Well, this week’s Street Snaps is about more than just the newfound disco steez that Sebastian here has been into lately. It’s about a lot more than that. Behold a queen and his ‘I’m just out to get coffee’ outfit:
Sebastian. “I’m thirty-three years old. I recently settled and celebrated my Jesus birthday, and the theme was a crucifixion.”
How do you feel about the level of dress that people put on in the city?
“It’s a big mixed bag. Street fashion’s uh-maaazing. And it seems like half of it is disposable clothing from Rainbow, and it works. It really works. Unfortunately the rest of it is schlubby.”
Could you give an example?
“Cargo pants. Cargo pants are yeah, they’re everywhere. T-shirts. With slogans on them. Polos. Flip-flops. College girls with flip-flops, I don’t understand.”
Are you totally against thong sandals or is it like the rubber flip-flop jawns?
“It’s just lazy. It’s just straight-up lazy. Yeah. The men at the gay bar like to wear button-up shirts, but unbuttoned down to mid-chest, with pleated, tapered ankle pants. You’ve seen it. It’s bad. Like dress pants that are high-waisted and make men look like — they’re like harem pants with pleats at the hips.”
Yeah, and they’re slightly drop-crotchy — and I hate that term too but — I interviewed this kid a while ago in the fall who was like, gay men’s fashion in Philadelphia is &mdash
“Tragic. It’s so devastatingly bad. Now, obviously the queer punks are all hot as shit and they all look like Marc Almond…”
What about the way you dress and the kind of style you cultivate? What kinds of things do you take in?
“Well I kind of moved on from my coal miner’s daughter, depression-era, early Joan Crawford thing — it was just the 30s through and through — early Hollywood and torn-up hobo fashion. And I was hitting that pretty hard on the west coast. And it was a very west coast kind of thing, you know. Torn lace, jewels and birds, that kind of thing. Not like that’s necessarily a thing over there, but it really made sense in the context. Like when it’s raining all the time and you’re dripping feathers and broken rhinestones and pointy boots, and it just, you know, it functions. And I’m really embracing trash bag right now. Leggings and lamé. Leggings and lamé…”
Yeah, I’m into this shiny top with ambiguous shape and elastic waistband, is it?
“It’s kind of disco 90s.”
Oh my god yeah it is. So you’re into lamé now.
“I am. Donna Summer is on my record player a lot.”
Do you end up buying a lot of new clothes?
“Not really. Leggings are my major new purchases. And stilettos cause I’m trying to learn how to walk in them. So there’s this shop where I just bought a lot of spandex and some cheap-ass costume jewelry. And all of the — well, A, they have these booty popper pannies, otherwise known as padded pannies, that were on a mannequin when you walk into the place. Like the mannequin is facing away from you, it’s just ass only right in the entrance. And there’s some padded pannies on there. So you know right away like, what the deal is. And there were all these straight ladies and they were giving me some crazy-ass looks when I was trying on some shoes. And I am not the first queen to walk into that place! But, anyway, yeah, they have generously sized ladies’ shoes, close to Jeweler’s Row.”
Are there things that you straight-up want people to stop wearing?
“I mean, cargo pants. There’s no… Unless you’re going to or from a work site, where you need a hammer loop in your pants, that’s great. But. I mean, there’s a lot of travesties, but everything has an exception. There’s a way to wear everything.”
Are there things you get tired of seeing at like, parties?
“Tu-tus. Not tu-tus like ‘I’m a ballet dancer’ tu-tus, but I’m seeing a lot of tulle underskirts. Which I feel like I see it a lot. And it’s usually with leggings that go just below the knee, you know? I mean, it’s a cute outfit — this is not judging at all — but why am I seeing it constantly? I feel like it’s the queer femme uniform of right now, and I don’t get it. I dunno. Maybe I just don’t understand something.”
[We get to talking about other 'uniforms' for a minute and come to John Galiano's recent ousting from Dior & related scandals]
Can you comment on why this was such an intense thing to you?
