Chelsea Handler has an incredibly good show on Netflix now called Chelsea, in case you didn’t know, and her wardrobe is a dream come true. Her show airs three times per week and is truly one of the best TV shows on right now, especially given that it’s listed in the “Science & Technology” section on Netflix. Definitely check it out if you love talk shows, or if you want to see what the perfect grown-up
groupie music enthusiast/rock chick wardrobe looks like.
Chelsea, or whoever dresses her, has completely nailed the rock chick style while eliminating 100% of the Hot Topic vibes from what can be one of the most juvenile style aesthetics. Every week I’m impressed with her outfits, but this week, I’m also inspired. If I had places to go or a social life, I would wear any one of her comfortable outfits with pleasure. Well, most of the time she looks comfortable, and other times she looks bangin’ but also like she can’t really move due to a high’n’tight waist or 5″ heels.
Despite the occasional constraint, that element of comfort is the star in each one of Chelsea’s outfits. Sometimes, it’s literal comfort – wide leg pants, t-shirt dress, or a billowy top – but other times it’s more like nostalgic comfort in the form of an old tee, or band t-shirt. The comfort is contrasted by the hyper-structured and rugged leather pants, pencil skirts, and high-waisted bottoms.
Chelsea’s T-Shirts – Where do They Come From?!
The focal point of 75% of Chelsea Handler’s outfit is the short-sleeved t-shirt she’s inevitably wearing. She pairs graphic t-shirts with everything – pencil skirts, skinny jeans, ripped pants, jeggings, wide-leg high-waist pants… If it’s fitted at the waist and looks good with cotton, Chelsea Handler is going to wear it with a graphic t-shirt.
There are tons of places you can find band t-shirts that range from vintage to present-day, and I highly suggest scouring vintage and thrift shops for them. The worn-in ones are the best anyway, so keep an eye out! But if you want a band shirt emblazoned with a band that’s been popular in the last 10 years – you’re probably going to have to buy it yourself.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to find quality band tees in regular stores. Now, I hope you’re ready to hear what I’m about to tell you, because it’s going to be hard. It’ll be hard, but worth it.
Seriously. Hot Topic is still the best place to find band shirts from current day artists as well as the old classics. Tutus and Manic Panic aside, Hot Topic has the lockdown on band tees at the mall. There are tons of cuts and designs for bands both old and new. And, for some reason, an abundance of Panic! At The Disco tees…?
You can find a ton of the band t-shirts Chelsea wears at Junk Food Clothing. Basically, Junk Food’s only job is to print licensed logos onto things. For classic, vintage-inspired band tees like the ones Chelsea wears, that’s your best bet. Tees run about $40 each, but they do sales often.
Authentic vintage rock music t-shirts like the ones she wears can be found all over the place, but a major source is Kelly Cole in Los Angeles. You’ll find genuine tour tees and band tees from the last six decades there, but the sizes are reflective of a time before vanity sizing, so don’t expect it to wear the same was the modern replicas do. Is there a band tee on that site that under $90? Nope. Moving on.
Chelsea is close with Emily Elliott and Meritt Current, the girls behind the cult-favorite denim brand, Current/Elliott. She says they were “the first people to get her into a band shirt and a pencil skirt.” So I guess this post is a low-key tribute to their styling abilities. In fact, Chelsea gets some of her amazing t-shirts from their new brand, The Great – she wore this camper-inspired Coyote Crew tee in the October 6th episode. Since they are $100+ each, I think I’ll pass. Luckily, other places make cute t-shirts too (see below!) so ladies, I’ll be admiring your brand from afar.
There are a few outfit formulas at work in Chelsea’s impressive wardrobe, and I want to write them out before I forget them because basically, her wardrobe is perfectly balanced. If you follow Chelsea’s demonstrated rules for combining tops and bottoms (you almost never see her in a dress), the result will be amazing every time. Check Rule #5 for a tidy collection of band t-shirts like Chelsea’s!
Here are the 5 rules for stealing Chelsea’s Netflix style:
1. Leather on the bottom and silk on the top.
In several episodes, Chelsea wears a nude or peach colored silk top, usually a button-down, with leather skinny pants or a leather pencil skirt. Of course, everything is always paired with badass high heels. This is a formula that works pretty much every single time.
