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The 'whimsigothic' aesthetic gives major 'Practical Magic' vibes for fall

Witchy woman.
sabrina whimsigoth
Sabrina Spellman is one of many 90s icons providing inspiration for the returning whimsigoth trend.

Stevie Nicks, Sabrina Spellman, Pheobe Buffay, and Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all "whimsigoth" icons.

Their style, characterized by velvet dresses, tights, flowy silhouettes, and celestial motifs, started with Nicks in the 70s and rose to prominence in the 1990s becoming immortalized in the media of the time.

Surprisingly, the 2022 renaissance of the aesthetic began in early spring and summer with TikTokers and articles offering tips on how to dress whimsigothic (part whimsical and floaty, part gothic and vampy) in the summer.

Still, since its roots are found in witchcraft and all things spooky yet cozy, it's safe to say more people are likely to adopt the style in fall. Fall movie favourites like Practical Magic and The Craft, which feature whimisgoth fashion and interiors so prominently, have firmly cemented the look in the autumnal pantheon of vibes, like pumpkin spice lattes and flannel.

The witchy clothes

The aesthetic is bewitching in every way. The billowy sleeves, sweeping skirts, and layers add drama while ethereal details like moons, stars, suns, and zodiacs give it otherworldly charm. Tights, lace, and corsets add a touch of sexiness and feminity paired with chunky boots and wild hair. A lot of the look is imbued by an undercurrent of owning personal power and sexuality in whatever way appeals to the individual. This theme is also true of contemporary portrayals of witchcraft which is why the two go hand-in-hand.

The gothic in whimsigothic is more of an amalgamation of goth and boho than it is a true representation of the horror subgenre or architectural style. The themes aren't rooted in death or fear instead they focus on the earth, nature, and the supernatural in a more comforting sense. It's a type of pseudo-spirituality that offers equal parts nostalgia and hope.

The colour palate consists of rich jewel tone purples, greens, and reds with earthy browns and oranges as well as black and white and overall the vibe is distinctly retro and cool. TikToker @marandavandy described it perfectly as "90s does 70s" and makes videos walking people through how to thrift and style the aesthetic.

Contemporary examples of whimsigoth fashion in action would be songstress Florence Welch of Florence and the Machines who is known for her haunting voice and complimentary magical style choices. Olivia Rodrigo also donned a whimsigoth outfit for her Grammy performance.

The makeup is smoky and sultry with a dark lip and heavy liner just like in the 90s and the hair is usually windswept and effortless either down or half up half down.

@marandavandy Reply to @hunnabunny Styling whimsigothic outfits! Let me know if you want to see more because I have sooo many more pieces #whimsigothic #whimsigoth #whimsigothical #90sfashion #70sfashion #stevienicksvibes #darkboho #whimsigothfashion #outfitideas #thriftedfashion ♬ How Soon Is Now? (2011 Remaster) - The Smiths

The cozy interiors

Like many other aesthetics (see, cottagecore), whimsigoth has built up an entire lifestyle around it. In fact, Evan Collins, cofounder of the Consumer Aesthetics Research Institute, first introduced the term to refer to interiors and the dramatic elements like stained glass windows, wrought iron, heavy drapes, and plush furniture that create the romantic spaces.

Many of the first TikToks about the subject were also in reference to room decor inspiration.

Like the fashion, the interior design is maximalist in a very curated thematic way. Sabrina's room in Sabrina the Teenage Witch is used a lot as an example, as is the lair from Practical Magic and the house from Charmed.

The overall vibe is achieved by introducing retro elements to the home like patterned wallpaper (preferably blue or purple with stars) and lots of vining plants and candles. Other cultural elements like plush floor cushions, ottomans, and Morrocan hanging lamps also add to the ambience. There is often clutter in the form of crystals, books, bottles, jars, and small trinkety art pieces that reflect the witchy tendencies of the occupant.

The goal is to make the space inviting and spellbinding at the same time.

@whimsigothwitch #whimsigoth #whimsigothic ♬ Duvet - bôa
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