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028: It was a year of wearing things
What stylish, discerning people found themselves in most this year.
It was a year of wearing things. A lot of people I spoke to out at parties and for the newsletter since it launched in May (we are seven months old, if you can believe it) expressed how, for them, dressing adopted a new urgency after the first lockdown. Juliana talked about learning “a lot of life lessons beyond fashion” and “want[ing] the way I dress to reflect the way I show up in the world,” and Oren said, stylistically, he had become “Oren 2.”
I felt it as well. Our outers had disappeared into our innards for so long that when we finally had the chance to be seen again, our self-presentation was heavily and complexly encrypted.
My most-worns, the regulars on my Instagram outfit carousels and many more ensembles the digital world never saw, counted favorites from years prior—like my white Prada logo plaque pumps, my Babaa Jumper No. 17, eBayed Escada wool pants, and The Frankie Shop Bea suit—as well as new purchases like my MNZ clear slides, Entireworld white tees, a black Intimissimi silk slip dress, and my SC103 Links Bag. It also included things that weren’t even mine, namely Nir’s wide-leg pleated chinos from a thrift store in New Jersey, Nir’s white Levi’s 501s, and frankly the rest of Nir’s no-longer-proprietary wardrobe.
Reading the tea leaves of last year’s laundry, which I’ve harvested below from some of the most stylish, considered, and discerning people I know, tells a story not necessarily of the wave opulence we were told would define 2021, but a doubling-down on rooted, self-determined, and community-binding pillars that drive a stake into the ground.
Vesper Ireland, @vesperw
My vintage Levi’s: Perhaps an obvious choice, but truly my most worn piece of clothing. Less obvious, mine are 505s, identifiable by the orange tab. The straighter leg and zipper fly do wonders in achieving a perfect relaxed, boyish fit. Mine are most likely from the ‘90s.
Maison d’Etto ‘Noisette’ Eau de Parfum: I rarely find a fragrance that doesn’t irritate me after a few hours of wear. This scent by Maison d’Etto has soft, gentle top notes of magnolia and musk, and a white amber base strong enough to carry the day.
By Far ‘Cush’ Bag in Black Flat Grain Leather: By Far’s ultra classic ‘Cush’ bag was certainly my most used-and-abused of 2021, and it’s resilience should be noted. This is truly my everywhere bag, the one that always feels right and is never out of place—whether thrown in white Miami sand or brushed off for a dinner party at Gem. She’s tough, she’s chic, she’ll outlive the others!
Isioma Iyamah, @isioma.i
Half-Moon Florist Handbag: Love, love, love George’s Florist bags—kooky as hell, they’re beautifully wrought and colorfully embroidered. All handmade with infinite customization options. I wear the ‘F’ embroidered half-moon bag, which is classic in shape, but spicy and fun enough to liven up my ‘business’-gorp fits.
Gentle Storm ‘Ocean Ring’: One thing you can always find on me is this silver Gentle Storm ‘Ocean Ring’. It’s a large, but minimalistic, sculptural piece that has a really nice weight to it. Keeps my stringy finger elegantly anchored.
Gemsun handbag: We love it. Best color combinations, most engaging texture. Hand-made, all from recycled fabrics. I wear a couple pieces that add a lovely sunshiney warmth to my outfits all year round.
A button-up shirt: I’m rarely without a button up. Either this vintage white, oversized Calvin Klein button-up that I stole from my boyfriend, or this Coming Of Age gingham silk taffeta with fun snap buttons.
Dakota Butler, @reltubatokad
Vintage mohair trench: During a trip in February to Burlington, VT I stopped by a vintage shop on Cherry Street and found this beauty in the men’s section for $75. I prefer buying men’s trench coats since they generally come in longer lengths. This one reaches down to my ankles, has a beautiful straight fit and the perfect touch of shoulder padding giving it an assertive look. I'd wear this every day if I could.
Maison Margiela Tabi Ballerina Heel: Back when I worked at Totokaelo (RIP) I got these on a whim. I hate flat shoes but needed a new everyday wear for the spring/summer. A common misconception about Tabis is that they're uncomfortable, like any shoe they need to be broken in, but once you're past that point their ability to be an all-day-wear shoe is unmatched. In the summer these are my go-to. Comfy, little bit of a heel, and when I'm sweating like crazy and think I look disgusting, wearing these ensures no one is looking at my face.
Vintage Bottega Veneta Intrecciato shoulder bag: Since I received this bag as a Christmas gift from my boyfriend in 2020, I have effectively worn this bag every single day. Despite the Bottega hype, I still believe this Bottega shoulder bag (including the newer versions) is an absolute classic that will not go out of style. I have the medium size which can fit an assortment of things including upwards of three books, a bottle of wine, and at one point I've fit a Christmas ham inside.
Cassandra Mayela, @cassandramayela
Sweatpants: I now own a variety of sweatpants. A few in black, one in tan, and a couple in blue. There are two of which I’ve cut the bottom cuffs cropped (including these Uniqlo ones) and love to wear with cowboy boots. There's another pair that I got at a vintage store and has more of a trouser cut, which is v easy to dress up, and I also love to steal my boyfriend's pairs as well.
Dusty bag designed by moi: I love the gold detail. If I was a bag this would be it. It’s giving edge with the barbwire detail but also chic with the size of the bag. Literally I be giving that every day. Lol but did I lie?
My tabis!!: I can dress them up and even when I’m dressed down (rare) I still feel like I’m dressed up. It’s the clicking of the heel that grabs everyone’s attention and I love that. You see the toes and you know who you fucking with lol.
