Up until freshman year of college, I had never watched anime. I may have seen mainstream shows, like Pokemon and Sailor Moon, but I was too little to retain anything that happened. When I shared this with my friend, Mo, he gave me a lot of shit and insisted that I watch a Hayao Miyazaki film. It was the start of Thanksgiving break and campus was secluded, aside from small clusters of international and out-of-state students. The rest of our friends had left and most restaurants were closed, so we ordered Chinese takeout and watched Princess Mononoke.
Miyazaki is known for developing strong female leads, and the protagonist, San, was nothing short of that. As a baby, her parents sacrificed her to wolves, and she grew up to lead the pack. These wolves immersed her into wildlife and raised her to be ruthless and independent.
I knew I had to be this badass bitch for Halloween, one day, but recreating her look would be difficult. She’s not a character you’d see at Halloween stores, and I didn’t want to design my costume from scratch. Like all of my previous costumes, I wanted it to be an assortment of wearable, everyday clothes.
Being the extra me that I am, I’ve stowed away my faux fur hat for almost five years, for this costume. I’m always keen on stashing good finds for future use. This is when my Pinterest and planner come into play. I’m that person who will start brainstorming for next year, right after Halloween has ended. I purchased this hat while working at Zara, my sophomore year. A customer had returned it several seasons later, so I got a steep discount. It was the closest thing I could find to San’s cape, so I felt obligated to buy it.
For the rest of my look, I tried to thrift as much as I could. My first stop was Goodwill, where I found my dress and shoes. I didn’t own any tan, slouchy boots, like hers, but I wasn’t going to kill myself over a pair of shoes. The sheepskin moccasins were a rare and lucky find and only cost $2.99.
As expected, jewelry was impossible to thrift, so I resulted to ASOS and Romwe. I didn’t want literal duplicates of San’s jewelry, since I couldn’t see myself wearing them, again. Instead of shell earrings, I got white fuzzy hoops to match my fur hat. For the armbands, I could’ve used blue ribbon, but ASOS was conveniently selling a pack of 2 arm cuffs for $2.
The hardest items to look for were the top and necklace. I spent weeks online browsing for anything remotely similar. I substituted her ivory wolf fangs with a layered statement necklace. Its spearheads and moon crescent have the same warrior-like quality that I wanted.
The top was a challenging key term search because I didn’t know what to call it. Slit, side cut, side scoop, muscle tank, and sleeveless sweater were all of the variations I tried, to find the right match. It was none other than Pinterest, that recommended a comparable look, by Pull&Bear. The sweater was sold out on their website, but like most cases, Poshmark came in clutch. I found the exact same one and bargained it down to $5.
It was like a guessing game shopping from different places, but in the end, the pieces gelled really well, together. The essential part is that I love them all (minus the oversized arm cuffs) individually, and I can’t wait to blend them into my everyday wardrobe.
+ Faux Fur Hat | Zara
+ Statement Necklace | ASOS
+ Hoop Earrings | Romwe
+ Arm Cuffs | ASOS
+ Sweater | Pull&Bear (Poshmark)
+ Dress | Merona (Goodwill)
+ Moccasins | Minnetonka (Goodwill)
Photography | Adam Redfield