Introducing Silly Little Outfits
For if you want something a bit more niche.
tl;dr: I’ll be posting conversations about clothes as a new section within Cherub Microplastics. In these transcribed interviews, I talk with people about their favorite outfits, and then we kind of spiral from there.
I’ve wanted to do a project about clothes for a while now. Not about fashion, and arguably not about style, either. More about what people like to wear, why they like it, or the turtleneck that changed it all.
If you came of age in America around 2010 or so, your brain is probably a little rotted from such institutions as:
MANNEQUINS inside MALLS. Really heavy mannequin culture.
Fashion magazines. Particularly Lucky, the tome-like “magazine about shopping,” which included stickers to put on the stuff you wanted to buy.
American Girl “What’s your style?” quizzes with 4 possible results: Rich, Cute, Sports, or Cool
Best Dressed/Worst Dressed lists taking up multiple pages of print newspapers
What Not to Wear, Extreme Makeover, Next, and a whole lot of other shows about the horrors of being unattractive
But there was this other side to our 2000s clothes-consciousness that was way more personal, more secretive, and smaller scale. Or at least it felt that way, because the internet was still something you could log off of. At a time where there was so much media centered on judging others’ appearances, we also had more options than ever before to put together little fuckin’ freak ‘fits, real or imagined.
I’m talking about those encyclopedic dress-up doll Flash games, or the misleadingly named Polyvore, the mood board social network that was not about eating your multiple lovers. Later on, there was the impeccable cool of early-stage lookbook.nu, followed by Tumblr and its highly specific, fantasy-boyfriend-centric outfit blogs. Prom afterparty with Justin. IKEA with Minho. Vasectomy consultation with Zayn.
That more private side of fashion fascinated me—the mirror selfie, the OOTD text, the notebook doodles of dresses. I’ve stayed interested in the specificity and slice-of-lifeiness of how people choose to adorn themselves every day, or how they wish they could.
I’ve also loved witnessing people’s style and gender journeys over the past few years, especially since the pandemic. The comparative lack of being publicly perceived plus the “fuck it” mentality of so much loss recalibrated the way a lot of people choose to present themselves. And there’s something beautiful in how people derive joy, or solace, or euphoria from what they put on their bodies in the day to day, especially when some of those days are very difficult.
So instead of trying to sledgehammer this interest into a poetry collection, I’ve started interviewing my friends and transcribing our conversations instead. And that’s Silly Little Outfits: a series of conversations about people’s favorite clothes and everything that goes into liking what you’re wearing.
It’s been an interesting project so far, and I hope you might get something out of it too. Or, if this sounds like a new level of insufferable, you can opt out while staying subscribed to mainline Cherub.
Screaming!! My fav 💞
Stacy London awakening