Have you ever put on an outfit that doesn’t necessarily make sense to anyone but you? That may or may not be appropriate for the occasion at hand but strikes an emotional chord nonetheless? That feels practical only in its superfluousness? If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, congrats! You, my friend, are versed in the art of “just because” dressing, a mode of outfitting yourself for those times when you just need a bit of sparkle in your life, but you don’t need a reason why. Such is the ethos behind Repeller’s “Just Because” bundle, which includes the Jumbo Repeller Flagpole, the Cocoon Earring, and the White Tiger Earring. An odd trio in theory, but as with any “just because” configuration, that’s ultimately what makes them harmonize.
To further excavate this theory, I asked five masters in the art of “just because” dressing to a) show me an outfit that embodies whatever harmlessly irrational but endearing style means to them and b) tell me about their relationship to this philosophy in general. Scroll down to soak in all their “just because” wisdom, and while you’re at it, join me in a rousing game of Spot-the-Repeller (incidentally a fun excuse to zoom in on people’s hair and ears).
1. Amanda Murray; stylist
What does “just because” dressing mean to you? It means I’m not committing myself or my style to a polarizing subcategory of trends. It feels like letting go in the best way possible, and being nonchalant about everyone else’s opinion but my own. This approach is (in my opinion) the best way to approach your journey not only in style, but in life—allowing yourself to be guided by your internal voice without second-guessing it.
Where do you look for “just because” style inspiration? I wouldn’t say I look for ‘just because” style inspiration, it’s definitely more of a spontaneous feeling for me. I often experience it in the juxtaposition of fashion and places, like wearing a ball gown to work with dirty Converse sneakers on the subway. Today I wore a Rick Owens dress from the runway paired with Manolo Blahnik shoes from his Africa collection to the corner store…just because. I felt at one with myself.
What’s on your “just because” wishlist right now? A Marni sequined bucket hat, Y/Project skirt trousers, Simone Rocha feathered flatforms, a Junya Watanabe denim dress, a Dries Van Noten sequined jumpsuit, and a Sies Marjan purple leather suit. Yes, I’m a constant martyr to excess.
Does skincare and/or makeup play a role in your “just because” aesthetic? Definitely eye makeup. I look to the runway for all of the abstract eye makeup looks: lots of squiggly lines drawn around the eyes, different eye shadows on each eye–these are my cup of tea. My goal is always to look like an extra from a Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper music video.
What’s the one thing you routinely do “just because”? I dance in the mirror a lot to 90s R&B, and though I feel very silly while doing so, it makes me laugh at myself which is a nice way to break up the monotony of taking myself so seriously. It’s very Ally McBeal.
2. Micaela Verrelien, stylist and creative director
What does “just because” dressing mean to you? Dressing and wearing an outfit “just because” is my life. Naturally I’m actually very shy, but my style does not necessarily identify with my shyness. Everything I wear is worn just because I feel like it. I never look or seek attention with my outfits, but rather seek to feed my internal emotional being with an outfit that suits my mood in the moment
Where do you look for “just because” style inspiration? I look for style inspiration on platforms that are very free and versatile, like Man Repeller, Tumblr, and Pinterest. And Instagram, of course. Although, if I were to consider a specific time period of inspiration, I would say that I feel like my biggest sources for creative fodder are the 70s and 90s, for sure. I usually look on Pinterest for photos from these decades.
What’s on your “just because” wishlist right now? I’ve been eyeing a lot of barrettes and oversized hats. I intend on traveling a lot this summer; I feel like accessories have the power to transform a simple outfit into an “it” outfit.
Does skincare and/or makeup play a role in your “just because” aesthetic? I definitely think that skincare and makeup play a huge role in my aesthetic. Skincare for me is always a must, with or without makeup, but wearing a super fun makeup look can take my style in an entirely different direction. Fenty Beauty vivid eyeliner in particular is a game-changer.
What’s the one thing you routinely do “just because”? I call my mom, or she calls me. My mom has truly become my best friend. I think that our relationship grew to another level once I graduated university and moved to New York. We definitely have typical mother and daughter conversations, but we also have conversations like two adult women.
3. Lauren Valenti; senior beauty editor, Vogue
What does “just because” dressing mean to you? To me, “just because” dressing is inextricably linked to “just because” revelry. Why wait for an excuse to celebrate life and wear something you love? Buy tickets! Throw a party! Splurge on a glamorous cocktail!
Where do you look for “just because” style inspiration? Most often, I look back in time—namely to to the late 60s, 70s, and 80s—when people spared no detail getting dressed just because! That kind of playful irreverence is harder to find today, especially with the theater of Instagram being such a driving force. (I’m as guilty as the next person!)
