Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we'll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from trying new beauty treatments to copying the most risqué runway looks of the season.
The looks that make it onto the runways of New York, London, Milan, and Paris are rarely for the faint of heart. That's part of their appeal—not everyone is prepared to walk around their respective cities, go to work, or hang out with friends in the sort of extraordinary ensembles that designers put together every season. Instead, they're meant to be a jumping-off point that buyers and editors can sell pieces of to customers and/or readers. But what happens when you test that theory and actually try to wear exact runway looks out in the real world?
That's what I set forth to find out throughout the month of January. Despite it being winter in New York City, I took five outrageous spring runway looks—from the tights-as-pants Bottega Veneta outfit that Kendall Jenner made famous to those layered T-shirt combos at Miu Miu—for a spin, wearing them at all of the aforementioned locations and more, including Who What Wear's Bryant Park office, the subway, and more.
Ahead, my tales of taking spring 2023's most shocking looks off the runway and into the real world.
When Bottega Veneta's S/S 23 runway show concluded last September, the most talked-about look, understandably so, was the flannel-and-leather-jeans look worn by Kate Moss. But while I could see that it was iconic, Moss's look wasn't what stood out to me most from the show. Rather, there was one ensemble toward the middle that featured a model wearing nothing but tights and a navy-blue sweater that I immediately saved for later reference. Ever since, I've been slowly but surely introducing this no-pants trend into my repertoire.
To my surprise, after a few tries, all the weirdness I first felt upon walking outside with only tights on as opposed to pants slipped away. Sure, you might get a few weird looks (as I did when I wore them in the middle of the workday in Bryant Park), but really, it's no different than the way I feel every time I style a very fashion-heavy outfit for a non-fashion occasion. You just have to own it. That, and I found that it helps to load up on accessories as a distraction, which is why I added one of Bottega Veneta's newest handbags, named the Andiamo bag; chunky, silver jewelry from Jenny Bird; and my go-to sunglasses from Linda Farrow.
Suggestion: Don't just wear tights. Instead, add a pair of full-coverage briefs on top. Trust me, it'll feel a lot more normal than if you skip this step.
Wearing: J.Crew Cropped Cashmere Crewneck Sweater ($118); Sheertex Classic Sheer Rip-Resist Tights ($35); Reformation briefs; Bottega Veneta Andiamo bag; Jimmy Choo boots; Jenny Bird Isabella Collar ($230) and Florence Earrings ($130); Linda Farrow Cara Oval Acetate Sunglasses ($359)
I will never underestimate the power of Miuccia Prada, especially after she made the world's tiniest miniskirt go absolutely viral. But even I will admit that when the initial looks from her S/S 23 Miu Miu show debuted, I believed they'd be a bit too hard to pull off. Specifically, the ensembles in question consisted of layered long-sleeve T-shirts worn as super-short minidresses and paired with knee-high sandal-boots.
If you know me, you can probably guess what I did next, which was try with all my might to figure out how to pull off the look, even if it meant wearing micro T-shirt dresses in the middle of the day in Midtown. The result? A shockingly wearable outfit that, while perhaps not appropriate for a work day, could easily be styled with a long coat for a night out.
Suggestion: Even if you don't want to wear T-shirts as dresses, you can still get the Miu Miu look by experimenting with layers. Toss on some baggy trousers or jeans with two or three long-sleeve tees of different colors worn on top of each other. It might feel odd at first, but I promise it looks very intentional and cool.
Leggings were all over the S/S 23 runways, but none were more appealing to a former hater of the silhouette than those presented at Stella McCartney's show during London Fashion Week. What I loved about the look—which included black leggings with subtle yellow details, matching yellow heels, a cropped leather bomber jacket, and iridescent sunglasses—was how stylized it made the often boring bottoms appear. So naturally, I took it upon myself to re-create the look with pieces I already owned.
As opposed to some of the other looks included in this story, every piece of my take on this Stella McCartney outfit came from my closet (or my boyfriend's—the leather bomber is sadly his and not mine). Then again, that's what makes it such a simple, great look. It's only leggings, sandals, and a leather jacket, and honestly, who doesn't already own some variation of the three?
Suggestion: Find a pair of leggings that feel a bit more dressed up than those styles you wear day in and day out at the gym. Consider them your fashion leggings and store them separately in your wardrobe.
The first item discussed among my fellow Who What Wear editors after Brandon Maxwell debuted his S/S 23 collection during NYFW were the overalls, specifically this leather pair that was styled as pants with a gorgeous, sequin-mesh tank top. I was enamored from afar. It wasn't until I actually wore the look from head to toe, however, that I realized just how special it actually is.
For starters, the sequin top is very delicate, much like an art piece. It gets the layered look from the white tank top underneath, which despite being aesthetically pretty basic, is probably the most luxurious tank top I've ever put on. Then there are the overalls, which are made entirely of butter soft leather and feature heavy, high-quality hardware. I had expected them to fall down when I folded them over to wear them as they were styled in the show, but to my surprise, they rested perfectly on top of my hips without any need for adjustment.
Suggestion: Consider this look an excuse to spice up the pieces you already own, like a classic pair of overalls or a white tank top. After all, not everyone can buy off the runway. Most people can, however, use the looks presented there as inspiration.
New York Fashion Week being the first major event during Fashion Month oftentimes means that it's somewhat forgotten by the end, with major designer shows in Milan and Paris surpassing its effects as time goes on. That wasn't the case, however, last season, as the looks that came out of Tory Burch's NYFW show more than stuck with me and the rest of the Who What Wear team.
From the sheer, embroidered linens and bright handbags to the cropped leggings and scrunched miniskirts, practically every item from the brand's runway collection made an impact on us, me especially. And since the show made so many things I'd normally steer clear of—specifically, leggings and layered miniskirts—appear desirable, I had to try them out for myself.
Though perhaps the hardest look to get right, my Tory Burch–inspired getup was the most rewarding and the one I'm genuinely excited to wear again. To put it all together, I paired a stunning trench from Kallmeyer with a white tee tucked into a red Free People slip dress that I fashioned into a skirt. For the leggings, I chose a java-brown pair from Lululemon that I then styled with red Tory Burch flats and my favorite green Prada bag since, apparently, there's no such thing as too much color.
Suggestion: Don't be afraid to pack on colors in 2023. It might feel unnatural if, like me, you find yourself in black, ivory, gray, and navy 364 days of the year, but I promise it's worth it to just stray a bit from your natural dressing behaviors.