I rely on my group chat for many things, especially during quarantine. Recipe ideas for using up leftovers? Constantly. Book recommendations? Routinely. Relationship advice? Far too often. It’s better than Google in most cases, and yet frustratingly deficient in one: solutions to particularly challenging outfit dilemmas. On this front, my group chat is lacking, perhaps because solving a particularly challenging outfit dilemma requires a certain expertise and a precise visual demonstration. For both of these things, I find it most helpful to turn to people who are in the literal business of providing them: stylists. Enter Mecca James-Williams. I tapped Mecca to answer some of the timeliest—and trickiest—of the outfit dilemmas posed by the Man Repeller community. Below, she tackles three sartorial challenges with her special breed of aesthetic inspiration, one which doesn’t skimp on style for the sake of ease. -Harling
Challenge #1: “I find that it’s hard to style oversized or relaxed shirts/tops etc. with my H cups, but always wearing something fitted is quite tiring, especially during quarantine. Any outfit recommendations that would solve this?”
For this particular challenge, Mecca recommended a compromise: finding an oversized shirt that shows skin in a different way–like, for example, transparent fabric. That way you can still achieve some definition without having to wear anything super-fitted. Mecca demonstrated this solution with a roomy mesh top paired with a sports bra and biker shorts (and to that point, biker shorts are always a great means of complementing the proportions of something oversized). Alternatively, she suggested putting on an oversized button down, cuffing the sleeves, buttoning the two middle buttons, and pairing it with a crop top or bra for another iteration of skin action that’s still supremely comfortable.
Challenge #2: “What’s a good hack/style approach for adding new life to clothes you’ve had for a really long time?”
Mecca’s solution is simple but potent here: to add new life to something you’ve owned forever, pair it with something you can hardly believe you bought in the first place because it’s so! dang! trendy! To illustrate this hack, Mecca styled vintage jeans she’s had in her closet for years with a tie-dye turtleneck she’s seen all over her Instagram feed. The jeans were feeling dated and the top was feeling over-played, but in combination, they balance each other out. (Isn’t it weird/fun when you don’t love two things separately, but when you put them together they’re suddenly amazing??? This became abundantly clear to me the first time I tried a gin and tonic.)
Challenge #3: Is it possible to wear pajamas and look put-together simultaneously? If so, how?
According to Mecca, you can totally wear pajamas and look put-together simultaneously. I absolutely agree with this in theory but struggle with it in practice (so thank you to the community member who posed this Q from the bottom of my ratty T-shirt-clad soul). Her approach is to style a pajama set (a matching set is preferable, because nothing screams “put-together” more than two garments that already coordinate perfectly) as if you were wearing it out. Like out out–on a Saturday night, potentially somewhere fancy. For visual evidence, Mecca styled a white set with her favorite purple bra and pumps, plus some jewelry and a bold lip. The result is, objectively, A LOOK–perfect for a date night, virtual or otherwise. To make it more Zoom-friendly, Mecca suggested swapping out the bra for a nice top.
Any other outfit dilemmas in need of solving? Tell us in the comments!