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 another rousing round of New York Fashion Week, we compiled (more!) 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.
I only had one morning of dressing-with-shows in mind this week, and I rode a wavelength you might detect again below: Instead of thinking, ‘What’s the most outrageous combination of things I could only get away with wearing during fashion week?’, I just wore the outfit that made me feel like I wasn’t trying to be anything but myself (which boiled down to: a navy dress from COS I adore because it’s made with this material that feels like liquified neoprene and has an exaggerated turtleneck, the sheerest tights in Heist’s repertoire, a trusty pair of round-toe rain boots that are trying to be old Céline, and a big, beige trench coat from Suistudio), and then I didn’t think about it again. Bliss.
Read on to hear about outfits turning into pumpkins at 3 p.m., dodging puddles on street corners in seasonally inappropriate shoes, and whether anyone would ever repeat these outfits!
Here are my thoughts: I wore this outfit on Monday night; it was the second outfit I imposed on my body that day (the first one included a windbreaker, navy wool skinny trousers, and white patent leather boots). I wore it to speak on a panel at Milk Studios then attend the Proenza Schouler and Oscar de la Renta shows. I changed out of the initial outfit because I had a layover at home between the time it went bad (the 3 o’clock mark) and the time I’d have to be at Milk Studios. I already had this black turtleneck on (it’s by Splendid, I’ve had it for three years and wore it almost every day the winter that I was pregnant because it was the only non-maternity top I owned that didn’t fit me like a belly shirt) but added the navy sweater (Abie’s, I think we got it from J.Crew like five summers ago).
Then I thought the black and navy needed something to cut up THE DARKNESS, so I entered my closet looking for a collared white button-down shirt but landed on this mandarin version from the most recent release of Christine Centenera’s Wardrobe.nyc. At first, I put on black trousers and resolved I’d wear flat boots, thinking to myself: Fuck it, it’s raining, it’s cold, I’m not inspired to! get! dressed! so I’m just going to disappear into what’s comfortable, then I remembered I had a car with me for the evening which let me think a little less practically about my footwear options—cue the socks and sandals, a combination that has been burned into my iPhone notes all season. I bought the shoes (by Gucci) in 2016 following the runway show where I first saw them. (And this outfit, btw, was fully inspired by that show.) They are, to date, my most dependable high heels, but I digress!
By this point, I’m standing in my bedroom with tons of shirts on, and a pair of socks and heels on my feet, switching tenses mid-narrative, kids running in literal circles around my legs, asking me to take my shoes off and I have this navy silk Chloe skirt hanging from my closet door—it’s been there for two weeks. I borrowed it for a shoot, but didn’t end up shooting it, so I put it on, then thought that I didn’t look, I don’t know, personal enough, so I actually sat down and re-strung a beaded bracelet that I have from Carolina Bucci into a pattern of rainbows. And that was that. To be clear, I find the outfit pretty boring, if not tasteful and on trend to a degree. I probably wouldn’t wear it again even though it is the handiwork I’m most proud of from fashion week for the simple reason that it signified the difference between giving up (black trousers) and making an effort.
And in conclusion, Edith wanted me to answer what I thought my grandchildren would say when they found this photo at the bottom of a Downloads folder decades from now and if I had to guess, they’ll wonder if that’s Emily Ratajowski behind me.
Harling, Brand Director
My thought process for this outfit began with my desire to wear a lace top that is basically translucent and therefore provides zero insulation on—you guessed it!—a 35-degree day in February. It’s a recent acquisition from Chanel via The RealReal (thanks to Leandra who Slacked me a link in the middle of the day about a month ago and said, “you should get this”), and while I look forward to wearing it sans-jacket come spring and summer, that was not in the cards for this particular morning. I styled it with a warm wool jacket from Mango, plus black jeans from Eve that are super high-waisted which is the only kind of pairing I’m interested in when it comes to see-through tops (my belly button doesn’t need to make your acquaintance just yet). The result: just the right amount of sheer lace peeking through to give the shirt its due while still protecting myself from the elements.
Accessorizing in the winter—and I’m including shoes in this statement—is always tricky for me. Details tend to get lost in the sea of requisite layers. I gave it a shot, though—pulling my hair back into a ponytail, sticking some coily stud earrings from Completedworks in my ears, and clipping in a silk bow from Henriette von Gruenberg. The earrings might have disappeared a bit, but the juiciness of the oversized bow made up for it I think. As for shoes, my eclipsing priority above all else during fashion week is being able to walk–down cross-town blocks, up steep subway stairs, through throngs of street style photographers–and therefore I’ve given up on anything with a heel. These simple black boots from the R.M. Williams x Marc Newson collaboration have been my saving grace this winter.
I liked this outfit a whole lot, though I think the effect resonates more without the Topshop trench coat I acquiesced to putting over it. It felt like the right balance of special and practical without venturing into gimmicky territory, which is easy (for me) to wade into during fashion week. Now that I’m looking at it again, I’m inclined to hypothesize that of all the different components, the bow is doing the most heavy lifting. Small thing, big impact. Like a pinch of sea salt. I’m filing this away as a mental note next time I’m on the cusp of fully dressed but lacking in flavor.
Haley, Features Director
This was one of those rare outfits that didn’t require much thought. Not that it’s genius!!!! But you’d be surprised how often a very casual outfit of mine takes multiple outfit changes. It’s my [actually very public] shame. Anyway, this one didn’t! I knew I wanted to wear these Tibi x Clark shoes to celebrate their launch, so I built the rest of the look shoes-up. I picked the cropped trousers from AYR because they’d show off the shoes, and since they always inspire me to dress like an Instagram dude, I chose the short-sleeve button-down from Frankie Shop next, followed by the coat by Marfa Stance, because it was new and therefore I had to wear it per the law.
