wearing robes all the time just seems impossibly impractical. I guess there's some kind of work wear, so the robes teachers wear at Hogwarts or the ones at the Ministry, but even those have a semblance of practicality. I think when it comes to the really traditional old-fashioned robes, it's either a thing of the older generation or is up to the individual. So some people when they go to work for example, they can wear either a suit or a cloak, it depends on what's their thing. Plus, I feel like most people were basically wearing Muggle clothing but under a cloak :D I'm sure people in their free time and at home just wear normal clothes with some fun magical enhancements maybe.

Oh, yes, this.

First of all, it is honestly so confusing, the idea that the Statute of Secrecy is such a big deal but like, wizards walk around the city in their robes, at least in the beginning of PS. I know that was supposed to be out of the ordinary, they were all so excited about Voldemort's death that they weren't being careful, but also... Arthur and Harry walk up to the visitor entrance of the Ministry in OotP and we know Arthur wears robes to work and... it just seems weirdly exposing (of magical society) that they haven't adapted beyond robes in general.

Though, we know the kids wear Muggle clothes. The Weasley kids do, they wear jeans and everything. And like... Harry takes note of the fact that Arthur dressed super weirdly as a "Muggle" for the Quidditch World Cup, but we never get the sense that any of the kids dress weirdly in terms of not being able to put an outfit together, so where did they learn it?

Barty Crouch clearly has been able to figure out Muggle clothes, so...

I have a personal headcanon about robes being worn over Muggle clothes to work like at the Ministry -- maybe based on the way the movies portrayed the outfits, with a combination of robes and suits or trousers or whatever -- also when I think of robes I think of judges' robes, and they def wear clothing underneath those 😂 so it's just firmly in my mind that you wear real clothes under your robes -- at least for the younger generation, born in the 70's and later. And this would allow them to, you know, actually walk about the city and stuff in normal clothing and then the robes are just a thing they put on while literally in the office.

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Aphoride

Ahhhh this is such an interesting topic! :D though a little weird for me because given I spend most of my time hanging out in the miscellaneous time-period it's kinda different in terms of clothes, haha. But I definitely agree that wizarding fashion is a Thing and definitely not static - because, honestly, just imagine all the cool stuff you could do? All the cool patterns, the different materials - we know there are dragon-skin boots and jackets, like leather, but what else? - they could use, the charms and stuff on them to stop them from staining or stay pressed/ironed/in a particular shape, anti-tearing charms and waterproofing charms on coats and jackets and hats. 😍 Like, there's just too much possibility to keep it all neatly in one box? :P 

And fashion definitely changes from generation to generation - the Weasley kids all being purebloods (admittedly in a village where muggles live as well but still!) and knowing how to wear muggle clothing and owning it and wearing it suggests it's much more acceptable/normal/familiar for Harry's generation or so; but it might not be the same for older wizards or wizards who live in more remote communities (especially all-magical communities). 

38 minutes ago, RonsGirlFriday said:

I have a personal headcanon about robes being worn over Muggle clothes to work like at the Ministry -- maybe based on the way the movies portrayed the outfits, with a combination of robes and suits or trousers or whatever -- also when I think of robes I think of judges' robes, and they def wear clothing underneath those 😂 so it's just firmly in my mind that you wear real clothes under your robes -- at least for the younger generation, born in the 70's and later. And this would allow them to, you know, actually walk about the city and stuff in normal clothing and then the robes are just a thing they put on while literally in the office.

Ahahaha yes, definitely! Imagine them all wandering around in judges' robes and horsehair wigs? :P Ooff... anyway, but yes, I definitely think of robes as less dress-like than perhaps was originally intended? And more as like, the school robes in the books - but things like cut, length, style, etc. all vary from season to season and decade to decade. And what you wear with them would vary too - like, I imagine that in the early 20th century, waistcoats and pocket-watches and things would have still been in fashion for wizards just as they were for muggles, because they would spin off each other (because, yk, muggleborn and half-blood fashion designers at a minimum, maverick pureblood designers who wanna pus the boat out at maximum?), but the trio's generation would probably wear jeans/smart trousers to work with a shirt/t-shirt. 

On 2/11/2020 at 8:37 PM, grumpy cat said:

a random waiter at a restaurant in chapter 3 of taobn has a moving dragon tattoo and the dragon is kinda shy and scaredy of new people so it hides under clothes when it meets new guests :kris: i forgot about it until just now but tattoos are art&fashion 🧐 moving tattoos. sparkling tattoos. colour changing tattoos. fun stuff

I love this? 😍 Also, the same with make-up and hair - like, make-up that moves? or feels like actual feathers/scales/etc. ^_^ 

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potionspartner
Posted (edited)

Overall, robes are rather boring and a cinematography nightmare. In the movies, more often than not, the kids have their robes open to show a bit of color of the uniforms. Even the pureblood adults' robes would be described more formal wear with an open coat on top or a dress. At the picture below, the only one who might be considered wearing a robe is Narcissa.

