Show Me Your Swag

And I’ll show you mine?


Right before the inception of 2013, TIME Magazine tweeted a poll that asked readers what word they’d like to see evanesce in the new year. Most answered swag and I was like, quoi? What’s so bad about swag and why is humanity trying to shun it? My uneducated guess suggests its more about the word’s usage. You see, chic is not swag, swag is not chic and replacing the former with the latter–which happens often–just seems nonsensical. They anchor different meanings and just the way swag fails where chic does not, where chic fails, swag never will.

When I first cut my hair last month, Into the Gloss‘s Emily Weiss told me I looked “cool” in a way that I hadn’t before. I didn’t want to accede to her assessment (the supposition should be that I have always looked cool–right? Even through braces with rubber-bands, and scoliosis?) but I did, which made me realize that right now, achieving “cool” is wholly about how well a girl can emulate a prepubescent boy. But is pre-puberty chic? I think not. Chignons are chic, Zac Posen skirts are chic, fur collars and pearls–that’s chic. But flat brim caps, messy neck-length hair, an aversion toward smiling and Kanye West emblazoned across the chest? Different. The latter emanates aerial swag and I can argue in favor of that air and its pertinence with a simple two words, one person: Daria Werbowy.

Since my chop (not to be confused with the more superior hers), Instagram commenters have been all, “girl, are you a boy or girl?” Judging from the preliminary moniker, I’ve got to assume they know I harbor a vagina. And though I can imagine they want to offend me, I take true pride in (marginally) defying the boundaries of gender. If not because sexless sex is cool, than certainly because, actually, you know what, sexless sex is cool. Period.

Swags not just about looking like a boy though. It takes a certain kind of boy. One with melodic bounce in his step, a indispensable appreciation for both Margiela and Biggie, and the ability to skateboard through the caveats of Lower Manhattan wearing Givenchy like it ain’t no thang, saying things like, “this ain’t no thang.” To a degree, it’s also about looking like you’ve grown up next door to Kanye West and may or may not have inspired Through The Wire. Which is precisely why I give you this: my best attempt at displaying congenital swag (note the sunglasses on my chest and the Peter Pilotto pants) in hopes you will change your mind about the abolition of the word and bask in its truer meaning.

We need swag, folks. If you’re still unconvinced, just ask Drake–it’s the essence of YOLO-ing.

I’m wearing a sweatshirt from Etsy, Peter Pilotto pants, Golden Goose sneakers, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, Rebecca Minkoff leather jacket, Venessa Arizaga and Mark Henry bracelets, and I wish I knew who made the hat but I don’t. There’s a fly leather one at Owen, though. Get at it. Photos, of course, by spirit clicker, Naomi Shon.

The other thing, by the way, about swag, is that smiling is highly discouraged.

Get more Personal Style ?
  • Holly-Bella

    Love the jacket!! ‘I harbor a vagina’ has to be my new favourite phrase. I want that on a t-shirt. xoxo

  • Elisa

    If you go for androgynous cool, you definitely need swag. I like the sound of the word, what’s so wrong with it? I hadn’t seen the haircut, it looks awesome.

    Elisa – Wandering Minds

  • Hahaha love this! And even though you aren’t the WAG type of girl, it’s pretty obvious you dó ‘harbor a vagina’ (loved that phrase!). Love you pushing the boundaries a bit 😉


  • Iris Meulenberg

    this is what I call swag!

  • Mona

    Well, if there is such a thing as SWAG and if any blogger has it, then it is the Man Repeller.

  • Not to be one of those, “those pants are amazing!”, commenters, but…

    Those Pants Are Amazing!

  • Nico

    I didn’t know what was “swag” before, so thanks for this post, and if I understand, yes you’re swag!

  • Em

    I also feel that people who got ‘swag’ are the ones who walks into a room and all eyes are on THEM. They just have that confidence to pull off anything– I mean Kanye’s been rocking a leather skirt and before that a women’s Celine shirt and he STILL made it look good.

