July 14, 2024


Inspired By Shop

2022 in Review: What Wendy Wore, Part I

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2022 in Review: What Wendy Wore, Part I

This week, I decided to look up my 2021 “year in review” posts and was shocked — not Casablanca-style fake SHOCKED but genuinely SHOOK — to discover I didn’t write any for the first time since 2011. No year-end Jewel of the Month wrap-up, even though I had conscientiously featured one of my designs each month last year. No “What Wendy Wore” extravaganza. While I hadn’t blogged that content during the year, I could’ve sifted through my phone or the ‘Gram. Considering that I managed a three-part WWW post in 2020 — the first and most restrictive pandemic year — it’s safe to say that I was in an exceptionally bad mood last December.

Silver lining: This made a few of my 2022 lewks more appealing to me just because something is better than nothing. Before this, I’d been swiping through this year’s photos thinking, “All I have is activism outfits, but not the kind of activism outfits that my fashion-goddess friend Sonni wears.”


Okay, Sonni’s rainbow outfit was special for Pride, but Sonni approaches icon level on a daily basis. Meanwhile, I’ve made most of my post-pandemic wardrobe choices while asking myself: “Can I walk 80 blocks in 95 degrees in this outfit without complaining?” and “Can I safely be arrested in this outfit?” and “Can I sit in the middle of the street in 10 degree weather in this outfit without complaining while awaiting arrest?” Pre-pandemic but post-2016 election, I was out in the streets too, but, of course, there were plenty of social/special/work occasions to dress for. (I mean, look at 2017! I didn’t have to turn this protest into an outfit post.) Even when I relied on jeans and a black t-shirt, I could trick out those basics with red lipstick, a fabulous purse, heels, a statement jacket, and my own jewelry designs. Forced to cut back on those accessories in 2020, I instead gravitated towards a meaningful face mask, Chiara D’Agostino’s feather earrings, a gold guillotine pendant, my painted protest jackets, stacks of leather bracelets, and a top hat.

Then, at some point, I just gave up. Still, even a shitty outfit tells a story, so here goes 2022.

Below is the only head-to-toe “outfit” photo I could find from last January. My Rise and Resist activist friend Jenny took it before one of the Truth Tuesdays protests outside Fox News. I got there early and was so tired I pushed aside a barrier to sit on a step, giving me this jailbird appearance.

What Wendy Wore in January 2022
Fox Lies Hoodie: Signs of Resistance (2021)
Coat: Moose Knuckles (2016)
Jeans: Frame (2018 is my guess)
Boots: Uggs (2016)
Glasses: Selima Boutique (2018)

Our direct-action group has now done more than a year of weekly Fox protests! You can join us — even if just for a quick photo op — any Tuesday between noon and 1 PM ET at 48th and 6th.

In February, I joined Ukrainian activists at a protest outside the Russian consulate looking drab. Many Ukrainian women are very chic, and they’re always decked out for action in the national colors of blue and yellow. I guess the blue face mask was my effort. But I did make a few personal statements with this outfit via extreme re-wearing, slow fashion, and an upgrade.

What Wendy Wore in February 2022
Hoodie: Megan Renee (2021)
Coat: Moose Knuckles (2016)
Jeans: R13 (2016)
Boots: Ross and Snow (2022)
Glasses: Selima Boutique (2018)
Gloves: Who the hell know

Some people have to challenge themselves to wear an article of clothing 30 times, but I probably wear the python-print Megan Renee hoodie 30 times every weather-appropriate month. It’s a standard part of my cold-weather protest layering routine. To think that when I first got it, I thought it might be “too much”! The boots were new, after I upgraded from the Uggs that I had loathed since I got them as protest-wear in late 2016. The new boots might look pretty much the same to everyone else, but I like the chunkier sole. The funniest thing to me is the jogger-style jeans. I thought they were much too casual in 2016. Now I look at the old photos and I think, “Fancy!” because look at the Givenchy shoes!

The jogger-jeans had been sitting in a “to-be donated” pile since pre-Covid, and I dug them out and put them on. Voilà! Sad homegrown vintage. (I wouldn’t have been wearing a hoodie in 2016 either, by the way.)

I couldn’t find any head-to-toe photos for March, but this photo from a climate protest outside New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s Manhattan office amuses me, and not just because it’s identical to February’s outfit.

What Wendy Wore in March 2022
Hoodie: Megan Renee (2021)
Coat: Moose Knuckles (2016)
Jeans: R13 (2016)
Boots: Ross and Snow (2022)
Glasses: Selima Boutique (2018)
Gloves: Who the hell know

This was a very cold day when we knew we were going to be arrested for blocking traffic, and I was dressed for it in many layers, including the Megan Renee hoodie. I was wearing the new Ross and Snow boots not only because they were warm, but because they have no laces. Cops will always take your shoe laces and belts away. There are drawstrings on the hoodie and the parka, but I knew I could take those off inside — I had multiple layers of shirts underneath. There was also a drawstring in the jogger-style jeans. I had never tightened it because the jeans were fine without it and I figured drawstrings are always coming out when you don’t want them to, so it would be easy to slide it out upon request. Nope! It was not. To make sure I didn’t try to hurt myself or my cellmate with the few available inches of the drawstring in my pants, the cops had me cut it. I had Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” chorus stuck in my head for days because I kept thinking of these lyrics:

“After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt.” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for?” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings.” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”

My cellmate from the climate action invited me to be part of the Red Rebel Brigade performance-art activist group at an Extinction Rebellion NYC protest in April. I politely said, “Maybe,” then tried to wiggle out of it multiple times. When I was asked to wear something deep red, not bright red, to match the costumes, I was like, “Here’s my chance. I don’t have that.” Then I remembered this leather jacket from 2001, which I had intended to part with many times.

