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To know Jill Kargman is to unabashedly hero-worship her. The deeply unapologetic, piercingly funny writer/actress has her own aesthetic in everything she does. Yes, she’s part of Manhattan’s elite — a world she pokes fun at in her bitingly funny TV show Odd Mom Out — but she has her stilettos planted firmly on the sidewalk. Kargman took the subway to this interview, in a downpour, and arrived alone — no handlers or assistants or hangers-on. She knows who she is, and she owns it. For proof, look no further than her closet.
“I don’t like pants. I like them on other people, just not on myself. I haven’t worn pants in 25 years,” she tells Yahoo Style. “I wear these Wolford satin tights every single day. I can be spread-eagle and no one sees anything because it’s totally opaque. I have casual skirts or fancy skirts. In the summer, I wear dresses. It’s cute and you throw it on and put on flats and you go. I do not own one pair of jeans.”
Her peers, says Kargman, are bewildered by the fact that she doesn’t have a single set of capris, not even for those faux-casual garden parties where pretty people mill around, sipping frosé. “Not even one white pair for summer. I don’t drink rosé. I’m not a summer person,” she says.
Why doesn’t she own pants, you might wonder? Kargman gives one of her signature, viscerally visual answers. “Pants make me feel like I have vagina claustrophobia. I can’t handle it. It’s like a chastity belt. I don’t feel comfortable in pants. Even as a kid, I felt like I had permanent camel-toe,” she says.
The mother of three — daughters Sadie and Ivy, and son Fletch, with ad guru Harry Kargman — also has no aspirations to be a cool mom.
“I never wear short skirts. I don’t want my daughter and I to dress alike. I don’t want people to think we’re sisters. That means she’s dressing inappropriately or I am. I’m not trying to be her best friend. I’m her mother. We have an amazing relationship. We don’t bicker,” she says.
Fashion has a key role in Kargman’s hit Bravo series, Odd Mom Out. Kargman’s Jill Weber — a faux version of Kargman, is a New Yorker clinging to her individuality while dealing with the posh mommy set. Weber winds up living with her mother-in-law after difficult economic times, the result of a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, hit the 1 percent.
“This season is our best yet by far,” Kargman says. “The network has given me more freedom. Season 3 is the balsamic reduction version of myself and it’s way funnier. The cold open is all these rich people having to make choices and they’re in distress. They have this financial setback. One person is having to choose between the horse farm or the chalet.”
Kargman created the show, and says she and her on-screen persona share surface similarities. “My character is more me when I was 28 and gave more of a s*** what people thought of me. Now, I do not care,” she says. “When you’re a new mom and you feel vulnerable and judged, you become insecure.”
What’s the one thing that the Jill Weber and Jill Kargman do share? A wardrobe.
“It’s all my clothes. Still the case. I started collecting harnesses last year. I thought the aesthetic was cool. I’m not into bondage but I love the look of it. So I started buying these things and I wear them over a white J. Crew shirt. I wear a ton of harnesses this year. I wear it in layers over a black dress. I just felt like I was evolving. I love the dichotomy of naughty and nice — a lace dress with a leather harness,” she says.
The daughter of former Chanel head Arie Kopelman (and sister-in-law of Drew Barrymore) was born and raised in New York, but was never a cosseted, spoiled brat like those you see on her show.
“I didn’t just get stuff. I had to earn it. Or it was my birthday. I would never want my children to have this insatiable hunger for shopping or newness,” she says.
She’s always been an iconoclast, staying true to her own edgy, often-austere style.
“I don’t show my skin. It’s not my thing. I’m personally not comfortable with my boobs out. I just don’t feel relaxed. I dress for myself, not men or women,” she says.
And neither is she a fan of plastic surgery. Like her mother, Coco Kopelman — who has one of the cutest Instagrams on social media, BTW — Kargman aims to age gracefully.
“I don’t have a secret. My secret, I guess, is that I drink a shit-ton of water. I have so many wrinkles. I’m not trying to look 33. It’s their turn to be 33. I’m happy to be 43,” she says. “My mother is 65 and she’s beautiful. She’s so pretty and she does nothing.”
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