An Ode to Fran Lebowitz


In between episodes of Search Party (which is getting so crazy, by the way), we started watching the wildly entertaining Martin Scorcese/Fran Lebowitz doc Pretend it’s a City, which follows Fran around as she discusses her love/hate relationship with New York, which so perfectly showcases her sardonic wit. I could listen to her all day, and talk about someone with a lifelong uniform! Fran’s been wearing classic boys and menswear since she was a kid — the Oxford shirts she wore in her twenties have since been replaced by fancier ones with French cuffs, possibly made in London (as a friend told me). She also seems to never leave the house without a perfect rolled-up pair of classic jeans, a roomy blazer of some kind, a dapper overcoat (complete with a pocket hanky just like my dad used to wear), and perfectly worn-in cowboy boots (also very my dad) of which she seems to have quite the collection. I was lucky enough to have interviewed her (ok by phone but still) back in my days at Harper’s Bazaar, when I asked her what her favorite possession was. She told me it was a gold ring made especially for her by none other than her friend Paloma Picasso — so glamorous! Since she gesticulates quite a bit during this show, it’s hard for me to really get a good gander at that ring (which I assume is the one on her pointer finger), but I feel cool and insider-y just knowing that personal tidbit. And now I am so inspired to re-read Metropolitan Life. Anyway, you know the drill — let’s shop her look!

Fran’s coat probably comes from the men’s deaprtment somewhere fancy, but this chic and simple one tells the right story. Plus, it’s 50% off on top of the sale price.

Here’s a nice and simple shirt with a bit of stretch, regular buttons and French cuffs that you can leave loose, roll up, or close with chic cufflinks just like Fran does.

Here’s a boxy menswear-inspired blazer not unlike those Fran goes for (although I heard hers are custom-made in London, too).

I’m guessing she wears good old Levi’s 501s, but my favorite A.P.C. jeans work with this vibe too.And of course there are her slightly nerdy, always cool horn-rimmed glasses. p.s. those great Polarized shades I posted on Friday are so Fran too.

Fran’s cowboy boots are more classic, but if you hate how they can show through your jeans, here’s a short version from Lucchese with the right shape that looks just as good peeking out from under them.

And as for that Paloma Picasso ring, your guess is as good as mine, but I am getting a feeling it’s a little like this.

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  1. A highly enjoyable read! Thank you.

    I’m still tempted by the APC jeans. They take a very long time to break in but are worth it in the end?

    I love SSense!

    1. I actually love them super dark and stiff, too, so you can enjoy them through many stages. Just wear them for as long as you can without washing them. The first time you wash them should be a dry cleaning situation. Then wash in the machine and hang to dry! xx

  2. Yes to everything! Such classic and utterly cool style. I adore everything about Fran. Thank you for showcasing her iconic style.

  3. Love, love, love!
    I will swap the white shirts for blue and swap the cowboy boots for Frye campus boots, and this is the look I plan to wear for the rest of my life!

  4. I’ve loved Fran since I was a teen and read Metropolitan Life- my mom bought it when it came out in 1978. We both watched the series the day it was released.

    I spent the whole series staring at the flat round gold cuff links-

  5. Love all of this. Have always loved her style since I saw her on Letterman way back in the day – she stood out to me immediately.

    Her jeans are always old school 501s (though I have no idea where she gets them these days)
    I was swooning over the Calder cufflinks.

  6. I LOVE THIS. I loved listening to her, and watching her throughout the whole docuseries. Her confidence makes everything look better, but it does feel like the clothes lend her a bit of it. If you wrote 100 posts just like this, I’d click on everything!

  7. Do the apcs run true to size? How do they compare to newer levis? What size do you take? I’ve been pondering them for years. Thanks! Great, classic picks.

    1. Also the people at APC could not be nicer (I just had a lengthy back and forth with the Soho store) and are incredibly helpful so don’t hesitate to call them with questions.They love to talk about the denim!

  8. Love this post!! Love Fran and love the series. She nails uniform dressing.

    Apparently her blazers and suits are from Anderson & Sheppard, shirts from Hilditch & Key and yes jeans are Levi’s, her glasses are old Calvin Klein and she won’t divulge about the boots (other than custom made in TX)!

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