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13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I used to wear a lot of clothing my parents wore in the 1970s. Even though my dad is nearly six feet tall I once thought it was a good idea to wear his old sweaters. A friend once pointed out to me that I have the same body type as Michelle Williams (the actress, not the singer), so sometimes I look at paparazzi photos of her when she’s out running errands to see the kind of shapes and silhouettes she’s rocking. But since I hate wearing costumes, I don’t often adapt dressing ideas from other people. I like to feel completely like myself in my clothing.
Of course. All the time. It's ridiculous to imagine a completely original style.
Yes, yes, yes. My former roommate and I shared all of our clothes and food for two years (it was a great living sitch), so our styles became almost interchangeable (although I somehow always looked more “elegant mom”, and she more “fashion model/ sartoralist”). And speaking of mom’s, I also wear a ton of my mom’s clothes from the 80s- I’d say her old pieces makeup about 30% of my wardrobe. I love hand-me-downs: combining clothes from different people who I love- from all of “them”, creating a look that’s “me”.
I used to steal my friend Rachel's clothes. She knew it, but she hated it. When my mom got ill, I would spend a lot of time at Rachel's house. She had way more nice clothes than I did. She had these solid color 3/4 dolman sleeve T-shirts from Benetton in the late 80's, with a burnt out flowers pattern that I loved. One time, she came into the ballet dressing room while I was in ballet class and took her shirt back. She stole it back from me! I remember being livid, "How dare she! Now I have to wear my leotard on the bus home!" But she was clearly in the right.
In high school my friend E and I once went to a fancy local dept. store, and we stole tons of fancy underwear. We took tons into the dressing room and walked out wearing it all: pairs of silk panties, tap pants, bras, camisoles. Natori, Christian Dior, black silk. When I lost my virginity I wore this stuff. Ugh. I’d like to think he was impressed, but he probably didn’t even notice because he was about to get laid.
My friend Dana has amazing style and all the new clothes. She owns Shoemarket in Willamsburg, which is one of the best show stores in the city (not just me being her friend, they've won awards from NYMag and the Village Voice etc and were one of the first stores to carry Rachel Comey!). I have totally mimicked her style at different points. The long brown hair with layers and bangs in 2005. When she wore charms, I dug out my old charm bracelet. A few years later, leopard print pants, check. She had an arm party? Then every bracelet I own was on my wrists. But lately I feel like I’m doing my own thing.
It's impossible to live with friends as roommates for nearly a decade without borrowing their clothes. (Though I don't know if that's true for guys.) It's one of the things I miss most about roommates, now that I live with my boyfriend. Just trying on each other's things and talking about them. There's something so nice about it. So easy. Although as I'm thinking about it, I think this happens more fluidly when you're younger, maybe because your identity isn't fully formed yet. When I was eighteen my friend Allison and I would wear each other's clothes all the time. But when I lived with Martha eight years later we hardly ever wore each other's clothes. And Martha has great clothes.