Dark Night of the Soul

My Dark Nights of the Soul usually involve a substance-related disaster – taking too little or too much of a substance (anything from coffee to alcohol to my ADHD meds), taking something too late in the day, or a switch in meds that’s not going well. I write to you at 3 AM on 5/14 on many benign substances that, when taken too late in the day as they were on this day, guarantee a Dark Night of the Soul for me.

The contours of a DNOTS are ostensibly different for anyone who’s ever experienced one: the combination of mania and dread, feeling utterly alone in the world as your loved ones all are out of commission for hours on end, and a sickening desire to torpedo my entire life with a drastic decision are all characteristics of mine. Quite often, these bad decisions are purchases. Sometimes, the adrenaline rush from pressing “buy” on an item that would not have even entered the cart during a daytime hour and its subsequent minor crash allow me to sleep at last. Sometimes, just searching for these abject soon-to-be-purchases is enough to carry me gracefully through an all-nighter, till dawn, when my partner and friends and family are back in business and have to deal with me being a fucked-up slugboy for the rest of the day.

Rules for DNOTS purchases: must be either reasonably priced/on a crazy sale or wildly out of budget but incredibly compelling, must either have the most specific, idiosyncratic use possible or the most boneheaded and frivolous, and must provide joy in anticipating the package’s arrival back in the land of the living. Here are some of the things that I currently, as of 3:10 AM on 5/14, have in tabs on my screen, trigger finger twitching, discount coupon searching, livin’ on a prayer. I may be on ambien.

Gold & Silver Star Girl Earrings and Yellow & Red Long Checker Socks

Obviously magical items.

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Murano Skirt

Love the waist, the length, the color…

Esther Weejuns

I want loafers that don’t hurt my feet!!!!

Sunglasses and Sunglasses and Utility Kimono

I need new sunglasses, I usually get 20 dollar pairs from drugstores when I sit on my previous pair but maybe it’s time to invest in… ack… nice sunglasses? And the “Utility Kimono” that is not at all a kimono would be a good addition to my wardrobe canon, especially with my proclivity to carry 100 things at all times.

Chrome Charm Necklace and Charm Necklace

Shiny and nice! But I feel like these must be extremely uncomfortable? If you know, lmk

Tank Top Shirt

Something Medieval and uncanny about this shirt. I’m into it.

Bale Jacket

Have wanted forever, finally went on sale, still over 1k, boooo

Larrea

Smells like the California desert. Makes me sad and happy.

Virtues Bubble Skirt and Scrunchie Tee

I’m feeling a very scrunchy vibe these days.

Twin Black and Simplify Antique Wine

AS I SAID, I NEED LOAFERS

Plaid Pants

Have been eyeing these pants for a while, can’t tell if I like them or hate them

Hiking Boots

These look sick, the angularity is so interesting

Met Opera Hat

Ok confession I have already purchased a black one and it is on its way.

It is now 5:37 AM! Time to go drink coffee and take my meds early so this doesn’t happen again tonight! What are your DNOTS go-to browsing sites? PLEASE tell me in the comments below or on IG @humanrepeller so I can have an arsenal of sites to load up next time I’m feeling wired and abject.

❤ HR

If You Must Fest

The extremely fashionable and kind Saige Power recently sent me a DM requesting HR’s intervention. They wrote: “I’m going to a music festival this summer and want to feel chic and hot and comfortable and gender confirmed (a mix of masc and femme). Also I’m travelling to get there and will need to pack light!”

Now, I personally hate music festivals. My defining memory of the single festival I’ve attended, FYF in 2014 I believe, is almost getting dying at the Grimes stage and having to be crowd surfed and then carried like a baby by a security guard to get to safety. BUT! This critical vantage point just might have allowed me to create the Best music festival style guide in existence as of today. I’m throwing down the gauntlet.

My least favorite parts of music festivals are:

  • The inevitable sunburn
  • The potential for a card/phone-losing disaster
  • The weather misery usually involved
  • Foot pain
  • Going too long without any personal space
  • Being too short to see anything

That last one you’re on your own with (as am I). I can’t for the life of me find a shoe that gives adequate height while being something I would actually recommend wearing for 12+ hours straight, especially for someone (like me) with fucked-up, chronically painful feet. If you find this white whale, please hmu.

I also don’t have any ideas for personal space maintenance besides maybe accessorizing with brass knuckles but I don’t think I’m legally allowed to recommend that so I won’t!

Other than that, these complaints undergirded the aesthetic choices made in each of these outfits. They all feature some level of sun protection, temperature regulation, and storage options, and the concepts could be adapted to feel right for a person of any gender.

I hope you have fun at your festival, Saige and any of the rest of y’all going to one, and if Grimes is playing stay the FUCK out of the way (unless you wanna wave hi to Chelsea Manning ❤ ).

Sartorial Bedhead

This look is the lowest maintenance-seeming, most if-Matthew-McConaughey-in-Dazed-and-Confused-had-been-transmasc look in this post. I would highly suggest not buying the below shirt and instead taking your own T (these from Uniqlo might be perfect) and stapling/sewing/affixing it up as shown. I’d also advocate for featuring your favorite baseball cap, as long as it’s a little cheeky and preferably red/white. The zip-off pants would be ideal for changes in temperature, and PLEASE look at that fucking Marlborough fanny pack (no comment on smoking itself, the fanny pack is just genius).

Vintage Cap
Vintage Cap
Stapled T-shirt
Vintage Cargo Pants
Chain Earring
Deadstock Fanny Pack With Water Bottle
547 Core

Crinklecore

This is for those festivalgoers trying to be seen as Mature but like a little Goth, a fine choice to make! This look is 1000% made by the textures, so can be recreated easily at a thrift store–just look for a glimpse of satin’s shine or some telltale shirring, stay in neutral colors, and you are good to go.

Oilskin Knot Ears
Black Nylon Shirt
Vintage Shirred Blouse
Green Crinkle Trousers
70s Shirred Bloomers
80s Cargo Pants
90s Fanny Pack
Black Cut-out Loafers

Chill Tactics

This is probably the most utilitarian look. Enough pockets you probably don’t need a bag, but add the perfect accessory below if you want to keep your keys and cash even more easily accessible. Tactical garments can keep you either warm or cool, give you great foot support, and hold up to any moshing that may occur. Please, not at a Grimes show.

