What to Wear This Week: MR Community Member Emma Hager

In today’s edition of What to Wear This Week, we caught up with Emma Hager, an active Man Repeller community member and ALSO our amazing 2015 Summer Intern (!!!). We asked her what she’s been up to this summer and what stories she’s been telling with her clothes. Miss you, Emma.

Hi Emma! How the heck are you doing?

Hey, Team MR! Missed you crazy people. I’m doing well. Busy as hell. But well!

What have you been up to this summer? Physically & emotionally.

This summer I am a digital editorial intern at ELLE magazine, which means I write and edit, etc., for the magazine’s website! The internet never sleeps, as you know, so emotionally I’ve been a little tired! But I am learning a lot, and that’s always the goal, isn’t it? To learn lots.

Best part? Worst part?

The best part about the job is that I get to pitch article ideas and interview people I admire! The worst part is being inside for nine hours of valuable summertime sun a day! This is not job-specific, though.

What stories have you been telling with your clothes this summer?

This is a good question! Well, five days a week I am at work, so I guess I’ve been trying to tell a tale of professionalism, although I cannot say I am very good at it. I’m in Vans and wrinkled, cult member-like dresses, mainly, in a setting that calls for tailored culottes and mules! So, maybe I am telling the tale of a silly California girl in the big city!

How do you dress for your internship? Anything you’re not allowed to wear? Anything you wish you could wear but have not had the balls to yet?

I would say I tend to veer on the casual side of things. Perhaps I am too casual, but then again my wardrobe is the opposite of streamlined and formal! I love little boys’ pants and dresses that look like shower curtains and sneakers. My fellow intern is very fashionable — heels, bag, the like — and so I do think I look especially disheveled when next to her! Ha!

Have you made #prariecore happen yet?

Not to brag or anything, but I think so. Did you see the bonnets in the latest Gucci show? You’re welcome, Alessandro. You’ve made me and Willa Cather proud. Keep on shredding those amber waves of grain, fashion folk!

What were you thinking when you put these outfits on? Walk me through all three.

I packed pretty lightly this summer — these are actually a few of the “main” pieces I brought — and so my initial thought process in assembling these looks was more about working with the parameters of my suitcase’s contents. For the first outfit, though, the slip dress one, I popped it on because it was hot out, but also because I love the color and fragility of the slip when paired with my trusty pair of Old Skools. I guess there’s a reason why juxtaposition and contradiction remain at the core of most discussions on personal style. We are many things! And our clothes reflect that.

Then outfit two, which is actually my favorite of the three, I think, makes me feel like the optimal version of myself. It’s a simple look, the pants fit well and when I wear this look I like to pretend that I own a small, clean surf shop that is also a cafe. You know that look, right?

Outfit three! This shirt is my favorite shirt. I got it at a thrift store in Montreal — I think the sleeves are actually pieces from an old petticoat. Me and my friends went to an ABBA-themed drag show during the school year and that evening I got compliments on the shirt from many, many drag queens. I cannot think of a demographic I’d rather get outfit compliments from! The pants are potato sack-like and help balance the top. Then Vans. Duh.

Are you getting the summer scaries? It’s mid-July after all.

Agh. Yes. Very much so. I walk across the Williamsburg Bridge most evenings, and whenever I feel the breeze and see the water below ripple I am like: Fuck, summer is the best thing ever, it makes me cry happy tears, why must it end? Sigh…

What about the next six months are you most excited about?

Well, I am really excited about school, actually. I love being an English literature major. In the thick of it, I think: Ugh, I have to read all these books. But then I step away from the situation and think: Whoa, I get to read all these books! It’s a pretty privileged situation.

Oh, and I am looking forward to writing more. I need to think about writing more, too, in terms of form and an organization of thoughts. The sounds of sentences is one thing. Being able to string potentially-disparate ideas into a cohesive narrative is another.

Advice for newly graduated-from-high-school-students seeking an internship in NYC (or anywhere, really)?

Ask questions. I cannot stress this enough. Reach out to those you admire — editors, designers, whoever — and ask them about what they do, how they got there, what you can do to have a vocation like theirs! I find that most people are always willing to help out, be that in the form of advice or, in some cases, an internship. Being genuinely curious and acting upon that will open up a lot of doors.

Oh, and be a little regimented with yourself and work on the thing that you want to do. Lots of people out there have similar interests, and so why not put in the work to present the best version of yourself?

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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