Broad City is perfect. It’s perfect in its hilarity, its heart, its two central characters, and not least of all those characters’ style. Their outfits are designed carefully to get across their personalities — Abbi’s clothes are more neutral and hipster-conservative, while Ilana’s are wild, flamboyant, and occasionally culturally appropriative. It’s no accident, and costume designer Staci Greenbaum told The Cut that she chooses the items in Ilana’s closet so that Ilana would be able to afford them, with a generous mix of Topshop, American Apparel, and flea market finds. Staci also said that Ilana’s frequent bare skin and crop top adoration is because, “Ilana is subversive and misguided in a way that’s appealing and lovable as opposed to hard-edged.” Ilana’s outfits border on costumes, and are frequently the visual high-point of an episode. While we mightn’t have the guts to copy most of Ilana’s style ourselves, we can certainly appreciate her choices. Here are a few of our very fave Ilana style staples — from the simple to the downright ingenious.
Rocking those gold hoops
If you want to emulate Ilana’s style in a low-key way without getting fired, the best way is probably by picking up some huge gold hoops. They’re cute, daring, and perfect for basically all occasions. Ilana switches between three pairs constantly, but after Jaime pointed out that her Latina hoops are a little culturally insensitive she might be ditching those.
That summer look
In season two episode one, Ilana put together this number to run around NYC looking for an air conditioning unit with Abbi. In true Ilana style her shorts are barely there, covered up by a huge Topshop sports jersey. Keeping it monochrome she finished it with a backwards cap, black lipstick, and her trademark gold hoops. It’s an outstanding summer look, and one that’s easily achieved from most stores — sports chic is still well and truly in.
Crops and high-waisted everything
An absolutely classic comb, Ilana loves her crop tops for all occasions — parties, running around New York, and of course to her office job. She often teams a bright print with teeny-tiny high-waisted Daisy Dukes. Super easy to emulate, super cute, and not likely to get you into too much trouble. Unless you take off your super cute American Apparel button-up in Central Park like Ilana did, of course…
The white power suit
Ilana is the Queen of Casual, but when she dresses up she goes hard. When she hires interns to do her bidding and becomes a little bit of a fascist, Ilana adopts the possibly poorly named White Power Suit and, in true Ilana style, teams it with gold hoops and just a bra. Her hair is cute, that lipstick is perf, and she holds that martini like a pro. We can ignore that she stains the White Power Suit shortly afterwards. It’s an easy look to pull off, too, but I guess it all depends what kind of boss you have…
Oh, Ilana. Most of us plan our bra around our outfit, but Ilana, as her costume designer confirmed, plans her outfits around showing off her bra. Her iconic lattice bra instantly sparked forums of debate and link-sharing trying to figure out just where to get this piece. Well, pieces. Ilana has the bra in white, turquoise, red…Sophie’s Choice, right? Her shirts are cut even more inappropriately for maximum bra exposure, and that’s why we love her. Again, maybe not a look for work. Or funerals.
The Grandma Esther’s Shiva look
But this . . .this is a look to celebrate a dead relative. Or if your best friend pegs her neighbor, it’s versatile. Ilana has repurposed her lace American Apparel shirt to wear with a skirt, presumably because like me she finds it impossible to find dresses that fit just right. She’s also wearing a ton of gold jewelery and bright pink lipstick, because grief doesn’t mean sacrificing the important stuff. Rarely without headwear, she is wearing a shiny leopard print fascinator with a big black bow. Where would you even buy something like that, anyway? Asking for a friend.
A catering uniform is good for two things — catering weddings, and attending them. Here Ilana proves once again that not only can she wear literally anything, but that menswear looks even better on women. Her suit echoes Rory’s best suit look from Gilmore Girls, and we love it.
Ilana wears, like, a ton of hats. Snapbacks, fascinators, straight-up caps, she loves ’em. Her bike helmet is even part of her uniform, complete with different wigs. Season three started off her hat trend perfectly with this hama bead hat that appears to be fully customizable, and changes words throughout the episode. I’m not sure when Ilana found time to change it over the course of the day in between all of the major stuff she had to get done, but you’ve got to admire her. It even momentarily distracts the viewer from the giant bike chain around her waist.
Ilana’s outfits are all amazing in so many ways — they’re wild, they’re super-cool, and they totally showcase her personality. They’re perhaps a little daring for most envious viewers, but if you want to achieve a similar look there are a few key things to remember: when in doubt crops, bras, hoops, hats, and not giving one single screw what anybody thinks when they look at you. Except maybe your boss. Or your grandma.
All images courtesy of Comedy Central/author.