Welcome to the second installment of Style Thief, where I steal the clothes off queer style icons’ backs. Metaphorically, that is. I’ll try figure out just exactly what makes queer style icons tick by breaking down their look into itty bitty bite size pieces. I get a lot of questions about how to look like different celebrities/characters, so I’m finally tackling the question “How the hell do I dress like that?”
Header by Rory Midhani
Today I’ll be stealing the clothes off my personal style guru, Jenna Lyons. Lyons is the president and creative director of J. Crew which, if you’ve been playing at home you know, is my most favoritest store. While Lyons only “officially” came out recently while receiving the “Fashion Original” title at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year awards ceremony, she has been a lesbian style icon ever since J. Crew started showing all that plaid.
I’d like to say that to steal Lyons’s look all you’d have to do is go to J. Crew and put on whatever they’ve got the mannequin in these days. Unfortunately, Lyons’s manages to be even more chic than her own line. Plus you can totally find Lyons’s style clothing at other (cheaper) stores.
The first step to dressing like Jenna Lyons is to roll your pants up. I sometimes wonder if Lyons has some sort of reverse circulatory problem where her ankles are hot all the time. They are constantly on display. It may also be that at six feet tall that’s just how pants fit Lyons. Regardless, you want a straight leg or slightly skinny jean that either hits or is rolled to a couple of inches above your ankle.
Next, you’ll need a button-up shirt buttoned all the way up. Yes, all the way up. Lyons’s look is all about pulling elements of traditionally masculine and feminine fashion together, and one of her favorite ways it by buttoning her shirts all the way up. As someone who is busty, I find this most do-able if I wear the thinnest, least push-up bra possible and enact the assistance of a couple of pins. If you can’t make a button-up work, Lyons’s next go-to is a boatneck horizontal striped blouse. Your blouse can even be a flowy button-up with a rounded collar.
Now that you have your pants and shirt sorted out, you have two options. You can either tuck that shirt in sans belt (I know, breaking all the rules) or leave it untucked and throw on a blazer or jean jacket. While Lyons will occasionally tucks with a jacket or untucks solo, it’s somewhat rare.
Lyon keeps her accessories bold in some ways and toned down in others. She keeps her jewelry generally muted and usually opts for a gold watch and gold bracelet. Going without earrings or a necklace often allows Lyons to spotlight other elements of her outfits.
For shoes, Lyons frequently rocks a pair of round or point toe pumps in either a metallic or bright color. While I rarely say that high heels are a signature necessity of a certain look, I think Lyons’s are a key compliment to her frequently bare ankles.
In my opinion, Lyons’s signature detail is her seemingly unchanging nerd glasses. I love these. The big dark frames compliment Lyons’s tendency to go for pink tones by tempering down some of the femminess. They say, “Oh you don’t think big glasses make girls look ‘pretty’ enough? Well fortunately they make me look fucking awesome.” Warby Parker is a great place to look for inexpensive frames, and they have tons of strong tortoise shell options.
If my take isn’t quite enough for you, listen to Lyons herself talk about this year’s J. Crew line. Beware, there’s a 50% chance you’ll fall in love.