“Because the House of Dior has been my favorite couture house since, shit, for like ten years at least. I mean I’ve been following them on and off. And Galiano, while not being my favorite designer, has a really strong vision and has been at the helm of this place that I feel has grown the way that Chanel has always like, been sportswear and just sort of became safe. And it’s safe and chic and has always been great for middle-aged ladies who are conservative and just wanna know that they’re not gonna be a mess. And Dior took — they sort of were going in similar places, I feel like, in the earlier third of the century (laughs) — I’m just talking out of my ass. Um, but then [Dior] pushed it into this really amazing direction where, you’re talking about… I don’t even know how to describe it.
“Dior’s the one that brought back those historical silhouettes, that brought the bustles to the runways. Remember that was like seven years ago or something? It was amazing. Pheasant feathers, giant fea — what was that, like two years ago, last year? With the hats with giant plums that looked like they would take up an entire entryway when you walk through the door? Even when it’s not being extravagant, it’s always excessive. And I love it. And it hurt personally. If you’re a sports fan, and you take sports teams really seriously, and you care about them and follow the scandals, nobody’s gonna question that. Some people might make fun of you for it, but no one’s going to question your devotion to sports. So why do I have to defend having an emotional investment in mainstream fashion design?”
I didn’t feel like you needed to defend it, but more why [John Galiano's firing & the fashion industry] important to you, for people that don’t know.
“Why it’s important to me is different than it being a legitimate art form, because it’s so associated with — it’s hyper-consumeristic. The fashion industry has unlimited resources, so people can go to amazing places. They have the materials, the workmanship, they have the skills, they have the slave labor to make whatever they can imagine. And the results of that are incredible. And I get that it’s problematic, that it’s not politically okay. ”
But I think that it’s separate in a way…
“But yeah, you have queer activist culture on the one hand, that likes to embrace a sort of weird asceticism, and it’s kind of dogmatic. Like if this has tainted roots, then it’s bad all the way through, or not worthy of being looked at or invested in. And then hetero-land is like, ohhh that’s really cute and in fashion magazines! That’s really sweet! Yeah but we’re gonna think about really important things like football. Cause we’re in Philly.”
[I LOLed hard at this.]
“That was not a coherent argument in favor of anything, but it was a good ramble.”
I liked it.
“Can I talk about the antlers that I just got the other day that I’m gonna gold-leaf? I don’t know what I’m gonna do with them yet, but I’m thinking I might make a hair piece!”
Do you think there’s a time and a place to wear things like that, and feathers and whatnot? Or do you wanna wear them whenever the hell you feel like it?
“Whenever the hell I feel like it. Unfortunately I’m pretty shy. Like I’m a social person, but I’m pretty shy unless I’m drinking. [...] And when you’re walking down the street being really sparkly, people really wanna talk to you about it. It can get really weird. Especially the disco pants…”
God, Sebastian is amazing. They went on to talk about how Philly makes you lazy when it comes to dressing sharp. We both agreed, it’s kind of nice, but we need something in our lives to make us really step it up and challenge one another. “Give sparkly people constructive criticism instead of just walking up and telling them how shiny they are.”
If you’re looking for more Philly street style, visit Broad&Market, or check out the Street Snaps archive by clicking on the “street snaps” tag just below.
There’s nothing I love more than clothes with a sturdy character and an outfit full of fine detail. This week’s Street Snaps is exactly that. Hazey is one good-looking person who has their style down. I imagine Hazey has a well-selected warddrobe, and getting dressed in the morning is just a matter of selecting just which accessories to put on top. Dreamy.
“My name is Hazey. I am thirty and, well, I just came from Austin, Texas, but I grew up in Western PA. Pittsburg area.”
How do you feel in Philly and how people present themselves generally?
“Well I just moved in December, and so far it’s good. And tough, you know, moving in the winter. And I love winter fashion way more than summer fashion. For me, layering is a lot easier. And as far as how people present themselves, anywhere you go, I enjoy seeing how people — the different kinds of fashion, and how city fashion can be, you know, eclectic in different areas.”
Is there anything you’ve seen in Philly so far that you’re like, oh why is this thing so popular here?
