Stephin Merritt On Why He Only Dresses in Brown


Despite the famously dour lyrical implication of “I Don’t Want to Get Over You,” Stephin Merritt does not, in fact, dress in black. Actually, he dresses almost entirely in brown, one of those terribly obvious details—like Amy Winehouse being a dead ringer for Janice from Friends—you might not notice until someone else points it out. But Google the man and you’ll see, the misanthrope only wears brown. And in this week’s NY Magazine, Merritt talks about why he only wears the color of dirt.

Why brown?

Years ago, I did a photo shoot with my dog, Irving, for Esquire magazine, where they had various celebs wearing fake eighties clothing. They put me in a preposterous outfit. Blondie was also part of the shoot, and they gave me advice: Just say, “Sorry, I only wear black.”

So why didn’t you start wearing black?
Unfortunately, black at this point tends to make you look like a French tourist in Soho. It also makes me look ill. I look ill enough; I really don’t need to call attention to that.

Or maybe he doesn’t wear black because of that whole “racist thing”? Just kidding!