Eva Chen's August Editor's Letter: My Fashion Phobia

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"I’ll try anything fashion-wise, from frumpy sandals to culottes. But my biggest style hurdle has been jeans."

What to wear with jeans? The quirkiest, coolest accessories, of course—Click through to shop some of Eva's accessory picks to dress up any pair of denim!

James Ryang

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Everyone has a fashion phobia—that one category of clothing that, no matter how many times you’ve attempted to wear it, try as you might, you just can’t make it happen. It’s usually an irrational fear—for one of my friends, it was T-shirt dresses (“I’m just not cool enough to wear shapeless things,” she would protest); for another, it was pale pink (“I look like Rizzo from Grease”). My fashion phobia, at least for the past 10 years, was decidedly more banal: jeans.

The phobia only really set in during my twenties. I wore jeans regularly throughout my childhood, from OshKosh overalls to Guess acid-washed high-waisted zip-ankle pairs. I donned Levi’s boot cuts in college here and there, although most of my university years were spent emulating Cher Horowitz—think clunky shoes, little skirts and sweaters, and backpacks. (Wait, that could describe my wardrobe now as well.) Once I started working in magazines at 22, I felt like I had to trade up from denim to designer … or at least designer-­inspired pieces.

It’s taken me nearly a decade to re-embrace jeans because, well, frankly everything else seemed easier. Dresses were an all-in-one outfit. Skirts were breezy (and I had a closet full of them already). Shopping for denim is an intensely personal experience that requires an immense amount of trial and error—and, therefore, time. (The only other thing I can really compare it to would be shopping for bras or mascara.) Finally, in the past two years, I’ve found a few pairs I loved: Ayr’s crazy-comfortable Skinny; Dittos’ Charlie (a tapered, destroyed boyfriend); and a prehistoric pair of distressed straight-leg Paige’s, so old they are all but gone.

Which is all a long way of saying I’ve seen the denim light. This issue is our Denim Special, and there are over 20 ideas, whether you’re a true-blue (please excuse the pun) devotee or a recent convert like me. My favorite story is “Jean Therapy,” which was inspired by me creeping on the weekend style of Lucky’s fantastically cool editors on Instagram. Their pairings are perfect for any off-duty adventure: Cutoffs and Balenciaga boots! Shredded minis and Birkenstocks! Dark peg-legs and loafers!

Speaking of off-duty style, one celebrity who’s been on my radar for her effortless fashion sense, weekend or red carpet, is Solange Knowles. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that she’s been in the news for more than just her fashion sense. But when all is said and done, it’s the creative work she’s done—and is doing—that will be her legacy. It takes exceptional bravery in this day and age to unapologetically be yourself—no less during trial by fire/Twitter. The story, by our deputy editor, Leigh Belz Ray, is by turns thoughtful, revealing and enlightening. I know you’ll come out of it with a new perspective on Solange.

Lastly, we’re a tad worried that we’re literally going to break the Internet with the epic adorableness of the story “Animal House.” Featuring an all-star cast of celebrity animals (including Marc Jacobs’ dog Neville and a certain curmudgeonly cat named Grumpy), this shoot highlights some of our favorite fall accessories.

Get ready for cute overload in this issue—both fashion and feline.

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