“Yeah, it’s not any one thing that I’ve noticed. Not yet. But I haven’t explored too far out of the neighborhood, either. I’ve sort been hiding for the winter, too.”
What kinds of media do you like to consume, or just people even, that may influence how you dress?
“Media-wise or people-wise, is that what you said?”
Yeah, like ‘what are your inspirations?’, but it’s deeper than that, I suppose. Or more thoughtful than that.
“Right, right. Yeah, I dunno. There’s certainly [...] a few blogs that I like to look at. And I like to search for different vintage photographs on like Google Image Search, you know. I mean, that’s more of an aesthetic style choice as far as stuff goes.”
Is there a certain time period that you really get into?
“No. There’s a lot. I think anything rusty, and old and wooden. It’s a little bit, maybe, industrial, but not. A friend of mine that lives in Austin is a little bit of a style icon, and I guess I’ve taken cues from that. I’m like the baby bear of this big guy.”
That’s pretty awesome. So do you buy clothes a lot? Do you buy new clothes ever?
“I’ve gone through phases. I was just working at a store in Austin — it’s a men’s store — so having a discount at a store is really helpful. But no… It’s a good combination of new and old. Cause finding older clothes that fit me can be more of a challenge. Especially because I like to wear men’s clothes.”
Where you’re like, in between all the inseams and shoulder widths and things like that?
“Right. Luckily I have broad-enough shoulders, but that’s not usually the problem. It’s the chest that becomes the issue.”
Mmm, yeah. I had a really awesome shirt that got stolen that I could never button across the chest… And lastly, do you have any current obsessions?
“No… Not really an obsession. There’s a lot of different things that I like, but nothing… I mean, I’m trying to learn how to play the banjo, and I like working with leather. But those have been long-time projects that just have been moving very slowly.”
And just check out Hazey’s handmade cell phone holster!
If you’re looking for more Philly street style, visit Broad&Market, or check out the Street Snaps archive by clicking on the “street snaps” tag just below.
This guy just started working above the coffee shop I always do my work at, and the first time I saw him I was really intrigued by his style. Rolled-up sleeves and work pants. It all struck me as completely efficient while still consciously accentuating the body. Plus it’s always fascinating to talk to people who require very durable, versatile clothing in their daily life. Talking about how clothing wears out is a nerdy sub-interest of mine. Let’s continue!
“My name is Joshua. Age is 26 and hometown is Philly.”
How do you normally dress everyday? What do you think about when you get up?
“I pretty much always wear shorts, and when it gets cold I just put tights under em, so I can ride my bike. I like wool a lot because it’ll keep me warm, but I can sweat into it and it won’t stop working as insulation. Yeah, I guess that’s it. I never really think too much about getting dressed. I clothe my nakedness.”
What are your tools for?
“Oh, I work upstairs, at the [bicycle] shop.”
So do you ever dress differently when you’re not riding a bike? Do you always ride a bike?
“Yes, I have one clean sweater that I wear on nice occasions.”
Do you have a pair of pants?
“… Yeah, actually!” (laughs) “It’s brand new. Everything else is pretty much filthy, all the time.”
Do you have tips for blown-out crotches in pants?
“Yes. Glide dental floss. Well for shorts, the thing I do is cut the legs off when I make my shorts, and then save the legs as patching material. And when eventually the crotch blows out or you wear out through the seat, just use Glide dental floss, cut the patch and, just use the dental floss cause it’s unbelievably sturdy. And you’re patching with the same material so it’s gonna wear the same way.”
Is there a favorite thing you’re wearing today?
“Smart-wool socks. Everyday. They’re unstoppable. If you’re an active person and leave civilization a lot, they’re nice because you can wear them for multiple, multiple days and —”
They don’t stink?
“Well, they stink. They just still work, unlike cotton socks. They keep your feet warm when they’re wet, and they’ll keep your feet warm when they’re dry. And they’ll keep your feet cool in the summertime. They’re the absolute best. You spend seventeen dollars on a pair of socks, you might feel like a fool, but it’s worth it. It’s worth the investment. I’ve had a pair that’s lasted like, a decade.”
“Yeah… Smart wool.”
