Editor’s note: Melissa Giannini, former EIC of NYLON, has very good taste. As an avid NYLON reader, I’ve been following Melissa’s words and style for the last couple years as she led the mag’s sartorial constitution. Before NYLON, she was an editor at Spin and MarthaStewart.com. But let’s get back to the important stuff. Melissa knows fashion in a way that feels energetic and cool and actually wearable. And lucky for me and HelloGiggles readers, she agreed to write up a list of 10 must-haves. You know, those items that refuse to leave that space in our hearts we save for the things that make us feel happy and whole and pretty, no matter how many times we close the tab. Also: Be sure to buy NYLON‘s last issue — it hits stands September 26. I already have a copy sitting on my nightstand, and spoiler alert, it’s bewitching. —HELLO GIGGLES
Photo: Beth Garrabrant/Anna Buckley
My general style m.o. is to dress as comfortably as possible as often as possible. Cozy trends that make it acceptable to wear sweatpants and coveralls in public without any future plans to exercise or perform manual labor (athleisure, workwear, etc.) are my jam. This jumpsuit is basically my dream outfit. It’s a splurge, but one you can feel good about since Studio 189 is a very cool social enterprise that supports artisans in various African countries. I moderated a talk with its founders—actress Rosario Dawson and fashion marketing exec Abrima Erwiah—at last year’s Other Festival, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
My absolute favorite time of year is right now—when there’s just the faintest whiff of autumn in the air and it takes a beat to decide whether you want your coffee iced or hot. This cardigan is the clothing equivalent of that one tree that just couldn’t wait any longer, glowing in orangey-red radiance against a sea of green (or black in the case of my closet).
Another early fall staple is a good jean jacket. I’ve had my eye on this boxy one from Levi’s. It looks like it would be super-faded and stretched out/lived-in from the get-go, which I am so here for.
I have super-sensitive eyes that start to water at the sight of a mascara wand and burn like a vampire’s in the sun. Big, black sunglasses are my friends, and right now I’m forming a bond with this pair from Karen Walker.
To be honest, my eyes aren’t the only part of my face that rejects makeup. I have boxes full of highlighters and cheek stains and powders from the various freebie piles at my former workplaces, but any time I try something like contouring or Instagram brows I just look ridiculous and/or tired, so I almost always stick to a red lip and call it a day. Right now I’m loving this matte shade from Lipstick Queen. It goes on smooth and stays put, but doesn’t feel dry at all.
I bought a moto jacket over the summer when Allsaints was having a sale and I was suffering from the twin (not unrelated) conditions of 1. being on maternity leave and seeking connection with the outside world through e-commerce and 2. the fear that motherhood had suddenly made me uncool. This one is similar but more oversized, which I love. It’s a completely unpractical purchase for a new mom, but cheaper than a Ferrari, I guess.
Speaking of practicality, answers to questions like “is it washable” and “is there easy boob access” are now as much a part of my decision-making process for buying clothing as “is it cute” and “does it fit.” This especially comes into play with sleepwear since my little guy is now teething and back to waking up in the middle of the night. These pajamas hit all the marks and are even kinda sexy. I’m considering buying a few more sets so I never have to wear anything else at night.
A good friend bought a necklace like this for me years ago and I wore it religiously. It was super delicate and probably not sturdy enough for the shower or sleeping. Add to that the fact that my baby loved pulling on it, and I knew it was not long for this world. It finally disappeared a month or so ago and I replaced it with this one. The chain is shorter and the babe can’t reach it.
Chucks have been my go-to shoe since childhood, and I was so excited when Converse introduced a waterproof version. These are, um, taylor-made for a wet fall like the one I think we’re about to have.
It feels like this list needs a bag, but I usually don’t buy them new as my tastes tend to lean super-pricey—even if Conde were to come calling tomorrow wanting me to step in behind Graydon Carter to helm Vanity Fair at his salary, I probably would still get the shakes dropping a few thousand on a new Chanel or Celine bag. So I typically buy vintage. I love a faux-leather ’80s clutch for day, or a midcentury lucite-and-brass number for fancier occasions. BUT one of my favorite fall activities is going to the farmers’ market, and this basket bag is perfect for that. Similar to Studio 189, Mar Y Sol’s sales help artisans in Madagascar gain economic independence. This tote is lightweight and cute for carrying some fresh flowers and a loaf of bread, but sturdy enough for all of the decorative mf-ing gourds you can handle.