Shop it Out: What to Wear While Waiting for Frank Ocean’s Next Album

This week, we’re dressing for purgatory.
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On some level, Frank Ocean understands how we feel. Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

On some level, Frank Ocean understands how we feel. Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Welcome to Shop It Out!, a series dedicated to answering life's big, messy questions in the only way we know how: with shopping.

Q: Let's talk about Frank Ocean. Let's talk about the fact that Frank Ocean still has not dropped his album, the one he promised to us in July. I've almost exhausted my capacity to complain about it, because it's been so long — we've tweeted the memes, we've had our laughs, we've tweeted in earnest, we've commented on his brother's Instagram — we've had that much time to internalize that it's just never going to happen... but I'm not ready to let it go. I'm sad. And I'm lying if I say I've completely lost hope, but that makes waiting all the harder. What if the experience of waiting IS the album? Is this an elaborate performance art experience? See, I'm officially losing it.

SOS,
Lost At Sea

Dear SOS,

Unlike Frank, we hear your pain. As does Adele. So much in this world is a complete, unpredictable crapshoot with no rhyme or reason to support it: Menstruation schedules, presidential primaries, getting a haircut with a new stylist, why he didn't text you back, why you didn't text him back, whether your lunch guy will listen to your request not to put onions on the salad this time around. Etcetera.

But awaiting an insanely hyped follow-up album to the enormous success and joy that was "Channel Orange" is particularly demoralizing. The pain of waiting is a dull, numb one. "That's how it is on this bitch of an earth," said Pozzo in "Waiting for Godot," a play that prophesied the Frank Ocean Complex over 60 years before it came crashing down through the atmosphere. Yes, that's exactly how it is.

Of course, we spend so much of our time waiting, and we don't even notice that we're doing it. Life, the way so many of us live it, is waiting. Waiting to finally meet the right person, waiting to finally get married, have kids, buy a house. Waiting for Kanye to tweet. Remember that older, nomadic hippie you dated who blew your mind talking about living in the moment? But then that pretty grunge boy rolled away on his bike, never followed up on your plans to hang out in a graveyard, and you forgot everything he said. But in the back of your brain, you knew he was right.

How do you deal with waiting for something outside of your control? You can't carpe diem Frank Ocean's album into existence. Which makes every second of delay a special kind of torture that dilutes the soul and grinds the bones.

There are a few things you can do in the meantime. And by do, we mean wear. You know well enough by now that fashion exists as a way to signal your loyalty to a tribe: Preps, punks, Hillary, Bernie. You're not the only one dealing with the crushing numbness of waiting for Frank Ocean's album. So literally wear the nihilism you've felt every day since you realized it's not going to happen anytime soon and we don't even know if he's working on it or thinking about us. Wear it on your sleeve. Wear it on some really big sleeves so that everyone else knows what you're going through. So that they know they’re not alone. Maybe it'll bring you together, and together, the wait won't be quite so bad.

waiting for frank2.jpg

1. Visvim Sanjuro Kimono Down Jkt, $2,287, sold out at Haven Shop. Similar style: Visvim Sanjuro Kimono One Wash, $520, available at VisvimNot only was this Visvim jacket inspired by military flight jackets and traditional Edo period garb, but its puffiness will draw others in for a hug. Accept it.

2. 1980s Swatch, $120, available at EtsyMark every passing Frank-less second with a vintage watch that does double duty as timekeeper and reminder of how much the music industry has degenerated since the '80s.

3. Alexander McQueen Polo Shirt, $550, available at Mr. Porter: When lost in an ocean of Frank, confront your inner (sea) monsters by drawing inspiration from that other sweatband-wearing prodigy: Richie Tenenbaum. Polo shirts never looked so forlorn.

4. Yeezy x Adidas Originals Loopback Stretch-Cotton Jersey Sweatpants, $570, available at Mr. PorterUse your purchasing power to support Kanye West's fashion foray in the hopes that he will use that money to fund motivational visits with Frank.

5. Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo, $6.99, available at Ulta: When sitting watch by your computer for weeks at a time, bring the shower to your desk.

6. Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap, $120, available at ZapposOrthopedic footwear is key to long, eternal waits. Commit fully with these giant cushions marketed as shoes.

7. Striped bandana, $16.95, available at Zazzle: Channel 2012-era Frank with a non-controversial version of his Japanese Rising Sun flag bandana.

8. Orange, $1.99, available at Fresh Direct: Prevent scurvy while remembering the good times when all we wanted was "Channel Orange."

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