Harry Potter: Style Icon

Harry Potter: Style Icon

Sarah Coffey
Oct 28, 2010

If you're as big a nerd as I am, you're anxiously awaiting the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows next month. This is the first time I've ever written about a fictional character as a style icon, but in the case of Harry Potter, I think it's a very appropriate title.

Still from Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, 2001 | Warner Brothers

The thing about Harry is that in many ways, he's an average person living within a grandiose world populated by wizards, dragons, goblins, and all sorts of mythical creatures. His style reflects that paradox. His hair's always a mess, his clothes are too big, but he wears John Lennon glasses, he's got a wand made from a phoenix feather, and his pet is a snow-white owl... how glam is that?!

Still from Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, 2009 | Warner Brothers

Harry's style is, of course, the invention of his creator — J.K. Rowling — but it's also become a part of the general zeitgeist, inspiring everything from Halloween costumes to web-based wand shops with names like Alivands or Whimsic Alley.

I came to the Harry Potter books late, after they'd all been written, but when I started I was immediately sucked in to Rowling's unique universe. I plowed through the books, week by week, and — like many others before me — I loved the sense of total immersion in a world that was at once unbelievable and very palpable. Rowling is a visual writer who uses setting to great effect.