Once in a blue moon, WHAT TO WEAR WHEN will try to answer a practical question with relatively-affordable pieces that ship to the US and come in a range of sizes, instead of whatever $20k piece of bespoke jewelry we are currently obsessed with. This is really difficult for us, so please do not expect it to happen very often.

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No murder at all? That’s kind of a tall order for your editors. We mostly get asked questions about murder. But we’ll do our best!

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR HOTNESS. What a gift to your former classmates to be allowed to behold you.

Second of all, as you may know if you have ever opened a fashion magazine, the most flattering friend a hottie can have is the LBD: the Little Black Derringer. NO! No. We are just kidding, of course. This is a murder-free edition of this fashion blog. The LBD is the Little Black Dress, a fashion staple through the ages. Below the cut, five ways to ensure that your hotness is as on-message as it is unmissable.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are An Evil Queen Donning the Full Regalia

We’ve discussed casual evil queen chic, but what about when you have to do full black-tie evil queen stuff — banishing weeping prisoners to the Oubliette of Shadows, sucking the youth from a peasant maiden with your evil unhinged jaw, sending a well-muscled henchman to take some too-cute princess into the forest and cut out her heart, etc.? Don’t worry — we’ve got a look for that too.
  • The long black gown is a powerful villainess fave for a reason: imposing and elegant, it has the added bonus of hiding bloodstains. From the front and side, this DSquared2 beauty gives you the sleek, terrifying silhouette of a demon queen rising from a pool of oily darkness:
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  • Whip around to make your exit and reveal the magnificent spine piece — a jeweled web of bones, both decorative and parasitic, that suggests the hideous occult grandeur of your true nature.

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  • These Camila Skovgaard sandals mix elegance and aggression, with a heavy tread on the sole to keep you from taking an embarrassing slip in a victim’s pool of blood. (Sure, you could kill everyone who saw you wipe out, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!)
  • Keep your jewelry minimal, with no necklaces to mar the featureless abyss-evoking darkness of your front silhouette. Sparkle-wise, that back piece should do most of your heavy lifting.
  • You may, however, adorn one hand (the sinister) with this killer hand bracelet from Delfina Delettrez — what’s $25k to a queen of your stature? — and double its lethality with a clawed finger ring.
  • Ideally you already have a crown made from the splintered bones of your enemies. If not, retailers from Topshop to Givenchy are producing imposing spiked headbands — but why not take the opportunity to go custom? Look around on Etsy, where talented small-scale couturiers like Miss G Designs can craft you something majestic and terrible beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals. You’ll never have to worry about running into another high-fashion monarch wearing the same thing.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are An Evil Queen On The Go

Here at What to Wear When, we get a lot of questions from evil queens — from chthonic conquerers to space vampires to straight-up despotic witches. We’ll get into what to wear when you’re engaging in the formal black-tie duties of evil queendom in a later issue, but for right now, let’s talk chic street looks.

  • Queens aren’t wallflowers. Stand out in an eye-catching sheer top by Louise Goldin, featuring shock-and-awe shoulder pads and a draped “tail.”
  • Tapered trousers make a relaxed contrast to the fearsome structure you’re wearing up top: remember, you don’t have to be in full regal drag today.
  • On the other hand, no one should forget that you are the dark, omniscient empress of this piece-of-shit planet. Evoke the proper amount of fear in these Halston zip-up booties. 
  • This isn’t an S&M dungeon and you’re not here to titillate anybody. Embrace the fact that there are like four “Looks Men Hate” in here — the loose-fitting pants, the shoulder pads, the ankle-wrap booties, etc. — and feel free to take it easy on the “evil sexy” accessories like zips and latex.
  • Unless you like those and you want to wear a lot of those! Then wear as much of those as you wantYou are the queen. Go as over-the-top domme as you want.
  • When we say “slay”, you should take us literally. Make sure you’re rocking at least one accessory that could kill a man. We recommend this Mugler cuff.
  • Queens are unfuckwitable — and so is this Givenchy tote. 
  • Keep your core really tight. Shoulders down. Neck long. Think “murder.” And walk.
WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are a Dryad Stranded in the Concrete Jungle
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 You sturdy, voluptuous baobab! You elegant silver-skinned birch! (No, no, we said BIRCH.) Enjoy your urban adventure. Here’s what we’d recommend.
  • A slinky green dress, its sway and cling reminiscent of the whispery shift of your leaves in sunlight, is de rigeur. The late-summer mossy green of this TIBI shift is almost universally flattering, although depending on your genus, you may want to go with a color closer to your natural foliage.
  • If you’re a conifer or otherwise evergreen, you may not worry too much about fluctuations in temperature — but those of us who are deciduous have to take it into account. Layer a pretty dress with a classic trench, like this one from Opening Ceremony, for a look that’s as sophisticated as it is adaptable.
  • Remember that, whatever your size, the woody makeup of your fairy bones makes you less dense than ordinary humans! To keep from being tugged around by the wind — and to counterbalance the floatiness of your frock — weigh yourself down with a big statement necklace from Hervé Van der Straeten. This one is reminiscent of falling leaves, without being too literal.
  • Cutout booties protect your delicate human feet from city hazards like broken glass and syringes, while still letting you feel the good air on your soles.
  • Okay, we couldn’t resist getting a little literal. This delicate, gorgeous Aurelie Bidermann bracelet is modeled after a rose twig.
  • Not actually pictured here, but highly recommended: a set of ethereal lingerie by a designer like La Fée Verte or The Lake and Stars.

