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As a function-over-fashion type, I walk into clothing stores with the evils of capitalism in mind—“impulse purchase” is not in my lexicon. But one day in the back corner of an L.A. vintage shop, I spotted a pair of black Chelsea boots with fire-truck-red lining. I didn’t even have to check the size. I knew they were mine and I bought them on the spot. Since then, these boots have been a talisman, offering protection from anyone who aims to destroy my confidence. Every time their heels click-clack on the floor, I feel as though I’m charging them like I would crystals in the moonlight. They were my intro to fashion magick. 

“If personal style is a visual representation of your inner world, then fashion magick is adding a bewitching element to this,” explains Gabriela Herstik, author of Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft. Clothing has power, whether in the colors, symbols, or historically relevant silhouettes we wear. It’s especially potent when it has lineage to back it up, e.g. an amethyst necklace passed down through generations. Fashion magick—with a “k” to separate it from a magician’s tricks—is putting that power to work, dressing to face the world with intention. “I think that a lot of us are taught that style and fashion are superficial,” says Herstik, “when in reality they can help us navigate this world in a different light as we reclaim sovereignty over our bodies and selves.”

Unlike other en vogue methods of magick—tarot, crystals, zodiac-inspired candles—you don’t have to buy a thing. Chances are good you already wear clothing every day. And fashion magick can be tailored to fit your intention. Herstik recommends that before you dress, you take a deep breath and become present in your body: “Ask yourself what you need.” If you want to feel connected to your heart, wear pink. Donning red embodies sensuality. Black can make you feel protected against the world. To help you speak your truth, recite an incantation over your favorite lip color: “With this lipstick I speak my truth clearly, powerfully, and unapologetically” is an example you can play around with. Adorn your neck with rose quartz to foster self-love. You can even embroider a sigil (a magically charged symbol) onto your clothing, choosing one that corresponds with your specific goal. Or take inspiration from moon phases: If you want to improve your self-esteem, wear an ensemble that makes you feel like a badass during a new moon, the phase that honors new beginnings. Like fashion itself, fashion magick is about doing what you want—and the result is sartorially spellbinding.

By Anna Gragert
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018  print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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