Arlo Parks is just what 2021 needed. Producing forward-facing lyrics with sun dapple hooks, she’s found the sweet spot between feel good and real. The singer-songwriter dropped her long-awaited debut album this January – and she’s already been described as the voice of our generation. Keen to quiz her on how getting dressed for success can help boost your mood and productivity, you’re reading Talking Threads with Arlo Parks. A celebration of self-expression, style and authenticity.
Where would you say your sense of style began, and how has it evolved over the years?
“I was always a massive tom-boy growing up, and I had a very strong sense of what I wanted. I remember going into shops with my mum and running to the boys section, like, ‘That's what I want to wear.’ I was quite an opinionated child, always so certain... Now, since getting more involved in music, I’ve had an insight into the fashion world, and that’s expanded my taste, for sure – but I think at its core, my style is still very much the same. That androgynous, skatey streetwear vibe. Yeah.”
What are your main influences when it comes to style?
“I have all sorts, but mostly skate culture, the ‘90s and also what I’m listening to. As a teenager, I listened to a lot of hip-hop, and you can see that in the silhouettes I wear – I’m all about straight leg pants, long sleeve crew necks and baggy shirts layered on top. Also, all the colour palettes Wes Anderson uses are amazing. Bright primaries and pastel pinks for the win.”
How important would you say it is to dress for yourself, rather than conforming to what others might think of you?
“I think it’s fundamental… Clothes are another extension of who you are. They’re that sense of, ‘This is me. This is my identity’ – just as music is, just as writing is. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more confident to be completely who I am, and to push the boundaries of what clothes I feel comfortable in. But, on the flip side, they can also be my armor. I wear jewellery everywhere I go, as it helps me feel stronger and more grounded… Particularly in new situations where I might feel nervous.”
What does personal style mean to you?
“It’s just a question of being true to who you are. When I dress for myself, I immediately feel better, as it feels like I'm bringing a part of myself into the room, unapologetically. It’s so important to trust your own taste and style, as it shows you trust your voice too. Embracing what makes you different can’t not be empowering, really.”
Want to learn how songwriting helps Arlo rewind, recharge and get to know herself better? Tap I Wish I’d Known below to watch her story.