I’m not really a fashion week peacock—but only because it wouldn’t make sense with my style, which would make it very embarrassing—so this wasn’t outside the realm of a typical outfit for me, except that I probably wouldn’t wear it on a Saturday. This ended up being the only day I attended fashion week aside from one show on Tuesday, and I’m so glad it turned out that way, because it was perfect. I spent almost the entirety of it, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with Harling, and also had multiple run-ins with Elizabeth, Crystal, Leandra, and all the industry people I’ve gotten to know since I first attended fashion week and knew not a soul. Given my attendance of NYFW has been phasing out over the past couple seasons (I’m not really a fashion writer), I kept thinking this was probably the last time I’d be going to back-to-back shows like this. It made me a little nostalgic, but in a nice way.
A note on this outfit’s fatal flaw: This coat is not thick enough for the dead of winter, so I asked my boyfriend to bring me my Uniqlo puffer for our dinner plans later. It ruined my look, but it was expired by then anyway.
Elizabeth, Market Strategist
My favorite silhouette—if you didn’t know—is the bulky jacket/pantless look. It’s kind of like a palm tree silhouette. It’s easier to master in cold weather, but your legs must take one for the team. Here, I’m wearing hand-dyed tights by my friend Emily Dawn Long, my boyfriend’s white Hanes hoodie that is now mine, a trench-vest-turned dress from Pixie Market the brand gifted to me in the fall, a chunky sweater that doubles as a scarf/shield against the wind (for when I find myself on the west side near the freezing Hudson River), Kaleos Eyehunters sunglasses, and, the dumbest choice of the day, white sock shoes. In the rain.
I actually really like this outfit, which surprises me. Because usually my favorite outfits begin with a pair of my favorite shoes. It’s not that I don’t love these shoes, but they are certainly not statement shoes nor did I begin crafting the outfit with them. The outfit began with the tights, as I had a feeling I was seeing Emily (the designer) that day and I wanted to show her my support. (Also, I adore them.) Over said tights are a pair of knit shorts I used to wear over my tights when I was a ballerina. The trench dress was worn because of the rain—but that’s the only weather-appropriate item I’m wearing and, quite frankly, trenches aren’t even waterproof so… !?!?!? The shoes were admittedly idiotic. I’m surprised I didn’t ruin them while maneuvering around puddles and accidentally landing in a few. I love them so much and they’re very comfortable, but I had to change into a pair of Blundstones halfway through the day when it was really coming down.
I guess this would be my favorite outfit I wore all of fashion week because I really like the silhouette and it made me feel experimental. I’d certainly wear it again but maybe change bits and pieces, like: remove the cardigan from around my shoulders, wear the scarf in my ponytail as a bandana, add a belt…. It’s an easy outfit to replicate different ways.
Amalie, Social Media Manager
I knew when I woke up that I wanted to wear something that wasn’t super feminine. Lately, I’ve really been leaning into a more masc look, inspired both by my deep, deep love of Haley Nahman, but also because that’s what feels right on my body at the moment. I knew it was going to be rainy, so I wanted something that would hide the fact that I hadn’t washed my hair, and was also puritanical in terms of coverage.
The pants are vintage and from an Etsy denim resale shop I can’t remember! It was like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants level when I pulled them on. Never have a pair of jeans fit my fruity booty so well. The shoes are also vintage, from Malin Landaeus in Williamsburg. They’re from a brand called Free Lance, which is no longer in business but is always coveted in vintage circles. I paid a pretty penny for them, but I wear them constantly. The turtleneck is my friend Jamie’s from Paul Smith. He’s an assistant fashion director at Bloomingdales, so he has good stuff, and he always lets me borrow things when I crash at his place and I’m cold/underdressed and we want to dash out for food on the Lower East Side. My jean jacket is from Wardrobe.nyc. It’s one of the most beloved pieces I’ve ever owned. It is—and I say this with absolute certainty—the best denim jacket. The piece that is most meaningful to me though is the coat! It’s Prada, from United Apparel Liquidators in New Orleans, and I was with a group of new but very loved friends in New Orleans when I found it. The weekend had been sweet and fun, full of blissful conversation, energy, and food. We went into the store together, I tried on the coat, and my friends told me I had to get it. It was marked down 90% and is the best clothing purchase I’ve ever made. And to think I almost didn’t buy it!!
I tried the Canadian tuxedo look a few weeks ago with a pair of converse and a scarf. I felt cool in it. I tried it again with an oversized blazer and a checkered top with the jean jacket worn open a week later. I felt cool in it again. This was me iterating on a formula that really worked for me.
And I would wear this again! Probably not with this hat, probably shaken up to make the whole composition a little less “boy who negs girls at bars” and more “boy who likes to oil paint.” So maybe a chore coat, hair down, jacket worn open, lace cami underneath, Birkenstocks.
I think I have the issue that a lot of people who consider themselves “outsiders” within the industry do at fashion shows, which is that I feel like I don’t have the right look. My face, my clothes, my network all sometimes make me feel like I’m lacking something, when really I’m lacking absolutely nothing and it’s all a matter of perception. I was determined not to feel that lack today. I wore an outfit I knew would make me feel good no matter what. I was comfortable. I was happy. And I barely noticed anything other than the positive stuff around me.
Photos by Karolina Kaczynska