Mighty Life List
Nov 10 2010

Mighty Closet: Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind

I first met Erin last year at ALT, remember? Then Erin came to the Summit this year sporting a fresh pixie cut, and charmed everyone with her over-the-top sweetness. The girl is such a positive force that all of us agreed that we wanted to keep her in our pockets for on-call ego boosts — Pocket Loechner.

In addition to being a dear, she is a powerhouse. Her site, Design for Mankind, was featured in the London Times as one of the top 50 design blogs in the world, and right now she and her husband are renovating their cabin and documenting the process for HGTV.com. She does not sleep.

I love Erin’s sense of humor when it comes to fashion, so I told her we needed to do a Mighty Closet next time she was in town. She offered to take some photos herself and pass them along instead. Genius. So here she is, Pocket Loechner, coming to you live from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Take it away, my sweet.

(Photos by Casie Towsley.)

Outfit One: Running Errands

This is an example of what I’d wear out and about, either to the grocery store, post office, or a coffee run. I used to reserve these types of activities for yoga pants and a hoodie, but I recently pixied myself and you’re not allowed to wear pixies and sweatpants. Unless, of course, you don’t mind being called ‘Sir’ in the cereal aisle. Hypothetically.

Pinstriped Oxford Shirt (Men’s): Banana Republic, Circa 2001
Navy Grandpa Cardigan: Heritage1981 I love the leather elbow patches!
Boyfriend Jeans: Levi, Circa 2004 The trick with wearing boyfriend jeans is to really buy men’s jeans. I’m totally not kidding here.
Boots: Antique, they were my grandmother’s!
Handbag: Vintage, thrifted
Frog Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted

Outfit Two: Birthday Party

Maggie asked for a cocktail party look, but we don’t have cocktail parties in these parts. So this is an outfit I’d wear if I were throwing myself a party.

Dress: Forever 21
Tights: WeLoveColors.com
Heels: ModCloth
Silver Sputnik Cocktail Ring: Antique, thrifted
Hairpiece: Tieks shoes come with this little ribbon around the box. I got a pair at the Mighty Summit, and thought the ribbon would make a cute headband.

Outfit Three: Working At A Local Cafe

Striped Sweater: F21
Confetti Skirt: Modcloth
Purple Tights: WeLoveColors.com
Navy Patent Wedges: Vera Wang, 2008
Gold Necklace: LemonadeHandmade This was a gift from the Mighty Summit.
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, Alameda Flea Market

Outfit Four: Lunch With Grandma

I don’t have any friends in Fort Wayne yet, so my most frequent lunch companion is my husband’s 90-something-year-old grandmother, who is fantastic and a total treat to hang with. Seriously. Anyway, this is what I’d wear to lunch with her, because she loves quirky boots and mixed patterns, and I enjoy surprising her with my latest combos. (Don’t tell anyone, but she just might be in direct relation with Iris Apfel. Never can tell!)

Striped Navy Boatneck: Land’s End Canvas
Striped Cardigan: F21
Herringbone Skirt: Tucker for Target Collection
Tights: Urban Outfitters, 2005ish
Boots: Anthropologie, Fall 2007
Brooch: Brooklyn Rehab, Gift
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted

Outfit Five: Out On The Town

This is an outfit I’d wear for an evening dinner with my sweet, sweet husband. You’re allowed to wear fake fur wherever you want in Indiana, so I take full advantage.

Dress: Tucker for Target (sold out online, but check your local store)
Faux Fur Vest: Vintage, thrifted
Belt: ModCloth
Shoes: ModCloth
Tights: ModCloth.com
Cocktail Ring: Vintage, thrifted
Cicada Earrings: Erica Weiner Jewelry

1. I always wear a cocktail ring on my right index finger. It’s a staple of mine, and you’ll rarely see me without one.
2. I invest in jewelry, shoes, and little else. If an item has a pattern of any kind, I never pay full price, as patterns (with the exception of Breton stripes) are much easier to date than solids.
3. Colored tights are another staple, and I store these next to my cocktail rings. Snags ensue, but I consider colored tights and cocktail rings to be the President and Vice President of my wardrobe, so they can’t very well sit amongst the minions, can they?


Oh, Erin. How many times am I going to have to ask you to send me your grandmother’s boots before you bend to my will? Thanks for all your hard work putting this together. If I can’t have you in my pocket, having you in Mighty Closet is the next best thing.

