Clogs With Knee Socks and Other Adventures in Eclectic Layering

I’ve been following creative duo Lauren Kennedy Malpas and Fiona Torre (a stylist and photographer, respectively) on Instagram for a while now, and frequently bookmark their work because it’s always chock full of out-of-the-box fashion inspiration. Ergo, when the opportunity to collaborate with them for an exclusive Man Repeller feature came up, I immediately sprinkled metaphorical fertilizer on the synapses of my brain to prep it for the sowing of sartorial revelations. And I’m glad I did, because once I saw the resulting photo shoot, outfit ideas began to bud — specifically ones that involved unexpected winter holiday pairings. Which is relevant because of the time of year we’re about to collectively embark upon, but also because each combination of garments brought an utterly fresh perspective to the concept of what “goes” together. See what I mean below.

Why not…wear an oversized vest with clogs and sheer knee socks?

Is it just me or are vests slated to be the unforeseen hero of winter 2018? I swear, they’ve somehow come up in every editorial meeting we’ve had at Man Repeller lately, and now THIS. I love the idea of wearing one so oversized it essentially functions as a dress (an approach I’ve previously tested by wearing my dad’s old T-shirts and calling them nightgowns, to much success). Turns out Etsy is a treasure trove for festive, wallet-friendly faux shearling-lined vests, including this one for $34 and this one for $43. I’m literally wearing my Swedish Hasbeens clogs as I type this and cannot recommend them enough from the standpoint of both comfort and aesthetic appeal. As for sheer knee-high socks? Easy: Amazon. If you’re not into the oversized vest-as-dress look, consider adding an additional layer underneath — ideally one that involves sequins.

Why not…layer a knit bra over a windbreaker?

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this! Okay, actually I can. It’s so weird. But I mean that in the absolute best way possible because “weird” is the precise category wherein fashion trends do get really, really fun. Pair it with matching knit underwear if you’re lounging at home, and throw on a pair of jeans belted with a bejeweled chain (I know! Specific! But it sounds cool in my head…) when you’re ready to head out to join whatever festivities you have planned. If you don’t own a matching knit bra and underwear, don’t worry I don’t either, but I just found this great Etsy shop (bless Etsy for fulfilling all my weirdest style needs) that makes them in like 40 different colors.

Why not…pair a translucent coat with a fancy hat?

Finding a fantastic coat is a perpetually bittersweet endeavor because oftentimes you want to keep wearing said fantastic coat even once you reach your indoor destination due to its fantastic-ness, and a) it inevitably obscures the rest of your outfit and b) it inevitably makes you overheat. The solution to this conundrum is a transparent coat — sheer enough to avoid both of these potential pitfalls. This one from Topshop is an A+ option (I particularly enjoy the pink piping), and it’s only $100. If you’re in the mood to invest, or in the mood to dream about investing, you can’t go wrong with ogling this one from Calvin Klein, which is pricey even on sale. But wait! I’m rambling and I haven’t even discussed the PB to your translucent coat’s J: a fancy hat. Why? Wrong question. Why not? It’s a sartorial manifestation of joy, a conversation starter and a powerful stylistic decision all rolled into one. If you’re really feeling the translucent vibe, I highly recommend this one.

Why not…coordinate distressed jeans with an equally distressed patchwork denim jacket?

I’ve long awaited the day when I receive an invitation to a holiday party with a dress code that stipulates “festive denim only.” Since I have yet to receive this invitation and none of my friends seem interested in actualizing it, I guess I’ll have to take matters into my own hands by either hosting a festive denim holiday party myself OR going rogue and just wearing it to a random holiday party whether it’s expected or not. Frankly, both options sound appealing, but for now I’m still in the planning stages. The first step involves answering the question of what exactly “festive denim” entails. The answer is both obvious and evasive, which is basically the whole point: interpretation is really up to the individual. I highly enjoy Lauren Malpas’s idea of going the ultra-distressed route (how fun would it be to wear sparkly tights and a velvet turtleneck underneath for the ultimate holiday peek-a-boo experience?) but would also consider any variety of denim so long as it promises to catch the eye and sing a carol.

At any rate, I certainly have enough material to continue my tradition of avoiding LBDs this holiday season (sorry, Amelia). What are all of you planning to wear while you sip egg nog and make out under mistletoe? Has anyone reading this ACTUALLY made out under mistletoe? I’m dying to try.

Photography: Fiona Torre
Styling & Art Direction: Lauren Kennedy Malpas
Makeup: Inês Aguiar
Styling Assistant: Beatriz Alves


Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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