80s Bucket Hat
Vintage Corduroy Bucket Hat
Linen Bucket Hat
60/40 Cloth Bucket Hat
Daisy Lane Bucket Hat
Knit Bucket Hat
Kimono Jacket
50s Gurkha Army Trousers
Military Pant Liner
Vintage Gabardine Pants
Leather ID Wallet Necklace/Crossbody
Tactical Boots

Stolen Cyclist Valor

Yowapeda fans rise up !!! You will never get lost in a crowd with these bright colors, and this look is so painfully earnestly sporty that it will throw everyone off and make them think you got lost on the way to the BIKING festival…… it’ll be funny…. you should do it

80s Cycling Cap
80s Cycling Cap
Ten Tee
70s Cycling Jersey
Vintage Striped Shirt
Peeky Shorts
Green Banding Bike Shorts
80s Sport Shorts
80s Backpack
80s Fanny Pack
Waste Pouch
Hook and Loop

Prairie Bro Companion/Serf’s Up

Outfit recipe: peasant-y, romantic-y top + unhinged striped board shorts + bright fanny pack + bizarro headwear decision + Sk8-hi’s = the platonic ideal festival look.

Brew Bucket Hat
Beach Hat
Crop Top With Sleeves
Vintage Dirndl
Lace Prairie Top
90s Crop Top
Psycho Fly Boxers
Vintage Board Shorts
Striped Board Shorts
Vintage Fanny Pack
Vintage Fanny Pack
Vintage Samsonite Fanny Pack
Sk8-hi

If you have any qs for me (look how I actually answered one! See I do it sometimes!) please let me know in the comments or on IG @humanrepeller and I may make a post based on your ideas.

I also maaaay start some kind of bonus content scheme in the next few weeks because I want to be able to fund the purchase of some of these clothes (for research purposes). So stay tuned. Much love!

❤ HR

Drip Duets: Couple’s Style

In a twist that absolutely NO ONE saw coming, an avowed Repeller maaaaay have attracted someone with whom they have entered the couple-form. Luckily, this person already cares about fashion and dresses well (showing them HR on our first date was a risky move, but it paid off, I think?). But it has got me thinking about couple’s fashion, which has always fascinated, disturbed, and enticed me.

Note: what I refer to as “couple’s fashion” is a worthy endeavor for siblings, friends, cousins, whatever. You don’t have to be dating your fit partner for this to be a sick activity.

The best couple’s fashion incorporates three tenets: balance, free association, and gender fuckery. Balance is self-evident: the two outfits should incorporate some of the same shapes/colors/concepts but interact with each other in such a way that the fits look better as a gestalt than separate. Free association allows the individuals in the couple to express their own personal iterations of the basis of the look and keeps things loose, avoiding the “Sibling Christmas Photoshoot Effect.” Gender fuckery is essential, whether this entails leaning in to perceived binaries, subverting them fully, or eschewing them altogether.

Here are some couples’ looks that I love, most of which incorporate all three tenets, though some don’t. Here, I’ll explore what does and doesn’t serve the couple-fit agenda in each of these stylings.

Literally any couple that counts FKA Twigs as one of its constituents is bound to have excellent style, no matter how schlubby the other member may have been before the genesis of the pairing. Sadly, Twigs has many great looks with her ex Shia but since news of his abusive treatment of her is public knowledge, I didn’t want to glorify that couple with any analysis. Fortunately, her looks with ex Robert Pattinson are also consistently fresh. In the above, their grey tops and dark accessories tie their fits together, while the shiny, sateen textures of Twigs’ jacket and gloves activates and is grounded by Pattinson’s matte and knit textures. With the drama of a beret, messy cat-eye, and driving gloves, Twigs looks like a piece of expensive art and Pattz’ chore coat and baseball cap give him the appearance of Some Guy who was lucky enough to witness this art in person. Couples’ outfits can entail one of the pair bringing the drama while the other grounds it in casual comfortability.

In this look, both Twigs and Pattz up the ante on the Just Some Guy look, Pattz hanging on by the skin of his teeth (if the jacket had been black instead of an inspiring shade of green, he would have looked downright boring) while Twigs pulls her weight with boxy striped trousers and a structured jacket with contrast seams. I love outfits that look like they could easily be swapped and have the same overall effect–in fact, if it were Twigs wearing the relatively mundane outfit on the left and Pattz in the more creative iteration of casual wear, this look would be more successful because Twigs’ femininity and piercings would have made the Some Guyness more complex. Luckily, Pattz has since leaned in (whether of his own volition or a PR-savvy stylist, who can say) to more dramatic, flamboyant, and feminine fits.

What this teaches us is the value of a couple’s look that seems like it could be swapped, and that sometimes the fits SHOULD be swapped. If you have a partner, next time you go out, consider switching outfits to the extent that pragmatics such as size and shape allow. You don’t even have to wear all of the same exact clothes, for instance, in the fit above Twigs could have copped Pattz’ top, cap, and jacket with her own straight-legged jeans while Pattz could have worn Twigs’ jacket with a white tee and his own pinstriped trousers.

Moving on from the Twigs/Pattz paradigm, another exemplary couple is @rubyredstone and spouse @gsommr whom I encountered on Instagram next year (they are now expecting a child any day/Ruby might have recently given birth! Big congrats and wishes of health and joy!) and whose fits go hard individually and are spectacular in tandem. As wedding guests (pictured above), they found balance in color (mostly pastel with shocks of deeper hues) and level of formality (suit, dress, satin purse duking it out with t-shirt, cowboy boots, and not-pictured sneakers).

If Ruby had worn fancy shoes, this look would have seemed a little too “fancy woman brings her underdressed spouse to a wedding, everyone shocked and appalled” but her sneakers cement the intentionality of his wardrobe choices. If Gabriel had worn a traditional, dark suit, the cowboy boots and t-shirt would have seemed gimmicky and superfluous. Happily, these two made all the right choices: the powder blue suit cements the levity of the cowboy boots and exemplifies a form of masculinity not predicated upon seriousness or withholding, the masculine aesthetic of Elvis and Little Richie and the dudes in a John Waters movie, Ruby’s sneakers signify that they are in this look TOGETHER (aww), and the color palette is delicious and unexpected.

The attention to detail in this look seems incidental enough that it could have been accidental, one example being the visual balance of his chunky black glasses with the black cowboy boots that would have been lost if he had worn, say, white sneakers like Ruby. 10/10 couple’s look, could be riffed on with two suits or two dresses or jumpsuits or whatever to accommodate any desired gender presentation and as long as the formula of hue matching + levity + attention to detail (notice they are both only wearing gold jewelry!) was followed it’d turn out fantastic.

Two more unimpeachable looks. On the left, the use of mostly neutrals, though different neutrals, with one focal point of bright tie-dye characterizes both fits. Both she and he also introduce elements of chaos into their outfits with inventive layering and socks that don’t “match” the looks but don’t clash violently, but top them off with collared jackets to give the fits structure and correspondence. It’s likely these two just rolled out of bed and grabbed whatever, their senses of style are probably so aligned from years of living and dressing together that they don’t have to coordinate as intentionally as I am suggesting here, but this is an S-tier couple’s look and I wanted to appreciate and dissect it.