32 Responses to “Mighty Closet: Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind”

  • neena Says:

    That first outfit is my favorite! So flipping adorable!

  • Cecily Says:


    Is all I have to say.

  • designHer Momma Says:

    to say she can “rock it” would be the understatement of the century. Love everything, covet everything.

  • agirlandaboy Says:

    I love everything about Erin.

  • Kristen Says:

    Reason number 872 Erin is one of my very favorite people on the internet. So quirky and gorgeous!

  • Kate Says:

    I love all the pattern mixing!

  • erin / dfm Says:

    oh dear, ladies — you are the sweetest little pumpkins on the internet. THANK YOU!

  • erin / dfm Says:

    also, maggie, you may borrow my grandmother’s boots for one month. no more, no less. although you should know they’re a size 6. she was a tiny little thing.

  • kristen Says:

    Those boots are to die for, and every outfit rocks. This is my favorite Mighty Closet yet.

  • Jaime Says:

    Erin is the weirdest most endearing gal I know.

  • MelissaS Says:

    I love that skirt!

    Also everytime I try to wear bright colored tights my 12 year old talks me out of it. Must stop listening!

  • @jenhalloran Says:

    This post was absolutely inspirational — smart, funny, sweet, entertaining AND fashion-forward. Off to buy some cocktail rings. And *real* boyfriend jeans. (So *that’s* why mine haven’t been working?!)

  • heather Says:

    The second outfit is over the top fantastic. Love!

  • erin / dfm Says:

    Thank you, girls!

    Jaime: best compliment ever.
    Heather: that’s my fave outfit, too!
    Melissa: never take fashion advice from a 12yo, love. They’re all angsty and stuff.

  • Stephanie Says:

    I love Erin to bits.

  • It's me, Betsy! Says:

    Aaaaaaaaaah! It’s sweet Erin! This girl was made for Mighty Closet!

    Woo hoo! Oh and Fort Wayne is working on getting this girl out to lunch, dinner and who knows, maybe even a cocktail party! ;-D

  • amy turn sharp Says:

    Ah. I love this woman. She is a gem. Awesome one!

  • Allison Blass Says:

    I just started reading Erin’s blog and I’ve left a few comments, and she’s written back (via email) to both of them, which immediately puts her in my “totally awesome” category because not many bloggers write back to folks they don’t know via email. I just think that’s so sweet of her and she seems a lot more “down home” than some of the other fashion bloggers out there.

  • GirlsGoneChild Says:

    I just died.

  • kyran Says:

    Hooray to all things Erin! Also, can we just talk for a sec about her beautiful face? Because she totally evokes early Norma Jean for me. So fresh and lovely.

  • Jan Says:

    Oh Erin, I completely heart the brightly coloured tights – especially the turquoise ones paired with the electric blue dress…

    le sigh…

  • Cati Basmati Says:

    My favorite is the haircut :-)
    And I love the colorful tights, so I guess I’ll have to give in, get a haircut AND wear some color…

  • Auntie Says:

    She is so cute she could wear anything and look fabulous!

  • Lauren Says:

    this is my FAVORITE mighty closet! thank you for turning me onto modcloth! It’s going to be my new workplace procrastination site. Looove!

  • Making it Lovely Says:

    Yay, Pocket Loechner! Erin’s too cute.

  • Everyday Treats Says:

    “I consider colored tights and cocktail rings to be the President and Vice President of my wardrobe, so they can’t very well sit amongst the minions, can they?”

    I LOVE this girl. Thanks for playing matchmaker in Sonoma!

  • erin / dfm Says:

    oh you girls are so sweet! thanks for having me, maggie! :)

  • Savvy in San Francisco Says:

    You can’t but smile when you see Erin’s outfits! So bright and cheery! Love them!

  • Ren Says:

    Nice outfits- I agree shoes are amazing but what makes them special is that they were her grandmothers- that is so cool-
    Great feature- and lovely to find your blog-

  • Monica Says:

    No friends in Fort Wayne?! I will totally be your friend in Fort Wayne–especially if you help me shop :)

  • sunny Says:

    erin – your photo should be in the dictionary as defining “pixie cut”. It’s perfect on you. And those outfits are so great!

    I too echo that you are in a category all your own…responding to emails I’ve sent you as a blog reader. Makes you all the more lovable and charming!

  • cindy Says:

    the vibrance in erin’s wardrobe reiterates the vibrance in her personality!