Outfit of the Week: Patti Smith, Fashion Icon

I can’t think of a lady whose style is more unlike our last three Outfits of the Week (Tim Walker-esque, Happy-Go-Lucky and Unabashedly Girlie). Patti’s style is also the most unlike my own, but I think her style is a good salty to our sweet.

After reading this article about her in the New York Times last week, I realized that her calculated “look” reminded me of so many other fashion icons we admire. It’s not that Audrey Hepburn walked around in cut-up jeans and Ann Demeulemeester blazers like Patti favors, but (at least according to the Times), her disheveled punk gamine look is as consciously “put-together” as Audrey’s cigarette pants and boat-neck tees. And I like that.

Consciously choosing a “look” reminds me that fashion can really be a tool to express who you are (or want to be, or feel like being on a particular day), and that doesn’t necessarily happen just by accident. I mean, some days throwing on whatever you stumble into in your closet really works, but usually that method means I end up wearing something ho-hum (jeans, oversized tee and platform booties).

I love this photo that accompanied the article about her in the NY Times. The article is a must-read to feel inspired to do your own thing- deliberately (but make it look effortless).

Ooo I love the black desert boots from Need Supply and that gorgeous bronzy looking ring from Shopbop. Check out the details of the entire polyvore set here.

I’m also really itching to read this recently published book about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe (more art history nerdiness – woohoo!).

Do you guys choose to present yourself to the world in a certain way? Or do you do the throw-something-on-and-look-fabulous thing? I wish sometimes I could do the latter, but I’m much more intrigued by the former. Discuss.

10 thoughts on “Outfit of the Week: Patti Smith, Fashion Icon”

  1. I try and present myself in a certain way. but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. I hope my thrown-together duds look equally fetching and effortless, but you never know. Do compliments count?


  2. I definitely try to present myself a certain way and I will feel like I’m failing at it and then I’ll realize that I do have a certain “me”-ness is my clothing.

  3. Wow! what an great post. i love all the inspiration and how you just write in an so interesting and capturing way! i dont know how i see myself and my style. i want to look my best. but i do not wear something just because its this or that trend. or maybe i do that too. its hard to say. its easier for an outsider to say that about one do you not think that?
    i hope you stunning girls are having an great week

    xx ediot

  4. Filled with an overwhelming desire to rip a huge hole in my jeans. Thanks for the inspiration! Now off to find my exacto knife. (now that doesn’t sound creepy at all.)

  5. Patti Smith!!! Yes. Such a cool lady.

    I don’t know if I consciously try to present myself in a particular manner. I do think that we all end up doing just such a thing whether we want to or not. I am particular about buying new gear, so I guess my closet is edited at the beginning. That way I don’t really ever think about what I’m going to wear. But I think we’d all be lying if we said that the way we dress doesn’t always present some facet of our personalities.

  6. My look is often dictated by my level of hygiene on a given day.

    Yes, I skip showers for days at a time in favor of homegrown facials and bird baths over my sink. So what? Who cares?

    If I am feeling extraordinarily clean I gravitate toward cleaner lines, simple prints, and muted colors.
    On dirty days I wear my baggy orange pants with a too small t-shirt and my grody* hair in a high, messy ponytail.

    My best outfits can come in either style–calculated or off the cuff–so long as I am not dressing FOR anyone. Ya dig?

    *I have always been unsure about the spelling here. I mean, the word comes from grotesque but “groty” looks bad. But “grody” looks wonky itself!

  7. Another great Patti Smith, picture-book of style, is “Patti Smith – American Artist” by Frank Stefanko. Frank is Patti’s long-time friend. He began photographing Patti in the late 60’s and beyond. The book is filled with reminiscences and Patti-paraphanalia.

  8. I’m reading Just Kids, right now and it is a unique intimate look of her relationship with not only Robert Mapplethrope but her relationship with NYC. A must read, she is a beautiful writer.

Leave a Reply