Style Thief: How To Dress Like Lena Waithe

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In late 2015, The Hollywood Reporter asked Lena Waithe whether she’d had a say in her Master of None character Denise‘s wardrobe. She answered in the affirmative. “Aziz [Ansari, the show’s creator] really liked my clothes and he liked the way I dressed,” Waithe told the publication. “I don’t know if we’ve seen a sly, harem pants-wearing, cool Topshop sweatshirt-wearing, snapback hat-rocking lesbian on TV.”

I don’t know about you all, but I personally wouldn’t mind seeing more sly, harem pants-wearing, cool Topshop sweatshirt-wearing, snapback hat-rocking lesbians in my everyday life. Comrades, please make my dreams come true by stealing Lena Waithe’s style.

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My voting outfit.

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on


1. Black Nylon Bomber 2. Denim Jacket 3. Camo Bomber 4. Floral Blazer 5. Palm Bomber 6. Utility Jacket

From denim to bombers to blazers, Waithe generally has some kind of outerwear excellence going on. (I should also probably warn you, camo is going to feature big in this post because I feel like it has turned some corner at least partially past irony and looks good again. Whether I felt that way before seeing Waithe in it, I honestly can’t remember; she just has that kind of gravitas.)

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What's the name of our girl group?

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1. Swiss Dot Button-Down 2. Asymmetrical Hoodie 3. Makeout Tee 4. Long-Sleeved Tee 5. Floral Button-Down 6. Spotty Button-Down

Waithe has a knack for choosing pieces that are always some degree of unusual, be it in an asymmetrical hem, a barely-there print, or something a bit bolder. A woman who knows what she wants? *Italian chef kissing fingers motion*

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Stand up. Be arrogant.

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on


1. Ripped Chinos 2. Jordan Sweats 3. Black Dress Pants 4. Drop Crotch Joggers 5. Camo Chinos 6. Drawstring Chinos

As noted above, Waithe is a sucker for joggers and drop-crotch pants — and occasionally, when we’re really lucky, a nice pair of dress slacks. Have mercy.

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Backseat driving.

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on


1. Chicago Bulls Cap 2. Black Felt Hat 3. Carhartt Cap 4. Primitive Varsity Cap 5. Straw Pork Pie Hat 6. Blue Nike Cap

Of all the components of a Lena Waithe-inspired wardrobe, it feels like hats are the least negotiable. Most often she opts for the aforementioned snapbacks (Chicago is her hometown, by the way, but feel free to substitute your own), but once in awhile ups the dapper factor in more fedora-esque styles. Honestly, Lena Waithe may be the only fedora-wearer in the world whose Tinder profile I’d swipe right on.

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It's always yeezy season. 🙄

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on


1. Checkerboard Slip-Ons 2. Maroon Air Forces 3. Velvet Loafers 4. Gold Detail Air Maxes 5. Classic Boat Shoes 6. Desert Boots

Okay, so I’m not enough of a sneakerhead to recognize most of the shoes Waithe wears, and quite frankly, Yeezys are too fucking expensive. Suffice it to say, I think you’d look hot and like the vision I have in my mind of Lena Waithe in the above pairs of shoes. So, mission accomplished, as far as I’m concerned.

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Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 52 articles for us.


  1. *immediately shares article with wife*

    My wife listened to Lena interviewed on the Nancy podcast and it was a revelation for her when she realised that she, too, identified as a ‘soft stud.’

  2. I spotted Ms. Waithe at the LA showing of Fun Home, so let me verify, that despite the seeming impossibility of this level of amazing-ness. She is real.

    Thanks for breaking down her look. Who’s next? Rhea Butcher? Britney Nichols? The ever-evolving chameleon Gaby Dunn? Antiope?

  3. so I’ve been reading AS for like 8 years at least and this is the first comment I’m ever leaving because YAAAAAAAS this is my aesthetic AF and I’ve taken screenshots of at least 7 items

    As a lady who never buys herself clothes because of the overwhelming omg how of it all I thank you

    my queer ass is about to get stylin’

  4. omg love this

    can I request a style thief of Mary Lambert sometime plz and thank you??


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