Well that’s compelling. So did you grow up in Philly?
“I grew up outside of Philly, down Baltimore Ave about fifteen miles, in Media.”
Is there anything about the way Philadelphians dress in the city that you think is particular?
“I like that tights are popular now.”
Really? Like in what way? Usually I get the ‘tights are not pants!‘ thing.
“Well because they’re not pants. It’s attractive to me, I think, to be able to see curves without having to go to the beach or anything like… I dunno. I dunno. I don’t want to sound like a perv.” (laughs)
No, no, no, that’s a good reason. I have a lot of chats about butts being out and what you can see and stuff like that.
“Yeah. I think it’s marvelous.” (laughs)
Yeah, you’re gonna look at a butt.
Is there anything you’re obsessing over right now?
“I guess I’m really stoked that the weather’s getting nicer. I’m looking forward to longer rides with my friends, and you know, breaking out the bike tights and all that other stuff, so yeah.”
Oh, I have another question about shorts again. What do you feel about — do you have short shorts? Or are they all ‘regular’ length?
“I do have some really, really short shorts. I did a lot of hiking in 2009, and I found that in the woods nothing beats like, 1980s swim-suit shorts that are just, you know, unbelievably short. I found they’re incredibly comfortable in the woods. But the second I would come back to civilization people would just snicker and laugh. But I think they’re great!”
Yeah. I always advocate for more men wearing short shorts. I wanna see thighs. That’s about it. So…bring em out! (laughs)
“Word. Yeah yeah, as soon as it gets real nice I’ll be back on the short shorts.” (laughs)
Word. Do you have any final comments or shout-outs or anything?
“Um… no. Hi mom.”
I’m not gonna bother with any crazy intro this week. The interview is that compelling, I think.
Tiona. 29. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, currently living in North Philly.
How long have you been in Philly for?
“2006. This is going on my sixth year.”
Okay. Do you dress the same when you lived in South Carolina?
“I left South Carolina when I was 19, so no. The weather doesn’t even call for it. It’s all different.” (laughs) “A whole different look.”
So is there anything about the way you present yourself stylistically that you could put a name to? Or any particular thing that’s informing it?
“Yeah, I got this thing with army, military… I like steampunk — some of the more accessible aspects of that, like I’m not gonna rock goggles.” (laughs)
Ohh with the gold inlay, err brass inlay and —
“Yeah we’re not doin that. I like the colors. So I like the browns and cremes. But yeah, military really — I have a military family, so that’s what I grew up looking at, from army to air force. So, a kind of mixture of that.”
Is there anything you’re wearing right now that’s a favorite, or something you keep putting on lately?
“This jacket. I brought it back out cause it’s kind of getting pseudo-warm. And I usually have a pea coat, a black pea coat. And this jacket was given by my friend, a friend from Mississippi who lives here now, and he’s just like, I’m not wearin this, it’s too little. Then he gave it to me, so I wear it all the time.”
Do you get comments on it?
“Yeah, people ask about it and I don’t know what to say! First of all, I don’t think they make anything like this anymore. And yeah, it’s… People think it’s something expensive — I’m sure maybe they’ll come out with something like this updated, and it’ll be hella expensive, like 500 dollars, I dunno. But yeah, I put the jacket on, and boots. I’ve been like, combat boots all the way down.”
Oh, so they’re usually hard and they hurt. Do you have any tips for other people?
“Yeah, yeah, definitely! Cause my mom, she — my dad was in the air force, right, and she wore combat boots. But she would wear em, and she was very feminine. So that’s what I grew up seeing. But the way she used to do em, she would double up with the soles and double up with the socks. Cause I guess in the 90s, late 80s/90s, the sock shit was in. So she would tube sock it up. So I’m like, yeah, I have two, three, you know, pairs of socks on. And I don’t feel nothin, I’m on air.” (laughs) “But they also, it depends on what kinda boot you get. These are one of the later versions and they’re light. They’re not heavy like the old school versions. And I have a pair of the old school ones that I have to treat differently — they hurt your back — but they’re good for snow.”
