Pitchfork Best Albums of the Decade Lookbook
When Pitchfork came out with their 200 Best Albums of the 2010s list, I immediately scrolled through looking for validation of my own tastes and recommendations for new music. I also started thinking about the relationship between music and fashion, from Billie Eilish's chain-link grunge effect on streetwear to Lady Gaga's McQueen shoes. Music and fashion create moods and tell stories in a delightfully tangible way.
I picked 10 albums I love from the list and came up with an outfit for each that fit the vibe of the record. I also shot these looks as a video, so if you would like to see a 360 view of my styling accompanied by the actual sounds of the record, you can skip to the bottom.
A note about sustainable fashion: I am in the process of trying to buy less fast fashion and up my second-hand shopping game, but I also have not physically grown past the seventh grade, so while lots of these pieces are thrifted, some of them are from a time when I was less aware. I don't mean to promote every brand I'm wearing, but instead to provide a template for styling each look.
122. Snail Mail - Lush
Inspired by Lindsay Jordan's insistence on tugging at the most honest parts of adolescent angst, I put together this "look but don't touch" combination of roses and regrets. The embroidered jacket provides a bulky but delicate exterior, while the straight fit jeans look effortless while carefully gathering in the t-shirt in all the right places. I paired these with an army green heeled ankle boot to keep the color popping, but this look could easily be worn with boots, platforms, or sneakers if you were going for a more casual way to express your discomfort at what your life has become. Jacket and shirt - Forever 21; jeans - Gap; boots - Charlotte Russe.
7. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
For a contemporary urban bloodlust aesthetic, I started with black skinny jeans that came attached with a set of external metal garter-like harness straps. When I combined these with a faux-leather sleeved blazer, they gave me the exact punk vibe I was looking for without going too BDSM. Underneath, I layered a black-and-white tee complete with planchette illustration to keep the look spooky. Platform black booties gave me the lift I needed to strut down the sidewalk the way I imagine Ezra Koenig always wanted. Jeans - Disturbia (thrifted); jacket - Anne Taylor (thrifted); shirt - unknown (thrifted, no tags); boots - Forever 21.
147. The National - High Violet
The National has always seemed to me to be a great expression of the elegance of sadness. Matt Berninger reminds us, in his soothing baritone, that sadness can be something you get used to. High Violet speaks often about the illusion of control over yourself or the world around you as you become an adult, so I wanted to create a look that was put-together but subdued, with a basic silhouette and buttoned-up finish. The tri-tonal lavender, black, and white gave me the simplicity I was looking for and left me free to accessorize with glass hoop earrings, a loose braid, and just enough heel to make the skirt proportions work. Skirt - unknown (second-hand); shirt - Uniqlo (thrifted); earrings - Arctic Buffalo, 10 mm; shoes - Top Moda (Modcloth).
180. CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe
CHVRCHES may best be described as electro-pop, but singer Lauren Mayberry has spoken about her pop-punk roots when it comes to songwriting. Either way, the music is fun, bright, and energetic, and I wanted to translate that into a comfy and confident streetwear look. I started with an oversized white tee with bright floral pocket detailing and paired it with basic black skinny jeans, balancing out the heavier fabric on top with cherry-red Doc Martens. I finished off the look with a big denim jacket, the perfect canvas for patches or, in my case, some of my enamel pin collection. Shirt - unknown (thrifted); jeans - H&M; boots - Doc Marten (thrifted); denim jacket - unknown (thrifted).
184. Soccer Mommy - Clean
I have loved Soccer Mommy ever since she parodied her own song with the tweet "I don't wanna be your feral hog", but the music stands on its own. Sophie Allison is wonderfully vulnerable with a touch of grunge, and the album cover encapsulates that with Allison's layered flannel and boots. I picked one of my flannels to go over a band tee and paired it with open-knee mom jeans for a comfy lumberjack look. I added a knit beanie I accessorized with a pin from Cousins Collective and a pair of vintage hiking boots to give it more of a messy, grunge mood. This outfit is great for fall but could be optimized for colder weather with some leggings underneath the jeans as well. Shirt - Wilco band merch; jeans - Brandy Melville (thrifted); flannel - unknown (second-hand); beanie - Huff; boots - unknown (they were my mom's!).
