Tracee Ellis Ross is the kind of cool that pains me physically. I have so many positive feelings toward her that my chest tightens at the mere sight of her beautiful face. She’s so good. She’s so funny, so kind, so effervescent that it’s almost rude. It’s as if the cats in heaven spent all their time kneading her into existence then just coughed up a few fur balls to make the rest of us. That said, I’d choose to be a fur ball to ensure her continued existence.
In addition to being an actor/comedian/model/black girls activist/author of a children’s book that explains sexual harassment to men/natural hair advocate/professional pep-talk giver/daughter of Diana/fun aunt to everyone on Earth including her elders, Tracee has Style. The proper noun version. Her Instagram, which you should follow, is a parade of delights not unlike a Krispy Kreme conveyer belt in 2007, back when people cared about Krispy Kreme. She also just launched a line with J.C. Penney which is really good, size-inclusive and all under $75 because, as she puts it, it’s for “everybody and every body!” If you don’t love her already/yet, please see me after class and come with an apology in the form of an ambitiously-executed diorama in her honor.
Of her many public services, which I’ll be outlining in parts two and three of my forthcoming Tracee dissertation, she provides the general people of the world with a panoply of free outfit ideas by way of her aforementioned IG. If you’ve found yourself short on ideas or general well-being lately, join me below for five of her recent looks sure to bolster you in the way of both.
1. Big sweater, bigger pants
Do me a favor and go find your largest top and largest bottoms and wear them together for maximum corporal/spiritual comfort. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, pair with slides. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, pair with slides and camp socks. If you’re in any hemisphere, make them purple to stand up for LGBTQ youth like Tracee did.
2. Weekend with dad(‘s shoes)
Who needs a dad sneaker tutorial when you have this? (Sorry Harling.) This is the outfit of my casual weekend dreams. Need access to these shoes + that coat + a curly ponytail before sunset or I’ll melt. So do you, not to judge.
3. Outfit elevation via fanny pack
What we have here is an outfit not unlike one you or I would don to grab coffee: jeans, tee, sweater. However, with the inclusion of a fanny-pack-as-belt and matching hoops, the game is forever changed. Bonus points if you approximate this with a shirt that has your mom’s name on it.
4. Pink and red with a large helping of khaki
You know how I feel about pink and red, but do you know how I feel about pink and red under an enormous khaki trench coat with white sneakers? Didn’t think so. (I feel incredible about it.)
5. Gaze at literally anyone like this
This is what we in my basement call a gentlewoman’s look, replete with pleated trousers, suspenders, tie, stilettos, hoops and the facade that you’re gentle even though you aren’t, not even close. Wear only if you’re ready for eye contact and to accede to the position of my idol.
Also did I mention this:
Feature image by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images.