Okay. Do you ever — I gotta ask — get the ‘your mother wears combat boots’ thing? Did you ever get any schoolyard or neighborhood comments like that?
“Nah, my mom was fly as fuck. There was no room for that. And at the time we were in London, so if you weren’t wearing something crazy… And I mean my mom, she was on some Grace Jones, like, high top— there was no room for that. In South Carolina, when we came there, if anything my mom got compliments. Because I think she was informed by, you know, European style. So being a black woman in the south, the poor south, she really could like put some stuff together. She could sew… So you know, I ain’t never get picked at for my mom. Ever.” (laughs)
So what about Philly style? And are there things you notice around here that you’re just like, umph?
“Yeah. I think what’s odd about Philly — and this is also informed because I’m a film maker, so I’ve done shoots in fashion and stuff like that — and I feel Philly sometimes is like, people get really stuck on mimicking each other. Like I see it immediately. And I’ve been here since 2006. And especially when some trend hits, like it’s coming back, it’s not even — I’m looking here in this room [we interviewed at a coffee shop], I see where the flannels and the old sweaters that I used to rock in the late 80s, you know, it hits and then everybody starts doing it.”
“And they don’t change! It’s like, ya’ll are all wanna wear the same thing, and I don’t understand it. And then it’s like, it’ll stay. And I’m like, so when is it gonna change?”
Till some other new trend comes along.
“Yeah, so somebody will do something here, and it’s almost like high school to me. That’s what I compare it to, especially as opposed to New York. As soon as somebody gets hip, somebody’s movin on, right? Here, it’s like… The hoodie with the jean jacket joint hit, and it’s like I can’t even tell who is who.” (laughs) “So Philly to me is kinda like, it forces me to look at the people who dress a little finer. Like I’m always admiring folks who bust out suits and, you know, it’s forced me to dress — you’ll catch me today, like I’m in a vest and a button-up. And that’s not really what I’m reaching for, but it’s just something different. It requires a certain kind of attention, and you can really, you know, especially piecing off stuff in the flea markets, you can put that together. And it’s like something new and fresh.”
Read the rest of the interview (and ohh this one is good!) over at Broad&Market, where Tiona says some deep stuff about thrift stores, scenes, and the catch-22s that seem to keep Philadelphians from being more adventurous in their dress.
Yes, that’s a Dhalsim from Street Fighter reference. Why am I calling this week’s Street Snaps that? Because this wild vision was dressed like this coming from YOGA! Do you look so amazing coming from yoga?! Let’s continue…
“My name’s Lynda. I’m 35 years old. My hometown — I don’t feel like I really have a hometown — but I guess… I grew up in Audobon, Pennsylvania.”
How long have you been in Philly for?
“I guess, I mean I kind of grew up near Philly. This time around I’ve been here about four years.”
What do you think about the way people dress here, overall?
“I dunno! In general I like it cause there’s a lot of different styles going on.”
Do you think that your style changed drastically when you moved to Philly?
“No, I feel like my style’s always changing. But, I mean, I got out of a really big break-up, and then a year after that was over I feel like I got my style back. Like I kind of remembered that I used to have style, and then it went away.”
So you reclaimed yourself after you got out of this break-up. Is there anything in particular lately that you’ve been taking in that’s affecting how you present yourself when you get dressed?
“I mean I definitely have been way more into… I don’t wanna say, like, I dunno — I find myself inspired by Robert Plant, honestly. The singer from Led Zepplin. I don’t really listen to Led Zepplin, but I feel like we have similar hair. And I feel like he wore really cool clothes a long time ago. So sometimes I see things — I dunno if I consciously think, oh he wears this so I would wear it, but I find myself drawn to these sort of 70s type clothes.”
Is there anything you’re wearing right now that’s a favorite item?
“Well this poncho’s definitely one of my favorite items. I got it at this — I think it’s called the Zoom Room or something like that — it’s in San Jose, California. And I bought it and I was really like, I’m either gonna really like this or really, I’m gonna hate it. And I kinda sat there with it in my closet for a while, and… I love it. I love it. I look forward to this season so I can wear it.”
Yes! Everybody has those clothes. Do you get any strong reactions from people when you wear it?