What’s on your “just because” wishlist right now? “Just because” pieces are the unapologetic magpies of my wardrobe—typically characterized by vivid colors, sumptuous fabrics (silk! lace! tulle!), exaggerated silhouettes, or conversation-catalyzing details…
Does skincare and/or makeup play a role in your “just because” aesthetic? I’m partial, of course, but beauty is an essential part of the equation! I’m always so inspired by the directional looks on the runway, so if I have the opportunity to work with a pro through my job, I’ll always ask for a backstage-inspired hair or makeup moment. (I had lots of fun with this year’s Met Gala theme: Notes on Camp!). If I’m on my own and want to amp things up, my big curly mane does a lot of the heavy lifting. Then I might add a glitter smoky eye with Stila’s Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, vinyl lip with Giorgio Armani Beauty Ecstasy Lacquer, or drape by eyes and upper cheekbones in Pat McGrath’s Fuchsia Eye Blush. I love the more-is-more looks Sandy Linter and Way Bandy created in the 70s and 80s!
What’s the one thing you routinely do “just because”? Dress up, go to a fancy bar, order dirty martinis, and let time stand still—almost exclusively with my close friend and confidante, Hallie Gould!
4. Leandra Medine, Man Repeller founder (and recently, inventor of ice cream flavors)
What does “just because” dressing mean to you? A good “just because” outfit prompts a spectator’s asking: “Where is she going?” A great one answers: “I have no idea.” This result arises from the ability to put inconvenient clothes together and somehow make them seem obvious, like they were meant to be worn the way you have them in the exact moment you’re seeing them. (Inconvenient can mean anything in the way of inappropriateness given the weather, the dress code, the style of garment, etc. So long as you’re dressed like you could be going absolutely anywhere in what you’re wearing — from the moon to a doctor’s appointment — you’re outfitted “just because.”)
Where do you look for “just because” style inspiration? Not to sound like an over-pompous shithead (I am just a regular pompous shithead), I think the best “just because” style is tumble-dried in the trenches of the wearer’s mind. Sure, all of our style is referential of something (Bunny MacDougal meets ranch in Montana, for example) but it takes an almost second-nature approach to enmeshment (having Bunny go to Montana) that makes for the best “just because”-ing.
What’s on your “just because” wishlist right now? This silk pajama set from Ascenso but only to wear on a warm summer day, to work. It embodies that “just because” life just because I’m selecting it for work. This jacket, too, from The RealReal to wear with these “shorts” on a beach. Neither have any business hanging out over there, which makes it important to do.
Does skincare and/or makeup play a role in your “just because” aesthetic? Oh man if I was more of a balls-to-the-wall makeup person, I am sure I’d wear yellow eyeshadow just because! But mostly I stick to like 3-5 products and my face never changes, for better and worse!, as such.
What’s the one thing you routinely do “just because”? Try on outfit after outfit while my daughters are napping even though I plan to wear none of them.
5. Gia Seo, fashion and art director
What does “just because” dressing mean to you? It’s a manifestation of small victories–the necklace my mother gave me that I remembered during spring cleaning, a pair of bright pink Monolo heels I got on super sale, confirming a client who gave me a run for my money. All of these little wins allow me to surrender myself to “just because” dressing, because my most joyful outfits are often the result of acknowledging that there is something to celebrate every day.
Where do you look for “just because” style inspiration? The wholesale shops in the Flatiron area.
What’s on your “just because” wishlist right now? Let the breaking of my piggy bank commence (!):
+ Everything and all Vintage Comme des Garcons
Does skincare and/or makeup play a role in your “just because” aesthetic? When I’m really feeling the “just because” mentality, I will bring out all of my best products that I’ve been holding onto for no good reason! I really give myself a skincare treatment, by starting with a Witch Hazel toner, a clay mask from OLEHENRIKSEN for my nose, and a MALIN+GOETZ detox mask for the rest of my face. I top it off by steaming my face with a little hand-held steamer from Amazon, and then applying Kozha Numbers Vitamin E face serum, then back to MALIN+GOETZ Vitamin E grapefruit face moisturizer. From there, I bring out my Chanel CC Cream, and really treat myself to a fun and colorful eye made possible by Kat Von Dee lipliners and Dior Pump mascara in blue.
What’s the one thing you routinely do “just because”? It doesn’t take much to create my sanctuary, but I usually bake some sort of new pastry, curl up, and turn on my favorite show Monk and veg out. And usually all of that goes hand in hand with grooming my cat Earl. It’s a wonderful life!