Buff(-y, the Vampire Slayer).

I wasn’t allowed to watch TV growing up — even in high school, my parents kept it to a minimum.  I occasionally feel like I missed out on some of the cultural “juju” of the 80s and 90s, but mainly I applaud them for their fortitude for sticking to their guns on this one (and in the face of complaints from not one but five opinionated children).  Because of their strict policy, we spent a lot more time reading, inventing new games, scraping our knees, taunting each other, completing homework, and working on art projects — all of which built character and a proclivity towards the academic.  (Everyone in my family has at least two degrees.)

There are, however, times when my friends reference Saved By the Bell, 7th Heaven, or Family Matters, and I feel like something of an alien amongst my own generation.  There was also the time when, in my M.A. program in literature, I discovered that nearly all of my classmates in a Gothic Lit class were enormous fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a program I’d never watched and had mentally coded as a frivolous teen fantasy.  It turns out (according to them and the professor bandleading the group) that Buffy is actually a fairly rich modern Gothic text, repurposing many of the tropes and textures of the Gothic works from the 18th and 19th centuries.  (There is even, apparently, a conference on Buffy that lit nerds flock to every year.)

I recalled all of this today while trying to justify the purchase of this stunning beaded buff (get it?!)-and-black blouse (Needle & Thread, on sale for $165), which I’d wear with fab drops (Oscar de la Renta, $345 — or get the look for less with these or these), black skinnies (J. Brand, $185) and some great sueded heeled sandals (Isa Tapia, $550):

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(Or, of course, the Aquazzuras I own and cherish dearly.)  So, while I may not have been able to participate in self-aggrandizing discourse on elements of the Gothic in Buffy, I can at least invest in a lovely buff-hued top, right?  Finish with a mini crossbody (Ferragamo, $850):

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Other top-of-mind buff-and-black picks?  This star blouse ($158 — I snap up at least one J. Crew blouse per season with an amazing print on it — this is this summer’s find!; alternately, check out this Equipment heart print blouse ($258)); K. Jacques sandals (on sale for $200); a gauze maxi skirt (on sale for $79); vintage Chanel earrings ($850); espadrilles ($135); black tassel necklace ($138); a vintage Chanel purse ($3,500); and these stunning Gianvito Rossi tootsies ($650):

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Lastly, I will say that I have had my eye on this buff-and-black Alice by Temperley dress for.ev.er., and it’s even on sale now…but I just have no clue where I’d wear it?!  So elegant.  I also love this nude-and-white ALC dress ($419), this stunning Chloe crepe wonder (on sale for $1,305), and this affordable, work-ready Chloe-look-alike black-and-buff textured dress ($48).

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