“People like it. People usually give me compliments. They say, I love your poncho, or, oh what are those things called? Or you know, they say stuff.”
Do you have other ponchos or is this the only one?
“I do!” [laughs] “I have a cape, a yellow cape that buttons up, like canary yellow. I have a little grey, wool — I guess they’re capes. They have buttons. But I have a grey wool one that I wear when it’s colder than this.”
And are they effective at keeping you warm? Do you have to layer a lot underneath?
“I do layer. I like it. It just feels comfortable. You can have — really I wore this today because I went to yoga, and I’m wearing stretchy pants, and I wanted to not be too hot, but also have something to cover my butt because I don’t like…”
The tights only butt-out type thing?
“Yeah, yeah… It makes me like, a little self-conscious.”
I get a lot of people complaining about that as a style trend, that girls just wear leggings and a shirt or Uggs and stuff. Just something uncreative. People feel very strongly about it. Just cover your — well you don’t have to cover your entire butt, but —
“I just feel like you can see people’s entire butt, and if they don’t mind if you see their entire butt — because you’re gonna look at it — if you see someone, whether you like their butt or not, you’re gonna look and be like, what does it look like? It’s right there! So I don’t like for people to look at me like that cause it makes me feel a little weirded out. Especially in Philadelphia. I feel like in California everybody sort of dresses…not out there, but they have a lot more flesh showing. They don’t look at each other the same way. [Here] it’s kind of a tough town. I dunno. Maybe I’m just old now, too.”
Well me and my friends call it holleration, like getting hollered at. Holleration in Philly is super strong, and you can be dressed in like, painter’s clothes or something like that, and you can be walking down the street and somebody will still say like, hey yo! And holler at you! And you’ll just be like, what?! And I’ve never been in another city where people holler at me like that. It only happens here. So I’m gonna agree with you on that… I haven’t really lived anywhere else, though.
Do you have any current obsessions?
“Right now I’m obsessed with making a dome, I’m trying to make a small dome. I’m trying to make this sculpture, and I’m obsessed with it, basically. I feel like it’s been fighting me every step of the way, but hopefully it’ll be good.”
Is there like a fear of collapsing and all that stuff?
“Or just not looking that cool. Just being like, oh. Lame.
To read some amazing commentary on keeping wild curly hair, check the rest of the interview at Broad&Market
Behold Courtney, dear readers, a dreamboat that works where I get my coffee. This is her just off of work, looking so good and so fine. This week’s Street Snaps is all about attitude and charm.
“My name is Courtney and I’m 26, and my hometown is Sherwood, Arkansas.”
Is it spelled like Sherwood Forest?
“Yeah, like Sherwood Forest.”
How long have you been living in Philly for?
“I’ve been livin here for six years.”
How would you describe the way you dress, or present yourself, stylistically?
“Some days I like to go for like, definitely the vintage style. I love vintage dresses. I’m really into really cool sneakers. But I also like to be really cozy. If I wanna be real cozy I’ll wear my Dickies, and just a really rad t-shirt and like a cardigan. I love like, the old lady old man cardigan thing. That always makes me feel good.”
Do you think you changed the way you dress once you got to Philly from Arkansas?
“Actually, a little bit. My whole life I wore loose pants. I was like screw those tights pants, I dunno about that, I’m not doin that. And when I got up here I started just feelin more confident with myself. In Arkansas, people were just so down on everything that it’s hard to be confident down there. So here I’m like, I can be sassy. And I can embody being womanly and having my nice legs. So now I’m not so scared of going for more sexy look up here.”
Would you say skinny pants are inherently sexy?
“Well I think everyone — if you have a nice ass, and nothin wrong with checkin it out — I think I can kinda feel sexier sometimes when I got my body, like my curves, just being no shame.”
Nice. I know there are days in the summer when I’m like… I’m puttin on my shorts today.
“I do think people can look sexy in whatever they got on, in either a skirt or loose pants. It’s how you feel and how you exude your confidence.”
Are there any keywords you have for how you dress? Or inspirations?