On the right, another formal look. This one’s coherence originates from a shared sense of drama manifested in two completely different ways: his fit suggests a pop-punk schoolchild’s rebellious phase, while hers goes full English orphan looking for a new family (mysteriously, all the people who have tried to adopt her thus far have met grisly ends). Though nothing about the color palettes of the two looks relates, the volume of the puffer jacket and the puffy blue sleeves, the fact that they’re both in dresses that end shortly below the knee, and the two different interpretations of the “troubled youth” trope make this a cogent couple’s look that doesn’t give itself away as a couple’s look. Imagine the beauty of starting at opposite ends of a function, impressing people on both sides of the room with the drama of your fit, and then eventually winding up next to your partner on the dance floor, at which point everyone at the party watches your two looks congeal into a discursive aesthetic experience, mouths frothing with envy and inspiration.

This couple is from Kera magazine, circa 1998-2002, and god would I love to be their friend. The matching leopard patterns in completely different color palettes. The warmth in her dress bringing out the warmth in his t-shirt. The details in each of their looks: her pinhole navy thigh-highs, the zippered pocket on his sleeve, her unhinged and his restrained choker. The opposing directions of their collars. Their vacant, skyward gazes. Perfection.

Both of these couples’ looks are a little too perfectly matched for my taste, but on the left I appreciate how the pops of red draw the eye up and down and between the two outfits while on the right the contrast between the sharp blazer and the strapped-up, lumpen red jacket is genius.

Picking one piece to fully match and then freestyling the rest of each outfit is a great way to dip your toe into couple’s fashion. Another route to try is wearing the same types of garments (i.e. both looks could consist of sweaters, trousers, chunky rings, caps, and loafers) but not trying to pattern or color match at all.

A very simple fallback is to both dress fully in neutrals. No matter what colors you two wear, if you stick to neutrals your fits will cohere enough. If you wanna get really matchy with it, top off your neutrals with the same dark color. Beanies this similar is kind of a wild move, but I respect it, and these two pull it off with aplomb. Note that in each couple there must be one Newspaper Guy and one Baguette Guy, I leave it to you and your partner to suss that out between the two of you.

This viral couple (half of which can be found at @ergoozhang on Twitter) got famous for simply being really stylish lesbians. I say GOOD FOR THEM and appreciate how much they play with contrasting but complimentary lengths, shapes, and colors in their looks. This is Level 100 Couple’s Styling, so don’t be discouraged if you and your partner can’t get this synced up right out the gate, but take cues from, on the left, their mutual use of “a pop of color” (ew, what is this, Seventeen Magazine?) and on the right their perfectly clashing patterned tops, as well as the fact that it seems like they both styled the same pair of blue shorts in dramatically different ways.

If you are a similar size as your partner, or if you both tend to play with bagginess/tightness in your fits, I cannot reiterate the value of wardrobe-swapping/sharing enough. Not only does this double your clothing inventory, but it is an implicit acknowledgement that your partner has good style AND that you just might be sleeping together, which is very sexy of the two of you! Just don’t rub this all in to your single friends’ faces TOO much or you will soon become a known nuisance and your friends might come up with inventive, fashion-oriented machinations to try and break you up, which would be a horrible way for this sartorial love story to end.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on breakup and divorce fashion! Just kidding. I’ve done that already. As always, hit me up here or @humanrepeller on Instagram with thoughts, concepts for posts, or complaints (I swear I will not make every post about me being happy and in love, your beloved, bilious blogger will never lose their intrinsic weltschmerz and signature bitterness, do not fear!).

❤ HR

No Good Reason

As you may or may not know, depending on how many months you’ve dutifully tuned in to this blog (thank you for sticking around, by the way, after the past few weeks of me not posting–life has been happening to me, you could say, and I’m all the better for it), I am typically a big proponent of utilitarian fashion. I like feeling protected and armed by my garments. But recently, I’ve come around to the romance of wearing something kind of ridiculous, or pointless, or excessive.

As I type this, I’m drinking unsweetened, hazelnut-flavored iced coffee (it’s the first really warm day in NYC of the year). This coffee tastes like a research chemical made by disgruntled food scientists, and yet, I am drawn to purchase and drink it over and over again. A little perversity adds tension and intrigue to a beverage, a personality, an outfit. Here are some garments that there are just no good reasons to wear plus why I think you should try ’em out anyway.

Titanium Sports Necklaces

These necklaces purport to be filled with titanium to “stabilize the electric flow that nerves use to communicate actions to the body.” Considering this is simply… not how they work and our cell phones are probably more magnetized than these necklaces, it is easy to dismiss them offhand as being pointless and stupid accessories for bricks-for-brains baseballers, but they are similar in function to crystals and stones: talismans with which to imbue energy and intention to reap in times of great need, whether you’re pitching with bases loaded or just need to make it from 4 PM until 5 PM without killing yourself at your office desk. There are some interesting designs for sports necklaces, but I like them simple and single-stranded. They look great when you want to accessorize an outfit but keep it on the masc-casual side and you’ll attract baseball fans like flies with one on. If Fever Pitch had continued an hour longer (god forbid), Drew Barrymore would’ve started wearing one of these as a good luck charm to keep herself from getting conked in the head by any more balls or laughed on by Jimmy Fallon.

X50 V-edge

Low-rise Jeans

Sometimes the garment itself isn’t perverse but *society* is, man. I hadn’t worn low-rise jeans in over 10 years when I tried this pair of Levi’s on, and I instantly was furious at the fact that whenever this trend comes around, the only people who get exposure in it are ab-encrusted celebrities. It’s an impractical trend in a society that abhors the belly and is terrified of folds and roundness. Though I do not have a Britney Spears washboard and likely never will, I have a body that is not marginalized in terms of size or skin color, so I realize this not much of a salient stance politically, but I’m not trying to be edgy, just honest about the fact that I think it’s fucking stupid for any body to be relegated to one shape of bottomwear, bellies that emerge over a waistband or hips that have love handles are aesthetically pleasing, and all the thinkpieces that irrevocably tie the “return of Y2K fashion” to the return of “heroin chic” as the body standard are replicating the evil aesthetic hierarchies they purport to critique.

I wish there were photos of fat low-rise-jeans-wearers I felt comfortable sharing here, i.e. from a fashion editorial or an influencer’s page, but since instead of oohing and ahhing over hot fashionable non-skinny people adapting trends the media chooses to foment panic about the “necessary body type” these trends “require,” all I could find were private photos I wouldn’t share without consent. If you are or know of a fat fashion plate who wears low-rise jeans please give me a holler here or @humanrepeller on Instagram and I’ll write up your looks in an upcoming post!

