University student Griffin Maxwell Brooks is a fashion icon both on and off campus

Griffin Maxwell Brooks (@griffinmaxwellbrooks) is a TikTok sensation, Princeton University diver and a ‘90s New York City club kid at heart. The fashion icon has a closet packed with eccentric outfits that everyone wants to wear, but only Brooks can pull off. In this episode of Coveted Closet, Brooks shows us some of their favorite pieces, including sparkly disco heels and a dress made entirely out of MetroCards. 

“I think of my body as a canvas,” declares Brooks. “I really want my style to be an extension of me. I’m gender-fluid, I’m all about things eccentric, campy and over-the-top.”

Brooks points to Lady Gaga and New York City as major inspirations for their eclectic, exaggerated and eccentric style. “As for my fashion inspirations, the first one was probably Lady Gaga,” says Brooks. “She is the queen of over-the-top ridiculous looks, and that was just kind of the first time that I was exposed to that.”

Style influences

Brooks currently lives in Princeton, NJ, where they attend college, but they wouldn’t say the town serves a lot of style inspo. “Living in Princeton doesn’t really influence my style much. It more so encourages me to stand out and be different,” says Brooks. “New York City, on the other hand, influences me a lot. I’m really inspired by the ‘90s club kids and just over-the-top nightlife.”

An ideal outfit for Brooks is anything but conventional — but coveted nonetheless. The TikTok fashionista shows off a pair of Marc Jacobs Kiki platform boots that they’ve put together with a MetroCard dress made by a fan with Brooks in mind. Brooks adds a thrifted skirt, NAMILIA sleeves-only jacket, STUDIOCULT binder clip bag and Bernhard Willhelm sunglasses to complete the ‘fit. “I think it’s flashy and chic but also sort of ridiculous,” says Brooks. “I want people to always do a double take when they look at me.”

Digging a little deeper into Brooks’s closet, one is met with a “yassified” Kill Bill Halloween costume and a large faux fur coat that Brooks bought for Aspen Gay Ski Week, among several other showstopping pieces including disco shoes and flame-laden cowboy boots

Style tips

It’s hard not to feel inspired by Brooks’s closet. Luckily, the fashionmonger shares their top five style tips.

  1. Avoid Matching Pieces

“When I’m first starting an outfit, [I am] mix-matching things that don’t necessarily go together,” explains Brooks. “It doesn’t always have to work out in the end, but it helps mix things up. Keeps me on my toes.”

  1. Use Things Unconventionally 

“Every article of clothing has infinite possibilities,” states Brooks. “You don’t have to wear one thing one way,” explains the TikToker, as they show off a brooch that they use as a bolo tie.

  1. Minimalism is the Death of Art

“Don’t get me wrong, from time to time I love a minimal, clean-cut, monochromatic look,” says Brooks. “But I think that sometimes people are really caught up in looking chic and stripped-down and clean, that they are afraid to be over-the-top and excessive and eclectic.”

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out

Dress for you! “I think people worry a lot about others being alarmed with their outfits being too outrageous,” reflects Brooks.

  1. Thrift for a Better Future  

Brooks aims for sustainability with their fashion choices. They buy a lot of clothes secondhand, and they re-gift a lot of clothes to friends to avoid being wasteful. “It’s a process, understanding how you can be expressive and over-the-top without falling victim to this classic case of overconsumption,” says Brooks. “You don’t have to be perfect, but you gotta be mindful.”

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