“Definitely like the old seventies, the old sixties style, but then also mixed with some Princess Toadstool, some unicorn love…”
Another mystical era that we don’t know about? Or oh man, like 1970s post-apocalypse worlds where the post-apocalypse era was so far ago that we’re now back in an age of magic? Like that is my favorite thing ever. You remind me of a lot of that for some reason.
Anyway! Wearing like, your leather jacket, I wanted to ask about that and what kinda reactions you get on that.
“Yeah. So I’ve had a crush on Missy Elliot since I was probably thirteen. And when I got that jacket, I’d been here for seven years, so I’ve been through like six winters, I always wore vintage coats that were beautiful but not always that warm. And then everyone’s like, you have to get a leather jacket cause you’ll finally be warm in that. And I didn’t believe em, and when I tried it on I thought, this actually feels cozy and warm. So it had fringe on it, and I was like, I’m gonna embrace the fringe. Even though I’d never done that before. And this awesome girl who paints usually graveyards and skulls on these metal leather jackets for like, these badass people in bands around Philly… I was like, I bet she could do Missy Elliot for me! And Missy’s nickname is ‘misdemeanor,’ so I wanted that to be in medieval font. So…”
It’s beautiful. So have you had people stop you on the street or whatever? Or yell at you?
“Yes! I was in New York City and someone’s like, ‘girl you should be on the news!’ And I’m like, I dunno about that. But a lot of people actually think it’s an official Missy Elliot jacket. It’s so well done, people are like, I thought you got that from Missy Elliot’s company online or something. No.”
Hmm, so that’s exciting! What’s your favorite thing on?
“My nice comfortable jeans, my dark jeans, feelin a little mysterious. And my nice little boots, half off last winter at the end of the winter! And then, I love wearing this nice, soft flannel that always feels really good on your skin. It always goes well with work. And I like my Star Wars shirt, there’s two X-wing star fighters blastin through space.”
Nice. Are there things that you see other Philadelphians do that you are appalled by, or you’re so excited by that you wish more people would do it?
“You know, I mostly see things that I’m just excited by. You know, I am just so excited that people up here can feel so comfortable wearing whatever they want. People up here — say a guy up here, he could just wear short shorts and a tank top, and no one’s gonna make fun of them. And a girl can wear as butch clothes as she wants and no one’s gonna make fun of her. You can pretty much wear any style you want. And I feel like you’re just gonna be able to be yourself in Philly. I like seein people up here also wear glitter. People wear the shit out of the sparkles and the neon colors in the summer.
“That makes me really excited. Cause if I ever, back home, wore crazy colors, I got made fun of. And if I wore all black I got made fun of. And up here, you can be gothic, you can be a neon art kid, you can be whatever you want. I think that’s pretty cool. And a lot of the girls in Philly have badass style. They’re always lookin really sassy and really fine, all season round.”
Can I ask you about big hoop earrings? Are big hoops are thing in Arkansas? Or were they?
“You know, you see a lot of girls with tiny jewelry. Like tiny, tiny jewelry. You see a lotta pearls, and crosses. Everyone’s got the crosses, you know. Praise Jesus and all that. I didn’t even see that many girls wearing dangly jewelry. It was just a lot of fancy, fancy stuff. Up here you see girls wearing some of the big hoops, and some of them look damn fine.”
Do you think the way you get around the city ever affects the way you dress?
“Oh yeah. It does, actually. I mean, for a lot of my jobs in the past, where I had like a 30-40 minute bike ride, I would definitely have to wear like two pairs of pants, like three shirts, things like that, and just kinda have to layer up. You just kinda have to wear things like thermal underwear and Dickies, and layer it up and not really care about… Well, you can still feel sexy if you feel sexy. I actually for a while had a job where I had to bike there at 4:15 AM, to get a job at 5 AM at 30th Street Amtrak Station. And I would bike through Rittenhouse Square, and at the time there was a man attacking women in that area. So I actually would dress in boy’s clothes when I went to work, every day there for a half a year. And I felt very comfortable at work. Unfortunately I felt safer biking that way, which sucks.”
So, is there anything else you wish people would try out?
