Outer Space vs. the Prairie: An Instagram Style Showdown

Last August, two groups of style troops were identified and sorted: the Ironic 90s Club Kid, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl With a Straw Basket. This year, it seems, the MPDG has found her way down home on the range. Our raver, meanwhile, has left the club and boarded a spaceship to Mars.

They’re similar to last year’s Instagram fashion trends, but not exactly: These teams have evolved. 2018 has given us the oat milk-drinking milkmaid, a.k.a the Prairie Home Companion, and she who is literally out of this world, the Outer Space Explorer.

Which personality feels more you? Let’s break both of them down.

Welcome to the Future

Outer-Spacers love the 90s, as the Instagram captioners say, “to the moon and back.” But if last summer they were sipping nostalgia soda through a stainless-steel straw, this year they’re merely sprinkling its freeze-dried bits on top of their tongues like Dippin’ Dots (or Pop Rocks, depending which year you were born in), because fashion-wise, Outer-Spaces have their toes pointed toward the future. In fact, I suspect they already live there and are waiting for everyone else to catch up. They fear nothing, especially not the tan lines one must get from wearing those itty bitty sunglasses so close to the literal sun.

This is you if…

– You strongly identify with Emilia Petrarca’s week of Matrix-like dressing on The Cut
– You often find yourself explaining what a “hypebeast is”
– You could win a high-stakes game of “Honey I Love You, But I Just Can’t Smile”
– You frequently use the alien emoji
– You wish you went to space camp
– You are part of the contributing force who are committed not just to the bringing-back-of, but to the continued existence of: butterfly clips, those black stretchy platform slides, PVC anything, tube tops, cargo shorts and/or pants, neon, fanny packs, combat boots, mesh, baguette bags, short bangs, bucket hats — and simultaneously you know, love and respect their respective fashion histories
– You had a hard time when celebrities began dressing this way too but because you know it’s a phase for them and a lifestyle for you, you were able to gracefully ignore when a certain friend (would would previously never!) started wearing massive sneakers (which you started) because she saw So and So do it on Just Jared
– Your sneakers are so big because they need to weigh you down in your preferred zero-gravity atmosphere
– You are currently listening to Drake’s “In My Feelings” on repeat (set to private on Spotify because the exact number of times is no one’s business)
– Despite what your current face may say, you are honestly almost over tiny sunglasses and are craving a pair with squashed-rectangular lenses and thick arms that resembles the pair you wore to a teen club night on a family cruise in 2004.
– Your camera of choice is a disposable one
– You may or may not have a personal photographer with you at all times — or at the very least a robot
– You do not give a fuck
– You pose like this:

And now, for something completely different:

Prairie Home Companion

Irony may be the Space Queen’s game — a polar opposite to the milkmaid’s earnest Instagram captions (i.e. “Perfect day for a sundress”), but ironically, the prairie’s rise to social media prime seems to correlate directly with the continued rise of dairy-free milk alternatives. That said, given Oatley is hands-down the most popular no-milk-milks (just read this comment section), I suppose our Prairie Home Companion could very well grow her own damn oats. Lord knows the farm goats will enjoy it, which should keep them from chewing on your sundress.

Anyway, this is you if…

– You have zero fear of ticks and as such, will flop in a bed of tall grass and wildflowers for the shot
– You wear a remarkable amount of white without getting anything on it
– Your bags are almost exclusively straw baskets, and when they are not, they are something one could potentially use to carry grain to four legged creatures in
– You hunt for dirndls on Etsy like it is your job
– It might actually be your job (only someone who works in a thrift or vintage store could possibly have the collection I’ve seen you post to Instagram)
– You are currently listening to Drake’s “In My Feelings” on repeat (but quietly, so that you don’t startle the butterfly that is balancing on your finger as we speak)
– You were not always a dress person, but this trend changed all of that
– Alternatively, this has always been “your thing” and you’re waiting until the tides change so that you can collect your rightful bounty of eyelet skirts and Victorian-era underpinnings
– You may or may not have a personal photographer with you at all times — and if it is a personal timer that you use, do frolicking lambs ever knock it over by accident?
– You take it as a compliment when someone references Westworld, Little Women, The Sound of Music and “my grandmother” in relation to your outfit
– Your camera of choice is a Polaroid
– You are not and cannot foresee ever being over the following: ruffles, off-the-shoulder anything, rouching, nightgowns as daygowns, flowers — just flowers in general, really, big pouf-y sleeves, golden hour lighting, gingham, the combination of any and all of the above.

If you’ve gotten this far and still feel confused — not because you don’t understand the above, but because you feel like both of these are you, well, that’s very possible, too. In fact, these two fashion houses blend together so harmoniously that you might consider trying the mix if you haven’t already. Your black pleather pants with all the straps and chains, why, wouldn’t those go great with gingham? And there is no reason your teeny-tiny Outer Space sunglasses cannot accompany an off-the-shoulder white puffy sleeve Milkmaid blouse.

The moon is made of cheese, after all.

(And also, this makes that whole crop circle conspiracy thing make a whole lot more sense!)

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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