Dressing With The Essence Of Fairytales

“I was wondering if you could help me out. I really want to redefine my style so that I can dress ‘with the essence of fairytales’, but I don’t really know where to start. I sort of have a vague idea, but if you have any suggestions that would be great.”

A few years ago (2003 if I recall correctly), Eugenio Recuenco did a photoshoot for Vogue which was based around fairytales. The pictures were gorgeous, as you will see in a moment. Look at them closely & think about how you could imbue a little of that vibe into your daily outfits…

Red Riding Hood
Snow White
Beauty & The Beast
Princess & The Pea
Puss In Boots
Pied Piper

I think that when it comes to fairytales, or dressing on any kind of theme, you don’t want to be too obvious about it. You don’t want to look like you have just come from a Renaissance fair (probably), so wearing re-enactment costumes & their ilk is not the way to go.

You might find that it’s easiest to pick one fairytale & use that as a starting point1. Maybe you like the rags-to-riches story of Cinderella, or the teeny tiny friends of Snow White. Read a few different versions of the story & observe the small details. Make a list of them, if you like. This will help you cultivate an aesthetic.

However, if you don’t want to do that, you can just work the fairytale look in other, small ways. I don’t think most fairytale characters had tans, so stay as pale as you can. You might like to use a vibrant cheek or lip stain, to give yourself a wintry flush. Try wearing an antique key around your neck — not one of those “new antique key necklaces”, but an actual antique key from an actual antique shop, on a string. Perspex shoes are in at the moment, so they would make a nice substitute for glass slippers (& there are a lot of sequinned flats around if you feel more Dorothy than Cinderella). Try buying vintage slips & dyeing them beautiful colours, like deep blue or green or scarlet. Start collecting full petticoats & clothing in strange, otherworldly fabrics. Wear glitter by your eyes. Crimp & colour your hair (white or deep red or raven black). Grow your hair long & put tiny braids in it. Wear a little tiara all the time, or an earring of a crown. Search Ebay for a vintage t-shirt with an airbrushed unicorn on the front (you know the sort!).

Make something your signature — red apples, beds, pumpkins or even porridge! Seek out anything that has this motif & wear it with gay abandon.

When it comes to fairytale-esque clothing, I think the best way to go is the homemade route, or at least go for things which look handmade. Contrasting stitching, ragged edges & a loose drapey feel will go a long way towards making it look right. Accessories, however, are a different story.

Disney has put out a range of high-end jewellery which is fairytale (& Disney) themed. If you had a couple of their pieces, you could work a whimsical theme into any outfit, whether you were wearing a sun dress or jeans & a t-shirt.


This Peter Pan slingshot necklace is fantastic. It’s a little bit Bart Simpson, & a little bit Never Never Land. You could always wear it with a little clock around your neck & a Lacoste t-shirt to work the Captain Hook angle!

Hand Mirror

These Snow White hand mirror earrings are awesome & of course, with them dangling from your lobes, you would be the fairest of them all.

Magic Castle

I am actually in love with this gold-plated magic castle pendant. No further explanation needed.

There are a lot of other options at 80’s Purple (including Alice in Wonderland & Bambi-themed jewellery)!

Snow White bag

Having a fairytale-themed bag is another way to work the look in a relatively easy way. Hot Topic sells these Snow White apple tote bags, & I like them very much.

Cute but tragic

Finally, if you love your dog but are also kind of cruel, why not dress it up as Tinker Bell, Snow White or Peter Pan?! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

I hope you have fun creating & playing with your new look! I imagine that a whimsical-looking girl crouched over a big book by Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm would be very appealing to a lot of people. Good luck!

[1] Note! Choosing Sleeping Beauty as your theme does not mean you can sleep all winter! Shame on you for even thinking it!