Barbara Kean, Gotham Season 3 Episode 22
Barbara Kean is a classic character in the Batman cannon verse. She is best known as being Jim Gordon's wife, and that is how she started out on the show. In Season 1 when she was simply Gordon's fiancé (not yet his wife), she was seen in muted blues and perfect blow outs, features that were easily overlooked. In her evolution into the underworld's baddest crime boss, her outfits became increasingly eye catching. Oversize furs and glam sequins were a staple in season 3, only adding to the 1920's mob mol aesthetic that was her overall attitude.
Octavia Blake, The 100 Season 2 Episode 15
So the Grounders on CW's the 100 aren't exactly villains, but they are the primary antagonists to the Sky People who are the main focus of the show. Wild and savage where the Sky People are orderly and militaristic, they serve as the darker, animalistic and more emotionally driven heart of the show. Octavia Blake starts out as what could be the spunky little sister character in Season 1. Anyone who has followed the show from the beginning remembers her joyful "We're back bitches!!" from way back in the pilot episode.
When we first see her she's all jeans, hoodies and stick-straight hair. Basically what you would expect from any Freshman in high school. By the time she becomes a full-fledged Grounder, it's hard even to imagine that she ever looked so clean cut. The leather separates and Mad Max overtly inspired mohawk-styled braids and the muddy black eye makeup makes her look almost demonic. They accentuate that she has firmly separated herself from the stubborn humanity of her former Sky Crew companions.
Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale Season 1 Episode 13
One might argue that Cheryl was always a villain on this show. One might also argue that she was never villain and simply misunderstood. However, I think we can all agree that Cheryl has never been darker than in the Season 1 Riverdale final when she burnt down her family's mansion. Cheryl has a very specific aesthetic on this show. Vaguely preppy, very sexy, and almost always garbed in red. At this moment, however, in her modest white church dress, she looks part avenging angel and part angry spirit. This is, of course, entirely purposeful on the part of the showrunners. At this moment, Cheryl isn't supposed to look like a bitchy high school girl. She's supposed to look like a monster. Even if the said monster is entirely in the right with her anger.
Rei, Altered Carbon
There is a surprising amount of fashion on the show Altered Carbon, considering it is set in a Dystopian Society. The fashion serves to show the stark divide between the classes in this morally compromised universe. We see the character of Red dressed mostly in rags and ragged military fatigues, highlighting her place as cannon fodder within the class hierarchy. In the finale episode when she is shown to have thrown in her lot with a gang of money-minded assassins we see her in a metallic colored flowing gown with a plunging neckline. Though she is still completely deadly, she is clearly no longer afraid and supremely self-confident in her own survival, much more so than she is shown to be in Takeshi's flashbacks.
Rikki Carter, Dear White People
Rikki Carter isn't shown in detail until the final of Season 2 on Dear White People. And even then she is never clearly shown only by herself. She is almost always displayed next to the main protagonist Sam White. And this is on purpose. As Rikki Carter mainly exists on this show as a dark shadow to Sam's light. Sam White on this show is a consistent force for radical change within the racial politics of her Upper-Class Ivy League school as well as the world beyond.
Rikki Carter is powerful Right Wing voice, a self-made tool which allows the 1% to virtually ignore the increasingly severe racial violence happening in the country. Sam White is almost always shown clothed in quirky accessories and vibrant patterns, with hair big enough to match her iron personality. Rikki Carter when we see her in the finale is bland in comparison. Hair flattened into submission, with a crisply ironed ivory blouse and sensible skirt. The metaphor is obvious. Rikki has been lowered into submission for ages. Sam won't allow herself to be.
Will Graham, Hannibal Season 3 Episode 2
Season 1 sees Will Graham mostly in lumberjack plaid and messy hair. He's meant to be presented as a man who prefers simplicity above all else despite his dark and complicated line of work. In Season 3 after supposedly being brought over into Hannibal's darkness, his dress begins to reflect that of his nemesis. More button downs and blazers and shorter haircut. Male characters don't often get the same wardrobe treatment as female characters, but even their clothing must make logical sense for where there character is at in his arch.
Dean Winchester, Supernatural Season 9
Pretty sure that this is everyone's favorite iteration of Dean Winchester. Demon Dean only lasted about two episodes but even in that amount of time there was a change in his style of dress that lasted throughout his darker Season 9 arc. Like Will Graham, Dean Winchester is mostly seen in jeans, flannel and hiking boots, reflecting his Midwestern roots. During the darker season however, his shirks all of the above for slimmer, black jeans, leather and darker toned t-shirts. Since he is very firmly not a demon for most of Season 9, this change in costume style seems more so to reflect his darker mood as he deal with the curse on the Mark of Cain. We have to say though, leather jackets definitely look good on this character.
Bonnie Bennett, The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 21
In the first season, it seems like Bonnie is going to be firmly slated in the "best friend" category. But by the fourth season when she begins practicing dark magic, we are pleased to see that she is given a spectacular arc of her own. Previously dressed down in simple thermals and jeans with flawlessly straightened hair, Bonnie tends blend into the background. But by the fourth season, rocking her natural hair and a much darker aesthetic, it's nice to see she has a sassy personality of her own.
