What In God’s Name Is Nancy Wearing on Stranger Things?

In the hours since finishing Stranger Things, only one question has continued to weigh heavily on my mind: What is Nancy wearing?

What? Is? This bitch? Wearing?

I do not wish to reduce the character of Nancy Wheeler, played by the fabulous Natalia Dyer, to her preference for layering 13,000 shirts on top of each other. Nancy is instrumental to the plot of Stranger Things, even if her character occasionally does very unbelievable things, like fall for the dude who takes surreptitious pictures of her from outside as she loses her virginity. But I would be remiss if I did not address the fact that Nancy’s outfits are insane. If I had to sum up Nancy’s look, it would be as follows: A Toddler’s Fantasy of a Gentle, Chronically Ill Librarian Who, at One Point, Was a Prima Ballerina, But Had to Give It Up Because It Was Too Stressful for Her Immune System.

Nancy’s outfits are Problematic ’80s Virtues™ in fabric form. Nancy’s outfits are Reagan-era politics writ sweater. If Nancy’s outfits could talk, they would say, “Abstinence-only education is smart and wonderful.” Nancy’s outfits could have ended the Cold War by lulling the entire country, including Ronald Reagan, to sleep — not out of boredom, but out of the deep contentment that came with the certainty that their teenage daughters’ hymens would remain intact forever. The irony, of course, is that Nancy gets down and dirty in one of these Daddy’s Perpetual Little Girl outfits, meaning that, in a sense, Nancy is a brilliant, next-level troll.

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