Fashion has always been in fashion. Maybe it’s because clothes are a unique kind of magic. You don’t even need to be a die-hard fashionista to know the power they hold.
The right clothes can make you feel pretty or powerful. They can give you the confidence you need to conquer a business presentation or a cocktail party – and if you happen to be a princess in a fairy tale, clothes can even help you win Prince Charming or save your brothers. But beware, clothes also have the power to make you look like a complete ass!
Below, I’ve compiled a little list with five fabulous fairy tales about fashion. Most of them are cute little stories with happy endings, but I have included one fairy tale where clothes are more harmful than helpful – too many happy ending would be a bit boring!
Warning: Some of these descriptions do contain a few spoilers. It’s pretty difficult to describe them without giving ANYTHING away.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of the links and decide to buy that item, I’ll receive a (super) small percentage of the sale. You won’t pay extra for using the link, though. I’m not doing this to get rich (I would have a better chance of waking up in Narnia tomorrow than becoming wealthy through affiliate links). I would also never link to anything that I wouldn’t use myself.
1. The six swans by the Brothers Grimm
If you’re looking for a fairy tale full of cursed shirts, unconventional knitting and some pretty admirable sibling love (and who doesn’t?), this is definitely a fairy tale for you!
The story’s hard-working heroine has to overcome a lot of obstacles, and personal trauma, in order for her to get a well-deserved happy ending – she’s one resilient cupcake!
As an extra bonus, it also features TWO of the most evil stepmothers in the fairy tale universe.
2. Allerleirauh by the Brothers Grimm
This story begins with a good old fairy tale death. However, it quickly escalates into a rather disturbing situation that forces the princess to run away from her dad.
Luckily, she managed to pack a dress as golden as the sun, a dress as silvery as the moon and one as bright as the stars before she fled the castle – wearing her mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur (shh, don’t tell PETA).
After living “for a long time in great wretchedness”, karma sweeps in to save the day. With the help of her three beautiful dresses and some bread soup, our little princess catches herself a happy ending!
3. The two kings’ children by the Brothers Grimm
Imagine saving your Prince Charming from certain death a few times – only to have him forget everything about you, and what you did for him, the moment he is back home…
Luckily, our enterprising princess happens to have three emergency walnuts in her possession. They each contain something that will help our heroine “when thou art in thy greatest need”, which happens to be when her beloved prince is set to marry someone else.
As you may have guessed from the topic of the post, the content has something to do with fashion. With the help of the magic walnuts, her smart wits and a kind servant, our princess manages to save the day!
4. The Drummer by the Brothers Grimm
If you find some white linen lying on the shore of a lake, always take it with you! It could be the beginning of a fantastical journey filled with giants, mountains of glass, wicked witches, cursed princesses – and, of course, three dresses to die for.
Our heroine is in a bit of a jam and needs help to escape her situation. Unfortunately, the hero is a bit useless, so she more or less has to save herself. However, before they can live happily ever after, the hero is hit with magic-induced amnesia – yeah, they do seem to be pretty common among the male protagonists…
With only a wishing-ring and three stunning dresses at her disposal, our poor princess has to save her beloved drummer boy from a die-hard fashionista.
5. The Emperor’s new clothes by Hans Christian Andersen
This little story features one of the biggest fashionistas in fairy tale history. The emperor spends all of his money on clothes and even has a coat for every hour of the day!
Unfortunately, he is conned by two swindlers into commissioning some rather extraordinary clothes.
Vanity, stupidity and a serious lack of courage results in a rather hilarious ending. One will always hear the truth from the mouth of children…
As always, I’ve hyperlinked each fairy tale headline to a website where you can read the stories for free. However, if you’ve got a Kindle, I would recommend that you download ‘Household Tales by Brothers Grimm’ translated by Margaret Hunt. It’s free, and the translation from German is one of the best out there if you ask me.
There are also free Kindle editions of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, but I’m not sure which English version is best – I tend to read his stories in Danish. If you know of a great English translation of Andersen’s fairy tales, please share it in the comments below!