I Hate It When You Wear That

Photomontages by Caroline Shepard

Olivia and Charlie Corwin
accessories designer, 29; film and television producer, 33

Olivia: I am not a casual person.

Charlie: And I totally love T-shirts (1) and sneakers. (2)

Olivia: My favorite thing for him to wear is this pink V-neck sweater (3) that I bought him and these gray sharkskin pants.

Charlie: But what about my zip-up sweatshirts?

Olivia: They don’t fit. I hate when things are baggy-fitting. It shortens the torso.

Charlie: She wants everything I wear to be skintight.

Olivia: No, I don’t! Just tailored. Fitted. You have a nice little body.

Charlie: We mostly argue about what she wears.

Olivia: I’m a big dress person. Mostly, I wear dresses.

Charlie: And her dresses mostly have names. There’s the leaf dress, which is obvious, but then there’s the circus tent (4), which I actually love because it’s tight and it has these tiny little straps and a rope around it, but it also kind of looks like the house is being exterminated and someone threw a big tent over it. But tell her about the Schiele dress. (5)

Olivia: I brought this new dress home, and Charlie was like, “That looks like my favorite Schiele painting.” And it totally does. But then you also call it the clown dress.

Charlie: Well, even if I don’t like something she’s wearing—like, say, the smock dress or the Little House on the Prairie—I’ll recognize the personality trait that made her pick it. And I’ll like it for that reason. Even though I don’t like it. But the muumuu I hate. I’m not down with satin tie-dye.

Olivia: And the pointy shoes.

Charlie: It’s like Halloween. That I’ve never understood. Why would you want to dress like a witch? I like a strapless high-heel-pump thing. Basically, I just like her to look like a hooker!

Olivia: He’s kidding.

Charlie: She could never look like a hooker. But I do like it when she wears her fur. I’m pro-fur. It makes her look like a classy hooker! No, not really.

Olivia: We do boob checks.

Charlie: We were at this fancy dinner at Jerry Della Femina’s house in East Hampton, and after dinner someone told me that Olivia’s boob had been hanging out all through dinner. She’s very comfortable with her body, and I’m not a jealous person, but still …

Olivia: We think I need to become better friends with double-sided tape. Next: Jennifer Mankins and Niklas Arnegren’s Closet

Jennifer Mankins and Niklas Arnegren
boutique owner, cultural affairs officer; both 30

Nik: The first thing that Jen ever bought me was an amazing winter coat with a fur collar that I just loved.

Jen: It was from Savers in Providence. He wore it every day of winter for at least five years.

Nik: It looked hot! And, obviously, it was Jen’s first present to me so I liked it, but it also was just perfect in every way.

Jen: But he wore it out. That’s what he does with things. He’ll get something, and he’ll just love it so much that he’ll wear it and wear it and wear it to shreds. I finally quietly replaced that coat with a black cashmere from Hugo Boss that I bought at Barneys in L.A.

Nik: Which is very fancy. I also love my old Levi’s jean jacket. I like to think of it as “classy classic.”

Jen: It’s not my favorite. It says to me, “I live in Williamsburg, and I’m trying to be a rocker.” And your camo jacket, too. The best Nik has ever looked was at our wedding. He wore a Dior Homme suit that had a really, really skinny cut. He put it on, and as much as I don’t like people who dress like rock stars, he put this on and looked like a rock star but in the best way.

Nik: Any discussion of my fashion sense has to include my love of Chuck Taylors. (1)

Jen: He’s convinced that everyone at work thinks his black Chuck Taylors are actually dress shoes. He thinks they don’t realize that they’re actually sneakers. He even wears them with his suits. I think people are definitely aware that they are sneakers.

Nik: No way. I love her in her Converse, too, by the way. I like her in high heels and everything, but I don’t like it when she’s tripping down the street.

Jen: Last week I was going to a party uptown and then to meet Nik at a rock show in Greenpoint, and he was like, “Please do not wear high heels.” But I try to tell him that if I wear platform (2) shoes then I can see better.

Nik: What I don’t like is clothes that have no purpose. Jen has a short-sleeved jacket. Why?

Jen: When we first met, I was sort of a tomboy. And now I’m sort of like a tomboy but in fashion clothes.

Nik: One of my favorite dresses is this peasant-dress (3) thing. It’s really feminine, but I can see her shoulders and her tattoos. It’s awesome … Remember when we went to the beach last week and you were wearing these shorts?

Jen: Which shorts? The African shorts?

Nik: Yeah.

Jen: I think they’re so cool. I think they might be the coolest things I own.

Nik: It’s not that I don’t appreciate the pattern. Just maybe not on your butt.

Jen: Ouch. Next: Sumayah Jamal and Gary Baddeley’s Closet

Sumayah Jamal and Gary Baddeley
dermatologist, entertainment executive; both 41

Sumayah: He has much better taste than I do. I’m terrible at shopping. I’m much more comfortable in a hardware store.

Gary: Well, I grew up in London, and English people are a bit more obsessed with clothing. So when I’m there, I’ll go to Savile Row and go to Richard James. (1)

Sumayah: When we first met, I was in med school, so I never wore anything but jeans and sneakers.

Gary: And I was practicing law! So I was in a suit every day. But I like it when Sumayah wears her little summer dresses, like this wrap dress. (2)They’re very formfitting! They accentuate her waist, hips, boobs. That kind of stuff.

Sumayah: Gary! So embarrassing!

Gary: I really prefer it if she’s more dressed up. But what’s really bad are the hats. She manages to make herself totally unattractive with these, like, homeless-person hats.

Sumayah: Oh, yeah. The hats are pretty bad. I get followed in stores because they think I’m going to steal something. And I can’t get a cab to stop. But it’s a dermatologist thing! And, of course, for a while I was wearing them because of the haircut. I used to have long hair.

Gary: I have to say I like it, don’t I? Maybe I’ll just say the long hair was good, too.

Sumayah: I’m hypersensitive. He’s learned not to be too vocal. My hairdresser, Edris, said, “Cut your hair, (3)cut your hair!” When Gary came home, I was hiding in the bathroom with a hat on. And I slept with that hat on because I was so traumatized. He knew what was under there; I just wasn’t ready for him to see it yet.

Gary: But then I thought it was hot! And then she got some cool Kangols, and the hat look has gotten better. The hats have upgraded. But still.

Sumayah: The one thing Gary has that I really don’t like is this crazy suit. (4)

Gary: That’s a Vivienne Westwood suit! You don’t like that?

Sumayah: Ummmm … I know that Vivienne Westwood is cool and everything …

Gary: This is a vintage Vivienne Westwood suit in a crazy tweed, with cool little Vivienne Westwood buttons. For those who care about Vivienne Westwood, it’s a very good thing to have.

I Hate It When You Wear That