Ah, a stay at home order.
While the world around me grinded to a halt and slowly transitioned to a tepid life indoors, I wondered what was even possible for a personal stylist in the middle of a pandemic.
I initially imagined it could lead to spending an unholy amount of time braless while wearing the same pair of musty yoga pants day in and day out. And at least for a little while, euphoria could ensue as I could become reacclimated to my conic drooping boobs while being blanketed head-to-toe in cat hair without the slightest desire to lint roll.
But imagining this kind of mucky tomfoolery while burrowed deep in the recesses of my couch was short lived as the magic of Zoom conference calls quickly changed up my quarantine routine. However, I did find myself in a bit of a style slump as the braless promises of filthy freedom continued to summon me, attempting to lure with me with their sweet calls.
Fortunately, with the help and style inspiration from a quarantine binging session of Netflix’s Love, Mickey Dobbs, the show’s magically styled anti-hero, compelled me to put on a bra and emerge from my style slumbers. And if you are feeling the hum and glum of a life in quarantine with little motivation to pull up a pair of pants, perhaps Mickey can change your mind as well.
So who exactly is Mickey Dobbs?
Femme Fatale? Heroine? Recovering addict with slight sociopathic leanings? Yes, yes and yes. I love her and am simultaneously afraid of her. I admire her and “tsk, tsk” most of her micro life choices.
Nothing about Mickey feels contrived or forced, good or bad. She is an unapologetic dichotomy, and the same can be said of her style. She feels effortless, yet scrappy. Her style concoctions look and feel like they come from items she has meticulously curated and owned for years and are artful blends of stereotypically feminine and masculine silhouettes.
Swimsuit or Bodysuit?
Bodysuits are layering powerhouses that provide a sleek “tucked in” base layer without unflattering bunching - something the humble camisole can only dream of offering. But if you are like me and wondering when you will legally be allowed to step foot inside of a fine retail establishment to try on this magical contraption, fret not. Instead of wasting money on a bodysuit, locate and secure that old one-piece swimsuit you liked but never really loved.
Here we see Mickey doing just that, albeit while finding herself in a new age cult meeting she had mistaken for a romantic rendezvous.
The beauty of the swimsuit is that it’s firm lycra-spandex blend smooths and firms any wobbly bits you may have - an added benefit that even the prettiest standard bodysuit cannot always offer. Finish the look with a pair of mid or high-rise skinny jeans with strappy sandals and I promise even the most discerning eyes will not be able to tell that you are wearing active swimwear.
Give 'Em The Boot
Ah, look at her: those knobby knees, that pasty skin, that retro skirt, those enchanting boots… is she arguing or telling her scorned lover exactly where he must go to purchase a similar pair of boots? The style inspiration that I and Love enthusiasts alike became obsessed with are Mickey’s bad ass boots. Sure, she sported these somewhere in 2016, but they are timeless, edgy, nostalgic rocker-esque marvels that will stand the test of time. They are a croc-embossed leather with a part-rocker-part-goth tri-buckle blend with a bit of stud detailing.
These boots are not for the faint of heart as they carefully tow the line between sophisticated pirate and something I’m certain David Bowie would have stroked, coddled and named. They aren’t for everyone… but if you are curious, Modern Vice produces them in mass for a pretty penny.
These boots are certainly a statement piece - they tell everyone who comes into contact with them “Move Bitch, Get Out The Way.” If that is your vibration, I could not recommend these beauties enough. These boots are perfect for when you feel like a style slouch or when you feel like you’ve gotten soft physically or figuratively. There is nothing that will signal to you and the world around you that you are as bad as they come.
Bombing The Bodycon
I was introduced to the brilliant pairing of a bomber jacket and bodycon dress by Mickey Dobbs in season 2 of Love. At the time, I had no category for this outerwear staple. My Google search strings included “oversized mannish jacket for girl,” “manly jacket for women,” and “Mickey Dobbs jacket.” Somewhere in that combination of words, I uncovered something that has always existed.
The bomber jacket is a modern flight jacket that tapers along the waist and wrists and is often constructed with a boyfriend style cut. Pairing an oversized bomber jacket with a tight-fitting body con or sheath dress is the stuff dreams are made of, bringing a sexy skin-hugging dress to a steady simmer while offering a bit of edgy flair with a modern bomber. This combination is the perfect blend of both feminine and masculine vibrations, bringing a bit of comfort and daytime balance to an otherwise evening appropriate dress.
Button Up - All The Way Up
When it comes to breaking up the monotony of a stale wardrobe, there is nothing like buttoning up your dress shirt all the way to the collar. Suddenly a forgettable staple is given an artistic streak and a bit of ingenious tailoring. There is nothing wrong with the small and unassuming V-necked collar that your dress shirt so often forms, but when that is the only silhouette a basic button up has ever afforded you, it’s time to make a change.
The shape that the collar makes when it's gently folded over and pinned down by the button is an aesthetically pleasing proportion. A spread collar in contrast tends to fly away or stick out like airplane wings when not worn with a jacket. To finish this look, follow in the steps of Mickey and pair this conservative style tucked in with a fun and fluted skater skirt. Mixing structure with a bit of flit and fun brings balance to this ensemble. So in honor of Mickey, pull out your basic button-up and your favorite flirty skirt and watch as the world of feminine and masculine blend seamlessly.
Oh, Mickey, You're So Fine - Hey Mickey!
As you recalibrate and define your new normal, your priorities will likely take on new forms and I suspect wearing pants will never feel more optional. It’s only understandable to feel the cathartic release of wearing something 4, 5, maybe 6 days in a row with reckless abandon as the world teeters on unprecedented times and formerly essential activities now seem like luxuries. But life in quarantine can present an exciting opportunity as it whittles away outward audiences and observers of your style, leaving you truly able to dress in the moment and for yourself. For a little while, that may mean bralessness and yoga pants… but when you are ready and want to feel inspired, look no further than the mighty Mickey Dobbs.
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