Clothes as Armor
The best physically and psychically protective gear and where to acquire it.
Hi! This photo of Elijah Wood in Helmut Lang FW03 struck me:
A) He looks adorable and B) I was reminded of the purpose clothes can serve as physical and psychic armor. On the physical front, they bravely shield us from nature's whims—be it raindrops doing a dance, gusty winds attempting to sweep us off our feet, or the relentless sun playing a game of hide-and-seek. It's like having a personal bodyguard made of fabric, always ready to take a hit for the team, or at least keep us warm when the thermostat takes a nosedive.
But it's not just a garment; it's your psychological shield, deflecting self-doubt and firing up your inner courage. In the grand fashion saga, clothes play roles beyond mere fabric layers. They're the costume changes in life's theatrical production. From cultural armor that connects us to our roots to the cozy sweaters that offer a snug embrace, clothes are armor. Here's to the silent warriors in our closets, of which you’ll find a mostly-shoppable, annotated selection below.
If you like these posts, please let me know by liking and commenting here or on HR’s Instagram, subbing to the HR Substack (this) for free, getting bonus posts for seven bucks a month, or for ZERO DOLLARS, share (tag me if on IG so I can see and thank you)!
If you cannot afford the $7/month, I totally understand—respond to any of my email sends and I will get you a $2 subscription or comp you, whatever you need. HR is for everyone!
Thank you SO MUCH for your support, whatever you are able and willing to do to help is extremely valuable to me and I’m honored to be a small part of your life on the web.
The actual hoodie Elijah was wearing. Kind of hideous with the hair all limp.
Clothes that create physical perimeters around the body or completely hide the shape of the body fit into what I consider “armor.”
I think the bangle is going to have a big moment soon, especially layered to the nines, almost like gauntlets. The jade here is probably super spiritually protective, but I’d go for silver.
To get this energy.
This Twitter thread reminded me of the Alaïa/ Hervé Léger bandage dress, which is waiting in the wings for a full-fledged comeback if it’s already hit Fashion Twitter, and speaks to our desires to be not just molded and shaped but also held secure with thick, unyielding fabric on the dance floor. There are tons of vintage options, but TheRealReal’s selection is already selling out…
I love the idea of shoe charms, laces are such an under-accessorized element of our outfits, and this would be a simple and rewarding DIY!
These slipper-like but rugged shoes are at a great price right now, but I think only huge sizes are left :(
I’ve already written about Saman, the fashion student you’ve probably seen trotting around NYC in various states of armored-ness, and I’m sure they’d kill a breastplate with some voluminous trousers or hot pants and high boots. Might be deathly uncomfortable, but I don’t know!
To protect your peace on days of wrath—people might leave you alone if you’re in this.
I like how these heels have little ankle guards—Razor scooters don’t stand a chance!
These look so much like the gauntlets people use when catching falcons.
I love that the neckerchief is removable—there’s a light colorway too, with a plaid neckerchief.
Jock strap-inspired underwear feels protective, even when it’s not actually padded or anything—I just know I’d feel secure with these on under a skirt.
This looks so violent, but upon closer inspection, is so delicate and elegant.
Very “airplane water landing” core.
Very dilapidated bounce house. No one will be getting too close with this thing buffering you.
Imagine someone trying to shive you at the bar while you’re wearing this.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen Bode so cheap. Worth it? Probably not.
This bag is carried in such a cool (but impractical) way, like a sheath for your arm:
If I valued practicality less I’d be all over it.
This coat’s crushed velvet looks like a smoking jacket or a psychic’s robes jostled into a loosely structural trench; I can’t imagine not being protected from bad vibes while inside.
This looks like a knight’s armored cap in soft fabric.
This one gives the chain mail effect.
Seven swords, like the Seven Samurai. Definitely a protective necklace.
A more authentic but very practical knight’s hood to be worn when not in metal armor.
Chain mail headpieces at the club never got popular enough, IMO.
I love the way this forces your finger into a crook.
This as a crop top OR this over a hoodie or something would go so hard.
I might make a small commission if you purchase from some of the links above, at no cost to you! If you do, send me a pic of you wearing the item and I’ll comp you a month of HR.