How to dress like a Tolkien Film Elf in one simple step.

I recently, finally, saw the second Hobbit film The Desolation of Smaug and I am now re-obsessed with elves. As far as I can tell the point of the Middle Earth saga is “hobbits are better than you” and we all know Bilbo is the greatest hobbit of them all. But I only have eyes for the elves.


My first love was Arwen. Of all the stories of Middle Earth hers was the one that captured me. Liv Tyler is very, very good at that one particular thing she does when she is looking so intently and every feeling you have seems to be reflected in her looking (see Armageddon, Incredible Hulk, and all the LotR films but especially Two Towers). I find it captivating.

Anyway, I have Arwen’s sword and her necklace because she is my favourite part of the film. Of all the first trilogy films. And it was a case of love at first sight.

an image of Galadriel portrayed by Cate Blanchet

The ethereal Galadriel I find mostly terrifying (all credit to Cate Blanchett who is very, very good at everything) but her brief appearance in The Unexpected Journey was quite welcome. Her interaction with Gandalf is perfect.

an image of Tauriel portrayed by Evangeline Lilly

And now we have Tauriel who reminded me how very much I wanted to be an elf twelve years ago (and ten years before that when I read the Dragonlance books and decided I would be Laurana when I grew up). I found the first Hobbit film overlong and, honestly, boring and thus had low expectations for this second one. I only went to see it because: dragon (!). But Tauriel completely won me over. And Kili is adorable.

Now, dressing even in the style of the Tolkien/Jackson elves (costumes designed by Ngila Dickson, Richard Taylor, and Ann Maskrey) would be non-traditional in terms of modern dress. The elven silhouette is distinctive, but old fashioned. And ready-to-wear Galadriel is likely to look bridal no matter what. But there is one easy way to hint at elven fashion: a waterfall cardigan.

These offbeat sweaters can be paired with basically anything and lend your outfit an elven flair.

Galadriel: New Look

Arwen: ASOS

Tauriel: Nordstrom; Debenhams

Male elves wear a similar silhouette, too.


I have four waterfall cardigans of my own, in slate, lavender, fuschia and woodland green:

Links are suggestions, not endorsements.

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