Low-rise Baggy Jeans
Bootcut Jeans
Low Pro Jeans
Blue Marian Wide Straight Jeans
Le ‘Baggy Palazzo” Jeans

Nosepieces

These MUST not be comfortable, right? They just look too damn sick. I love the circle over the wearer’s lips in the first one and have been lusting over the pearl nosebridge adornment for almost a full year. Both make the wearer look otherworldly.

Empty Moon Nosepiece
Pearls Nose Cuff

Hair Chains

I was so taken by these hair pins that @amby.strickland wears in the below photo that I was dismayed to find out they are currently not available from the source, Plutonia Blue. In the meantime, I’ll keep searching for chains to adorn my skull and crossing my fingers that these platonic ideal hair pins come back soon!

Caro Hair Slider
Vintage Barette
Chain Hair Tassel
Earring/Hairclip
Chain Hairclips

Various and Sundry Bottoms

From a cinched pair of black pants Angelina Jolie’s character in Hackers would have died for, to straight up “Pirate Pantaloons,” to satin/Muay Thai shorts (I chose unprinted because I feel iffy about wearing prints with huge words in a language I don’t understand and have no friends that read), to kilty thingies, here are some bottoms that will bemuse and delight anyone who happens to be looking at yours. 😉

I chose only bottoms that I could actually see myself wearing in public. YES, you can style striped pantaloons. I’d wear them with an oversized, kind of grimy vintage band shirt and an oversized leather jacket and Mary Jane style shoes, or with a tight black or white white tank top and high-top sneakers and a baseball cap. The rest of the bottoms seem more self-explanatory but don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you want more styling explanations.

Black Cotton Trousers
Vintage Pantaloons
Pantaloons
Fold Trousers
Vintage Satin Boxing Shorts
Frill Trim Ribbon Shorts 
Vintage 70’s Satin Shorts

I hope your day is as happy as mine has happily been, and I hope you wear something that makes you feel good for no good reason some time soon. As always, I am here and @humanrepeller on instagram and if you really want to find me in person I’m sure you could with some mild internet stalking (please don’t) (just hit me up on Instagram and we can hang out and it won’t be weird) (thanks!).

❤ HR

Quarter-life Crisis Trend Report

Last night, I ate weed gummies and proceeded to have a two hour long deepthink about the way my style both reflects and rejects many trends and what these interactions might mean. In this post, I’ll use a handful of trends from the past year/in forecasts for the rest of 2022 by various mainstream fashion publications as case studies, trying to parse out what my reaction to each trend might mean about my style.

Maybe I’ll even learn something about style *in general* from this endeavor. Julia Morgans, an Instagram friend of HR, saw my stoned musings on my story and recommended the book “Fashioning Identity: Status Ambivalence in Contemporary Fashion” which I will try to read soon, as I’d love a more solid theoretical basis off of which to work in these analyses. Right now I’m just kind of going off of vibes.

One thing that strikes me right off the bat as interesting is the difference in trend patterns between “menswear” and “womenswear” and how they sometimes reach points of cohesion but other times seem completely divorced from each other. As a nonbinary person who was indoctrinated into teen girl fashion sensibilities but now mainly gets fashion reportage from menswear-oriented publications like Blackbird Spyplane and Throwing Fits, this schism is an interesting place to exist within.

I pay a LOT of attention to independent designers and fashion publications such as those mentioned above, and yet I always feel at least one step behind when it comes to trends. I’ll notice them before they’re written up in GQ or, god forbid, B*zzfeed, but I’m really interested in what it takes to position one’s self to be in the beta wave of a new trend. Money? Connections to influencers? A strict adherence to the 20-year trend cycle?

Since I have none of these at this point in my life, I have accepted always being a little behind the cutting edge, which is also a factor that hugely influences my relationship to trends: I get to them late enough that they’re usually already hurtling towards the passé, so I have to conceptualize (or steal from the more fashionable) ways to freak them enough that they don’t feel completely hollow or mindless.

An advantage to adapting trends when they are stale is that the awkwardness of a garment that’s just past trendy is conducive to a kind of nerdy earnestness that I find really compelling in outfits. If I’m wearing something that I know to be overripe, it’s because I just genuinely like the features of the garment, its shape or color or utilitarian function. The passage of time divests trends from their symbolic attachments and allows the physical realities of a garment to come back to center stage in my conception of them and the ways I imagine them being styled. Abstraction is important in style, but at the end of the day, fashion is an exercise in materiality, and being brought back to that at the expense of being a little uncool is a generative process in my experience.

Sweater Vests

I balked at the initial boyfriendification of this look, as someone who often resists trends that seem based in a facile conception of gender as a binary: wearing “men’s clothes” strictly to emphasize inherent femininity or being seen as a “girl in boyfriend’s clothing” is antithetical to my self-conception and how I want to be received by the world. This is a case in which, as I suggested above, waiting for a trend to be absorbed into the mainstream actually worked in my favor.

Though sweater vests are now a bit passé, they have also been androgynized and universalized in such a way that they feel less tied to this gendered symbology and more just like another layer to work with. The sweater vest, before the recent trend wave, was a distinctly nerdy garment, and as I mentioned, the re-nerding that came with a loss of relevance only added to my attraction. I am an inescapably nerdy, earnest person and I try not to eschew that reality even as I try to be innovative with my style.

To me, the ideal sweater vest is a pull-over (though sometimes I fuck with a button-down), v-necked (I typically like a relatively shallow V), barely or not at all cropped, and boxy but with a relaxed drape. I gravitate towards solid colors but have found some patterned vests compelling, especially with thin, horizontal stripes. I like them styled over boxy t-shirts, button-downs (though the slope here is truly slippery into the neutered, business-casual chasm–going oversized with the button-down or cutting off its sleeves seems to be a way to avoid the descent), long dresses, or worn alone as a top.

These ideal vests are hardly ever marketed as womenswear, so I suggest, depending on your size, either looking for a large vest meant for boys or one marketed towards men. Another happy effect of waiting on a trend is its affordability–secondhand, not in its fast fashion manifestations which are often lacking the structure, integrity of material, and “aura” as per Benjamin that make them appealing.

Here are some secondhand vests that mostly meet my spec ideals, though I haven’t checked all the sizing so there could easily be a tight, cropped imposter in there but don’t hold me accountable for it!

Red Sweater Vest
Light Blue Vest
Striped Vest
Striped Vest
Stripe Vest
90’s Vest
Houndstooth Vest
Green Vest
Striped Vest

Chains

Most trends I end up adapting in their awkward, just-past-ripe phase have a baseline of timeless, contextless cool that mitigates any buyer’s apprehension I might have. Chains (of all manifestations, but I’ll focus on neck chains here) are never not going to add an air of toughness + luxury to any outfit they grace. Of course, this look was first popularized by Black people, mainly hip-hop and rap artists, to whom I personally owe a huge chunk of my aesthetic sensibilities and white people as a bloc owe like 90% of our most salient trends.

