Cottagecore, Sticks of Butter, Sequins With Athleisure: I Let the MR Thoughtline Dress Me for a Week

You ever heard of MR Thoughtline? It’s our new brainy text service where we send out three messages per weekday: one morning Upshot (three good things that happened in the last 24 hours, penned by yours truly), one ping about who’s answering the SMSes during our OOO hour (I call it “chatting with babes online,” à la Kip from Napoleon Dynamite), and an afternoon WFH Challenge (sometimes an outfit recipe, other times a literal culinary recipe). In honor of this recent Man Repellerian development, I elected to be dressed by Thoughtline for a week.

Getting dressed mid-isolation, each day feels like a dry run. We’ve talked about turning hobbies into hustles, but I think getting dressed for no audience other than yourself is kind of an inversion of that idea—it’s more like turning a hustle into a hobby. Read on for five days worth of letting my coworkers dress me.

Monday: “WFH Outfit Challengeroni: Put on your best #goingnowherebutfuckitimgettingdressed garb and send it straight to @manrepeller on Instagram.”

This outfit told me to tell you that churning butter is the new Tracy Anderson Method.

Okokokok, I know this doesn’t look like I got dressed, but I did. The jury’s still out on whether I can wear this vintage nightgown—a holiday gift from my grandmother—out in the wild (though I’d argue it isn’t a far cry from wearing this outdoors). It feels like a decadent outfit in the scheme of WFH gym shorts and cutoff t-shirts. These sleeves are veritable cream-puffs. I’m even wearing earrings!

Tuesday: “WFH Outfit Challenge coming right up: Accessorize your favorite pajamas as if you were attending a gala where the dress code was ‘black-tie sleepwear.'”

The smile is genuine; the “fur” is faux. If I had a parent-teacher conference with this outfit’s guardians, I’d tell them that this ensemble is a joy to have in class. The next time I wear it, I’ll be hosting a slumber party where we eat sea-salted radishes off of blond wood platters—as soon as I get the green light. (Should you desire an Edith jacket inspired by Beatrix Potter’s bunnies, it’s on sale.)

Another top contender for the title “favorite pajamas”: A friend recently asked me about lounge-y PJ recommendations, and I virtually spun her around three times, blindfolded, like she was playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and then nudged her in the direction of this Eberjey set, which I then discovered comes in a smorgasbord of different colors. Look no further if you’re searching for a pair of pajamas with the softness and lightness of a Mallomar.

Wednesday: “Christen your Tuesday with the following WFH Outfit Challenge: Get dressed like your alter ego. Mine is “international spy who just started making sourdough bread.” She loves dark sunglasses, chunky jewelry, and elasticized waistbands.”

My alter ego is a person who hasn’t watched a single Instagram Story in three months—don’t I look relaxed? Also, a person who wears jeans (and who knows what kind of shoes to wear with jeans). (“EDITH IN JEANS?!??!” is one of my favorite comments ever published on Disqus.) The only other time I’ve worn something that vaguely resembles this outfit was when I stayed at the Standard in West Hollywood alone last summer, if that tells you anything. The indoor sunglasses are inspired and therefore permitted by Tiffany, who materialized in a recent Zoom meeting looking like Bono when her workspace was flooded with light. They are also inspired by the fact that I’m tired of looking at my own face.

Thursday: “Well hello to you, too!!! WFH Outfit Challenge: Text a friend an elaborate outfit idea and ask for one in return. Put it on, and don’t forget to send them a pic when you’re done.”

Perhaps I misinterpreted “elaborate outfit idea” as just an outfit prompt. So be it. The noble outfit prompt I invented: gussy up a sweatshirt. (“Gussy up”—splendid phrase.) A compliment of the highest order: These Entireworld socks are the ones I most look forward to in the laundry cycle. It’s a privilege and an honor to be a supersaturated #stickofbutter with little blue extremities (the shoes are on sale!).

Friday: “A Challenge of the WFH Outfit Variety: Wear something sequined with something normally relegated to exercise. Text it to a friend and tell them it’s the new PB&J.”

This was my favorite prompt because I had just the ticket. I dug this ancient Tory Burch top from the bottom of my bureau (it’s an unparalleled New Year’s Eve top) and added my Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress (it tells me it’s thrilled for its reintroduction in spring). I didn’t want to wear my dirty sneakers inside (they’re from a collaboration by Outdoor Voices x Hoka, though—I’m about to go wear them for a run, and I prefer them above all other running shoes I’ve owned), so I put on these skyscraper loafers by ATP Atelier instead.

I rewatched Whit Stillman’s Last Days of Disco in the early days of quarantine, and this outfit combines all the best elements of that movie’s costume design: Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale’s glitzy going-out outfits (a recurring topic of discussion in my Slacks with Harling), their underratedly covetable floral bathrobes worn around their shared railroad apartment, and their minimal, crisp workwear for days spent at their publishing company.

A student of the Thoughtline, I followed the instructions and texted this picture to a friend, notifying her that this combo is the new PB&J:

Now feels like a very logical time to double check that you yourself are signed up for The MR Thoughtline, don’t you agree? If you’re not, you can resolve this issue once and for all via this link riiiiiiiiiight here

More from Fashion