The Rules of Style: Hocus Pocus

The next time someone asks, “what’s wrong with you???,” feel free to go ahead and blame Hocus Pocus because it’s super messed up. I credit this movie, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Meet Me in Saint Louis for nearly every one of my neuroses. We’ve talked about that scene in Meet Me in Saint Louis before, right, where the kids break into mass hysteria on Halloween and light houses on fire and Judy Garland’s movie-sister Tootie beheads snowmen? It’s a horror film. It’s supposed to be a Christmas film and everyone is always like, “Oh I love Judy Garland and her alternative eyebrows and that trolly song was my favorite!” But really, 80% of people who say this have only seen the dancing scene that Elizabeth Reaser in The Family Stone watches while Rachel McAdams naps on her pregnant stomach.


Hocus Pocus is equally as messed up for a young audience: A little girl dies; a teenage boy is virgin-shamed; there are confusing undertones of attraction between his sister and the 300-something-year-old man living inside of the cat; a zombie cuts his own mouth open. Plus, it makes me uncomfortable to see Sarah Jessica Parker acting all goofy like she does in this movie, which is unfair and I apologize for projecting my unrealistic expectations on to her.

That doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best feature films ever made during our time. It is, and I write that with zero hyperbole. Do you know what makes up for its night terror-inducing nuances? The fashion! Let us live and hopefully not die (at the hands of three witches) by the rules of style according to Hocus Pocus.


Rule number one: Coordinating with your witch sisters is different from twinning with them. Anyone can twin, but proper coordination takes stealth styling and high-level conceptualizing before even getting dressed. Assign yourselves a complementary color palette and then choose silhouettes that best flatter each individual’s body type. Like shopping for bridesmaid dresses.

Rule number two: Freshly applied hair dye can do wonders when it comes to upgrading your look and/or age by 300 years!

Rule number three: Wear a corset, then turn anyone who claims Kim Kardashian started the trend into a tree frog. Just for a minute.


Rule number four: Sick of your closet? Consult your crew. Their fresh perspective on what you’ve looked at for the last few centuries can change everything.

Rule number five: Look everywhere for inspiration, especially among the youths. They do crazy things like wear the same choker you did back in the 1600s and carry pumpkins around as purses.

Rule number six: Layer. Here Dani wears a skirt over her pants like an absolute expert in transitional dressing.


Rule number seven: Tie-dye always comes back. Quilted bombers do, too.

Rule number eight: Leather jackets never leave, although in ’90s movies they come with bullies attached. There’s a spell for that.

Rule number nine: Wear long sleeves under your short-sleeve tee only if it’s to show camaraderie with your much younger sister who you promised to take trick-or-treating and is pissed because she has to wear a turtleneck underneath her costume.


Rule number ten: Embrace your duality. You can totally be someone who wears Brock Collection one day and Acne the next.

Rule number eleven: Descend bannisters in magnificent outfits at every opportunity, even if the elevator is working. Makes for more dramatic moments.

Rule number twelve: Reconsider the oversize cardigan.


And finally, rule number thirteen: The next time you cross paths with a black cat, ask it where it got its absolutely perfect white blouse.

Photos from Disney ABC Press.

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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