Giorgio Armani puffer trench: It’s so warm and I feel like Inspector Gadget when my coat blows in the wind. It’s hella cozy!!
Palace sweatsuit: When I don’t feel like dressing up or just to run errands this is my look. I like to show that I can pulling many of different looks and still fuck it up. I’m a chameleon lol.
Halle Lagatta, @halle_________
White t-shirts: I’ve been wearing the same Petit Bateau plain white tee since I can remember! I still wear a size 10 Youth for that perfect, just below the navel, fit. My winter iteration of this is the Gil Rodriguez long sleeve Bellevue Tee... I have one in every color. They’re simply perfect.
CUUP The Scoop: 2021 was the year of CUUP. My lingerie drawer gradually transformed as I built my CUUP collection; throwing out the old, ill-fitted, and worn-in bras of 2020 and beyond. My fave is “The Scoop”... it’s the perfect anti-nipple concealer to wear underneath the aforementioned t-shirts. No one wants their eye knocked out with my 30F nips.
Low-rise denim: Yes, just like everyone else I’m leaning into the nostalgic Y2K moment we’re collectively sharing. I’ve dug up some old, low-rise True Religions and Lee jeans that I cannot stop wearing. Def bringing these babies into 2022.
Crochet/handmade knits: I’m probably one of many who picked up crocheting in 2020/2021. It’s so liberating being able to make something of your own creation and quite meditative! After dozens of failed attempts, I finally nailed down the perfect crocheted hat. Beware to my friends and family, an ugly hat (made with love!) is coming to you soon. For those less inclined to spend hours in a yarn store, try Memorial Day, Emily Dawn Long, or Isa Boulder.
Daniel Reitten, @danielreitten
Alexander Wang X KATSU Lightweight Graphic Coaches Jacket: As someone whose wardrobe color palette stays close to earthy and neutral tones, it’s always exciting to bring a statement piece to brighten my looks. The smiley face graphic designed by KATSU is the perfect blend of street art and high fashion. The contrast with my neutrals and KATSU’s pop of color bring the harmony between both worlds all in a light and comfortable jacket.
Adish Qors Cotton Chino Pants: This stunning, light clay-colored fitted chino accompanied by the traditional hand-embroidered designs hugging the knees are a staple in my closet. These pants can be dressed up or down, day or night from its durable yet comfortable cotton. Additionally, these pants also carry the interesting story behind the Israeli-Palestinian brand with a small description tied to each article of clothing.
Colbo Short-Sleeve Mockneck: Designed by Tal Silberstein, co-owner of Colbo, this warm mockneck is one of a kind. I find myself wearing it over and over as its design dances between the lines of a clean and comfortable look. The thick material of a sweatshirt to keep you warm while the high-fashion, short-cut sleeves allow for a multi-use sweater. I often pair a button-down shirt or a textured long sleeve under this sweater creating a myriad of contrasting layers and shapes for one sweatshirt to develop into.
White Colbo Sweatshirt: Over the years we’ve seen streetwear and high fashion metamorphose into a global phenomenon. Keeping this in mind, on top of another year of the global pandemic/lockdown, we all can ask ourselves—do we really need another sweatshirt in our wardrobe? However, this Colbo sweatshirt designed in off-white with the embroidered logo also in the same thread elevates this from streetwear to high fashion. The designers’ choice of off-white upholds the elegance of a crisp and clean fit. Anyone wearing a Colbo off-white sweatshirt did not just run from the gym, it is clearly a fashion choice to be paired correctly.
Archie Overcoat in Dark Green: Archie uses fabrics imported from Japan and manufactures all his clothing in New York City. All of Archie’s pieces radiate high-quality even before you reach out to feel the materials with your bare hands. This particular Dark Green Long coat I have sported both day-to-night and professionally. It’s the overcoat that goes anywhere, it will elevate any look with class while maintaining the earthy tones. The double-lined overcoat shields the cold and wind while maintaining flexibility when moving and running around New York City in style during the winter months.
Pia Riverola, @piariverola
Pleats Please Issey Miyake Pink Monthly Colors December Mock Neck Dress: Bought on my last trip to Japan right before the pandemic started, life saver (especially while pregnant this last year).
Salomon XT-6 Advanced Running Shoe: Used to ski with Salomon gear so I figured I’d try their sneakers. Most comfortable to walk in.
Varon jewelry: Haven’t stopped wearing since I got from my incredibly talented jeweler friend Aaron.
Shop Scent ‘Second Skin’ tops: Super comfortable second skin in different patterns and colors, also from my very loved friend Jos.
Prada Chocolate Brushed Leather Loafers: Cute and comfy for when I don’t feel like heels.
Emily Dawn Long, @emilydawnlong
Repetto Camille Ballerina: I recently became a new fan of a few iconic staples that I feel I’ve truly been missing out on… a dirty martini with extra olives, David Byrne, and the one that applies here being a Repetto Camille Ballerina—I’ve decided it’s my number-one shoe ever since I walked from Times Square to TriBeCa in them, so they are now a part of my soul. I’m not a big heel-wearing gal and tend to fancy a more tomboy approach, but I wear them with absolutely everything and it’s kinda a game changer. I intend to collect them like Pokemon.
EDL Recycled Bead + Sequin Chastity Heart Belt: Unbiasedly, I’m a huge fan of my chastity heart belt—it’s kinda a sleeper until you try it on and see how beautiful the craftsmanship is—but it can really step up a simple slip dress or just jeans and a tee.
Ikea Medium Shopping Bag: And if were being honest here: Ikea made this tiny lil reusable shoulder bag that is the perfect shit bag—holds your laptop, MNZ purse, and a few extra things while walking to the studio.