You know what’s delightful? Being part of a fandom. Having a passion for something, and then finding/contributing to a community built around that passion…it’s pretty much my favorite way to have fun.
You know what else is delightful? How mainstream fandoms have become. Within the last decade or two, being obsessed with something like Star Trek or Marvel comics has gone from uncool nerd territory to basic social curriculum.
And fashion definitely hopped on the bandwagon.
Your standard novelty t-shirt will always be stylish. My husband’s preferred choice is DC comics. He especially loves Green Lantern–and I’m a particular fan of Harley Quinn. And who among us hasn’t owned a Batman shirt at some point? Batman is more or less unavoidable.
And a special, loving shoutout to Wonder Woman.
I can’t think of anything bigger right now, though, than Marvel. The Avengers franchise just finished up this year after over a decade of major blockbuster films. This is the series that revolutionized superhero movies, and we have been living and watching it all in real time.
What a time to be alive.
Harry Potter is a book series that accomplished every aspiring author’s wildest dream. A successful string of books that led to a successful string of movies…that then led to a theme park, as well as more merchandise than you can imagine. J.K. Rowling became an actual billionaire from her stories, and I am part of an entire generation that categorizes itself by Hogwarts Houses.
But this has kind of been the new age stuff. Some fandoms go waaayy back, and it’s true what they say: classics never die.
Star Wars is as big a deal now as it was in the 70s. Probably even bigger.
Star Trek is even older, and I have to say, as a show that almost didn’t make the cut because the network thought it was “too cerebral,” it holds a special place in my heart.
And guys, it gets even better, because fandom isn’t limited to just movies and TV shows. The gamer lifestyle is its own unique branch. In fact, it’s such a big branch, it’s almost its own tree. And whether your soul belongs to retro gaming, playing every new game that comes out, or if you’re a bit more casual like me and just play Skyrim over and over, every niche is valid.
As someone married to a gamer, I have a great time observing my husband involve himself in what he loves. I watch him play new releases, we watch YouTube gameplay together all the time, and even though I don’t really play video games myself, I definitely know what it is to be a fangirl. We’ve been able to share and bond over our different obsessions, and we’re both better for it.
But I’ve just been talking about novelty t-shirts. And don’t get me wrong, you can’t really mess up with those. They’re easy, they’re casual, and all with the bonus of letting the world know what particular thing you love. But fashion is always going to find a way to elevate a trend.
The photo above is an original ensemble put together by my sister. A top covered in Stormtrooper heads isn’t unique in and of itself, but it happens to be in pastels, which is interesting, and she’s thrown on a denim romper along with it. You don’t see this on your average day; she styled it herself. And it’s the perfect example of what I’m talking about. This is fandom and fashion.
Tessa Netting is a favorite of mine when it comes to turning merch into couture. She’s a YouTube celebrity, famous especially for her obsession with Harry Potter–and her unbridled enthusiasm as a fangirl in general.
Her passion is highly relatable. Her fashion sense, enviable.
Disney has been my number one love all throughout my life. It’s practically a religion for me, honestly. One way that I love to mix things up is by sporting items by Disney–but like, more adult than just a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
It’s a little harder to find quality stuff with Disney villains on it, for example, but I’m all about a good villain. That Evil Queen purse was pretty high up on my wishlist at one point, but I sadly didn’t catch it before it went out of stock forever. Alas.
I didn’t miss this Curiouser and Curiouser top, though. It’s Alice in Wonderland, but with a sort of goth vibe, and anything goth and Disney totally has my attention. I mean, what a fun combo! It’s cute as is, but it goes from day to night really easily. I tuck it into some high-waisted jeans, accessorize, and boom, it’s a look.
If there’s anything I love more than Disney style, it’s Disney style with an edge.
None of this is to be confused with cosplay, of course, which is the art of making yourself look as much like your favorite characters as possible (usually to wear to ComicCon or something like that). People work very hard to put their costumes together, often making them themselves out of their own creativity, talent, and love. It’s a level of fandom that amazes and fascinates me, but I’ll admit, cosplay is a bit out of my league.
Kudos to anyone out there who does it!!
I don’t think I can truly express how much fandom really means to me. There are so many stories, so many characters, that I am just so deeply in love with. And my passion for these things makes up a big chunk of who I am. I could hold a conversation for hours discussing the intricacies of Game of Thrones, or literally have a fight over some controversy in the Star Wars universe. I spend days, weeks of my life writing fanfiction and feeling bliss in the crafting of every word, making my favorite characters do what I’d prefer them to do. I love how the Internet has allowed people to share and discuss every little thing they notice about whatever they’re watching/reading.
Experimenting with my personal style has become a pretty big deal to me over the last couple years. Taking the time, making the effort to choose how I present myself…I’ve found a lot of satisfaction in that. The best part of fandom fashion is that I can express my obsessions while looking chic at the same time. How can you beat that?
Take my advice. Find what you love, and then find a way to wear it.
Have a beautiful week.