Man Repeller’s Outfit Anatomy franchise endeavors to break down the practical and emotional minutiae of why we wear what we wear. To close out New York Fashion Week, we compiled this special edition of miniature Outfit Anatomies featuring the editors who attended, with the goal of providing some insight into the particularities of getting dressed for a week of show-going. Considerations included everything from weather to walking multiple crosstown blocks to the pressure that inevitably comes with seeing and being seen—it’s a pretty distinctive cocktail. Scroll down to read about our favorite outfits and the thought process that went into them.
This is the outfit I wore on the Sunday of fashion week–Saturday shows started at 9am and didn’t end until around 10pm, and the line up on Sunday was equally relentless, perhaps worse because logistically, every event on the calendar, running on the hour, was to take place at a location on an opposite side of town from the one that preceded it. I’d had the idea of wearing a white t-shirt tucked into white boxer shorts with an ivory blazer and gold lace-up, open-toe brogues, but every time I tried on an outfit that made me feel like I was dressed with a capital D (I guess it was the gold shoes), I wanted to take it off. Getting dressed the whole week was somewhat disorienting.
No matter how much I liked whatever I put on, or felt convicted that I would wear on any other non-fashion-week occasion, if you could fashion I.D. the outfit, I felt like a parody of myself so I took it off. If I was too streamlined, I felt like a parody of myself–dressing blindly into a trend without soul or something, so I took that off too.
What’s weird is that I didn’t think much at all about the actual outfits I wore — they’re the weightlifting champions of my closet, but I did think a ton (an exhausting amount, really) around them. About what else I thought I could wear, was better to wear, more interesting, less obviously, “me.” But in the end, you know what he says, wherever you go, there you are. And it’s my newest new thing to feel calm, not scared, at that thought.
I’m wearing a Polo Ralph Lauren denim shirt, which I bought from Macys.com when I was pregnant two years ago, a pair of Moussy jeans, which I called in from Shopbop (also when I was pregnant two years ago) to style for a story, and ultimately kept (bought) for postpartum use. The sandals are Manolo Blahnik (I have liked them for a while, but didn’t care to justify buying them — particularly given how many similar versions exist, until it occurred to me that if I was going to spend real money on a pair of shoes, it ought to be a pair I’d use as frequently as I use, I don’t know, my computer). The black satin clutch is from The Row. My necklace is actually two gold chains clipped together.
It was getting late on Sunday morning and I’d cycled through like three wrong outfits so I asked myself what feels right. I knew I wanted to use the clutch, but that I don’t like to wear formal things, you know, formally. That it would be high 60’s in the morning, low 80’s but the afternoon, and back to the 60’s by nightfall. So I put on my favorite jeans. Cool enough for a warm day, but still ultimately covering my legs. Then a denim shirt. At first, I tried on black satin mules but the closed-toe wasn’t right with the jeans, and they weren’t ideal walking companions, so I put on the sandals, then the watch, the gold chain and lastly, the earrings–a pearl dangler, set of different size gold hoops, and a little crab claw.
From the neck up, I looked like my mom, who was raised in Milan, with that residual summer tan glossing my face. From shoulder to foot, I felt implicitly “me.” Not like an enhanced me, just the one who exists day in and out. Wherever you go…
Amalie, Social Media Manager
This outfit came together pretty haphazardly. I had the intention of wearing a full tweed-y skirt suit from Gestuz (you can see the blazer in this photo), but remembered that three out of the three days of fashion week I had been burning alive in my outfits. So, I threw on bike shorts from Cuyana that I swear by from both a lunch-with-mom perspective and a high-intensity-interval-
I think it’s safe to say I never feel as polished as my show-going compatriots. I don’t take cars to shows to cut down on costs and, more often than not, I have sweat beading on my brow and hair sticking to my face. That’s life, though! It’s exciting to know that even though I don’t smell like a flower bomb arriving to a show, I like what I’m wearing. There’s nothing that can change the fact that I am who I am. Fortunately, I think she’s cool enough to elbow rub with the best of ’em.
Elizabeth, Market Strategist
This outfit was born the second I scored this Miu Miu vest from The RealReal for $67 during their Labor Day sale. I knew I’d want to debut it somewhere special, and New York Fashion Week felt like just the right opportunity. I love how it flares out and has a bit of a 70s feel to it.
These striped vintage shorts are from The Break, a primarily vintage shop in Greenpoint. This is the first time I’ve worn the shorts without their matching jacket, but I really liked the mix of print and didn’t want to cover it up. Down south, I wore sky high platforms. They’re by Simon Miller and are my favorite shoes I own. I wanted them for months before I finally got them. I love that they coordinated with the shorts’ precise shade of blue.
