Style inspo: Joan Watson (or how to dress like an adult)

I know, I know. Part of being a Rebel Gurl TM Dot Com is not giving a shit, wearing old greasy potato chip bags stapled together, etc. etc. But sometimes you want to Command Ruh-SPEKT and, like, not read as 25 anymore. Problem: fugly old-lady clothes that look joyless and unfashionable. I don’t want to look like a sorority girl turned lawyer (no offense, Elle Woods) because I’m too lazy and comfort-driven to wear heels, BUT I don’t want to look like I’ve completely given up, either.

Solution? WWJW, or “What Would Joan Wear?”

I’ve been binge-watching Elementary and Lucy Liu (aka Joan Watson)’s wardrobe is ON. POINT. It’s basically all fall style goals:


Here are some Dressin’ Like a Grown-Ass Woman tipz I’ve absorbed from Elementary:

joan watson elementary fashion style neckties

Neckties, tie-neck blouses, etc. are a good way to say “YO, I’m official.” (Plus you never know when you’ll need to tie someone up, right? Assuming you’re out of zipties.)

joan watson elementary fashion style

I gravitate toward tons of splotchy bright abstract colors, but Joan is the opposite: geometrics, hard lines, dark colors, neutrals BUT with some drapy (drapey?) fabrics to soften things up. (Plus her hair is always perfectly wavy as a feminine balance to what could be a cold, masculine look.)

joan watson elementary fashion style layers

Let’s return to DRAPY: Joan piles on the effortless asymmetrical moto jackets, long cardigans, and belted tunics to play with proportions and length. My wardrobe is almost babylike in its simplicity: shirt + pants, whereas hers has plenty of layers to add interest. “The eye has to travel,” as Diana Vreeland famously said, and a polo and khakis gives those poor ole eyes no destination!

joan watson elementary fashion style shoes

Two words: ANKLE. BOOTS. Joan (or the show’s fashion stylist, rather) is fond of chunky heeled ankle boots, and for good reason: They’re killer with black tights/leggings and flippy skirts, or just leggings and a tunic. Pass on the heel, personally, but you can get the same effect with a good chelsea boot or even loafers for that matter. No sneakers!

And if you want to straight-up steal her style, there’s always, a blessing/curse (and from whence many of these pics came). Stay classy, Watson!








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Aussies are crushing it

Do you ever just wanna move to a different continent? Say Australia?

I keep seeing brands and artists from there that just make my heart burst. Common themes: happy bright colors, a healthy sprinkling of zaniness and/or humor, and a lack of pretension. Something to do with the sun and vibrant wildlife?

Castle & Things

Gorgeous cut-out letters and shapes on art, bedding, and more. From their site: “CASTLE loves having a bit of fun. We love color and whimsy…We love spots and fluro and pink and yellow and orange and grey and love hearts and flowers and paint and felt and everything that POPS around in our studio. If it’s fun we love it.” Can I please be friends with them (and do the bla-bla)? OK COOL

castle & things
You be perfection on two sexy legs. via castle & things


Clothing and accessories in quirky prints with lotsa pink, yellow, and baby blue. I want to buy ALL THE THINGS.

Gorman Australia
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Hero status: Tavi Gevinson

My religion is basically Tavi Gevinson, so I forget that not everyone in the universe is as obsessed as I am. Hence this tasty explainer as to her awesomeness in a nutshell!

tavi gevinson
Photo: jauretsi

Tavi started her fashion blog, The Style Rookie, in 2008 at AGE ELEVEN (see her very first post here, short but sweet) and got famous a couple years later. She caught the attention of Forbes, TIME, The New Yorker, the NYT, and other big names before even graduating from high school. Her trademark is her writing: self-deprecating and funny while insightful, honest, and (yes) wise beyond her years. Oh yeah, and looking like a petite, stylish yet eccentric elf (she’s like 4’11” and hugely cool, dyeing her hair grey eons before anyone else).

In September 2011–age 15–she launched Rookie, a website that’s sort of the anti-Seventeen for teenage girls. Sure, there are makeup tutorials, playlists, and style advice, but they’re alongside honest essays by high schoolers about coming out, being trans, racism, and other Big Issues. Less Kardashian worship, more riot grrrl. HEART.

At age 16, she gave a TED talk. Age 17: costarred in Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (after that, small roles in Parenthood and Scream Queens). Age 18: debuted on Broadway in This Is Our Youth (later, The Crucible and, coming up, The Cherry Orchard). She writes, acts, AND sings (!), with guest vocals on Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx fame’s most recent album. But it’s obvious she’s not some fame-hungry, undiscriminating opportunist; by age 14, she’d turned down a chance to be on Oprah.

I started to write “My favorite thing about Tavi is–” and realized there’s SO MUCH I love about her. She didn’t come from money; she’s the daughter of an English teacher and grew up in suburban Chicago. She’s hella smart with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, literature, and fashion, bespeaking a natural curiosity. She’s immensely creative. Maybe most of all, she seems almost unwaveringly true to herself. She doesn’t seem to serve anything like wealth or fame, just creativity, self-expression, knowledge, and beauty. She’s an unofficial mascot for all of us weird girls without being snobby or Cooler-Than-Thou. Somehow she manages to be vulnerable and accessible despite being A Huge Deal. I MEAN!

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