The act of wearing a chain itself is inescapably appropriative, but I think that the term “cultural appropriation” has been narrowed to a connotation that is solely negative. Cultural appropriation without recognition of the culture being pulled from, or without humility, or with a sense of entitlement is of course bad. Allowing oneself to be influenced by the masterful fits of people from different cultures, as long as one is careful not to subvert/coopt symbols that are sacred or meaningful to those cultures is cool and creates potential for sartorial intersections that our society would be bereft without (i.e. butch lesbians/transmascs appropriating the chain look).

As a transmasc, I started wearing chains mostly in the context of that tradition, and also largely because I saw Kristen Stewart on Hot Ones and immediately was overwrought by a new wave of a longstanding crush. Before the video ended, I was googling “padlock necklace.” I especially like a padlock necklace because of the cheeky design choice to have the padlock itself be the necklace’s closure. Extremely cute that they typically come with a few keys that you can disperse to your friends and lovers as an act of intimacy.

I tend towards chains that are silver, on the thicker/sturdier side, hit around the clavicle, and have links that lay in an interesting or graceful way (this last feature being the most important, some chain link designs stick up awkwardly or won’t lie flat around the neck). I like mixed metals, interesting closures, varying link sizes/styles, and intertwined or tangential chains.

Padlock Necklace
Chain Necklace
Entangled Hearts
Vicky Necklace
Linda Link Chain

Long Hemlines + Voluminous Pants

This trend I initially balked at because I am 5’1″ and my entire life have been instructed pants-wise as follows: No hemlines that go further than the bottom of the ankle or bunch up at all, minimum horizontal volume possible in the legs. In the mid-2010s, the cropped straight-legged pants norm was a godsend, as I could finally buy pants from pretty much any store without having to fuck with getting them altered.

Now that the pendulum has swung the other way, as is its wont, I am reckoning with Big Pants again but with a more optimistic attitude. The thing is–”flattering” is not even in the top 5 of my considerations when it comes to most garments. Off the top of my head, more important qualities to me than “flattering” in a piece include: utilitarian, interesting, modular, comfortable, and exciting. Since I am not in middle school and my sense of style is not predicated upon looking as normatively Good as possible, this time around I have been able to appreciate the Big Pant for its inspiring qualities: they add movement to an outfit, they can drape in interesting ways, the scrunchy hem can be, if styled with a good eye, a feature instead of a bug.

I tend to go for pants with more volume in the top/center rather than flared at the bottom. If I’m going billowy, I either keep pants at ankle length or let them just touch the ground and fold up the cuff ONE SINGLE TIME (important). I have been getting braver and hope soon to start dipping my toe into wearing floor-length pants with volume. If the legs are less billowy and more straight, I have begun to experiment with letting them puddle over my shoe or bunch around my ankle (a huge step for me) but make sure there are not more than one or two bunches/folds in the puddle. I am NEVER trying to go back to how it looked when I tried to wear American Apparel skinny jeans with a 32″ inseam (my inseam is generally about 26″) without getting them hemmed because the tailor near my childhood home didn’t know how to do an “original” hem, which is essential if you want the hem of jeans to not look wack.

Trousers (many colors)
Chamwoe Jeans
Twisted Belted Pants
Piping Jogger
Brown Polyester Trousers
Green Linen Trousers
Wide Pants

Cut-outs

As someone who has dysphoria and plans to get top surgery in the near future, cut-outs sometimes emphasize the feminine-coded facets of my body in a way I don’t like. However, when used in a garment that could be defined as “casual wear” or “masculine,” or when placed in nontraditional locations (i.e. inner thighs, ankles, under the chest) sometimes cut-outs can add levity and unabashed sexiness to a look. They are usually modeled only on skinny body types and shown only when the body is ramrod-straight, but I LOVE the look of skin folding and protruding through cut-outs. The indie brand UNITS is genius at this. Some inspiration gleaned from my now-defunct are.na page:

Not sure where this is from but boy do I love it
Thigh Burners
Riblet Tank in Noir
Riblet Tank
Blue Denim Cut-Out Jacket
Bronze Viscose Polo
Bodysuit

Skirts/Dresses Over Pants

The overarching “Y2K” trend’s biggest gauntlet. I have not yet tried this strategy myself. When I think of this look, my mind immediately goes

Though I worship at the altars of both ladies, there is something hauntingly bad about these looks. I’m trying to parse out what it is. Maybe the overcompensation for the jeans with ultrafeminine details like florals and sequins? Maybe the boot-cut of the jeans (It can’t just be that, because I just imagined the looks with straight leg jeans and they only got a few measly degrees less offensive). Maybe it’s that the looks are both already incredibly sterile and the jeans feel like just another layer of neutering? There’s something childish about these looks, but whereas childish can be good if it connotes “playful” and “whimsical,” in this case it reads “awkward” and the concept itself seems underdeveloped.

Jeans are an especially difficult medium for this look, with non-jean pants acting way more forgiving under a skirt. It can be done, though, usually with loose, straight jeans and a midi-to-long skirt, so the downward trajectory of the look is emphasized and the jeans are kind of absorbed into the directionality of the dress/skirt. Boxy/columnar dresses and skirts work best. Examples below.

’90s Low
’90s Original
Pleats Please Bordeaux Dress
Gathered Long-Sleeve Dress
Linen-Blend Belted Sleeveless Lapel Dress
Vintage Paisley Skirt
Pleated Skirt

With non-jeans pants, options open up a little more–it doesn’t look quite as awkward to pair them with a knee-length skirt or a skirt with a little more flare. This is best achieved by using neutral or similar hues + contrasting textures and still keeping the pants fairly loose. This will always look wack with tapered pants, and can only be pulled off with true flares by a sartorial genius. If I ever manage to do it, I’ll let you know and will expect epic displays of shock and awe.

’80s Wool Skirt
’70s Pleated skirt
Flannel Skirt
’70s Vintage Skirt
’50s Gurkha Pants
Vintage Wool Trousers
’60s Japanese Chore Pants

This look can also be translated/cheated (cheating, done well, is its own valid form of ingenuity) with a skort or para-skort situation, which can range from cheeky and begging for a vacation:

Swell Micro Skort

To stern but sexy, like something Vivian from Legally Blonde would wear under Elle’s tutelage:

Black Buckle Wrapped Trousers

From this endeavor, I have learned that I actually appreciate when trends get overripe, my gender identity has a huge affect on how I internalize and interpret trends, I gravitate towards cheekiness, classics, and nerdiness in trends, and if someone wants to get me to blindly follow a trend they just have to get Kristen Stewart to wear it. Not exactly mind-blowing revelations, but I am enjoying this way of parsing my style and my relationship to the style of the collective consciousness.

