Since Netflix’s Wednesday premiered last year, the show’s titular character (played by Jenna Ortega) has become a fashion icon. Yet, before she graced our screens in streaming format, I was long obsessed with Wednesday Addams’ style in the Christina Ricci-starring movies from the ‘90s. For a fashion-obsessed writer, whose idea of a perfect outfit involves an all-black ensemble, Wednesday Addams is the epitome of style.
While, in the movies, the character wears mostly black dresses with Peter Pan collars, Wednesday costume designer Colleen Atwood incorporated leather jackets, knitted vests, trousers, and frothy dresses into the remake. “I feel like it’s a fresh take on that style,” Atwood, a four-time Academy Award winner, told me right after the series premiered in 2022. “To me, it’s more of a graphic juxtaposition of light, gray, and black that really made her look contemporary, like she didn’t just land from another time period.” Atwood’s work resonated so much with the audience that Wednesday Addams’ look is ranked the sixth most searched Halloween costume in the United States this year, according to Google Trends.
While I enjoy dressing up, I refuse to buy low-quality Halloween store costumes that I’ll wear just once. Instead, I often look to my closet for inspiration and create party looks out of my everyday wardrobe. Last year, for example, I wore a blazer cape, tailored shorts, Mary Jane shoes, and a necktie for a Blair Waldorf costume that I topped off with an old Sidekick phone and bedazzled headband. This year, I am looking to Colleen Atwood’s version of Wednesday Addams for inspiration, finding an array of options already in my closet.
Here’s how I plan on dressing up like Wednesday Addams without spending a dime.
Wednesday Addams Costume Idea: School Uniform Look
In Netflix’s Wednesday, our morbid hero goes to a boarding school, where she has to adopt the standard preppy uniform, which she re-interprets in all-black. To get this look, a few basic staples are needed: a black blazer, a matching pleated skirt, a tie, and Oxford shoes. Just make sure to accessorize with braids and a deadpan look.
Wednesday Addams Costume Idea: Casual Look
Wednesday’s idea of a casual outfit is a trendy knitted vest and black trousers. For this costume, the key is to add a graphic element. For example: a black-and-white vest or pinstripe pants. If you don’t have Wednesday-approved combat boots, opt for an on-trend chunky loafer instead.
Wednesday Addams Costume Idea: Party Look
The dance scene on Wednesday, in which Ortega wears a frothy Alaïa dress, is the most fashion-forward. While the actual dress comes with a hefty price tag, it’s easy to recreate with a sheer black turtleneck or high-collared shirt, paired with a ruffled or tulle maxi skirt, and a leather jacket. For shoes, Mary Jane platforms are a festive yet timeless fall option.
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