[Hi, folks! I’m off on a little-deserved vacation around Austria and Slovenia, so please enjoy a series of guest posts from my rad internet friends! This one is from Margo; she is a London-based waster of time who believes in internet friends, a well-stocked pantry, and the medicinal power of celluloid and print. -Mia]
I’ve just finished up reading four volumes of comic book memoirs by two American twenty-something ladies who draw dealing with the stuff of life through ink, paper, pixels, and punch lines. Both of them work out identity and life issues through clothing, and I related to both of them from different corners of my messy closet.
When I started planning this post I didn’t realise that Erika Moen had immortalised Reading In Skirts in a blog post. That really tickled me, as I have an outfit that I always secretly think of as my Erika Might Wear This ensemble.
Erika Moen’s DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Diary (volumes one and two) takes us through her University years until her mid-twenties. She works through a lot of stuff about who she is and what she wants, in between adventures with cops on Segways, Miracle Fruit parties, and strip club etiquette. There’s a lot of slice of life stuff – awkward conversations with friends, ear wax issues (oh god, me too), and jokes based around genitalia being inherently hilarious. Which, of course it is. She nails the dirty joke told with clean lines. If it didn’t read so sincere, it’d be cloying, but Moen has a knack of presenting stories about sex and desire with a gloriously wide-eyed joy.
For my DAR outfit to be really canon-compliant, I’d be wearing a tank top with wide-legged trews and flats. But my epic vision is based more on the Erika Moen I know from the Strip Search reality tv show and her outfits in her current web comic Oh Joy, Sex Toy! (Which is NSFW, my peeps.)
Dropping the graphical and modelling standards at Reading In Skirts
I love People Tree’s ‘ethical’ clothing as it wears well and always fits me nicely. Probably the most ethical clothing choice would be knitting my own unitards out of locally-sourced root systems, but I figure they’re a step up from the Fast Fashion outlets all over my local high street. I usually hunt their casual dresses across eBay, which is where I got my ‘high school art teacher sweatshirt dress’. It has enormo-pockets where I could keep useful and creative materials, though in reality I just stash things in my bra as the PATRIARCHAL FASHION INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX has trained me not to expect pockets.
My best hard femme daywear
Like Moen, I love me some patterned leggings and boots. These boots are MBTs, a type of weird rocking thick-soled orthopaedic brand. Both them and the dress are from eBay. My tank and leggings were thrifted.
Julia Wertz’s cartoon series was called The Fart Party, and hilarious vulgarity is one of her hallmarks. But she has an uncanny ability to pull you in with the dry humour and dark wit to explore life at its messiest. I started on her books after reading this essay (The Fart Party Really Stinks [TW for self-harm -Mia]) about struggling with her strip after chronicling her sobriety. In Drinking at the Movies Wertz covers moving cities (San Francisco to New York), getting herself canned from lousy jobs, and spending a lot of time in bed being sick, hung over, depressed, bored, or thoroughly fed up with the human race.
In this guest post she has a cute panel on her different outfits and how they fit certain moods and New York days. But in Drinking at the Movies her default Julia vs. the World sidewalk warrior ensemble reminds me of what I wear on my days off. Those kind of days off where I’m not likely to talk to anyone else save someone at the shops or the pool. I kind of crawl into my own cave and focus on cooking, or walking, or spinning time out from one end of the internet to the other.
My photography skills are up there with my mirror cleaning skills
The hoodie was abandoned outside a drycleaner with a tag attached, draped over a rubbish bin. The zip doesn’t work anymore and if I have the hood up I can’t see anything. It’s got hairdye stains and other less verifiable marks. This is a feral bit of clothing, one I would usually keep to myself. The jeans were meant to be wardrobe essentials, skinny leg low-cut and black, I’ve worn them to gigs and on dates, but I’ve finally reconciled myself to the fact that they’re not actually comfortable and slumpy like my platonic ideal of jeans. Instead they insist on defying the basic laws of physics as they simultaneously dig in to my stomach while the Grand Canyon blooms out at the back. I got them at a massive Sainsbury’s supermarket on a street in London called Dog Kennel Hill.
The top is striped and super soft was originally from Reiss but reached me via eBay. I really should wear a bra with it, but this my day off. The girls can chill. The snood was crocheted for me by the lovely Quince Tart out of luxury German über-wool.
– Margo (@infamy_infamy)