    I like the interpretation, and I’m seriously stealing that sweatshirt!

  • arsarca

    Uhm, Etsy’s not a brand but a ecommerce platform. The shirt is made by Socially Conscious Shirts.

    • ellie

      diva much?

    • Kitty

      Uhm, I think you meant *an ecommerce platform.

  • Overmycloset

    Should the harboring of a vagina state the limit for the endless options of man-inspired fashion affairs? Absolutely not! Go swag, go dandy, go punk, go folk, and use that Y chromossome like you own it! Loved that contemplation of yours!
    Here’s my swag (with a polite accent)

    Take care.

  • Charlotte

    “a indispensable appreciation for both Margiela and Biggie” I think we can all agree that by making this statement, you officially have SWAG. (I am one of your Instagram followers, and I would like to complement you on your haircut, not by saying I don’t like it, but by saying that I love it and by admitting that I copied it…because at the end of the day: We need swag!

  • Oliver Lips

    In a matter of fact I like to swag-around, don’t want to lose this word in 2013 yet…


  • You’re hogging all the swag! Love ya.

  • Sylvia ETC

    OUI to Swag.
    Great post, love it!!

    Indeed Daria inspired a lot of girls (me included!) to cut their hair lately.

    My ‘coup fatal’ was last october when i saw her on the Céline adds with the pacific blue coat. I mean that hair-cut and the slightly tanned completion … Too good, no words.

    I literally asked for the same hair-cut, instructing my hair-dresser to meticulously replicate it, Daria’s photo on hand at the salon (of course). Result wasn’t as good but still made my day.

    Had to share these good memories:)

    … and absolutely love your Peter Pilotto pants and the whole outfit, so cool on YOU !

  • Haha your writing style is just so amazing! Love this article!

  • Nicole

    Swag can kind of have a tinge of mockery to it, but I love it!

  • My little fashion thoughts

    You are the quintessence of the swag itself ! yup


  • LdnRunner

    Swag isn’t something that can be purchased online or borrowed from a friend. i.e. it can’t just be worn.You either have it or you don’t! (no shade intended). Pre-meditated ‘swag’ isn’t swag by virtue of the fact, it’s not real.

  • i didn’t use Swag enough the past 3 years it was the “thing” I don’t have any haha. But anyway I love that you did Kanye instead of the Biggies Sweatshirts everybody is rocking. Although one blogger did manage to cut her up and rock it more like a sweat shirt with rolled up sleeves it was pretty dang cool.

  • Caroline Paris
  • lavieenliz

    yea. swag!! great look! very cool!

    check out my fashion blog!

  • monkeyshines
  • Reptilia

    You rock!! love your jacket!


  • Modo

    you look awesome. You were born with swag, and you’re rocking it everyday! “man repeller” should be the new “swag” like that people could try to be more like you, even though what you have is pretty unique.

  • Sharon Teeuwen

    I really like this outfit!


  • the (un?)social butterfly

    I´m a chic kinda gal (I´m a smiler). But I would wear those Pilotto pants and Rebecca Minkoff leather jacket at any time. 🙂

  • tori

    I have been an occasional onlooker of your blog for quite sometime now. Up until this moment, your images were what captivated me, good, bad or indifferent. I always appreciated your confidence in wearing something others would detest (and love too). However, I have begun reading your posts too… I know I’m an awful blogger for that. You make me so incredibly jealous with the way you so effortlessly paint a picture with your words. I am not a great writer (I wouldn’t even say I’m good), but hopefully I can at least learn some new vocab from you! Consider me an avid follower now!

  • Moraima

    Ok your definition of Swag is a bit different from how it is used in the streets but you are right in a way. Swag is the way you carry yourself and you already had that! You can wear the pearls and fur collar and have swag and also be chic. Just like you mentioned a lot of it is your attitude.

    Great post, I’ve been reading your stuff for over a year now and it’s great that you can reach to a diverse number of readers!

