Fran Lebowitz on Fashion – Elle Magazine interviewed Fran Lebowitz recently and the results were kind of hilarious. What was said was funny not because the words were inherently funny, but because Fran Lebowitz really believes what she is saying and I fucking love that. Overall it was criticism after criticism, most of which I felt were pretty spot on. She spoke about the younger generation (or my generation, should I say?) not understanding that the trends of nowadays are not actually new, stores discontinuing great items, the changing dynamic of parent-children relationships, and actresses being unable to actually “wear” a dress.

For a little background info, Fran Lebowitz is an author known for her social commentary and her often controversial views (smokers rights for example). If I were doing an interview I think she’d be an ideal subject. Not often do you get people so brutally honest and outspoken. And yes, a lot of what she said was spot-on commentary on a whole bunch of people today. Don’t get hurt, just nod your head in agreement. I’ll share a few of my favourite quotes below…

ON YOUNG PEOPLE AND TRENDS… “….teenagers see them and go, ‘Wow, that’s edgy.’ If you’re 18 right now, you think you invented platform shoes. You think you’re doing something new. You think you’ve invented something so ugly that it’s beautiful. When we were young, we knew things. We knew basic history, even as it related to fashion. Now, when something reappears, an 18 year old has no clue that it’s a revival. Despite the fact that they’re almost always online they don’t get references.”

ON MAKING YOUR CLOTHES LAST… “People care more about trends now than they do about style. They get so wrapped up in what’s happening that they forget how to dress, and they never learn who they are because they never learn how to take care of anything. So much of what my generation was taught regarding clothes was how to make them last. How to wash and care for them.”

ON THE CHANGED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS… “Their parents like them much more than ours liked us. Our parents weren’t our friends. They disapproved of us. All our parents cared about was how we behaved, not how we felt, not what we wanted.”

ON THE INTERNET’S INFLUENCE… “Because of the Internet everybody sees the same stuff. You can buy the clothes of New York, even if you’re not living there. So I think that the accessibility, in this case, drives buying choices more than anything else.”

ON MEN WEARING SHORTS… “My fashion advice, particularly to men wearing shorts: Ask yourself, ‘Could I make a living modeling these shorts?’ If the answer is no, then change your clothes. Put on a pair of pants.”

ON NATURAL BEAUTY AND CLOTHES… “All these clothes that you see people wearing, the yoga clothes—even men wear them!—it’s just another way of being in pajamas. You need more natural beauty to get away with things like that. What’s so great thing about clothes is that they’re artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty. So if you’re naturally beautiful, wear what you want, but that’s .01% of people. Most people just aren’t good looking enough to wear what they have on. They should change. They should get some slacks and a nice overcoat.”

ON HILLARY CLINTON… “I think her lack of style comes naturally. I do, I really do. She has no style, zero.”

ON ACTRESSES AT AWARDS SHOWS… “Even if the dresses are beautiful and expensive and important, the actresses can’t always carry them. Sometimes I feel like saying to them, ‘Act! You know how to act, you’re an actor. You’re about to win an award for (I don’t know) convincingly playing that Venezuelan nun who went to war. Now act like you can wear this dress.'”

ON SELF-CONFIDENCE AND LOOKING GOOD… “Maybe it’s superficial to exude a sense of confidence in one’s clothes. But it’s also integral. Yes, if you cover a man’s eyes, he legitimately might not remember what he has on. But is that really worth celebrating, or imitating? Personally I don’t think we need to emulate that level of stupidity. Because look, we have an appearance. Not all of us are beautiful. But we can appear fine looking. So we should. Feeling good about an outfit is the point at which that outfit finally becomes good.”

Really, the entire interview is worth reading. Go ahead! (Linked at the start of this post.)



Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind

Leave a Reply