You're the Worst

The kinda, sorta, maybe couple at the center of “You’re the Worst,” Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere). Photo credit: Byron Cohen/FX. Copyright 2015, FX Networks. All Rights Reserved.

You're the Worst

“You’re the Worst”

September 4, 2015

Valli Herman

When you’re a costume designer based in Los Angeles, you rely on a kind of osmosis to create just the right vibe when your super-specific anti-romantic comedy is based on a neighborhood that’s home to probably half of the city’s creative community.

In “You’re the Worst,” Costume Designer Wendy Benbrook channeled the Silver Lake young-and-struggling professionals who populate the coffee shops, indie bookstores and hipster bars.

The FXX show, which returns for a second season September 9, stars Chris Geere as Jimmy, a once-successful young writer living in Silver Lake, Aya Cash as Gretchen, his sorta, kinda, maybe girlfriend, and Desmin Borges as Jimmy’s sorta, kinda roommate, sidekick and conscience.

Though Benbrook doesn’t often visit the Midcentury Modern home where the show is sometimes set, her wardrobe for the cast looks as if it were pulled from neighborhood thrift shops. Oh, wait—some of it was—especially for Jimmy. That explains his grungy T-shirts.

In Gretchen, Benbrook has created the essential Polyvore mash-up of a 20-something entertainment industry publicist who lives for her non-stop job.

What’s on Gretchen’s Hot and Not list?
Hot: Stretchy, super-tight skinny jeans, signature sunglasses, little jackets, a well-loved, slouchy leather bag.
Not: Birkenstocks, boyfriend jeans, obvious designer labels, bead or cross necklaces, bright, happy colors.

“She has a nice, casual ease that’s put-together enough to feel professional in the L.A. music industry,” said Benbrook. “She has a lot of little jackets she can throw on with anything if she’s going to work. Rarely is it something she can’t wear from the office to go out at night. That’s where heels come in, or jackets. Most often, she ends up meeting Jimmy for cocktails midday, so she doesn’t look out of place.”

“Her real must-have are cute shoes,” Benbrook said. If she wears sneakers, they’re from the European label Ash, though Benbrook admitted she’s not much of a label-watcher, even with jeans.

“They’re everything from $10 pants from H&M to $250 jeans. It’s just what attracts my eye to her. If they look good, I get them,” Benbrook said. The look also comes from careful observation of young Angelenos, and perhaps a little from Benbrook herself.

“Her bra straps always show. We don’t try to make them show, but we don’t try to hide them. It’s not like making a fashion statement…

“It’s much like myself. Every day my bra shows. The other day my sports bra was inside-out and my top was kind of backless. And one of my girls said, ‘Your bra is inside out.’ And I’d been wearing it inside out all day. Every single one of them saw it, but didn’t think it was worth telling me, because they thought I wouldn’t care. I did. I flipped it. And then one of my girls walked by and said, ‘Was my bra inside-out earlier?’ I feel that’s kind of what Gretchen is like. She doesn’t care. She doesn’t care if her T-shirt is half in, half out. Or if her necklaces are twisted. She’s very comfortable in her clothes,” Benbrook said. “She could end up anywhere and she is prepared for anything.”

“You’re the Worst” airs on FXX at 10:30 p.m.

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