  • Perfect. Like being clothed only in the fresh, clean light of your home glades in spring.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: Appearing In Court as the Defendant in the Well-Publicized Murder Trial of One’s Dearly Departed Husband

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Tricky, tricky, tricky! 

  • Maybe the best idea is to think of this as a job interview. You are a candidate for the position of “Person Who Is Not In Jail.” Dress for the job you want!
  • Striking a balance between “frumpy and harmless” and “also very responsible and trustworthy” is tough, but it can be done. The polka dots on this Romwe top are disarming, without being irreverent. 
  • The Phillip Lim kimono jacket is the key piece here: elegant and a little unusual, it prevents your pencil silhouette from appearing inappropriately sexy, while also, you know, making sure you stay just sexy enough.
  • Glasses are a great prop. For one thing, they distance you, visually, from the “gold-digging murderess” whose pictures have been splashed across tabloid pages for months. You can remove them to blot your tears with one trembling hand, or stare imploringly at sympathetic jury members with your conveniently magnified eyes (which should NOT too heavily made up — a simple beige shadow palette with waterproof brown or navy liner and a layer of clear mascara will suffice).
  • The luxurious, understated glamour of these Tom Ford frames will also remind you that you are better than everybody else in the courtroom. Even as you abase yourself for their sympathy, never forget that you could buy and sell every one of these rubes.
  • Color, as long as it’s a little somber, isn’t verboten. The sweet touch of sage on these cap-toe pumps by Proenza Schouler is the perfect way to say “I fully understand the gravity of my situation, but this trial is a farcical smear campaign against an innocent woman, and when I am free I will dance on all of your graves.” 

ROMWE top / 3 1 Phillip Lim short kimono jacket / Blumarine skirt / Proenza Schouler high heel shoes / Christian Louboutin black bowling bag / Rachel Leigh bib statement necklace / Tom Ford Optical Wire-Frame Glasses, Brown

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: Commandeering a Spaceship While on the Run as a Rebel Leader Intent on Destroying the Oppressive Galactic Dictatorship
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Gosh, yes. Who hasn’t been there?
  • I’m going to go ahead and assume that you are a rebel leader in the grand tradition of Little Mix in their Schwarzkopf campaign/valencing​’s important and seminal nonfiction. Not so much in the “desperately scratching out a living wearing rags on an ice desert moon and running an underground Space Twitter” vein.
  • This Hurley rashguard is not only easy-wearing for starcraft pilotry, it’s also practical for underwater escapes (you never know!).
  • Add an Ann Demeulemeester belt for a peekaboo midriff effect. Straps are futuristic, always.
  • This Mink Pink bandage skirt, with its understated Trekkie peplum, has a sexy Judy Jetson vibe. Slit the sides and pair with leggings if you plan to do a lot of roundhouse kicking.
  • Play off the strong geometry of this look with a big statement necklace, like this Dannijo bib.
  • What’s more rebellious than asymmetry? (“Lots of things?” Shut up.) Keep your jewelry, like your cybernetic tattoos, on one side. A Giuseppe Zanotti armlet and panel-bar ear cuff lend elegance to your inherent strength. Salute!
  • On the same asymmetry kick, why not try particolored legwear? These Bernhard Wilhelm colorblock stockings provide a welcome pop of yellow. 
  • You could go in a lot of directions as far as footwear, but you’d have to say there’s something Space-Age Classic about a round-toe platform ankle boot. (These little Versace go-gos are also available in black, if you’re leery of extending the celadon/turquoise scheme too far.)
  • This spiked faux-undercut, with its badass-looking double braids, will give you and your girl gang crew members a fun social grooming exercise to pass the long hours between hypersleeps — and the end effect will make it clear that you’ll commit violence if you have to, but only for the greater good. ”Is that Natalie Dormer? I didn’t realize she was [your human or alien race],” hardened stormtroopers will wonder in the nanoseconds before your perfectly-placed ray gun blasts knock them out. “Wow, she looks great with [your hair color]. Hey, hold on a sec, if Natalie Dormer is involved, I must be in the wrong here.” This will minimize resistance.

