My Style Heroes: Avery Trufelman
We finally get to see the Articles of Interest in her own closet!
Hi all! Today’s post is super special, because I got the rare opportunity to excavate the closet of the one and onlyof Articles of Interest pod fame, who you may remember as the publisher of my guest post last Black Friday. Though she researches, speaks, and writes about fashion prolifically, her scant social media presence has as of yet deprived us of the answer to the question: what does someone whose profession is deep-diving into sartorial histories actually wear? Generously, Avery sent along some selfies that give us an idea of her day-to-day style, and below, I attempt to reconcile it with the work she’s done, plus we worked together to offer you a shoppable deconstruction of her closet. I’m so grateful and excited to have gotten this peek behind the curtain, and though I understand a staunch abstention from Instagram, I hope Avery shares more of her genuinely inspirational style with us in the future.
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Avery’s recent investigations into the arcane and quotidian facets of fashion include:
The wardrobe photos Avery sent me are all, without exception, based around the color black (or super-dark navy/brown—I can’t trust my bespectacled eyes anymore), with at most a single “pop of color,” but interestingly these pops don’t seem to be relegated to a single color family or mood, ranging from self-professed “Barbie pink” to cobalt and sea foam.
No fruit in the selection of outfits I was sent, but as Avery writes, froutfits (sorry) are in essence “A little fun and a little sexy. A symbol of sweetness! Of fecundity!” And there are touches in her quotidian looks, from skirt slits to see-through tops and chain detailing on dresses that serve this same M.O.—her outfits are sophisticated, but never sexless or severe.
I don’t believe Avery has dipped her toe into the writhing pit of human hair (I just grossed myself out so bad), and her style as of now seems to preclude it—unlike people who can’t seem to give up their proclivities toward the grotesque (ahem, me), Avery’s style doesn’t gravitate toward the act of repelling those around her. Though this blog/newsletter chimera is Human Repeller, A) that name was mostly making fun of the obvious now-defunct fashion pub that never actually tried to live up to the ambitions of its name and B) I don’t think an outfit needs to be challenging or abrasive in order to be compelling. I think making people feel comfortable and grounded around you based on your choice of clothing is a really cool way to orient your style, and Avery’s personality gels so well with this mode of dress that it comes across as intentional, presenting her as accessible and game for anything, which I think is extremely stylish.
I noticed that Avery essentially eschews patterns in her wardrobe, though she’s done so much work decoding and unraveling them on her podcast—maybe once you’ve taken such a pointed glance behind the historical curtain, the semiotics of pattern-wearing becomes exhausting—unavoidably thinking through the iconographic, appropriative, and meaning-making facets of patterns when deciding what to wear does make solids seem more appealing. I’m definitely overthinking this and Avery’s style just skews towards minimalist, but I like to imagine her, nightshirt-clad, poring over history books each morning to make sure her look conveys the exact historical and phenomenological nuances she intends for the day, cursed with the knowledge of a Radiotopia host.
And finally, a piece on dressing “timelessly,” in which she muses: “…if you don’t follow the style of the moment, it requires a true comfort with the discomfort of sometimes being uncool. And sometimes being misunderstood.”
My first thought upon seeing these images was that Avery does dress timelessly—neutral colors, shapes that stay relevant every season, fairly modest without feeling dated. However, she noted to me “I feel like these sort of encapsulate my Dark Academia thing I've been doing lately…” So maybe the below looks can be seen as classically-grounded interpretations of a definitively 2020s trend. I actually really like this form of hedging your sartorial bets: as Lorynn Divita notes via Avery’s post, “just because the later kind doesn’t change, it doesn’t make them exempt from the world. Even if they don’t change, the tastes around them do.” Avery seems to be an expert at, as I feel like they say in Avatar: The Last Airbender (don’t tell me if I’m wrong), “being like water”: having a distinct, immutable substance but allowing for currents and tides to gently shape the essence of the thing into something that respects and is invigorated, even reified, by context.
Now, onto the outfits, accompanied by a few explanatory quotes via Avery and a shopping cart of pieces that she specifically calls out, plus dupes I felt warranted sharing, plus pieces that riffed on the vibe I got from each outfit/her style in general, even if not literal adaptations of each photo.
“Here, I’m in a wool shirt from Naomi Nomi (you basically never have to wash it? It's life changing) and my big vintage overcoat from the 80s (my mom was like "that might have been my actual coat"), with a Yohji pin from Kasuri [ed. note: a heavily-curated online mall that shills Comme, Issey, Yohji, and rare picks from other designers of the same caliber on the DL].”
I think Avery’s loafers (which veer into Jutti slipper in their dramatic tongue shape) above have little bows on them, which is one of the few instances of Bow Mania I’ve seen recently that’s felt compelling to me.
”This is a vintage Margiela dress from [LA-based + online vintage shop] The Curatorial Dept (I'm so honored they’ve sponsored my podcast!).”
“Above, I’m in a bias-cut t-shirt from FForme that I got second-hand, which I am wearing over a black slip and a pink skirt from Usonia (which continues to be on screamin-deal level sale [ $117]—I swear I bought it long before I even knew Barbie was coming out!).”
“In the two photos above, I’m in my sparkly mint green Dirk Van Saene shirt that I thought I'd never wear (but had to get it because it was also on ridiculous sale).... but lo and behold I wear it all the time.”
Note: I own one of the above cardigans from Muji in brown, which I bought like seven years ago, and whatever they put in that heavyweight jersey is BULLET-FUCKIN-PROOF. I’ve crunched it into backpacks, tied it around my waist on hikes, worn it to the opera, and it still looks new after 100-some washes. It appears that Avery wears her similar cardigan just as often—I can’t recommend getting something like this, perhaps vintage Agnes B, enough. I’m not sure if the Muji iteration is available in the US right now, which is criminal. If anyone has a connect on the Muji ladder, please pass along my plea for more of these cardigans tout de suite.
Thank you for letting me stick my nose into your closet, Avery, and everyone else, be sure to subscribe to her Substack and podcast for more insights and influences from which to glean your next moment of inspiration.
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.