Faux leather pants are one of my favorite wardrobe staples, and I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect pair. Leggings would be acceptable, but I think you really need to mimic jeans in order for this look to fully work. Tucking that silky shirt into the front of the pants (a behavior that confuses the crap out of my boyfriend) is what makes this outfit look so incredibly comfy. The fabrics are really the only thing that elevates this outfit, otherwise it would be cute but totally basic.
|Ann Taylor Dotted Silky Wrap Top,
H&M Imitation Leather Pants, $34.99
Melissa Boho Platforms,
|Calvin Klein Roll Sleeve Crew Neck Top,
Candies Platform Sandals, $59.99
|Gap Split V-Neck Blouse,
Nine West Urcute Caged Sandal Wedges,
|Notations Tuwa Lace Yoke Blouse,
Roaman’s Faux Leather Pants, $44.99
Candies Mary-Jane Platforms,
2. Go monochrome from head to toe.
There’s a sweet spot to wearing the same color all over and it falls somewhere between “boring” and “toddler.” In Chelsea Handler’s case, the sweet spot is mixing similar tones of the same color, and changing up the textures and fabrics to keep it interesting. Unlike the very matchy-matchy co-ordinate sets, this style of monochrome is much more casual and laid back.
The outfit Chelsea is wearing in the screencaps above also fit into another of the five rules – you’ll see that happen a lot. I’m telling you, she’s got formulas and they work!
|Dee Elle Solid Crew Neck Sweater,
Michael Antonio Mime Lace-Up Boots,
|Torrid Rayon Button Down Shirt, $48.90 $36.67
Praslin Plus Jeggings,
Marc Fisher Calia Cork Platform Sandals,
|J by JOA Papaya Lace Top,
Charles by Charles David Jangle Platform Sandals,
|Marled Knit Cold Shoulder Sweater, $54.90 $41.17
H&M Platform Pumps, $49.99
3. Sometimes, everything is made from t-shirt material.
Here’s where the “comfort” part of Chelsea’s wardrobe really stands out. Chelsea always has to have at least one piece of ultra-comfortable clothing, and sometimes she walks out on stage in 100% comfortable clothing. In the case of the outfit above (notice the monochromatic-ness!), the basic white cotton t-shirt exists in both the top and bottoms. It’s such a basic look, but when accessorized with some simple gold shoes and tiny gold jewelry, it’s one of the classiest outfits she’s worn.
Jersey is king – not only because it’s Chelsea Handler’s home state, but also because it’s the most delightful t-shirt fabric known to man. Luckily, designers have caught on to the fact that we love to wear jersey and have made virtually everything out of it from skirts and leggings to socks and bras. Just don’t forget to accessorize!
|Lucky Brand Fender Tee,
Elan Moto Jeggings, $69
Kork-Ease Lewy Chunky Platform Sandals,
|Charlotte Russe Can’t Even Tee,
Dorothy Perkins Burgundy Ariana Velvet Boots,
|ASOS Sleeveless Jersey Jumpsuit with Wrap Front,
Marc Fisher Hindera Gladiator Sandals,
4. Add a pop of color to a neutral outfit via amazing shoes.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. As a chubby child, I quickly learned that regardless of my size, my shoes could be as stylish as anyone else’s. This lead me to a vast appreciation of shoes (and my first mountain of debt – I don’t miss the debt but I miss the shoes). Since Chelsea Handler wears so many neutral outfits like the one above, a vibrant and eye-catching shoe is her ace in the sleeve. She’s a loud gal, and she needs loud shoes when her outfit is relaxed. This is one of the most fun types of outfits to put together not just because it’s easy, but because the aesthetic payoff is huge!
|Boohoo Plus Allie Cross Back Dungarees, $50
ASOS Curve Polka Dot Tee, $19.50
Nine West Unfrgetabl Heels, $54.99
|James Perse 3/4 Sleeve Raglan Tee,
ModCloth Living the Dream Skirt, $49.99
|Lands End Cotton Ribbed Tunic,
French Connection Maya 2 Perforated Pump,
|Free People Striped Crew Neck Sweater,
Old Navy Mid-Rise Pixie Pants,
ModCloth Earn Your Peep Heels, $69.99
5. If all else fails, wear a band t-shirt and high waisted pants or skirt.
I have yet to see this combination fail. First of all, band t-shirts are one of my favorite things despite being tough to find. Secondly, high-waisted bottoms are my calling. I like how Chelsea disperses the high waists between skirts and pants. Graphic t-shirts and skirts have always belonged together but are seldom united. It’s so nice to see band tees actually get worn, too, instead of hidden away in a memory box somewhere. They deserve to be shared with the world!
Add badass shoes to complete this Chelsea outfit formula. As usual.
|Junk Food Blondie NYC Ringer Tee, $42
H&M Slim Fit High Waist Pants, $19.99
Very Volatile Rio Grande Boots,
|Torrid Ramones Football Tee,
American Rag Jesse Mary Jane Pumps,
|6DollarShirts Like a Virgin Tee, $6
Charlotte Russe Mesh Trim Pencil Skirt,
Jessica Simpson Waleo Platforms, $32.99
|Nirvana Smiley Tee,
Vans Classic Perforated Sneakers, $59.95
Bonus: More Chelsea Outfit Favorites
In case you haven’t seen enough outfits in the style of Chelsea yet.
What do you this of Chelsea Handler’s show on Netflix? Do you like her style?