This Paris T-Shirt Is A Trashionista's Dream

Making kitsch go the extra mile.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every woman in her mid-twenties can benefit from a trashionista moment – at least I did. Like my millennial kin, I’m still tightroping the line between successful adulting and calling my mom “when the needle thing above the meter thing stops working.” And the truth is, sometimes we spend so much time young professional-ing, that we forget to feed our more irreverent side.  
I’m talking about the side that goes to places called things like “Baja Sharkeez” to drink fish bowls of donkey punch (actually a thing); the side of you that not-so-secretly picks Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind during karaoke, and embraces the urge to buy an over-the-top tourist t-shirt for your everyday wardrobe – but more on that later. 
That’s where the trashionista revolution comes in. The term was recently coined by the king of early-'00s vintage dealing Gabriel Held. The stylist has worked with everyone from Lena Dunham to Rihanna (you can thank him for that Betsey Johnson blouse in Riri’s Wild Thoughts video), and describes the trashionista as “[a woman who] gets off on bucking authority in terms of what is good taste. She likes to be defiant.” The trashionista is peak Jessica Simpson with a kick of Family Affair-era Mary J. Blige. She’s a 2004 Dior saddle bag on the red carpet and a closet filled with more netting than a woebegone seaport. She’s part of the now-mainstream revival of tongue-in-cheek, ‘00s fashion (i.e. Vêtements X Juicy Couture, Balenciaga and, like, everything). 
Moments of golden '00s-trashionista styling are already a favorite of the WTG editorial team. When we veered off-topic during a recent meeting, we found ourselves entranced by a seemingly impossible task: styling a deliciously tacky Parisian tourist t-shirt into three wearable looks. I was first in line.  
The experience of buying an over-the-top Paris t-shirt gave me kind of thrill: at first I was drawn to an animal print "Paris" slogan shirt with blue and orange studs, but eventually I went for a more versatile (lol) Breton-striped shirt that read "Paris Star" in silver gems. The best part? This baby wasn’t just being bought in bulk as a souvenir for cousins twice-removed, and destined to be forgotten. It was going to actually live among my wardrobe’s most tried and true pieces. 
The results? Well, judge for yourself. Personally, I found the t-shirt to be like the key to Pandora’s Box, opening up possibilities for outfits from three of my favorite – and all very different – aesthetics. 

Check out the three looks below, and scroll to the bottom to shop a mix of my closet lookalikes and some solid tourist apparel:

Look 1: Moped Ready

I wanted this look to say, "Your mom on holiday in 1976," so I paired some dark-wash, high-waisted bell bottoms with a chunky black heel and a studded fanny pack (gotta keep that Walkman cozy). I rolled up the sleeves on my Paris t-shirt, tucked it in tight and threw on a pair of round black sunglasses as a final touch to mark me out as cool and ironic, rather than wide-eyed tourist. 

Look 2: New Wave Wannabe

I used to rock a lot of '60s silhouettes in college, and the Breton stripe on the Paris t-shirt inspired me to dip my toe back into the aesthetic. I wanted to make a slight nod to French New Wave films, so I chose a bright red skirt, plaid raincoat and a pair of matte, black glove heels. I kept my hair sleek and behind my ears, and went heavy on the winged eyeliner and red lip. 

Look 3: The '00s Throwback

Channel the Lizzie McGuire Gods for styling inspo, and they will inevitably lead you to some serious crop-topping. Scissor happy – and suddenly with a legless Eiffel Tower – I decided to use the excess fabric as shoulder-tie embellishments, and paired my newfound midriff-baring tee with some high-waisted fuchsia pants and a blue leather jacket. To keep funking up my color palette like a real 2002 gal, I wore blue eyeshadow, a coral lip and some golden sandals. But what really brought this look home to true trashionista territory was the green, terry-cloth Juicy Couture bag and sequined pizza pouch. Have a headache yet? Good. 
P.A.R.O.S.H. Gente Roma Print T-Shirt - £56
Macy's I Love NY T-Shirt - $15
Forever 21 Plus Size City Graphic Pullover - €18
Plus Harriet Tokyo T-shirt - $14
Forever 21 Cropped Chicago Graphic Tee - $13
Color Pint, Austin, Tx T-Shirt - $25
State Pride Tees, New York Long Sleeve T-Shirt - $24
Superdry Box Photo City Paris T-shirt - €30
French Connection Bell Bottom Pocket Jeans - $83
Prada Button-embellished Wool Mini Skirt - £560
Park Lane Real Leather Studded Bum Bag - $57
Monki Round & Retro Sunglasses - €10
Girls' Glitter Pizza Slice Bag - €63

All images by Diana Liu