If this inspired any thoughts on past, present, or upcoming trends or inspired you to freak a trend in a compelling way, please let me know in the comments or @humanrepeller on Instagram. Thank you for making it through this monolith of a post (I worked on it for exactly a week!) and thank you, as always, for being here. A message of support, a like, or a follow makes my day and I so appreciate everyone who has hollered at me o say the fuck with my visions. Enthusiasm never goes out of style, haha, ok it’s time for me to stop writing now this is going south.

❤ HR

How to Dress Like Kim Kitsuragi

I wrote this post months ago, in the thick of my first wave of Disco Elysium hyperfixation (if you haven’t played it yet… imagine me saying the most compelling thing possible to you, personally, to get you to play it. You will not regret it). I originally intended to dissect the outfits of a few of the characters in the game before realizing I really only wanted to imagine myself dressing up as the inimitable Ltn. Kim Kitsuragi. In his thick, round glasses, iconic orange bomber jacket, cargo pants, gloves, and boots, Kim is the exemplar of what it could mean to dress in “uniform.” Utilitarian from head to toe, distinctive, simple, but compelling.

Because I cannot currently afford his uniform from the ZA/UM Atelier (and because it’s currently sold out… all bets are off next time they restock), I had fun seeking out a litany of options, most on the affordable side, of outfit components that could just as easily be incorporated into quotidian fits as they could be used for cosplay. Variations on this look are also straightforward and generative: swap the orange bomber for a different color, or a leather jacket, or trade the brown cargos for orange to go monochromatic, or swap out aviators for the round glasses, and so on, and so on. It’s the perfect baseline for a season-transitional look that will make any nerds you pass on the street (including myself) instantly swoon with recognition.

I wrote this post before I began using captions to link items, so I apologize for the variable formatting which will be consistent from now on. PLAY DE and message me on Instagram @humanrepeller to gush about it with me.

Glasses

Black, aggressively round (or leniently ovular), stern but with a sense of levity. These glasses probably won’t “flatter” your face shape, but this is HR, not Seventeen Magazine, so who cares?

Muse

Calhoun

90’s Round Frames

Round Glasses

Oval Glasses

Gloves

Motorcycle gloves are an underutilized accessory. The first two options are my favorites, though Kim’s are more modestly brown in the game, but I love the thin fabric and hole-punched details as well as the vibrant oranges.

Driving Gloves

Motorcycle Gloves

Leather Gloves

Cashmere-lined Gloves

Quilted Leather Gloves

Bomber Jacket

The main event! We’ve got options here ranging from reversible to corduroy. Slap it on over a white v-neck shirt you can find at a hardware or 99c store. You can add one of the patches below to really psych up the DE heads.

Patches

Vintage Flight Jacket

Vintage Bomber Jacket

Cotton MA-1 Bomber Jacket

80’s Reversible Bomber Jacket

Vintage Silk Bomber Jacket

80s Reversible Bomber Jacket

Vintage Corduroy Jacket

Vintage Collarless Jacket

Cargo Pants

Utility is of the utmost import here. But so is looking fresh. Get these hemmed right to the ankles if you, like me, are unreasonably short.

Surplus Uniform Pants

Military Trousers

Military Pants

Tactical Pants

Lightweight Tactical Pants

Crawford Pant

Accord Pants

Boots

You need boots that can keep up with a runner as prolific as your partner.

Steel Toed Boots

Lace-up Boots

Steel Toed Boots

Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex

If you also love this game, let me know. It changed my life in many ways and continues to influence me sartorially and emotionally to this day (I’m on my 7th run).

If all else fails, get a leather jacket, paint “Pissf*ggot” on the back in white, and lose Authority but gain a jawn that will bring everyone behind you in line at the supermarket to their knees in awe and wonder.

❤ HR

Repeller, Repulsed

Sometimes, negativity can be generative. Reacting to a garment with repulsion or skepticism can tell someone a lot about their aesthetic values and how they are situated in relation to the fashion zeitgeist, suggesting ways forward from wherever we are now. The following are a selection of recent/current trends that evoke a Nope response in me, personally, and brief explanations as to why.

I will not be linking to these garments for obvious reasons, but if you like any of them you can message me on Instagram @humanrepeller and I’ll get you the info with no judgement, as I am aware certain of my own style proclivities could be construed as abject horror to many folks.

Serger Seams

This one was fun at first, and some designers like my genius friend Libanati rocked out with these in the past few years, but as Libanati’s evolving oeuvre suggests, the serger-seam-as-main-design-element look is getting tired and has been used sloppily and boringly by many designers to its further detriment. If you loved this look, keep an eye on Libanati’s Instagram for fresh designs that capture the laissez-faire, LA stoner but high concept attitude that serger seams once evoked.

Problematic Patterns

I hate polka dots. No, I have never even been that into Yayoi Kusama’s polka dots. No, I don’t have trypophobia. To me, they evoke Minnie Mouse and the plague of boils we learn about on Passover and Twitter trad libertarians. I sometimes see a piece of clothing I otherwise LOVE and it has polka dots on it and I just cannot reconcile my proclivity with my basic hatred. Go stripes, go plaid, go checks (carefully, as noted below) but do not go gently into the polka dotted night. OD Checkers

Now, I love this construction of Brain Dead clogs and have really liked their other weird colorways, but this distorted check pattern (especially in mustard yellow and a furry texture) is not doing it for me. The 2019 squiggly mirror cow print L*sa S*ys G*h crowd really soured the intrigue of this pattern for me with its absorption into the Flat Design-ish zeitgeist. It feels related to the recent fixation on the word “clean” as the ultimate compliment for an illustrator or designer. Distorting a check pattern counterintuitively makes it feel more sterile to me. Classic checks can recall the original B&W vans, greasy diner floors, and gloriously torched vinyl, but distorted checks feel inescapably and staidly 2019, with no reference points outside themself and no invitation to get them a little grimy.

Classic camo is boring, military fetish-y, and mildly depressing 95% of the time. If you can pull off the 5%, more power to you. Nu camo, the kind with the trees and leaves and stuff, is much more forgiving. If you’re gonna try classic camo, at least avoid the G.I. Jane effect of overcompensating for the unavoidable masculinity of a soldier’s garb with arbitrarily feminized design choices such as ruching, micro hemlines, or bows. There is something cheeky and absurd about letting trad masculine and feminine aesthetics duke it out in one garment or outfit but in this case the cheekiness comes across as Military Barbie, which I guess is a nod to the recent mouth-foaming over “Indie Sleaze,” but I just think… this is not the way.

Too Much Mohair

Muppet-core had a moment, but we really do not need this much mohair. Arm-warmers are already a kind of delicate endeavor, it is SO easy to slip into Glee-watching-8th-grader territory with them, and the mohair just does not make sense here. Just watch Paris, Texas and cop a frickin sweater and DON’T pair it with a mohair balaclava!

