‘Transparent’ Star Mel Shimkovitz Talks Personal Style: BUST Interview

by BUST Magazine

Mel Shimkovitz

Actor/Artist/Writer/Partier LOS ANGELES, CA

Transparent star Mel Shimkovitz has us transfixed with her “elegant masculine” style — her Instagram handle is even macho_mel. Mel filled us in on her childhood alter ego Marvin, her “midcentury-Jewish-gentleman-rancher” aesthetic and her best style advice.

When did your style evolution begin?
When I was very young, I took on an alter ego named Marvin, and I was allowed to go to school as Marvin on Fridays up until I was nine. That was the inception of Macho Mel style. I was allowed to wear Osh Kosh B’gosh overalls, a flannel shirt, a Cubs hat, and then my dad would cut out a mustache for me from construction paper. 

Describe your aesthetic.
Midcentury-Jewish-gentleman rancher. Just like, elegant masculine. I’m not trying to be a guy; I’m not trying to look like a guy. I’m trying to look like a whole other thing. 

Where do you shop?
I can’t just go into a store and buy stuff off the rack because the women’s stuff that really fits my body is darted, which I can’t do. And then the men’s stuff is all too big. So I found that I could buy old things and tailor them to my style. Being an artist, I make a lot of my own stuff. 

Tell us about your outfit.
I’m wearing a Bart Simpson bolo tie, a white-collared shirt, a little girl’s Esprit blue jacket with white stars on it, and a jean jacket over that. I got those boots at a market in Oaxaca and they have little roosters embroidered on them. The blue cotton pants are Dr. Collectors—they’re exactly the pants that French fishermen wear, all buttons, no zippers. I’m wearing two rings, one from Arizona that I got at an estate sale. The other one is a Cracker Jack box ring from the ’40s that has a stamp of this old radio star called Straight Arrow.

Do you have any advice for girls who are discovering their style?
Nail down your fantasy and then wear it. There are going to be enough times in life where you have to dress in a certain way for work or a family event, but any other time when you don’t have to do that, take up as much space as you can.  


Want Mel’s macho look? Grab these goods for gentlemanly style

1. Shim Co Bolo, $50, otherwild.com

2. Dr. Collectors Corsica Fisherman Pant, $99, tradingpostla.com

3. Stetson Open Road Hat, $200, stetsonhat.com

4. Smoke Perfume, $60, smokeperfume.com

5. Los Altos Charro Boots, $89.99, losaltosboots.com

6. GLCO Wilson Sunglasses, $340, garrettleight.com

Interview by Hanna Lustig

Photographed by Elisabeth Caren

This originally appeared in the December/January print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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