Black and White Bandage Skirt Mint Pink / Hurley swimwear / Versace platform booties / DANNIJO long necklace Giuseppe Zanotti bracelet / Ear cuff earring, $12 / Ann demeulemeester belt / Bernhard Willhelm Two-Tone Yellow Stocking

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Accompany A Rugged, Gorgeous Doofus Archaeologist Into a Possibly Treasure-Hunting/Life-Endangering/Romantic Situation
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Great question, friend! Whether you’re a burlesque dancer, a determined journalist, a mild-mannered librarian interested in the paranormal, or a hard-drinking, hard-living expat bartender, you never know when a soldier of academic fortune could swing into your life and whirl you into an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. In this outfit, you could also do the whirling.

  • Layer your top half for a highly adaptable, climate-friendly look that can get sexy at a moment’s notice.
  • A loosely-tucked, menswear-style button down says, “I am slightly unnerved by having just seen a swarm of desert wasps turn into a man’s screaming face, but by God, I’m going to keep it together.”
  • Remember Stacy’s Law: a well-rounded outfit should have color, pattern, texture and shine. This printed Lecco Scarf from AllSaints is a great way to introduce pattern without making yourself too conspicuous to war criminals, religious fanatics, villainous corporate stooges, or anyone else who may be hunting you down— plus, it’ll protect your skin from the powerful jungle/desert/mountain/tundra sun!
  • Leather pants, even if they are Balmain, are of course not exactly the most practical choice for a girl on the go in unknown climes. It might have been safer to suggest something with a little breeze and give, like these tapered trousers by La Garçonne Moderne, but I didn’t, because shut up.
  • Military-inspired flat boots, also from All Saints, are fashionable without sacrificing your mobility.
  • If your mother, father, sibling or mentor pressed a mysterious amulet on you before their equally-mysterious disappearance, keep it on your person at all times! Even if it doesn’t turn out to have eldritch powers (and it almost certainly will), it will make a great decoy to prevent the nefarious Doktor Von Shadenstein from getting his hands on the REAL Pendant of Truth or whatever.
  • A capacious Givenchy messenger with a sturdy strap keeps you chic even when clinging by your fingernails to the crumbling facade of a cliffside temple.
WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are A Billionaire Playgirl Philanthropist Using Your Fortune to Fight Crime
Mobility is definitely important, but strong lines and an imposing, distinctive color profile are at least equally so. If you don’t have a brand, how will villains know they should beware you?
Expect to lose some of your basics to bullets/force beams/leaping onto the roofs of moving buses. This navy satin Topshop bodysuit gives you room to move — and at only $60, you can stock up. 
What do you think about “Eclipse” as a superhero name? Is there already one of those? How about “Equinox”? No, that sounds like a cleaning product. Well, we can keep thinking about it.
A cropped jacket is a great, practical way to conjure classic 80s Street Fighter badassery. This Peter Pilotto number is on trend and, with its night-blue color and silver sleeve inserts, on brand — plus it’s equipped with pockets for your secret cell phone, fruit leather, and all the villainous USB drives you can steal.
Cover everything but your upper thighs for a look that says “Check These Bad Boys Out.” 
Made of lightweight stretch leather, these thigh-high boots by Maison Martin Margiela are as flexible as they are fashionable. "But shouldn’t I be wearing flats?" Sack up, sister! I don’t hear She-Ra complaining, and she doesn’t even have the stability of a wedge sole.
Obviously, you’ll need a mask to protect your alter ego. Custom, face-flattering styles are available on Etsy — though you might want to charge them to somebody else’s credit card.
Fingerless gloves are key for hauling yourself up the sides of buildings, and also they are cool. The zipper on the back of these DSquared babies will add extra punch to your backhands — and they’re on sale!

