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Caught Dead: Style Tips for Nonbinary Vampires

Blah! That’s what I say when someone suggests I wear the same old outfit day in and out. I’m not some kind of cartoon Dracula wearing a cravat and a cape every day. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Or maybe that was my last victim. I can’t tell, and I’m too busy to worry about it. We’ve got expensive art openings to crash, windowless warehouse parties to attend where I can ahhhh get up to a queer person’s sweating neck and just let my claw graze it ever so lightly, feel the warm hum of their blood underneath their dermis and the prickle of those hair follicles that will soon not be the only dead thing about them. Sorry. Where were we going? We’ve got graves to lean on seductively, my vamps! Let’s get you dressed.

I included a mix of items that we earn a commission on and that we do not. You’ll notice that there are a variety of price points, brands that are good about including a diversity of sizes, as well as some smaller queer-owned brands we don’t earn a commission on but want to support anyway! Anything Etsy is kind of the best of both worlds (we do earn an affiliate commission from Etsy). While I do own jewelry from most of the Etsy sellers featured, I don’t own any of the other pieces personally except for our Caligula Inn Shirt, though I can attest to the fit of Androgynous Fox and Dapperboi items. Some of the other brands such as Rebdolls and Selkie are AS staff favorites!

Vampires Don’t Get Cold (or Believe in Modesty)

three images from left to right, a plus size model displays a sheer, boxy black mesh button up shirt, next a straight size model wears an elaborately embroidered black mesh shirt with a top neck tie that drapes down over the front, third a straight size model wears a long, sheer, clingy dress that is super minimal and ends in an assymetrical hem

1. Sheer Button Up Blouse, Rebdolls ($44.90) // 2. Embroidered Tie Neck Sheer Mesh Shirt, ASOS ($50) // 3. Asymmetric Fine-knit Dress, H&M ($64.99)

Nothing says “creature of the night” like showing off your nipples.

Snip Snip; Everything Is Cropped

from left to right everthing is in black, 1 a cropped hoodie has the sleeves, collar hood and nothing else. 2 a model wears a cropped tee designed for trans bodies 3 a straight sized model wears a cropped vest as a shirt 4 a cropped blazer with a ragged hem, also in black

1. Layering Hoodie, Babes ($35) // 2. Arthur top, Both& ($39 – A+ members get a discount at Both&) // 3. Linen-blend Vest, H&M ($17.99) // 4. Crop Blazer 6, Babes ($70)

Headless horsethems rejoice! No need to worry about your necromanced noggin when you can now show off your completely intact torso with various items of clothing, all in black, none of which even remotely attempt to cover your bod. Feel the cemetery winds whispering around your navel when you’re out on the hunt and just really internalize that you’re an apex predator, babe.

Buffy (and Blade) Taught Us That Vampires Wear Leather

from left to right, all in black 1 a plus sized model wears wide legged black leather plants, 2 a plus sized model shows off a pleather body suit which has cups for the chest and a fabric portion for the underwear zone 3 a straight sized model wears a drapey, boxy pleather button up 4 a plus sized model displays an instricate leather chest harness

1. All Night Long Leather Wide Leg Pants, Rebdolls ($69.90) // 2. Hold Tight Vegan Leather Corset Bodysuit, Rebdolls ($44.90) // 3. Loose Fit Boxy Shirt, H&M ($34.99) // 4. Art Deco Harness, Emma Alamo (starts at $307)

Vampires don’t need to breathe.

An Outfit That Says…’Blood Sacrifice’

all in black, from left to right 1 a straight sized model wears a long, elegant split leg gown 2 a straight sized model wears a shirt that is flowy and wrapped and low cut in the center 3. a straight sized model wears a minimal sleeveless long tight dress with shoulder pads

1. BHLDN Lennox Halter Open-Back Side-Slit Crepe Gown, Anthropologie ($220) // 2. Silky V-Neck Blouse, Anthropologie ($110) // 3. Draped Dress with Shoulder-Pads, H&M ($64.99)

Here, we’re going for sleek and effortlessly intimidating. For style inspiration, think: Lair of the White Worm or gay pirates.

For the High Femme Fatales

from left to right, 1 a model wears a puffy short black dress. the skirt puffs out and the sleeves rise up and puff around the arms 2 a model wears a long dress in a dark floral pattern on black, the sleeves and hem are ruffled and the shoulders are pointy 3 a model wears a black ruffly dress with large, puffy sleeves

1. Puff Dress, Selkie ($239) // 2. Villanelle ruffled floral-print wool-twill midi dress, The Vampire’s Wife ($690) // 3. Boleyn Dress, Selkie ($269)

Are these dresses expensive? Yes. But as a vampire, your grocery budget has absolutely plummeted as your food is free. If you’ve been around the mausoleum for a minute, then you’ve likely invested your money into all sorts of nefarious causes such that splurging on a dress like this won’t even cause you to bat an eye. When looking for cheaper options, note the key is dark colors, antique prints, materials that levitate away from the body as well as high, high shoulders. You are a nonbinary vampire, and the fabric on your shoulders needs to be reaching for the dusty chandeliers above you.

A Spell More Casual

from left to right 1 a model wears pleated, straight legged masc pants for trans / queer bodies 2 a model shows off the caligula inn tee from autostraddle which has a drawing of an african grey on it as well as goopy red lettering 3 a model shows off the stick and poke button up which is covered with tiny stick and poke designs 4 a faux suede jacket looks luxe and soft in black

1. Pleated Slim Pant, Androgynous Fox ($67) // 2. Caligula Inn Tee, Autostraddle ($26) // 3. Stick N’ Poke Button Up, Androgynous Fox ($37) // 4. Black Microfiber Suede Bomber Jacket, Dapper Boi ($95)

If your goal is to blend in, then being fully resplendent in head to toe ghoul glam miiight give you away before you can get down to any sucking. Consider a dinner outfit composed of items like the above instead!

Accessorize, Witch

1 a pair of earrings made from copper wiring and coffin nails 2 enamel pins in black and silver are planchette shaped and offer a variety of pronoun options 3 a model shows a bat shaped collar pin that pins to both collars with the bat wings and shows silver chains underneath 4 a pin that says within a fancy frame 'all vampires are gay' 5 a hand hammered and elegant item of jewelry that is a brass crescent moon necklace 6 a single inverted dangley cross earring in silver

1. Coffin Nail Earrings, Visceral Jewelry ($35) // 2. Pronoun Planchette Pin, grrrlspells ($9.25) // 3. Bat Collar Pin, DapperandSwag ($20) // 4. All Vampires Are Gay Pin, MonsterCliche ($9.25+) // 5. Large Crescent Necklace, Visceral Jewelry ($45) // 6. The Gabriel Earring, ModEvil ($45)

From the obvious to the clandestine, Etsy has something for everyvamp. I cannot recommend enough that you take the single dangly nonbinary earring up a notch by selecting a design that will make your dance partner think they can hear the hiss of evaporating holy water.

You Only Need One Pair of Shoes

It’s not like you’ll wear them out while flying around as a bat. While I have heard the quality of Doc Marten’s has actually fallen recently, I believe that Solovairs are of respectable quality.

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Nico Hall is Autostraddle's and For Them's Membership Editorial and Ops Dude, and has been working in membership and the arts for over a decade. They write nonfiction both creative and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 226 articles for us.


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