Welcome to Fashion Scavenger Hunt, a Jezebel column in which we all work together to find the elusive product of your dreams. Need help with a style or specific item, or just looking for advice on dupes? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I, too, will put my nimble googling fingers to work.
Hello, I love a full-on “style me” request more than anything, and one that is also topical? Tara, you’re the best:
Is this request too much? If it is we can narrow it down to just one outfit or item, but here’s my dream:
I saw Ghostbusters last night. And I finally feel like I have a fashion figure to emulate. I’m an engineer and artist and love comfortable and practical clothes but struggle with how to combine that with fashion and visual interest. Dr. Holtzmann (played by Kate McKinnon) is the inspiration I’ve needed! But being a fashion newb I don’t quite know where to begin.
Tara sent several examples of the looks she wants, which I truly appreciate because it helps us all narrow it down; unfortunately I can’t really publish them here without violating some copyright laws, so let’s just use her guidelines as themes and style Tara in the best flight-suits we can locate. Also, as far as I can tell most of the wardrobe in Ghostbusters was custom made by costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, so this is probably less of an exact-dupe situation so much as putting together a realistic composite.
First off, Tara would like “outfits for casual days,” such as this.
Overalls are back in a pretty substantial way right now, even the baggy casual ones. For this entire look in general, I’m going to recommend keeping it classic and browsing what Dickies has to offer, both because it’s a proven sturdy workwear brand and also because it’s all at a price point where, if you want to customize your look by splashing it with paint Pollack-style, you won’t be ruining your good expensive shit.
If you don’t have time to customize, here’s a cute pre-printed pair from Asos for around $60 US. I also HIGHLY recommend visiting an Army-Navy surplus store, whether in your town or online; I have a few flight suits and they’re both super comfortable and utilitarian, and easy to customize; with boots you could be tough and ready to bust some ghosts, but throw on the right strappy pump and you look like a fashion editor.
You can get a loose, medium army green t-shirt just about anywhere, as well as a beat-up moto jacket (Etsy is your friend!); the trick with this look is accessorizing. DRIVING GLOVES! In the pic you sent, it also looks a bit like she’s wearing a Chanel necklace, even though she’s probably not. I like the idea of adding hardware that’s a little bit feminine to a tough workwear casual jam such as this.
And for the looks described as “a bit more put together.” I love how McKinnon’s character is basically the midpoint between Tank Girl and Amelia Earhart, stylewise. The key here, again, is contrast; note the leather jacket (probably the most versatile investment you could ever make) against the woolen cardigan (in thrift-store excess, even if you live in picked-over NYC) and striped t-shirt (everywhere). It’s given a delicate balance with a silky knotted scarf, another item in thrift store abundance; it’s all really easy, simple pieces just pulled together with their inherent complimentary textures and shades (all neutrals, which is smart and easy to pair without getting wrong) in mind. And as for the pants, the cropped wide-leg trouser is super in and shows no signs of letting up; I like these from Abercrombie & Fitch ($24) and these from the Gap ($49.95).
And finally, Tara writes:
pointers for the accessories (those glasses – look great and protect you from lab debris? Who wouldn’t want!) and the hair also appreciated. I’m not used to spending much money on clothing but willing to stretch for the right pieces.
Glasses are my specialty since I can’t wear contacts, and I always go vintage and have my prescription put in, which is both chicer and money-saving; I just got two pair in from Belgian Etsy shop Colorssspit today, as a matter of fact. But honestly, for that true Holtzmann vibe, you’re just gonna have to go straight to the steampunk source.
(Round glasses with side shields, $19.95, Steampunkgoggles.com)
But I can’t really help with the hair. Readers, can you? And do you have more pointers for Tara’s awesome Dr. Holzmann aspirations?