In defence of Narcissa Malfoy | Wizarding World 

I would hope, after thousands of years, the wizarding word had become a bit more creative than a robe.

Edited by potionspartner
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Raspberry_cordelia
Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2020 at 7:36 AM, potionspartner said:

I would hope, after thousands of years, the wizarding word had become a bit more creative than a robe.

Yeah, a robe sounds "magical," I guess, but there are other ways to play off of the historical aesthetic that would be a) more practical and b) look/fit better.  I've never seen the need for the magical community to separate itself in terms of fashion anyways, unless this is a play on their detachment from the Muggle world, but even then, fashion would develop as well, no?  Obviously Rowling couldn't put this into the novels, so I don't blame her, but I want to see the evolution of Wizarding fashion throughout history.

On 7/4/2020 at 4:58 AM, RonsGirlFriday said:

I have a personal headcanon about robes being worn over Muggle clothes to work like at the Ministry

That makes a lot of sense, actually!  I presume they're wearing something under those robes, ("I like a little breeze around my privates" aside).  In that vein, do you guys have any Wizarding undergarment headcanons?  I would imagine that their undergarments developed alongside Muggle undergarments, but I don't think undergarments should be viewed as an entirely separate part of fashion, especially when it has historically been common to have it peek out and provide some *flair* to your outfit - chemises, and shifts, for example.  I suppose robes conceal most of your shape, but you would still need to be wearing something underneath.  Also, in eras where structure was important - bustles, crinolines, etc. - could they have served any purpose if worn under Wizarding robes?

Now, I despise the myth that corsets/stays were the number one perpetrator of the patriarchy (in fact, corsets worn by the large part of the population were rather comfortable), but it still stands that corsets are rather structurally restrictive when it comes to bending your back in specific ways (which is actually not that bad in day to day wear, because it can be good for your posture, but I digress).  I like to imagine that magic would have allowed corsets to have structure when required, and also allow for flexibility when called for.  It would be a sort of non-Newtonian garment, if you will.

 

Edited by Raspberry_cordelia
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Lost_Robin

So we know that the wizarding world wasn't completely isolated from the Muggle world until 1692, so that gives a ton of time for the two to intermingle. This is also why I usually just have wizarding fashion be behind modern fashion by at least a few decades (although, seeing as wizards lives for a long time, this might mean that some of them are still, by Harry's time, dressing in the Victorian style or earlier). It's not like the wizarding world developed separately alongside the Muggle world; they diverged with the Statute of Secrecy.

I high-key recommend Bernadette Banner on YouTube for historical dressmaking and such. She actually did a whole thing on corsets and making one from a historical pattern. It's really interesting, and CrowsEyeProduction has historical dressing videos, and they do discuss the underwear of the day. I may or may not have spent a lot of time researching this stuff for Spider's Web.

That being said, I don't know if they had sport corsets or something like it, so I imagine that they would have made something like that for Quidditch (maybe the Harpies endorsed them?). I imagine that they would still have bustles and such because it seems like something that would just be simpler than casting a bunch of spells to achieve the same effect. I'm a fan of them, or, at least, stuffy purebloods, wearing the whole corset and chemise and everything all the time, but I imagine that others would just wear Muggle underwear. I know that's kind of a letdown, but I just think that convenience win over aesthetic. And, also, combinations and such just sound like a pain to deal with under a Hogwarts uniform.

Thinking about it, we could probably look at riding habits for how athletic gear could work. I, alas, don't know much about historical riding habits, but I imagine that you could kinda compare the whole horse-riding thing to the whole broom-riding thing?

Also, small sidenote: the bit with the wizards not knowing what trousers are is a little... annoying. We know (mostly from supplemental materials) that the wizarding community did a decent job of blending in with Muggle society up through Elizabethan times, and they definitely wore trousers (well, breeches) then.

12 hours ago, Raspberry_cordelia said:

Yeah, a robe sounds "magical," I guess, but there are other ways to play off of the historical aesthetic that would be a) more practical and b) look/fit better.  I've never seen the need for the magical community to separate itself in terms of fashion anyways, unless this is a play on their detachment from the Muggle world, but even then, fashion would develop as well, no?  Obviously Rowling couldn't put this into the novels, so I don't blame her, but I want to see the evolution of Wizarding fashion throughout history.

You put my thoughts into words. It feels a bit plot-holey whenever she has things like the breeze around the privates bit, like she was going to have them completely isolated from the Muggle world, but then she said that the Malfoys (who, tbh, are the stuffy purebloods I was thinking of for the above bit) were active in Elizabeth I's court. I tend to have it that wizarding fashion is a bit more old-fashioned than Muggle, which is why, whenever I have someone wearing really fancy dress robes, they're usually wearing a corset. It's because of how the dress robes are cut, and I usually cop out and have younger characters wear Muggle clothes when they're not at formal events.

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