  • cowgirl in the sand

    I don’t usually associate the designer Rebecca Minkoff with the term swag, but this jacket is very cool (as was a Chanel looking number with leather sleeves from fall that I had to have).

  • Ariela

    Maybe if you could spell swagg*…..such a joke.

  • Kate Haddigan

    I heard Shakespeare invented the word swagger!

  • Andrew

    Your outfit looks like a thrift store in Harlem had a baby with an Upper East Side boutique and then it vomited on you- in a good way. Swag is all about having an air of “I just threw this on” and “I just rolled out of my solid gold bed” hair. You might look a little douchey though. But oh well- you’ve got tons of swag.

  • Jennifer

    Nothing is wrong with swag!

    xo Jennifer

  • Moshi

    While I strongly agree that the word swag is no used enough I have to state that I think you are over thinking its meaning. When you try and define something that is not definitive that’s when it become “uncool”. There’s no doubt you have MAD SWAG and that’s more about just being you. You coined Man Repeller and now thousands of girls have the ability to be about their Man Repeller Swag. Don’t try to conceptualise it, just be about it.

  • Dorie {BrooklynSalt}

    I need that haircut and a leather jacket, pronto.

  • Sophie

    I never thought petter pilotto could be worn in a post referencing the power of swag, and now I don’t know what the post would’ve been without him, so thanks for that. xx

  • Mouthful of Style

    Swag I experienced this weekend from Milan Fashion Week’s Burberry Prorsum AW13 menswear show: Enjoy!

  • danielle

    hop up out the bed, turn your swag on! killing it.

  • alejandra

    i enjoy this discussion of swag vs chic.

  • leslie

    yep. why are you always on my sartorial wavelength… ugh. gimme those effing pants NOW.

    still not convinced by Golden Goose’s thousand-dollar sneaks, or however much they cost. nike hi tops or adidasxjeremy scott!you make the GG’s look good here, though. kanye would approve

  • Felicity

    BUT I LIKE SMILING. Humph. Daria’s a babe. x

  • haha smiling is discouraged. love swag 😛 love your sneakers!!

  • fashionablecollections

    sooo I was debating on getting that sweatshirt and I think I’m officailly sold now.


  • Erin

    I find it interesting that many people seem to have issue’s with the fact that your swag is “premeditated,” and therefore, it is nor longer swag. I feel that saying that an outfit was planned is waaay better than trying to pretend like you just oh so effortlessly jumped out of the bed and put on an outfit that manages to be perfectly proportioned to look cool. I like ensembles that take thought, not ones that are thrown together.

  • Jasmine Anderson

    T-shirts can make a huge style statement. The kinds of t shirts you wear say a lot about you.

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni
  • beautiful pants! oh i wish you knew who made that swaaag hat too

  • Kas&Blue

    Amazing outfit! You look as great as you do always!



    U’re so friggin cool!!!! This blog keeps me UP.


    (Let’s say) I always add a little swag in my outfit posts!

  • i loveee your swag. fabbb. xoxox

  • Swag forever.

  • patricia
  • debbywarner

    I love to dress this way. Had no idea it was called swag. Amazing pants! I WILL get those GG sneaks one day…

  • Thugmuffin

    No swag makes me happier than Kanye and studs!

  • Emily

    So fun! You look all “21 Jump Street” (circa ’87). 😉

  • Sexless Sex has been cool since at least 1983 or when McJagger fucked Bowie. And I got here by searching for “vagina harbor” …. Am I lost?? In pants Narnia?!

  • neverfeltheneedtocommentilnow

    you look like a turd.

  • blacky21x4


    didn’t like the pants , but the coat is stunning 🙂

  • Delaney Bartels

    Ahhh Touché girrlll.

  • Oblivion
  • Laetitia

    “swag” lost its meaning when j.biebz started using it in his songs
    + beautiful pants
    + you are chic

  • city

    thanks for share...

  • frain

    LOL realmente repelentes por si quieren la definición en español, aqui pueden ver que es swag. Chido, por ahi nos estamos leyendo.