Superfluous Croppage

The Depop crowd selling their little brother’s school uniform components has perverted our minds into expecting gratuitous cropping on all garments. I don’t love raw edges on jeans, but I would honestly prefer a rough crop on a sweater or tee over design perfected for a 7-year-old’s frame. Part of the sexiness of, say, a sweater vest, is its traditionally nerdy-masculine context and the un-self-serious androgyny that induces in a look. To create a similar vest, perfectly cropped to eschew these awkward edges which completely neuters the fit in my opinion.

Times New Roman

Any font you can get on Microsoft Word is usually a bad bet for garment design, but Times New Roman (I think that’s what this is) transcends the irony discourse by simply looking boring, no matter how salient or frivolous the message.

Head Triangles

Just fold a scarf or bandana in half diagonally like humans have been doing for thousands of years. It’ll actually keep you warm/cool as opposed to this object which will just keep you in the lukewarm MID ZONE.

Back to positivity and live, laugh, lovin’ next week! I welcome polemics and proposals for new ways of thinking @humanrepeller on Insta. What do you loathe, clothing-wise?

❤ HR

It Will Come

Yo! HR reporting from the end of a thread I am barely hanging onto! Everything is hell as always, so I’m gonna write about what to wear this spring! Very important, hard-hitting reportage being undertaken over here!

Also it’s my birthday today, March 9. It is currently snowing big, fat, wet flakes. Trying not to take the precipitation as an omen of tears to be shed in the coming year. For my birthday, all my Pisces self wants is for you to tell someone you love them today (and mean it). Also, subscribing, liking, and DMing me @humanrepeller on Instagram is always a gift.

Collar Fixation

Blue Nylon Combo Zip Shirt

The perfect baby blue! The full-frontal zipper! The nylon! But most importantly, a collar like two daggers, ready to incise themselves into the brains of everyone who peeps your look.

Vintage 60s Red Velour Dagger Collar

Sweatshirt alternative that will keep you looking sharp while being super cozy. This red is the absolute perfect cherry. Audrey Horne would tie you in a knot with her tongue if you wore this. Promise.

Midcentury Abercrombie and Fitch Belted Safari Jacket

Before A&F was for cliquey tweens and horny 30 year olds, it was totally Jane Goodall-core.

Boat Longsleeve

A gentle, alluring blue with the perfect amount of buttons leading your eyes up to the glory of the collar.

70s Terry Cloth Shirt

Wear this and be transformed into Eric Foreman’s booty call, wearing his shirt after the two of you had whatever kind of nerdy sex that guy had up his terry cloth sleeve.

Vintage Coat

Simple, stoic, sublime.

Vintage Pantsuit

Wear this if you want people to (rightfully) believe you’re the most adorable person on the goddamned planet.

Paisley?? Ok

Vintage 1960s Trippy Paisley Purple Shorts Romper

Spring demands rompers. The straight-ish neckline and boxy fit of this one gives sleekness to the chaos of the gem-toned paisley.

1960s Mod Space Age Metallic Silver Brocade Sleeveless Blouse

This makes paisley downright saucy and grand. Good collar too.

90’s Paisley Capris

A great alternative to khakis for work, especially for shorter people!

Vintage Pendleton Blouse

The dulled but rich colors and the almost mutton-choppy sleeves make this shirt special.

Wool Cardigan

Coziest looking item ever.

Vintage Paisley Sweater

Love the two giant paisleys (?) looking like twin fish wreaking havoc on an otherwise dour argyle sweater. Pisces mood!

Vintage Paisley Dress

This dress absolutely wails “Cape Cod in June” and begs for a soft-serve as its only accessory. Between all the wailing and begging, this dress sure is a piece of work.

Block Print Painter Pants

Kudos to streetnightlive, one of my favorite fashion newsletters, for finding these subtle but statement-making paisley pants. Would look even better with wear and tear.

Necessary Accessories

Knitted Bonnet Bucket Hat

This shape of bonnet puts the trendier, less voluminous ones to shame! Bring drama and sun protection to your S/S season.

Wide Brim Flat Top Hat

So beyond elegant and cool. Wear for gardening, beach days, dates in the park, plein air painting…

Seashell Cap

Fashion kippah! My yenta-core conspiracies are coming to fruition!

Quilted Day Bag

Huge and bountiful bag that wants to be filled with towels and snacks and flowers and illicit substances.

Pillow Bag

You can seriously use this bag as a pillow! God bless! The icy slate colorway is perfect, to me, and the shape is fascinating and will make your whole outfit look based (even if you plan to snooze on the bag later).

Arc Tote Bag

More of that glorious slate color, this time crocheted into a sling that looks like it belongs on a mycological walk or in a dusty desert cantina.

Gift Basket Bow Tights

Tights with shit on them! A bulky, impractical re-envisioning of a decidedly practical accessory. And it looks sick as hell.

Full Circle Ring

These look so good, especially in multiples, which I wish I could afford. I burn, I pine, I perish, etc.

Grab Bag

Star Blocks Cardigan

Serve Kurt Cobain Teaching Kindergarten in this cozy guy.

Vintage Botany Tee

I don’t know why, just love this. I wanna be on the Pistils.

70’s Blouse

Glory to these sleeves and the perfect blue, like a chambray balloon.

Tokio Natural Leather

These look like the platonic ideal of a spring shoe. I just tipsily ordered them as a birthday treat to myself and will report back if they rock or suck (I am very finicky about shoes, having a bad ankle, knees, and hips, so my feedback will be decisive and possibly damning).

Sample Service

From what I’ve smelled, I recommend the Pink Iris and Green Cedar scents. Let me know if any of the others are worth huffing.

Let me know what you liked, what you despised, and what you felt absolutely nothing about in this post! @humanrepeller on Instagram or in the comments here.

SPRING WILL COME!

❤ HR

Heartbreak Hell

You ever been heartbroken? Hah, me neither.

Lol

I’m a Pisces, I factor heartbreak into my biannual schedule.

Anyway

Short little dispatch from Heartbreak Hotel today. Here are some clothes to wear to conceal, reveal, and deeply *feel* your poor little aortas’ pain. Maybe you’ll even catch the eye of a potential new heartbreaker in these numbers! One can only hope!

Conceal

Star Blocks Cardigan

You look like a fucking kindergarten teacher! You look like fucking Kurt Cobain! You are doing amazing and these bright colors are distracting from the gargoyle-esque expression your face has solidified into!

‘Dwell’ Oilskin Pants

Put that crotch of yours behind a facsimile of a barbed wire fence, where it belongs.

1980s Black Button Cocktail Dress with Bow Sleeves

The little bows on the sleeves are very prim and don’t give away the funeral for your former crush that you may be planning in your head right now.

