If you’ve ever seen Fitz and the Tantrums live, you know that the indie pop band’s co-lead singer Noelle Scaggs rules the stage — not only with her commanding voice, but also with her keen sense of style. Whether she’s performing for a sold-out festival crowd or an intimate audience, or kicking back with friends in Los Angeles, Scaggs has created a look that’s equal parts fashionable and functional — and entirely her own.
It’s an art she’s perfected over the years, as a member of bands including Fitz and the Tantrums and The Rebirth, but also during her time spent honing her musical craft offstage. “We all have to have jobs in the beginning when you’re starting a band, and when you go on tour for the first time, you’re really not making any money. There’s a period where I took a year off to do a lot of songwriting and stuff and I started getting into the fashion world,” explains Scaggs, who first cut her fashion teeth at Pasadena’s Elisa B. women’s clothing boutique, and, later, at the celebrity-favored Tracey Ross boutique, where she worked on and off from 2003 until it closed its doors in 2009.
“I met a lot of really amazing people, and my love of fashion really came from that,” says Scaggs, who helped shop for the likes of the late Brittany Murphy and Rachel Zoe. “You were looking at a piece in a different way; even though you didn’t know the brand, you were looking at the actual quality of the garment, how it popped on something, but it was always really classic. I loved the way that [Tracey] bought, and that’s actually kind of how I dress.”
Here, the Los Angeles-based singer gives us a peek inside the closet of her Eastside home, and breaks down a handful of outfits we might see her rocking this summer with Fitz and the Tantrums, Chicago's Lollapalooza on Aug. 2 included.
"For me, I don’t necessarily love going to black all the time, but I find when I am sweating because we move around so much, nobody can tell. The fabric doesn’t bleed," says Scaggs of her high-waisted culottes and crop top combo. "I like to wear nice things, but you have to make sure they can stand the test of time." Expect to find her donning plenty of rings (“I always like to have a bit of bling on my fingers because when you’re holding the microphone people get the up-close shots, you always want to have a little something there,” she says) from designers such as Bailey or Boera, which Scaggs seeks out for its pave diamond rings that don’t scratch on the road. Favoring the comfort of sneakers over heels for her performances, Scaggs leans toward her shiny silver Acne Studio sneakers or her coveted pair of high-top Jimmy Choos.
3.1 Phillip Lim high-waisted culottes: “I am loving this whole spring-summer look of bringing back the short culottes pant. You can feel really feminine in a pant and have that slight androgynous look without being manly. And showing off the ankle is also really nice.”
Deconstructed Design body jewelry: “This is by a really good friend of mine, Kelly Young. Her pieces are made from chain belts, necklaces, and stuff like that from the ’70s. She acquired a bunch of materials from her uncle who used to be a bigwig at the manufacturing plant for Bergdorf's. She made this piece for me from another piece she had taken apart. I’m going to be doing stuff with her in the future. It’s amazing.”
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses: "These are sunglasses that I had my prescription added to with a transitional lens. When I am doing a TV interview they are clear and stay on, and when I am out in the daytime they are sunglasses, and they’re perfect."
Also on seen on Look No. 1: Acne Studios sneakers (below); various rings by Boera and Emily Goldstein; and earrings from Mohawk General Store.
When temperatures rise, Scaggs turns to her Jay Ahr mesh jumpsuit, a staple in her stage style repertoire, which she pairs with a brightly hued bralette for an extra pop of color, and when the occasion is right, a Common Projects metallic sneaker. “I just make sure the bling is there,” she says. “Also, I love that I can wear this with a baseball cap and still feel like I am a chick.”
Jay Ahr jumpsuit: “It’s a fun, sporty piece with a high-end couture vibe for really hot festival days when you’re doing these stages and the sun is coming down on you. I bought it at Intermix, which is one of my favorite places to shop in L.A. I spend quite a penny there.”
Original Chuck hat: “I just got it. It's new, but you can often find me in my L.A. Kings hat when it's hockey season.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show underwear: “We’ve done the show twice, which is a rarity in the same year on the same record, and I acquired two shot glasses and some underwear.”
Boera necklace: “This really adds flair to the neckline. I can wear it with a T-shirt or a really fun dress, and I love the edge that it gives and this really rock-star vibe.”
Fendi pumps: “They are kind of a staple, hot-pink little suede pumps that you can pretty much do with everything you own. I sometimes wear it with just jeans or a cute dress, anything I can wear with a pop of color.”
Also seen on Look No. 2: Jennifer Fisher rings.