How Classic Horror Films Can Help You Curate Your Next Look


By: Jamie Schneider

Although Halloween is now in the back of our minds, our skeleton paraphernalia and ‘80s-inspired leg warmers shoved back in their place in the depths of our closets, the spirit of the holiday isn’t disappearing so quickly. In the wake of Halloween, I’ve found myself binge watching all of my favorite horror flicks, from those 1960s classics all the way to some new Netflix releases (Haunting of Hill House, anyone?).  

Some of these horror movie stars have some serious style. Focusing on the clothing was possibly a way to distract myself from that ghost I just knew was about to pop out of the woodwork, but I later came to the conclusion that there’s something alluring about a horror movie icon with a killer fashion game. It’s everything eerie and a little bit ethereal.

Fashion’s fascination with horror-themed elements and gothic styles is not a new phenomenon, as recently seen in Rodarte’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, where the New York Marble Cemetery acted as the perfect backdrop for the ghostly runway. Many labels have used horror as inspiration for their brands— Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Calvin Klein, to name a few—  proving that there is something about a haunted young woman dealing with her demons (both supernatural and personal) while clad in a fantastic outfit that just screams chic. I’ll be emulating every single one of these style icons until Halloween finally rolls back around.


1. Tippi Hedren, The Birds (1963)

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The timeless green suit on this beauty is an outfit I’ll always remember when I think of my favorite horror film muses. As if the ensemble isn’t chic enough, Hedren haphazardly throws over a fur coat, just in case you weren’t sure if her outfit had enough sketchy socialite appeal.

2. Robin Tunney, The Craft (1996)

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After watching this film, I had to stop myself from purchasing an onslaught of oversized leather jackets, fitted polo shirts, and chunky oxfords in the hopes of enhancing my image as a cool, ‘90s teen witch and securing my place as an honorary member of this iconic girl gang.

3. Megan Fox, Jennifer’s Body (2009)

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Who can forget the image of Megan Fox drenched in blood in that white puffer coat? These coats have been seen dominating both runways and street style for Fall 2018 at NYFW, and re-watching this film has me searching for a coat of my own in dazzling white, sans blood.

4.  Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

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Jessica Lange is already at the top of my list in terms of fashion icons, but her role in AHS adds a haunted twist to her usual Hollywood glam. It takes a certain skill to rock a pair of oversized black sunglasses in just about any outfit, even indoors.

5. Elle Fanning, The Neon Demon (2016)

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While this movie is quite controversial in terms of its success (critics even booed the film after its very first Cannes screening because of its use of murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism to portray the cutthroat fashion industry), there’s no doubt that the styling in this film is anything less than on point. Fanning’s character, Jesse, has her fair share of edgy ensembles throughout this movie, but that Giles Deacon dress she wears as she glides down her first runway remains the personal favorite. It’s the perfect dress to represent Fanning’s transition from the innocent girl with a dream to the ice-cold supermodel with a dark side.  

6. Sadie Sink, Stranger Things 2 (2017)

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This series doesn’t technically count as horror per say, but the plot line is creepy enough to make it on the list. Plus, there was no way I could omit Sadie Sink from the list of style icons. A young muse, Sink’s wardrobe for her character, MadMax is the perfect balance of California skater meets effortlessly cool.

7. Carla Gugino, The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

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The styling in this chilling new Netflix series intentionally reflects each character, seen especially on Gugino’s Olivia Crain, a twisted mother of five. Her wardrobe is a mix of bohemian and gothic silhouettes, reflecting the nurturing disposition she exudes with her children and her uncanny personality that lies underneath and cannot be ignored.

While Halloween is long behind us, haunted fashion has been here for decades, and the trend doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. From luxury fashion houses to year round street style, we can’t deny that there’s something captivating about an outfit that’s spooky-chic. And as the end of the semester is sneaking up on us, with icy mornings and those dreaded winter colds in full force, I’m grateful to have my favorite Netflix queue as the ultimate style hub.

Jamie SchneiderComment