Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
One of the most iconic anime series of the 2010s, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an angsty take on mahou shoujo classics like the beloved Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. With a brooding storyline rendered in sugary pastels, the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series thoroughly subverts the genre’s tropes with dark and complex heroines in high-stakes battles where death is a real possibility. Both a coming-of-age story and an ode to femininity that nods to Revolutionary Girl Utena, Puella Magi Madoka Magica dares to suggest that happy endings are never guaranteed – even for magical girls.
Revolving around a quintet of magical girls (Madoka Kaname, Sayaka Miki, Kyoko Sakura, Mami Tomoe and Homura Akemi) who must fight against witches, the series juxtaposes pitch-black themes with candy-colored wardrobes that remain immaculate throughout the epic battles. From Madoka’s frilled, ruffled and beribboned tribute to classic magical girl style to Homura’s girly take on goth fashion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica keeps the aesthetics ultra-kawaii even as the body count rises.
This is a show that isn’t afraid of juxtaposing polar opposite themes together, as evident in the unlikely friendship between its two leading characters – the soft-hearted Madoka and the jaded Homura. With reference to their contrasting styles, I’ve come up with two magical girl outfits anchored by the same mini skirt in beige and black. See how this sassy schoolgirl staple can be styled in different aesthetics from light to dark!
1. Sweet and Conscientious – Madoka Kaname
Sweet and kind but far from insipid, Madoka Kaname is the closest thing the series has to a classic magical girl who embodies purity, goodness and hope. A wallflower with a dreamy streak, this heroine stands out amongst the quintet with her ultra-girly style – think pink hair, pastel-colored skirts and a love for plush toys. Subverting the stereotype that street-smart girls make the best fighters, Madoka’s final transformation proves that the kawaii aesthetic can be a punk fashion statement.
Rendered in an angelic palette with pops of pink and red, this date-ready ensemble inspired by Madoka channels innocent yet alluring vibes by pairing a pleated mini skirt with a chiffon camisole boasting a hint of ruffles. Instead of Madoka’s plain school loafers, I completed the outfit with cream-colored oxfords radiating good girl vibes. Accessories are kept to a minimum save for a few bold yet whimsical pieces, such as ultra-femme earrings in the shape of crescent moons, a rose fabric hair tie in pink, and, most strikingly of all, a heart-shaped handbag worthy of a true magical girl.
Lemongrass – Ruffled Chiffon Camisole | rolarola – Belted Detail Pleated Mini Skirt
Pangmama – Plain Oxfords | A’ROCH – Asymmetrical Rhinestone Moon Drop Earrings
OUCHA – Faux Leather Heart Tote Bag | Bowbeam – Flower Fabric Hair Tie
2. Dark and Daring – Homura Akemi
Clad in a school uniform yet giving off edgy vibes, the raven-haired Homura Akemi is cool, dark and mysterious in contrast to Madoka’s sweet and emotionally open personality. Initially the series’ villain, Homura gradually reveals herself as a more complex character than first impressions suggest. As Homura is an incurable romantic beneath her cynical exterior, it’s only natural that her aesthetic is part dark academia and part Lolita goth. From black headbands and harlequin pattern stockings to chic goth-tinged magical girl costumes, Homura is all about staying true to her edgy fashion instincts.
Taking inspiration from Homura’s alterna girl persona, I’ve dialed up the gothic vibes while seeking a balance between sleek and sassy. The same mini skirt, this time in black, is paired with a skintight tank top radiating grungy vibes and a slouchy satin blazer for a luxe touch. Keeping things hard-edged yet glamorous, I added to the mix point-toe ankle boots and a boxy shoulder bag roomy enough for magical girl essentials. The ensemble is elevated by a couple of accessories in the same goth-inspired palette – ivory glasses that reference Homura’s backstory, and a faux pearl choker that’s both a 90s throwback and very 2022.
MISHI CLUB – Lace-Up Tank Top | rolarola – Belted Detail Pleated Mini Skirt
LIPHOP – Satin Wrap Blazer | Anran – Block-Heel Ankle Boots | ILANURA – Square Frame Glasses
LIPHOP – Snap Button Hobo Bag | KATENKELLY – Faux Pearl Charm Satin Choker
The Magical Girl, Reworked
Puella Magi Madoka Magica redefines what it means to be a magical girl by exploring what lies beneath the candy-colored surface – from the pain of heartbreak to the dark side of heroism. The message is clear: being a teenage girl is no walk in the park, even if you’ve got fantastical powers. But with solid friendships and a cute wardrobe, you can ride out this period of your life.
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