79. Tame Impala - Currents
Tame Impala is one of those bands that becomes more intricate the more you listen, and Currents goes from surface-level synth-chill to pulsating rock in just a few plays. There is an undeniable energy running through the album (a...current, if you will) that I wanted to translate into an athleisurewear look that was simple but kept a sense of movement. I started with high-waisted black leggings with mesh detailing on the thighs and paired it with a cropped lavender velvet sleeveless hoodie. I love the little hood and front pocket on this, and the crop keeps it from becoming too heavy despite the thicker fabric. I added chunky sneakers and to give me a little height and complete the sporty look. Shirt - Forever 21; leggins - Old Navy; shoes - Filas (second-hand from depop).
14. Lorde - Melodrama
Lorde's track record of perfect albums is now two for two. She writes about the painful, awkward, heartbreaking transition into adulthood and you as the listener are invited to feel all of it. But feeling everything can leave you raw and looking for a spiney exterior to protect you. I started out with this tiger sweater with black metal spikes on the shoulders and paired it with navy blue pants that I think are supposed to be cropped, but I'm short enough that they're just, well, regular length. I kept the metallic and blue going with iridescent boots and a black metal chain choker in the shape of a horn, as well as gray cat-eye plugs in my ears. Sweater - Forever 21; pants - H&M; boots - Dollskill; necklace - unknown (thrifted); earrings - Arctic Buffalo.
74. Mitski - Be the Cowboy
I will be, Mitski! I will be! For you! More articulate people have analyzed Mitski's critique of the cowboy figure in pop culture, and I am not even going to begin to try here. That being said, there is a complexity and a toughness to this album that I wanted to translate with a very textured look. I chose black ripped baggy jeans and a tight crop top with a muted floral print to balance them out. I added this black faux leather vest with gold and silver spike details along the bottom as a punk nod to the cowboy vest. My ears have simple gold tunnels in them, and although it was cropped out of the frame, I finished off with brown heeled booties that look like these and a brown braided belt. Shirt - Forever 21; jeans - Pac Sun; vest - unknown; boots - Charlotte Russe; earrings - Urban Body Jewelry.
116. Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
Pitchfork calls ArchAndroid the "genesis" of Janelle Monae's domination of pop culture, including acting, features, and the follow-up album Dirty Computer eight years later. The concept, story, and music flow together so perfectly that Monae's brand of apocalyptic electro-funk has continued to thrive ever since. My look for this album is a militaristic cargo pant and combat boot combo that makes me feel active and powerful. I paired it with a knotted off-the-shoulder crop top that hits right above the high waist of the pant to make my proportions longer and gives me the chance to show off my upper arm tattoo, which doesn't get to peek out often. For jewelry, I felt that the pants were bulky enough to balance out a chunky gold chain and some beautiful hand-made earrings from Fencing (we love a trans owned and operated business!). Shirt - Forever 21; pants - Dollskill; shoes - Doc Martens (thrifted); necklace - unknown (thrifted); earrings - Fencing Co.
151. Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster
Even though this album was released in November of 2009, Pitchfork still felt it was iconic enough to be included in their list - and they were absolutely right. Beyond the influence that the Bad Romance music video had on me personally (see: my entire adolescent development and sense of aesthetic), Lady Gaga changed the pop world forever with The Fame Monster. To celebrate Mama Monster, I chose a fun jumper-type sweatshirt dress in black velvet with open shoulders to add some glamour. I added black velvet platform high tops and crescent moon opal hoops from UBJ to give the right balance of elegance and punk. Dress - ; shoes - Forever 21; earrings - Urban Body Jewelry.
Lookbook: Video Format