What Wendy Wore in April 2022
Red Leather Jacket: Mystery man (2001)
Top: Zang Toi (2015)

Pants/Shoes: No idea!
Glasses: Prada (2010 sunglasses, updated with prescription in 2021)

I’m appalled that I can’t remember the name of the jacket’s designer! There are no tags. He did a lot of custom work, including the white leather halter and hip-huggers I wore at my wedding. I bought some ready-to-wear things from him at the same time, including this jacket. I have lots of jackets, so this one was out of the rotation for a long time, which was why I thought about purging it, but you know how I feel about closet purges! Now it is happy homegrown vintage, in contrast to the sad joggers. Anyway, once I remembered the jacket, I couldn’t say no to the protest participation.

Photo of me in costume by Donna Aceto. Click for Instagram post.

I wound up being glad I did this. Here’s a look at the whole group of us. We were always silent — similar to the white-clad Human Beings of Gays Against Guns, but more emotive.

We weren’t among the arrestees that day — our job was to watch over the arrests and make sure the volunteers for civil disobedience felt supported.

May started off with Politico’s big scoop on the Supreme Court’s draft of the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Every cause has a color, and green is the international symbol for abortion rights, thanks to the successful Green Wave in Latin America. I made a sartorial political statement at a National Press Foundation, where I put on a dress for the first time in two years and made sure I gave props to Politico.

What Wendy Wore in May 2022
Dress: Vintage Jacques Tiffeau (acquired in 2009)
Purse: Vintage Hermes from Decades (probably pre-2005)
Shoes: Prada (2010)
Glasses: Prada (2010, updated 2021)

This was another triumph of slow fashion — double vintage X 2, even. The Jacques Tiffeau dress was real vintage when I got it in 2009. I’ve worn it regularly ever since. I’m not sure how vintage the green Hermes bag was when I got it, probably before 2005, around the time I got this Hermes bag from the same vintage/consignment store. I can’t find any photos of me with the green bag. I know I considered reselling it many times because, I figured, how often do you need a little green bag? Well, if you wait long enough, it turns out you need one daily. You can see it again in this photo taken with Sonni at a big NYC abortion-rights march about 10 days later. Everything else I was wearing that day was new. Unfortunately, I knew the color was a good wardrobe investment.

What Wendy Also Wore in May 2022
Top: Frame Denim (2022)
Jeans: Frame Denim (2022)
Purse: Vintage Hermes from Decades (probably pre-2005)
Sneakers: Brooks (2022)

Because of the Dobbs leak, I spent a lot of time outside the Supreme Court in D.C. in June. Here’s an unusual mid-arrest image of me and my friend Lisa at a big nonviolent civil disobedience action where 180 people were arrested. I don’t know if it was the number of people to process outside, the heat, or both, but instead of being put in cuffs, all the arrestees were given wristbands, and the cops didn’t even confiscate or discard signs, as they are usually quick to do.

It’s also a good look at how I dress for a potentially arrestable action in the summer. Sandals that expose toes leave a protestor susceptible to injury, but I won’t wear sneakers because of the shoelace issue. The boots from 2013 were road-tested over the years at another hot, toe-threatening but more enjoyable event — Coachella.

What Wendy Wore (With Lisa) in June 2022
T-Shirt: Protest organizers (2022)
Shorts: Converted Madewell Jeans
Fanny pack: Random, inexpensive thing. No Hermes for arrests!
Boots: Fiorentini + Baker (Bought secondhand in Paris, 2013)

I was in DC again in July, with the Women’s March.

Behold, my green sign on MSNBC! I was addressing Biden’s support of an anti-abortion judge.

After the big protest in front of the White House (no arrests were made, though I wore my trusty boots just in case), I changed into my green sneakers and joined a small group to protest in front of Supreme Court Injustice Samuel Alito’s well-guarded house. I made some smart and funny new friends (Hi, Nikki!) and learned some new songs. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time, despite the circumstances.

The above isn’t my official outfit photo for July though — I just wanted to show that I was wearing the hell out of those green jeans as soon as I got them. I only have a small image of my most notable outfit that month, taken at the “Reclaim Pride” Queer March. You can see that I kept up the abortion-rights green but added a little Pride-worthy color.

What Wendy Wore in July 2022
T-shirt: Random (2022)
Shorts: Todd Oldham converted, details to come
Sneakers: Brooks (2022)

I had been trying to wear those vintage Todd Oldham shorts, converted from a pair of jeans, for years and could never pull together an outfit. It’s been so long that I have to do some more research to find the original photos and dates of the Oldham acquisition. I should have taken a big triumphant photo of this fashion achievement, but somehow it didn’t happen.


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