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On Saturdays, We Wear Vests

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The Joy and Horror of the Vest Couple

Science tells us that if a couple A) genuinely enjoys spending time together, B) believes a perfect weekend involves shopping at Trader Joe’s followed by playing Jenga at a local brewery, and C) has enough disposable income, there is a 97 percent chance that they also wear vests.

Reader, we are living in a Vest Couple’s world.

The phenomenon of the Vest Couple is simple: It is the act of being in a couple, and also wearing vests. They don’t have to match, by the way, the vests. One vest might be fleece, and the other one a puffer. Probably one of them is Patagonia. One half of the Vest Couple may pair hers with a plaid flannel button-down, her significant other with a turtleneck sweater. If they are a more advanced Vest Couple and it is particularly cold out, maybe one of them will wear a sweater under a vest under a puffer coat! All that matters is that vests play a deeply crucial role in the personal styles of both partners.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Vest Couples over the past few months, mainly because fall is almost over, and fall is Vest Couple mating season. It’s the time of year when you do things you would never do in any other season, like drive two hours to perform voluntary manual labor (apple picking), or make really dorky spontaneous remarks about how the air feels super crisp today, both of which pair perfectly with vests.

Here is a list of other things, besides vests, that all Vest Couples enjoy: expensive socks, vinyl records as wall art, Friends (they’re Monica and Chandler), indoor ficuses, eggs Benedict, sharing household chores, limited-batch double IPAs, the Madewell Transport tote, items in buffalo plaid print, very large scarves, thinking about running half-marathons, saving up for their yearly vacation, and being on a first-name basis with their barista.

Girl gang sweatshirt.

It is for all of these reasons that for many people, Vest Couples are a particularly excruciating breed. Here are two people, seemingly so smug in their stability and overlapping taste in home décor that they symbolize everything adulthood is supposed to be. For some, a Vest Couple is the thing they’re most terrified of becoming, and for others, a Vest Couple is everything they’ve always wanted and afraid they’ll never have. Both are scary!

I actually love Vest Couples. I genuinely enjoy spending time with couples, period, but when you’re around a Vest Couple, you just feel safe. Plus, they sometimes pay for your brunch. They don’t even ask you to Venmo them afterwards!!!! And then when your brunch turns into day drinking at a picturesque dog-friendly outdoor bar, and day drinking turns into tipsily laying on their gorgeous couch and watching New Girl for the rest of the evening while one half of the Vest Couple fixes you a cheese plate, you suddenly understand why people purchase minivans and get excited about different kinds of blenders. Vest Couples don’t force you to dress up and go out to a bar when you just feel like slowly sinking into the couch. That is the Vest Couple’s favorite activity, right behind meeting up after work and going to the wine store!

Sure, sometimes it feels like the universe is made up of Vest Couples and you are the only one in a regular coat with sleeves. Sometimes you walk down a beautiful tree-lined residential street in Brooklyn and you have to stop and ask yourself, “Why are all the vests in pairs, and why do they look so happy?” And then you think, “Will I ever be one of the vest-wearing happy people?” And then you feel kind of sad, and so you duck into a store and buy the coolest, most impractical, least vest-y dress you can find and remind yourself that honestly, vests are kind of ugly, and maybe that’s the point. Rebecca Jennings, associate producer

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Inside the (Makeup) Vault
Makeup vaults.

When I was in middle school, my aunt gave me a small plastic box from CoverGirl that contained several eyeshadows, a pencil eyeliner, mascara, and extremely pink blush. It was my most prized possession for the next several months and I never used it. I just gazed at it with admiration and awe.

This concept is still around, but it’s been supersized and called a “vault.” Makeup vaults are physically large with a price tag to match, and beauty fans can’t get enough of them. Kat Von D just sold out a contouring vault that cost $200. Kylie Cosmetics’ $120 lipstick vault also sold out this season. Nars has a $500 lipstick and nail polish vault. Brands from high end to low — Tom Ford to NYX — have offered lipstick vaults. There was a Bite Beauty lipstick vault last month at Sephora, too — yup, it sold out. Skincare brands also want in on the action, hence Thomas Roth’s mask vault. Heck, there’s even a Lip Smackers vault.

To understand how vault-mania happened, we have to go back to 2006, the year Urban Decay celebrated its tenth anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, the company released a huge foam-lined box that opened like a treasure chest and contained 16 individual eyeshadows nestled in there. Urban Decay deemed it a vault, and a marketing trend was born.

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Just One Thing
The Shoes That Look Like Sneakers For People Who Don’t Wear Sneakers
Doc Martens oxfords

Dr. Martens 1461 Mono Sneakers, $115

A thing I take immense pleasure in is actively choosing to sit out trends. To just, like, skip one. It’s basically the same as pretending it doesn’t really exist. It’s easy! Oh, is everyone buying lots of adorable gold stacking rings? That’s cool, but my fingers are essentially the color and girth of uncooked hot dogs, so I’d rather not draw any more attention to them.

And it applies to more than just fashion. The “Damn, Daniel” meme? Highly uninteresting to me, so I just continued scrolling every time a new iteration popped up on my Instagram feed. There is no way to express how satisfying this is, and I recommend you apply it to all areas of your life.

But the same thing nearly happened when, about two or three years ago, everyone was buying all-white sneakers. They looked cool on other people, but since they just didn’t naturally vibe with my aesthetic, I was all prepared to sit this one out. And then I walked into the new Doc Martens store in Williamsburg.

Let me begin by saying the 1461 Mono is not a sneaker. Rather, it’s a leather oxford shoe that, if someone was quickly walking by you and happened to glance at your feet, their brain would unconsciously — and wrongly — identify them as sneakers.

And yet! These sneaker-looking non-sneakers pair much better than sneaker-sneakers with tights, a mini skirt, and a turtleneck, which is essentially my outfit for nine months out of the year. They’re also sturdy as hell, and have walked me through both the hot garbage-covered and sewer-stained snow streets of New York City.

Even if it means I didn’t get the pleasure of sitting out the white sneaker trend entirely, that’s okay. I’ll just skip the whole furry heels thing instead. Rebecca Jennings, associate producer

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