A few months ago, I shared with you the crowning achievement of my adult life: buying a $1500 designer sweatshirt (with sharks on it!) for $50 at a thrift store in Vermont. Originally, I considered the story a mere curiosity — a chance to reflect on the outrageous prices people will pay for relatively mundane things, and ponder how such a person wound up discarding something like that in Vermont of all places. It certainly wasn’t a story I ever expected to return to, and yet here I am with a very important update:
Y’all… I think The Flash himself, Ezra Miller, may have brought that hoodie into the Green Mountain State, and thus into my life.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how I arrived at this conclusion. “Tori,” you may be thinking, “are you just making up some fictional backstory and pinning it on whatever celebrity possesses both the jawline and kitschy fashion sense to make it sufficiently aspirational for you?” I mean, yeah kinda. BUT ALSO: REASONS! So let me backtrack. The first thing I should probably explain is that there is a non-zero percent chance Ezra Miller might actually be my neighbor. Miller is one of four rising stars profiled for The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen issue, and for his interview he invited THR to talk to him at his 95-acre Vermont farm:
But Miller operates not at all like a typical rising Hollywood star: He has zero personal social media presence (his band, Sons of an Illustrious Father, is on Instagram and Facebook) and never even flirted with the idea of moving to L.A. (he bought this property in Vermont, in an area he loved from his childhood summers, in 2017). Barefoot with chipped nail polish and wearing a unicorn costume (“Unicorns are real, did you know that?”), he would rather talk about the ravages of fossil fuels (“fucking dinosaur juice that we keep burning into the heavens”) and the “polyamorous” community of friends and spiritual advisers milling about the farm on this brisk day, marijuana smoke wafting, than how he landed that DC tentpole role: “I auditioned,” he deadpans.
I, too, recently purchased property on the side of a mountain in Vermont, and while Miller doesn’t reveal where in the state he’s settled down, I’m not entirely convinced he’s not living just up the dirt road from me. Not because I’ve seen him, but because I’ve seen some strange hand-painted “Love” signs on my road, pointing to parties in that direction (multiple “Love” signs -> polyamory???). And also because I’m antisocial and haven’t actually met my neighbors yet (hell, I can’t even see them from my house). Basically, I don’t know for sure that it’s not him up there, which is another way of saying it might be him.
So, now that we’ve established that Ezra Miller definitely kinda/sorta lives next door to me, let’s address the hoodie. As we all know, Miller has a fun, eclectic style and looks good in anything.
And since there is actual video evidence of him wearing that unicorn onesie in that THR profile, I figure it’s not a huge leap to imagine him also wearing shark gear. Still, it is a leap, so I wanted to find something more concrete. Sadly, Googling “Ezra Miller + Shark” didn’t turn up any smoking guns (though it DID return a delightful combination of Ezra pics and shark pics, like a readymade mood board for the rest of 2018). But then I looked closer at the wardrobe credits in the THR profile and sure enough…
He’s wearing head-to-toe Thom Browne.
That’s not the first time Miller has been dressed in Thom Browne designs for a magazine, and to be fair it’s not like he was exclusively dressed in Thom Browne this time either (in other shots, he’s wearing Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga). Still, Miller is a natural fit for Browne’s aesthetic in addition to being someone I could see wearing a novelty shark hoodie. But it’s here that my yarn wall sort of runs out of yarn, since there’s nothing more definitive I can offer as proof that Miller previous owned my hoodie other than a sales receipt from Barneys with his name on it, or a pic of him wearing the damn thing.
So let me take this investigation in another direction and consider who else besides Miller it could possibly come from. You’ll remember that one of my initial questions was just how this ridiculous, glorious garment wound up in Vermont in the first place. We don’t have a Barneys location here (the closest one would be the Boston store). Also, let’s face it: if it’s not made of flannel or fleece, most people in Vermont don’t have much use for it. Hoodies are great, but $1500 hoodies that aren’t thick enough to wear outdoors 9 out of 12 months of the year are pretty much pointless. But we all know that this hoodie has no “point” rooted in the practicalities of a sensible wardrobe — it’s made for people with the cash to burn, a knowledge of designers, and a twisted sense of humor.
Just running the numbers, Vermont is the second-least-populous state in the U.S., with a population of 623,960 (as of this year). Only Wyoming has fewer people, and our inverted neighbor, New Hampshire, has more than twice our numbers. Point being: While Miller may be just one Vermonter out of many, there are still not THAT many other Vermonters to choose from. And within those ranks, how many are fabulously wealthy enough to be a likely candidate? Per Forbes, Vermont is one of only 6 states that doesn’t boast a single billionaire — our richest resident, Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele, is a mere multimillionaire with a fortune estimated at $630 million. But dude’s also like 81 years old, so I don’t see him staying abreast of shark fashion (not to mention the fact that he plans to donate his fortune during his lifetime). Ben and/or Jerry could probably blow some of their hard-earned ice cream cash on Thom Browne casual wear, but I don’t see them springing for sharks over tie dye. The fact is, Vermont doesn’t have that many fabulously wealthy denizens. Sure, our median household income is slightly above the national average at $57,677 and we have the fourth lowest poverty rate in the U.S., but we also have fairly high taxes and a general economic stagnation overall. Also, remember — we don’t have a whole lot of people contributing to these stats. Still, none of that sounds like we’ve got a buncha rich folk dropping f*ck-you money on shark hoodies, amirite? At the Burton store, maybe, but not at Barneys. And even if they were — do you think they’d turn around and throw it all way in mint condition at the nearest thrift store? Hell no. They’d get their money’s worth out of it.
So, fine — maybe some rich college kid got a goofy present from Mom that they didn’t like, and they donated it. But frankly, Ezra Miller is the only solution to the mystery that makes sense to me. And in the absence of incontrovertible evidence, I’ll let my gut decide my reality: I lucked into a genuine Ezra Miller cast-off sweatshirt.
So, Ezra — you’ve got excellent taste, neighbor. Drop a note in my mailbox next time you’re taking donations to the thrift store, and I’ll follow in your wake. Or cut out the middle man and just leave a sack of your old, unwanted designer duds on my porch! Apparently, I’m basically your size.