“I meet a lot of people and just like, friends I work with, that tell me they’re terrified to wear anything except black and brown, like dark dark dark tones. They’re like, I’m scared of colors, I don’t do that. And I wish all my friends would just embrace wearing you know, the orange-pink, the bright greens, bright blues. There’s nothin wrong with that. And I think people can look just fine in dark clothes or light clothes, but I’ll wear a bright outfit and my co-worker or friend will be like, I would never be caught in that.”
So sad! Do you have any current obsessions?
“I have an obsession with Sanrio stationery. I stare at it all the time, and have been using it a lot lately for a lot of things.”
Do you feel healed by it?
“I do, sometimes you look at it and there’s like… My Melody sitting there hanging out with two animals, and My Melody says she’s having tea time and her nap time with all her best friend little animals. They do everything together. And I’m like, that’s just like me!” [laughs]
On that note, do you have any shout-outs to anyone?
“I got a shout-out to Zombie [her cat]. She’s being real brave all the time, keepin me going. She’s actually been lovin on some Rihanna lately, so shout-out to Rihanna. Cause Rihanna’s been an inspiration to my life for the past two weeks, I would say. She’s just been makin me feel good in my heart, and makin me feel like, that I deserve to feel like the only girl in the world sometimes.”
Yeeess!! Okay. Thanks
Not all people know what “steeze” is, so let me lay it on ya.
straight up easy flow and mad unique style. confidence and skill expressed via actions and phrases that knock peole back in awe an amazement. you either got it or you dont.
Thanks, Urban Dictonary. Simpler definitions merely offer “style and ease.” If you’re having trouble calling up a good example to mind, behold:
This is Mukethe, AKA Max. I’ve had her on Broad&Market not one, but two times now. She’s the market manager at the Saturday farmer’s market at 43rd and Baltimore, which I shop just about every week. I usually spare my audience not to take her picture every week but holy hell is it hard! Steeze is right! And Mukethe is outside in this winter weather for like six hours a day or more, hawking produce and handling business. I thought it might be worthwhile to ask her about her tips for looking good in the winter weather.
So Mukethe, let’s talk about winter steeze.
“Ok, let’s talk about winter steeze.”
Every week that I come to the farmer’s market, you consistently look good. Why don’t I see other people around the city like that?
Then again, this is a biased question cause I don’t see the same people around every week. Buuut… I certainly don’t see people wearing layers of vests. Anyway, anything you’ve learned since last time that you wanna share with everybody?
“I’ve learned lots since last winter, if we’re talking about winter steeze. Last winter I didn’t make it past about twenty or thirty minutes at the farmer’s market without having to run into the coffee shop and hide for a half an hour. So, I do have real boots this year, courtesy of I. Goldberg. I think they’re cute. They make me feel a little masculine. I like to wear them and sit with my legs open — I think that’s appropriate.”
Yeah, I like to walk with my legs a little open — not strutting — it’s something else.
“A little bit of a cowboy walk, little bit of a cowboy strut. Real boots are definitely key. And then I sort of rely on the farmers to provide me with extra layers [motions to gloves] that I find the need to put on over the course of the market. Exactly! That’s right. Lap of luxury. It also helps that the city doesn’t shovel…So we have to do it ourselves. It keeps the blood flowing.”
What is up with that? Is it like, your responsibility as the market?
“Mayor Nutter does not care about farmers yo.” [laughing]
Are there any things you’ve seen lately that have been driving you nuts? Like uh, Mukethe’s Observations? Or how bout Mukethe’s Do Nots?
Do not come to me with that… half-way on mismatched gloves look… cause it is so two-thousand and —
“I’ll tell you one thing that’s been bothering me, one of my Do Nots: Fake bow ties are a do not.”
Fake bow ties?? But I —
“Do NOT! You have to man up.”
I would if I could find any for less than twenty dollars!
“I know, that’s the thing, they’re kind of expensive!”
Yeah, like I borrowed one from my house mate for a party and was like oooh this is takin a while! And then when I finally got it I was like phew! But after I decided I was just gonna mess with the fake ones.
“But you felt like an adult afterward!”