Welcome to Outfit Anatomy, a series of comprehensive style analyses that aim to break down what we wear by answering questions like: How much did that cost? Where did you find that? Why did you buy it in the first place? Up this week is Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue.
The hard thing about dressing as an editor-in-chief, at least for me, has been that I need to dress professionally, but I’m only 29 years old. I don’t want to wear just boring basics—I love color, and having fun with fashion, so my balance has been about finding brands and silhouettes that are easy go-to’s when I need something to wear.
A good example is this outfit. I still love this look but I couldn’t wear it in my current job—if I’m wearing something shorter, I feel like I have to wear loafers, and if I’m wearing something low cut, it’s got to be a maxi dress. It’s exposure in tasteful doses. My general rule is to only wear things that I would be comfortable with Anna (Wintour) seeing me in.
On the day I wore this, I had a ton of meetings. I was going to have several different coffees with advertisers, aka the people who we hope will align with us on financially profitable projects, and then was back in the office for meetings with my staff.
I always gravitate toward pieces that are easy to wear but look weird and interesting.
That combination boils down to the fact that I need to have some kind of uniform that makes it easy to get dressed in the morning because I always have a million things to do, but I need it to be made up of pieces that have interesting details and catch your eye. So if I’m wearing a simple midi-dress, it’s never going to be a plain black one—it’s going to have some crazy print, or an unexpected boxier fit, and some detail that makes it less pedestrian. I have zero desire to look too polished, so I know I’ve nailed it when it’s something fun I enjoy wearing, but it also does all the things I need it to do for my job. A good example is this tie-dye velvet Proenza dress. You won’t find me wearing anything that I have to constantly pull down or fidget with, or that I can’t meet with executives and go to drinks with friends after work in—just takes too much thought otherwise!
My best friend calls the coat I’m wearing my Prada power coat. It reminds me of a coat Michelle Obama wore years ago, and I had my eye on it for over 6 months, but couldn’t stomach paying thousands of dollars for it. I just kept eyeing it until one blessed day last November, during the midseason sale on Net-a-Porter, when it went down from $3,210 to $600.
The only catch was they didn’t have it in my size so I bought it three sizes too big, but after much group chat debate, I just got it. In the end, I paid an additional $150 to get it tailored and I will tell you, I wear this coat all the time. And get compliments all the time—it makes me feel good. It was probably the best purchase I’ve made in the past few years.
The dress underneath is Rosie Assoulin, who is a friend I love dearly! She really cares about how women feel in her clothing and that joy comes across in everything she makes. I bought this from her site this past summer as soon as I saw her Instagram it. It was around $400, on sale.
I love to look for sales: if it’s something specific, I’ll find a site where I can put an alert on the item to see when it goes on sale. Because I work in fashion, I do get discounts on plenty of things, but that can sometimes fool you into spending more money that you usually would (by, for example, justifying the price by the discount). I don’t have to pay full price for very much in this job, but one thing I do buy at retail are less expensive boots—I don’t believe in spending thousands of dollars on boots. They get dirty and the heels screw up, I’ll get a few from Mango or ASOS and call it a day.
Ironically, the shoes are Aquazurra. But I got them on sale from Farfetch for $225. I have really tried only to buy things that I am confident I’ll wear again. I bought these for the Met Gala last spring and have since worn them a ton. I like high heels because I’m 5″3′, and, to be honest, just don’t like how I look in a lot of flat shoes. I’m a size 8 in clothing and believe my outfits flow better when I can add some height. Not everyone might agree with this, it’s honestly just my thing. I don’t wear stilettos. It’s always a chunky heel or platform. I can’t concentrate if my feet hurt.
For jewelry, I always have on Jennifer Fisher hoops and my wedding rings. The earrings were $350 and while Jennifer has gifted me before, I actually bought this pair. I’m very transparent with people about money and how much I spend on fashion. I don’t come from money and have always worked multiple jobs to pay my bills. I’m proud I can afford nice things, but am diligent about being transparent that I don’t overspend and am a sale hunter. There’s a “keeping up with the Jones” air about Instagram, and I’d rather not contribute. I’ve seen so many people blow their paychecks to look cool for Instagram but in my view, it’s cooler to be a diligent shopper. As told to Leandra Medine.
Photos by Joshua Aronson.