It’s easy to describe outfits in terms of gross generalities. For example, I could quite easily tell you that I am wearing a skirt, shirt, and shoes.
Whoa I’m so sorry, did you just fall off your chair from a boredom coma? My b.
Let’s shake it up with some colors and adjectives, in that case. I am wearing a black silk sarong-as-skirt (dangerously! Because what if it falls off!) with fringy tassels and gold flecks sewn into the fabric. It ties at the waist with a black leather chord — also tasseled. And I’m wearing a black cotton tank top with a high neck and a low back and on my feet, a pair of mandals.
Okay. So that was a little bit better, right? At least you can Etch-a-Sketch a picture of me in your head, or draw me with charcoal should you be a criminal sketch artist. But still, I kind of just sound like I’m describing my outfit to someone I’m about to meet on a blind date.
What if I wanted to describe my look to my best friend, though? Either over the phone or via text or through the forgotten art of yarn-and-Solo-cups?
Well, I’d obviously say that I look like a Biblical character on holiday in the Caribbean who is wearing black to mourn not the breakup of her now-ex-boyfriend but rather, the loss of free access to his Netflix and HBO Go account.
Now you know exactly what I’m wearing, don’t you?
Leandra currently looks like a camp counselor on a Five Star Safari whose footwear hints that she just got out of her musical theater dance class and didn’t have time to change her shoes.
Now it’s your turn. If you’re wearing stripes, don’t default to the word “nautical.” Instead try…Beetlejuice meets a Venice gondola operator in the early 1900s or, a Brooklyn bumble bee filtered through Willow. One time I looked like a preppy Harry Styles — the possibilities are endless.
Ok, I’m waiting….
— Amelia Diamond
Photo Courtesy of Vogue Italia, February 1999, photographed by Steve Heitt