Let them feel like they know you. They know nothing.

What are you gonna hide in here? A scrap of Rilke poetry? A cyanide pill? Up to you!

Reveal

Riblet Tank

For easy access in case anyone else wants to put a dagger to your <3.

You Said Tank

I wouldn’t ever wear this tank top except I would probably wear it now.

Ivory Silk Chiffon Ruffled Tie Blouse

Wear nothing under this.

To sew onto the butt of your jeans, over the heart of your overalls, or “on your sleeve.”

I got the sampler of these perfumes. Hysteria is a little much on the front end but fades beautifully. Doll is as bratty as it says on the tin. Both will make themselves clear.

Feeeeeeeeeel

I Will Always Love You T-Shirt

Couldn’t find any good vintage Dolly shirts, so you’ll have to wear this one until it yellows, shreds, and becomes a relic of your heartache. Sorry.

Cinched Tee

This will likely be my next shirt purchase. For when you’re feeling scrunched up inside and the world needs to know.

Dogtown Coveralls

You’re allowed to be Eartha Kitt-style Evil right now. Especially in a boiler suit.

Holder Ear Cuff

For whatever poison or drug you already feel whispering into your ear.

Eros and Psyche Studs

“Desire and Soul are connected through trials of trust. A lovely obstacle, a lusty tribulation.”

Yeah ok I’m sad now gonna crawl back into my grotto and write bad poetry. Commiserate or criticize (kindly or I might weep) at @humanrepeller on insta.

❤ HR

I Yam What I Wear

I have been in a Robert Altman phase recently, and last week finally watched Popeye (1980). I’m always thrilled to see Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall in virtually any capacity, but what immediately captivated me about the film were the costumes, which from minute one lent themselves to dream outfit-building. From the black rubber (?) trench that conceals Popeye’s famous forearms for the 30 seconds he keeps it on to Olive Oyl’s show-stopping, back-buttoning sweater, this film is a rich sartorial text and as the days finally begin to lengthen, I propose you bite some of its style for the spring and summer seasons.

P.S. I really like having a static, standalone blog, and there aren’t many of them out there these days, but some friends have suggested I might reach more people/elicit more interaction with a Substack. Would you be more likely to sub/comment/read if this blog were in newsletter form? Please let me know here or @humanrepeller on Instagram! Thanks, and enjoy!

Sailor Shirt

A sailor/sailor-y shirt must be vintage, must be a little beat-up looking, preferably has some kind of attached scarf or epic collar, and can be worn with anything from work pants to cutoff shorts or bermudas to long, bundled, sail-like skirts to pleated minis. The PERFECT top to go over a swimsuit with no pants at all. Would pair best with a watch cap/beanie like the ones below, but if you really wanna go full Popeye, a flat cap or tam is a brave choice.

Vintage Surplus Soviet Sailor Shirt
Vintage Sailor Costume Shirt
Vintage Soviet Sailor Shirt With Scarf
Vintage French Sailor Shirt
70s Zip Front Top
Vintage Navy and White Collared Shirt

Black Rain Gear

For some reason, this first shot of the inimitably good Robin Williams left a huge imprint on me. I’d always considered bright rain gear superior, as it livens up gloomy weather, but something about the black coat and hat/navy and white underneath really spoke to me. To avoid looking like a sentient trash bag, matte might be the safer bet, but sometimes it might be nice to look like a sentient trash bag! The Sou’wester cap with the built-in chin tie is calling out to me verrrryyyy loudly right now and would be a perennial part of my wardrobe as it seems perfect for any season.

Vintage Raincoat
80s Raincoat
Vintage Raincoat
Vintage Raincoat
Rain Bucket Hat
The Sou’wester Waxed Cotton Bucket Hat

Jaunty Caps

You simply GOTTA get on the jaunty cap game, especially as the sunniest seasons approach, to protect your skin and eyes, cover the sweaty mass of hair that might accumulate unflatteringly on your skull, and add NECESSARY JAUNTINESS to any look! Go masc with Popeye’s flat/fisherman’s and watch caps, or high femme with a riDICulous Olive Oyl–inspired chapeau in an unforgiving red. The sculptural cap below is especially swoon-inducing, but you could always go with a red beret or beanie for a more toned-down version of this look. Just as long as it’s not ‘UGLY!’

Corduroy Cap
Wool Watch Cap
Vintage Sailor Cap
Vintage Fisherman’s Hat
Vintage Watch Cap
Sailor Cap
Vintage Bucket Hat
50s Velvet Hat
Red Velvet Sculptural Cap

Red Cardigan (To Be Buttoned Down the Back)

After watching exactly one (1) French New-Wave film in middle school, I think an Anna Karina joint, I became obsessed with buttoning all of my cardigans down the back and was vindicated when I saw Olive Oyl doing the same in this film. There aren’t many specifically back-buttoning cardigans on the market, but fear not, most ‘straight’ cardigans actually look super cool when flipped around as long as the back tag can be safely removed without leaving any bumps or holes. Back-buttoning creates an interesting, high boat-neckish neckline and a dramatic reveal of the nape of one’s neck which I think is universally sexy and flattering, and the line of buttons traversing a spine is a glorious sight to behold. I chose some red numbers in Olive’s honor, but go crazy back-buttoning any color cardigan your heart desires.

1970s Vintage Chunky Red Wool Cardigan
Vintage Cardigan
80s Angora Sweater
50s Wool Cardigan

Ruffled Neckline

Until I figure out how to replicate the Olive Oyl hairstyle, the iconic neck ruffle will be the closest I can get to truly embodying her ethos. Wrist ruffles add bonus points. Don’t be afraid of buying a pierrot collar for fashion purposes. I do love Duvall’s wider-collared look, however.

Petal Blouse
Petal Blouse
Clown Collar
80s Double Ruffle Blouse

Adorable Negligee

Slap on some vintage Soviet stockings, roll your socks down over them, and slip into something that may be ridiculous, may be sexy, but is definitely pink. Then list all the good qualities of your crush to your entirely unsupportive friends, and if all you can come up with is a descriptor of their size, consider escaping your engagement party off the back porch.

Vintage Slip
Vintage Slip
Vintage Slip
Vintage Slip Dress
70s Slip Dress
50s Pajama
60s Pajamas

If you haven’t yet seen this film, I highly recommend it, for Shelley Duvall’s voice, Harry Nilsson’s orchestrations, Robin Williams’ squint, and general delirious merriment. Please comment or shoot me an Instagram message @humanrepeller if you do–I’ve gotten some really uplifting feedback recently and that’s kept me coming back to this weird little project. Let me know about the Substack question above, and, as always, I hope you find as many moments of joy and peace as possible while clawing your way through the days.

❤ HR