Ilana’s Summer Essentials: Broad City’s Top 5 Warm Weather Looks

Ilana Glazer’s namesake character on Comedy Central’s Broad City often has me yelling at the computer screen, gushing over whatever she’s thrown together. Two parts Forever21 and one part Tumblr, Ilana encapsulates what I love the most about summer style (even though she seems to wear it year round). Glazer’s character’s version of NYC is one where sheer tops + caged bra letters are definitely office appropriate and you might wear Rihanna-off-duty low rise jeans for a dog walking session. There’s no denying that she’s completely uninterested in looking like anyone other than herself. Tomboyish, witty, bright, skin-baring but never quite crass, Ilana is who I’ll be emulating all through the sunshine months. Crop tops, bright lips and backwards caps is a zone I can endorse.

Bold Lips

from MTV

from MTV

Never underestimate the power of a well executed lip colour. Ilana exemplifies this with pinks, purples, blues and even a dramatic black lip/SnapBack combo. It might not always be kiss proof, but your make out partner will get a kiss shaped souvenir.

Crop Tops

photo from Paste Magazine

photo from Paste Magazine

Ilana understands the crop zone. Some might even say she is a queen of the crop. In case you needed another reason to believe, she’s got one on almost every episode. Case closed.

No Pants Zone

image from Tumblr

image from Tumblr

All shorts, all the time. Whether it’s denim cutoffs or just a lil’ pair of bike shorts, Ilana might convince you to turn your closet into a shorts haven.

Bras ‘N’ Bralettes

image from Refinery 29

image from Refinery 29

Sexy and oft worn as a top: Ilana is a master of the underwear that is meant to be seen. An excellent foil for crop tops and trend-conscious sheer tees! I’m envious of every bra this broad owns.

Tomboy Femme

tombabe ilana

image from HuffPo

ilana's briefs

image from NY Mag

Last but certainly not least, Ilana is always reppin’ tomboy femme in a way that can’t be beat. Whether it’s backwards caps, loose jeans, visible briefs or just a sharp suit, there are elements of traditionally “feminine” and “masculine” presentations in her outfits.

I’ve pinned almost every look to my mental inspiration board — Summer 2015 is definitely seen through Ilana-tinted glasses. What are your go-to summer picks?

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. At 28, I’m JUST starting to wear lipstick. I decided to really dive into the bold colour trend and bought an electric blue KA’OIR lipstick. It’s gotten mixed reviews, and I still feel really self-conscious about wearing it because the colour is so intense, but I do think it looks pretty badass!

    • I similarly love lipstick but never wear it worrying that I look like a clown – my lips are quite full and all I want to wear is postbox red. I always think this looks brilliant on other people though, even people with big lips, so I should just get over myself and paint myself up a pair of brassy shockers.

    • Yessss. I’m obsessed with KA’OIR!!! So queer and perfect. I have a blue, black, lilac, and red! I would have all of them if I could afford it! I love the accompanying glitters for notes out too.

  2. Pretty much everything on this list is a summer favorite of mine! Except the crop tops. For some reason, I can’t show off my stomach. Gotta work up the confidence. I recently discovered that I miss by tomboy roots, and have started dressing like it, but I still want to bust out a crop top every now and then.

  3. SIGH. the docs + high waisted shorts thing really slays me, and I love it, though I have a hard time with shorts. (not like, bodyshame, but like, they don’t look on me how I want them to look/if they fit my butt they don’t fit my waist or whatever)

  4. When she is at work in her crop top and is asked to be more modest and she pulls it down to cover her belly but it shows her cute bra and then she pulls it up to cover her cleavage and it shows underboob and she can’t decide and she calls it Sophie’s Choice:

    One of my favorite moments in comedy. Ever.

  5. YAS KWEEN!! Thank you, awesome post idea! I love Illana and her style, ugh I miss broad city!! This is inspiring me to rock some tomboy femme à la Illana, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while. My look is very femme but I wanna make it more tomboyish occasionally. I actually just purchased my first pair of Calvin Klein boy shirts, yay!

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