The accordion bag is Staud, and it always elevates and makes my outfits more fun. I was attending the Staud show that day, and thought “heck, why not reveal myself as the true fan that I am!” My other accessories are an accumulation of items I wear often, including a banana bead necklace from the Denmark brand Pura Utz. And of course, my signature eyeglasses chain (this one’s from Banana Legion). During shows, I flip it over my neck so it hangs down my chest like a necklace.
I typically have a one-and-done approach to getting dressed, because I visualize my outfit before wearing it. I would definitely wear this outfit whether or not it was fashion week, but would perhaps swap the shoes for sneakers on a normal day. (That being said, I did walk five miles in these shoes. Perhaps my biggest feat of the week). I often wonder if I am coming off the way I want to with what I wear. I try to project a sense of confidence once I walk out the door, but of course there are times–especially during fashion week–when I thought to myself, “Why on earth, Elizabeth?!” With this outfit, however, I had no regrets. At least not yet.
Harling, Fashion Director and Brand Strategist
This jumpsuit is from Alex Mill. It’s the first jumpsuit I’ve ever worn that fits me in the precise way I’ve always wanted a jumpsuit to fit, a.k.a. a triumph of historic significance (there have been many failed attempts). I think it’s because of the adjustable side tabs at the waist. The shoes are M.Gemi, the same ones I wrote about in this story. I’m happy to report I’ve worn them almost every day since getting them and they’re now so comfortable they feel like socks. The bag is from Hayward. I’m pretty obsessed with it, particularly in conjunction with the painterly jumpsuit as it almost looks akin to an artist’s palette.
Ironically, my favorite outfit I wore during fashion week was on a day I had no shows to attend–only a couple press previews. I rarely like the outfits I wear to actual shows. In prior seasons, I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of wearing “notice me!” outfits, i.e. caricatures of myself rendered in sartorial form, and I always feel gross afterward. This season, I tried really hard not to do that–to simply wear whatever I wanted to wear, as if it was just a regular week of work, and leave it at that. But I still found myself overthinking it, perhaps leaning too hard in the opposite direction and feeling frustratingly un-put-together as a result. That’s why it doesn’t surprise me at all that the one day I wasn’t getting dressed with fashion week in mind, I relaxed into an outfit I genuinely loved.
Haley, Deputy Editor
I barely attended fashion week this season, which I expected to feel blue about, but ended up not minding so much. Maybe because I have a lot of other things on my mind at the moment—a sense of distraction that imbued my single day of attendance with a kind of informality. This was the first time I dressed for a show the way I would for any other day of work.
I liked my outfit, though; it speaks to my aesthetic sensibility these days: monochromatic, oversized, crisp. I got this Tibi skirt earlier this year after falling in love with it via this post on Tibi founder Amy Smilovic’s Instagram. I couldn’t figure out a long white skirt read, tonally, like a pair of sweatpants. It lured me in. I’m obsessed with materials, and this skirt is made of a heavy nylon that keeps cool yet feels substantial. I’ve been wearing it all summer and intend to continue all fall and winter. I found this black Dries van Noten top in a recent Totokaelo sale for $80. Leandra has always said that DvN garments are made so well and thoughtfully that you keep them forever—which is why I took a risk with a garment I couldn’t quite figure out from the e-commerce photos. When I felt it in person I was validated. It’s a silken poplin material, and I love the details: It’s a funnel neck that buttons up the back, meaning you can wear it open and backwards, too. The bottom hem has a drawstring so you can wear it short, like a windbreaker, or long, like a tunic. This shirt and this top are important components of a new era for me, wherein I’m trying to round out my wardrobe with high-quality pieces I’ll keep many years, with the long-term goal of decreasing my fashion consumption to one or two things a year, if that.
The brogues are from & Other Stories, and I’ve been wearing them with black socks all summer. It’s an unlikely footwear duo for hot weather, but as I wrote in this story, it’s made me feel good during a season I typically struggle to feel like myself. The khaki bucket hat was stolen from the MR fashion closet—I think it was a cheap buy from Amazon. I wear it all the time; it reminds me of my late grandpa. The black leather crossbody bag is from a french brand called Elleme—it’s unassuming and yet I’ve worn it nearly every day this summer. It’s beautiful, unfussy, and keeps my hands free.
Feature graphic by Dasha Faires. Photos of Leandra by Christian Vierig/Getty Images.