Jacki Orr's Teabag Jacket and Grandma Fashion

Jacki Orr loves her grandmother. More specifically, the comedienne and artist particularly loves the hand-me-down clothing that her 80-something grandma gives her on a regular basis. 

Orr says she enjoys wearing pantsuits, cuddly knit sweaters, and other garish garments favored by the Sun City set because the clothing is comfortable. 

"I like a lot of old lady clothes," she says. "It's funny to wear and it makes me feel mature and there's plenty available in thrift stores."

The First Friday Night Live performer (and editor of chick-friendly nudie publication Pool Boy Magazine) is also known to wear her funky Teabag Jacket that she originally designed for the members of a local band.

What are you wearing?
A brown blouse with little white hearts and a burgundy wraparound skirt that I bought at a thrift store.

What's your favorite outfit to wear?
A tank top and shorts usually, but if I'm performing I like to wear my teabag jacket.

Teabag jacket? Please explain:
It's a men's sports jacket that I've hand-sewn dozens of teabags on. I'm working on a similar pair of pants, but its not done yet. I sew teabags on when I'm watching TV. It's a weird thing I wanted do and I like touching it. It's just cool. It was originally for my friend's joke band [Male Pattern Radness]. They were going to do a music video and I wanted them to wear a teabag suit since the song was about teabagging (laughs).

What do you wear when editing Pool Boy Magazine?
Well, I wear my bathing suit, of course, by the pool. It's a vintage red polka dot one.

What kind of clothes do you like your pool boys to wear?
Well, I don't want to see a lot on them (laughs).

What's the last item of clothing you purchased?
I just bought some short shorts that are like orange corduroy, because I want to rock Daisy Dukes for the rest of the summer. They're not neon but are bright orange, like a '70s orange.

Where do you usually shop?
I like Frances but it kinda expensive for me. Conspire has some good stuff. I have some secret Goodwills that are in the suburbs because that's where you get the best clothes. Also, Sun City thrift stores because there are lots of grandmas up there and old people take care of their stuff.

What item of clothing do you most covet at the moment?
I'm working with the Provocatease burlesque troupe now. And while I'm not doing any dancing, I really envy that they have these awesome white corsets and really cool lingerie that I could never really rock unless it's knitted by a grandma. So I'd really like a nice corset.

Where would you love to have a shopping spree?
The Grow House has a boutique that has really cool clothes, or some place that has super awesome vintage stuff that I really couldn't afford.

What do you like to accessorize with?
Jewelry. I love big earrings. I also really like locally made jewelry, like I have an awesome bracelet that Pablo Luna made out of an El Pato can that people always complement me on. I don't really accessorize with hats but I like scarves and good bags. I have a handbag from my friend Ron Babcock's mother that's Moroccan. It's all '70s and grandma.

Who are some of your style icons?
I really like Jackie Onassis, naturally, but she was always way more put together than I'll ever be. And my grandma, Edith, because she has the best clothes. Actually, I dress like a grandma because she always brings me clothes when she visits. She's a hoarder, so it's all her old stuff that she's kept in her house in Baltimore and she'll fly out here with a garbage bag full of stuff.

Why do you dig grandmother fashion? There's something comforting about grandma and her clothes. I'm drawn to old lady things like knitted things, crazy fabrics and designs, and things that are old. Shawls and funky ponchos, weird stuff like that. It all looks good on me. I have this neon orange, blue, and white knitted poncho that I've worn at performances before.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes:
My mother had all these crazy outfits from the '70s, like polyester bellbottoms and one-piece suits. And me and my sister would dress up in them and put on little shows for my family in our backyard. There was one that almost like a Gumby suit made from green polyester with long sleeves and big bellbottoms. I always really loved that one because I felt I was like a mermaid or something in that outfit.

Name five items every woman should have in her closet:
1. Garter belt
2. A good pair of heels
3. A knitted grandma sweater
4. Some really good earrings
5. A black motorcycle jacket

Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage:
Old jackets and old bathing suits.

What's one thing you should never buy at a thrift store?
You would think that it's undergarments, but not for me. I will buy bras and slips, not underwear. The slips and dresses rack and the bathing suit rack are the two racks I go to first, because that's where all the best stuff is.

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix:
Get more crazy and weird. And the men should wear more short shorts, high socks, and no shirts in the summer. 

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.