GQ published a profile of Larry David on Wednesday in which Larry David is even more Larry David than Larry David of Larry Davids past. In the first 10 minutes of the interview, he provides “feedback” to a server, argues it’s more satisfying to kill a fly than an ant, and offers a staunch, immoveable opinion on something he doesn’t know that much about. It’s this last part I want to discuss, because that opinion is his “fashion theory,” and I actually think it’s kind of good. Per writer Brett Martin, Larry David believes you “should only wear one ‘nice’ piece of clothing at a time.”
“Otherwise it’s too much. Too dressed,” Larry David says. “You have to be half-dressed. That’s my fashion theory, since you asked: Half Is More.”
Whether you like Larry David or not, or agree with my repeatedly using his full name, you have to admit “half is more” is a pretty good (if stupid) fashion theory. It puts words to something I’ve been thinking about a lot, which is that interesting outfits always engender a special brand of tension. Sometimes I think about this in terms of color or fabric, other times in terms of the dressed-up/dressed-down ratio. But those feel too simple or obvious or open for interpretation. Half-dressed, though—that’s evocative.
Like, this woman from the Aimé Leon Dore ads that everyone freaked out about is half-dressed, right?
I feel like she is. She’s wearing the kind of outfit you throw on when you’re running out of the house in a hurry and grab whatever’s nearest (but the unrealistic movie version of that). Is that peak “effortless”? I put that in quotes because obviously it isn’t. It’s actually an art form to look that half-dressed, brooch on the coat and unevenly rolled sweats and all.
This is a generous interpretation of Larry David’s theory (maybe everyone gives Larry David a generous interpretation), which for him manifests in pretty forgettable-albeit-nice outfits. But for the more creative, getting half-dressed can mean so much more. It’s not always as formulaic as wearing only “one nice thing”–although it can be—as much as its the general ethos of looking like you got dressed in a very attractive hurry, possibly after you’d already started dressing for something else. Whenever I do this I feel very good and also like a fraud, but also very good.
So if you’re getting bored of your winter wardrobe and a little calculated chaos sounds appealing, scroll for some outfits that capture the spirit of the barely-sensible-but-possibly-genius adage of “half is more.”
Feature photo via Getty Images.