How to Dress as Wednesday Addams, the Jenna Ortega version

October 12, 2023

There have now been 14 actresses who played Wednesday Addams, the notoriously stoic, helplessly truth-telling daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. 

Little more than an editorial cartoon character on The New Yorker in the 1930s, Charles Addams' creation has taken on a life of her own and become a style icon over the years. With her bewitchingly funereal looks, Wednesday has inspired generations to wear their gothic fits with pride, on and beyond Halloween.   

The Gen-Z Wednesday Addams, Jenna Ortega, has only added to the character's diversifying legacy of fashion statements. Let's see how the 2020s Wednesday differs from her predecessors. 

How to make Jenna Ortega's Wednesday Addams costume

Lisa Loring and Christina Ricci are tough acts to follow as Wednesday, but Jenna still made the character her own. Costume designer Colleen Atwood went beyond the cartoon's famed peter pan collars and dressed Jenna in a wide array of OOTDs to last Wednesday and every day of the week. 

Jenna's Rave'N dance dress is now the stuff of legends, thanks in part to legendary music from The Cramps. Atwood famously spotted the Alaïa dress on a mannequin along Bond Street in London. The sheer fabric, ruffles and layers really lent themselves well to movement required of the dancing scenes. 

The Alaïa dress was just a one-off, but enterprising souls have since come up with affordable imitations of the outfit, even down to the cinching belt.  

A Wednesday Addams costume is traditionally paired with brogues or Mary Janes, but Jenna's version has become associated with Prada monolith loafers and Doc Martens Jadon boots. In Colleen's words, she had to wear "black, kind of goth shoes that were still feminine, but had a different edge to the other people's footwear."

How to do Jenna Ortega's Wednesday Addams hair and makeup

Wednesday is also synonymous with pigtail braids. Tara McDonald, who did hair and makeup for the Netflix show, still stuck to that iconic imagery, but every once in a while she surprised with her own twist, literally, to Wednesday's hair.

In the Rave'N dance scenes, for example, Tara styled Jenna's locks as milkmaid braids. You can pull off this hairstyle, too. 

Tara's go-to war paint for Wednesday's eternally half-dead look was an arsenal of MAC products: eyeshadows, sculpting powders, and the now-famous Nightmoth lip pencil (mixed with Dr. Paw Paw's cruelty-free multipurpose balm). 

She also let Jenna's freckles go au naturel. Don't have them? You can follow this advice.

Hail Wednesday, full of woe, the Lurch is with you.

It wouldn't be a complete Wednesday Addams cosplay guide without learning her famous "Goo Goo Muck" dance steps. Master them and find yourself the creepy, kooky, ooky belle of the ball. 

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