Jace Herondale, Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 8
Some might say that given this character's relatively dark aesthetic even before being possessed by a demon, that there wasn't much that needed to change. But the subtle changes are there. The stubble, the messier hair, the more formal clothing, it's all very much out of character for Jace. Jace is already a pretty dark character to be sure but he is still basically just a boy, barely into his 20s. Before the possession, all of his features and style points to his youth (read: innocence) the demon corruption pushes him farther into adulthood hence the facial hair, longer locks and crisp suits. Still hot though.
Willow Rosenberg, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The ultimate villainous transition! Willow has gone dark a few times over the course of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but the best was when the characters were shown the alternate timeline where Willow was actually a vampire! Willow is the ultimate in geek sheep, with her sweaters, overalls and mostly bland apparel. Her vampire alter ego on the other hand seems to be a fan of corsets in shades of red and black. I don't think we need to go too much into detail on what the difference in costuming represents.
Cristal Flores, Dynasty Season 1 Episode 1
By episode 8 we have discovered that sweet little Cristal Flores has a secret name, a secret past, and a secret family. Some might say that Fallon is the villain of this story but we all know that a secret bitch is a lot scarier than someone who is bitchy outright. Cristal is almost always wearing some form of white, with a come hither detailing to it. Whether it is a plunging neckline or a slit up the side, her costuming reflects her secretive nature.
Mona Vanderwall, Pretty little Liars Season 1 Episode 1
Did we ever find out who A actually was? How many A's were there exactly? Was anything in this show ever actually explained? There was so much back and forth throughout the run of this show that it's nearly impossible to even come up with a coherent synopsis for what the show was about. However, one character whose antagonistic nature seemed to be pretty stable, even when she was helping out one of the main characters, was the character of Mona Vanderwall. The geek girl, turned sexy mean girl was one of the most fun characters to follow throughout the run of the show. In flashbacks, she is often shown in childish attire, glasses and pigtails, representing her innocence at that point in time. In the main time line however, with her blood red lips, cat eyes and darker color palette, her questionable morality is clear. Ladies and gentleman, never trust a girl with blood red lips.
Jenny Humphrey, Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 6
Jenny Humphrey is the kind of character most people love to hate. She started off as the good girl foil to Blair Waldorf's domineering Queen Bee. With her long golden hair and pastel clothing, she was pretty much the picture of innocence. Come Season 4 and she is the next iteration of the Evil Queen of Constance Billard. Dressed in black leather and bleach blonde everything about her as she is reintroduced seems to scream good girl gone bad. Though of course we know much of this character's makeover was due to Taylor Momsen's own personal style. Little J definitely didn't stay little for long.
Erica Reyes, Teen Wolf Season 2 Episode 3
Most of the female characters on Teen Wolf seemed to be quite short lived, which is unfortunate as they are almost always more interesting than their male counterparts. One character whom we wish had been given more attention throughout her run was Erica Reyes. Erica is first introduced in the second season as a meek teenager suffering from epilepsy. After being turned into a werewolf by Derek she is given a newfound confidence, a newly flexible take on morality, and a new badass makeover. From her combination of sweats and messy hair to her bombshell cafeteria introduction it is clear that this new Erica is not to be trifled with. Her leather in leather look coupled with the blood red lipstick and stiletto heals is classic femme fatale and we love it! Along with Allison Argent, this is a character who was instantly missed once she was killed off.
Thea Queen, Arrow Season 3 Episode 15
Thea Queen as played by Willa Holland is perhaps the most dynamic character that Arrow has ever had. Oliver Queen, over the course of the show's many season has become a bit stale and so his little sister is really the one that had the most complete and satisfying arc. Thea Queen, in the first season looks to be the basic conception of a teenage party girl sister and someone to be easily looked over. So when she returns later on as a full fledged dark avenger, it is the most shocking and exciting development that could have been created for the character. From the first season's prep school pleated skirts and low cut party dresses to the business like blazers she wears when not in her superhero alter ego, the change in her character's look is noticeable. The hacked off hair serves to make her look older and more respectable and we can't get enough of her comic book costume. The all red, leather get-up is in direct contrast to her brother's darker attire and serves to set her apart from Oliver Queen. Which is perfect because this is a character who deserved to be appreciated in her own right.
Olivia Godfrey, Hemlock Grove
Talk about complicated villains, Olivia Godfrey is certainly the femme fatale of the series but over the course of the season we learn to feel for her. At heart, she's just a mother willing to go to any lengths to protect her children. Most of these lengths tend to be forms of manipulation and scheming but then if you are good at something why not use it to your advantage? We love the way that Olivia is always clothed in crisp, clean whites and expensive designer duds. The classic way she is clothed reflects way that her outer beauty belies the darker nature that she hides beneath that flawless facade. No one but Famke Janssen could ever have done this role justice.
Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3
Cersei has always been a complicated antagonist on Game of Thrones. Though we may understand and even sympathize with her motives, we still know her choices to be twisted and ultimately wrong. As the seasons progress we see her descend deeper into her own darkness until this past season when her own cruelty truly reached its apex. In the first season, with her long, golden locks and drapes rose gold gowns, she looks like a classic fairy tale queen. This past season with her shorn hair and gothic outfits her inner darkness is truly brought to the forefront and there is no doubt that her fate as a villain has been sealed.