In 2006, Regina Spektor proclaimed that summer in New York City means “cleavage, cleavage, cleavage.” But that was nine years ago. According to the Times, summer in the city now means “socks (black ones), suede pants (in June!), turtlenecks, children’s denim jackets, tights, long rayon skirts and chunky flatforms.” Women are wearing more clothes—even when it’s hot—and there’s nothing we can do to stop them.
Many young women today choose not to dress for a man’s gaze, even when the weather seems to dictate the baring of skin. The reason are varied: the appeal of thrifting, a ’90s comeback, the end of workplace dress codes, the rising tide of fourth-wave feminism, a newfound combativeness toward street harassment, the current fluidity of gender — or some combination.
Not only are they wearing more clothes, they’re not even shaving the hot and sticky skin that lies beneath. One 21-year-old fan of the 90s “noted the practicality of overalls,” saying she’d rather cover herself in fourth-wave feminist denim than shave regularly in the summer.
“I would have to shave every other day if I were going to show my legs.”
Jessie Sung, a 27-year-old who “moved through punk, goth, raver and street phases before reaching her draped look” said she wears more clothes because more clothes—not fewer clothes—make her feel amazing.
“I feel awesome. At that point I don’t care how other people perceive me because I feel amazing. And if you don’t think I look amazing, that’s 100 percent your problem and not my problem.”
I asked some of my coworkers what they decided to wear on this hot summer day. Some were on trend, some weren’t, and one was trying something entirely different.
ON TREND (MORE CLOTHES / LAYERS):
Anna Merlan: “I woke up this morning in a nightgown and have since put on [yoga] pants. THE NYT IS ON TO SOMETHING.”
Erin Gloria Ryan: “I’m wearing a Slayer half shirt and a half blanket.”
Madeleine Davies: “I am wearing an oversized tank top and a sheet.”
Mark Shrayber: “I am wearing a shirt and a blanket.”
——That’s a lot of summer draping!
OFF TREND (FEWER CLOTHES / LAYERS):
Ellie Shechet: “I’m wearing bike shorts and a gray t-shirt covered in cat hair.”
Clover Hope: “Crop top and panties.”
Kate Dries: “A cut-off t-shirt with the words ‘GRAND STREET’S JUMP!’ featuring a crew of canoers on the front and a pair of white soffe shorts.”
Kelly Faircloth - “A casual caftan.”
——Pretty typical warm-weather wear.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd - “I’m wearing a State Farm Insurance beach towel. It’s from the ‘80s.”
——Wearing more clothes is officially over. Vintage beach towels are in.
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