To quote Euphoria‘s Cassie Howard, “If that makes me a villain, so f*cking be it.” which pretty much describes the vibes right now. We, as a collective, are done. With the rise of inflation, several ongoing crises (including the loss of body autonomy), and now heading into our third pandemic summer, our ability to smile and play nice is over. Last year, we waited for the hot vax summer that never came. Now, we’re ready to do whatever we want. Welcome to your villain era.
“Villain era” became a popular term on TikTok earlier this year, used to describe people proudly proclaiming their decisions to put up boundaries, end toxic relationships and jobs, embrace their sexuality, and put themselves first for a change. While we all know none of that makes people actual “villains,” in our patriarchal society, whenever a woman does something that doesn’t make a man happy, it holds power.
Fashion is having its own villain era—after a few years of leisurely attire, fashion is back, and it’s not playing nice. Elements of villain-era fashion include plenty of leather, black clothing, and chains. Invoke your favorite villain with long, skin-tight dresses, cutout outfits, and playing with corsets and lace-up designs. Basically, embrace whatever makes you feel fierce and dangerous.
Whether you’re entering into your own villain era or starting your Reputation (Taylor’s Version) era early, here are 13 outfits that can help you step into your power.
Start off your villain era with something sexy, like a sheer black dress with a plunging neckline. Add some killer booties and a snake-line necklace and you’ll rule any party, especially with a bold red lipstick.
All Leather Vibes
Leather is a major feature in villain-era fashion for its sex appeal and powerful vibration. Give yourself a Matrix-esque look with a leather corset and black leather pants, plus some fiery earrings to really bring it together. It’s perfect for a night out.
While this era features a dark color palette, you can mix things up with some black and white pieces with a splash of red. Whether you’re trying to bring balance to the world or paying homage to the iconic villain from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (plus her own eponymous origin story), it’ll turn heads for sure.
Villain’s Beach Vacation
Yes, even villains need their time in the sun. In fact, they probably enjoy their vacations with their phone on “do not disturb” and let other people figure things out for a change. Get naughty on the beach with this wrap-around swimsuit, sexy coverup, and some cool sunglasses to enjoy your vacation in peace.
Medusa is making a comeback in a major way right now, with the rise of snakes and snakeskin in fashion (and our collective strong desire to turn oppressive people into stone). Honor this Ancient Greek “villain” with a snake bodysuit, leather shorts, and a powerful ring to let everyone know you’re not here to play.
Leather and Lace
This iconic duo is teaming up this year to help villains embrace their soft and sensual side while still being tough. A leather crop top with a lace-up skirt gives great S&M vibes as you feel your power—even all tied up.
Despite black being the signature color in villain era fashion, you don’t have to wear it 24/7 (especially in the summer). Make yourself a golden goddess gone bad with a cutout dress, some gold heels, and a powerful necklace.
If you don’t want to go full-on villain in your everyday life, play around with key elements of the trend. A sleeveless black bodysuit with a leather skirt is simple but deadly chic—complete the look with a chain choker.
Purple is the color of royalty, making it perfect for your villain-era look as you take your own power back. Pair this sweet leather dress with some killer boots for the perfect outfit for the club or anywhere you could use a confidence boost.
Sweet and Sour
However, if you want to embrace some sweet vibes along with your villainous side, pair a bodysuit with a silk leather skirt to add a touch of softness. Add a leather blazer and you’re ready to go.
Bring your villain era to work to show you’re done with any toxic energy or miscommunication and ready to take charge. Show up in an empowering blazer, a lace bodysuit, and a killer skirt to prove that you aren’t bossy—you’re the boss.
Your favorite pandemic fashion trend is back with a darker twist as you take the best of cottagecore and paint it black using a cotton dress with dramatic sleeves, a lacy black choker, and cool earrings fit for a haunted cottage.
Date Night Villain
Even villains are allowed to have a date night. Get all dressed up to be bad in the best way with an LBD featuring slits on the slides, a chic handbag, and an eye-catching necklace that will make sure you have their heart by the end of the night.