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are A Billionaire Playgirl Philanthropist Using Your Fortune to Fight Crime

  • Mobility is definitely important, but strong lines and an imposing, distinctive color profile are at least equally so. If you don’t have a brand, how will villains know they should beware you?
  • Expect to lose some of your basics to bullets/force beams/leaping onto the roofs of moving buses. This navy satin Topshop bodysuit gives you room to move — and at only $60, you can stock up.
  • What do you think about “Eclipse” as a superhero name? Is there already one of those? How about “Equinox”? No, that sounds like a cleaning product. Well, we can keep thinking about it.
  • A cropped jacket is a great, practical way to conjure classic 80s Street Fighter badassery. This Peter Pilotto number is on trend and, with its night-blue color and silver sleeve inserts, on brand — plus it’s equipped with pockets for your secret cell phone, fruit leather, and all the villainous USB drives you can steal.
  • Cover everything but your upper thighs for a look that says “Check These Bad Boys Out.” 
  • Made of lightweight stretch leather, these thigh-high boots by Maison Martin Margiela are as flexible as they are fashionable. "But shouldn’t I be wearing flats?" Sack up, sister! I don’t hear She-Ra complaining, and she doesn’t even have the stability of a wedge sole.
  • Obviously, you’ll need a mask to protect your alter ego. Custom, face-flattering styles are available on Etsy — though you might want to charge them to somebody else’s credit card.
  • Fingerless gloves are key for hauling yourself up the sides of buildings, and also they are cool. The zipper on the back of these DSquared babies will add extra punch to your backhands — and they’re on sale!

sashayed:

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: You Are A Stylish Dwarf Princess Reclaiming Her Lost Home From A Dragon
  • Layers, layers, layers! You’ll be traversing a variety of ecosystems, so make sure your wardrobe can handle them.
  • Why NOT wear heels? If anyone objects, get your uncle to have them exiled.
  • Gold and russet tones in your clothing will flatter your blonde good looks. Meanwhile, silver accessories — the shining fruit of your forefathers’ palatial mines — are a subtle callback to your traditional tastes.
  • Think bold, geometric forms, like a modernist Trondheim. Trapezoids are a must!
  • Fur accents are always on trend. Go for lengthening verticals.
  • You can never have too many belts and pockets to shove weapons and snacks into. Pockets are like handbags for your clothes!
  • Nothing says “besties 4ever!!!” like matching hair clasps. Get your whole family in on them.
Scotch & Soda ruffle top, $105 / Balmain double breasted coat, $2,890 / BURAK UYAN boots, $925 / Aztec pattern skater skirt, $43 / Noemi Klein studded jewelry, $105 / 1928 silver hair accessory / Der Hobbit Fili’s Siegelring, $145

sashayed:

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN: Slinking Into a P.I.’s Office After-Hours to Tearfully Beg Him for Help Finding Your Husband’s Killer

  • Accessorize with huge, tragic eyes and tastefully-chosen double entendres. Waterproof mascara might actually be a drawback!
  • This look is all about the dramatic, glamorous silhouette. Ask yourself: “If I were standing in front of venetian blinds, what kind of shadow would I cast?” If the answer isn’t “devastating,” keep trying!
  • The geometric shoulders on this Victoria Beckham dress say “I am a Woman” — but the smooth, vulnerable skin of your revealed throat and collarbone say breathily, “Oh, but I’m really just a Girl.” Get his protective instincts on your side, and you can turn this square-jawed patsy backward and forward like a skeleton key! 
  • The man you’re talking to may not technically be a policeman anymore, because he was kicked off the force for caring too much and not playing by the rules. Call him “Detective” anyway — that’s basic workplace tact.
  • Try a coat with a soft, heavy fur ruff. You can turn your face into it to sort of hide your tears, while still maintaining soulful, sidelong eye contact under your mink lashes.
  • Do not mention how your husband was a bloated old philanderer who never appreciated you or treated you like a person.
  • Definitely do not mention how the week before he died you took out a million-dollar life insurance policy on him. It will look tacky.
  • High stiletto pumps make a satisfying clack-click as you hasten away across the rainy cobblestones. T-straps are both practical and leg-lengthening.
  • A well-dropped monogrammed handkerchief helps people remember you — especially with a subtle spritz of your favorite perfume — but don’t drop it in the wrong place, or you could end up being remembered a little too well. Silencing witnesses is tedious, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 
  • Should you choose to invite the detective to your house of mourning to discuss your case over drinks, make sure to set the date for a time when you could plausibly just happen to be wandering around in a silk robe and negligée when the maid lets him in. How about Carine Gilson? You can afford it!

Victoria Beckham tight dress, $1,980 / Diane von Furstenberg double breasted coat, $1,205 / Trasparenze sheer hosiery, $15 / La Perla , $440 / La Perla satin panty, $115 / Christian Louboutin t strap heels / Lulu Guinness vintage handbag, $695 / Chanel pearl jewelry / Karen Millen leather glove / Suzanne Bettley hat, $98 / NARS Cosmetics lip makeup, $28 / Christian Dior , $105 / Vintage Cigarette Holder. Audrey Hepburn Long LADIES Cigarette Holder… / Brooks Brothers Women’s Embroidered Handkerchiefs