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The top five most fashionable teachers of Hogwarts

It wouldn’t matter if it was the Mirror of Erised, Sirius’s two-way looking glass, or any old bathroom mirror: all these teachers would see reflected back is style.

Lockhart with his hand on his hip
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

School uniforms might be dull, but they make the life of a student simpler. With the notable exception of Ron’s dress robes, the Hogwarts school robes made for one less thing for students to worry about. Which was good, given the inordinate number of things they did have to worry about (giant spiders, Dark wizards disguised as rats, Malfoy…).

On the contrary, the professors of Hogwarts seemed able to wear whatever struck their fancy. Robes abounded, of course, because what is a wizard without a floor-sweeping robe? But that didn’t prevent the educators of that fine establishment from making their vestments their own. And these were some of our favourites.

Professor Lockhart

Gilderoy Lockhart came slowly into view, seated at a table surrounded by large pictures of his own face, all winking and flashing dazzlingly white teeth at the crowd. The real Lockhart was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue which exactly matched his eyes; his pointed wizard’s hat was set at a jaunty angle on his wavy hair.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Lockhart might have been more or less bereft of Defence Against the Dark Arts skills, but he sure knew how to work a waistcoat. Fashion might be considered a bit frivolous, but this blond buffoon managed to blind everyone into mistaking bravado for genius, simply by pairing a bowtie with very white teeth. Brilliant, even if he wouldn’t have stood a chance against a banshee. At least he knew which shade of blue suited him best.

Professor Trelawney

Sybil Trelawney clutches her bag after being fired by Umbridge in the Order of the Pheonix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A voice came suddenly out of the shadows, a soft, misty sort of voice. ‘Welcome,’ it said. ‘How nice to see you in the physical world at last.’ Harry’s immediate impression was of a large, glittering insect. Professor Trelawney moved into the firelight, and they saw that she was very thin; her large glasses magnified her eyes to several times their natural size, and she was draped in a gauzy spangled shawl. Innumerable chains and beads hung around her spindly neck, and her arms and hands were encrusted with bangles and rings.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

All whimsical drapery and strings of beads, you couldn’t help but wonder whether Trelawney was, at all times, wearing everything she owned. But isn't that the joy of boho-chic?

Professor Snape

The wardrobe burst open. Hook-nosed and menacing, Professor Snape stepped out, his eyes flashing at Neville. Neville backed away, his wand up, mouthing wordlessly. Snape was bearing down upon him, reaching inside his robes. ‘R-r-riddikulus!’ squeaked Neville. There was a noise like a whip-crack. Snape stumbled; he was wearing a long, lace-trimmed dress and a towering hat topped with a moth-eaten vulture, and swinging a huge crimson handbag from his hand.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Teen years are tricky ones, fraught with indecision, which is why many Muggle teenagers express their pain and passion through dress. Sullen students would have found a mentor in Snape, who was a beautiful example of dressing to match your mood.

If one day he’d woken to discover himself suddenly possessed of a sunny disposition (having briefly forgotten that the love of his life had died loving another) he’d have had no wardrobe choices at all. Snape knew one undeniable truth: black never goes out of style.

There was, of course, one memorable exception to this rule.

Firenze

Through the mist came a face Harry had seen once before on a dark, dangerous night in the Forbidden Forest: white-blond hair and astonishingly blue eyes; the head and torso of a man joined to the palomino body of a horse. ‘This is Firenze,’ said Dumbledore happily to a thunderstruck Umbridge. ‘I think you’ll find him suitable.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Firenze asks Harry to stay behind after his Divination lesson to discuss Hagrid
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

In a positive maelstrom of controversial decisions (taking kids into the Forbidden Forest, permitting students to brew potions that could maim and murder, close proximity to dangerous animals and/or malevolent plotters at all times), the hiring of a centaur at Hogwarts was among the most interesting.

Particularly given the predilection of some students to fall immediately for his stargazing ways. Divination may be considered a woolly subject by some, but kudos is given to Firenze for teaching us a valuable rule about fashion: sometimes minimal is best.

Professor Dumbledore

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

‘This younger Albus Dumbledore’s long hair and beard were auburn. Having reached their side of the street, he strode off along the pavement, drawing many curious glances due to the flamboyantly cut suit of plum velvet that he was wearing.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It’s fair to say the whimsical headmaster has had a bit of a style overhaul over the years. In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a younger Dumbledore of the 1920s enjoyed waistcoats and tailored looks, while his elder-self favoured flamboyance, pomp and comfort, such as purple cloaks, buckled boots, and sometimes – a lovely flowered bonnet, if he happens to find one in a Christmas cracker.

Of course, we love all the many eras of Dumbledore's ever-changing looks - that's the joy of keeping things so inventive. And as was once famously said, ‘you can’t deny he’s got style’.