Sarah Silverman Tells Josephine Langford About Her Biggest Fashion Faux Pas

Style Crush

Josephine Langford is hitting her stride. She became an overnight sensation in 2019,  playing the lead in After, a teen romance saga with a Twilight-level fanbase adapted from novels by Anna Todd. Since breaking out in the role, Langford has kept busy, shooting three follow-up films in character as lovestruck college student Tessa Young. But for her latest role, the 23-year-old Australian actress has detoured from the After franchise entirely.

Langford plays a cheerleader who helps launch a feminist movement at her high school in Netflix's coming-of-age dramedy, Moxie. And while she hasn't been able to do a traditional press tour for the project, Langford (whose older sister, Katherine, starred in 13 Reasons Why) is no stranger to the red carpet. Prior to the pandemic, she opted for a mix of bold yet understated looks from designers like Alberta Ferretti, Markarian, and Miu Miu. So it's no surprise that, for style inspo, she looks to someone with a similarly eclectic fashion sense: Sarah Silverman. The comedian and host of The Sarah Silverman Podcast has, after all, been known to shut down a premiere time and again in larger-than-life gowns — and her impressive dedication to denim shorts and fishnet tights hasn't gone unnoticed, either. 

So, for our April Style Crush chat, we connected Langford with Silverman so she could ask her idol all about her own fashion journey. True to form, Silverman delivered hilarious red carpet anecdotes as the pair bonded over a shared aversion to heels, a love of menswear, and similarly terrible experiences in wardrobe fittings. Read their full chat, below.

JOSEPHINE LANGFORD: Thanks for being willing to jump on the phone with a stranger. [laughs] I love your style — it's so distinctive.

SARAH SILVERMAN: Honestly, I have never been more honored!

Style Crush

JL: I can't think of denim shorts with stockings and boots and not think of you. Do you intentionally break convention?

SS: When I'm wearing shorts with tights, I feel like a superhero. It's like my Wonder Woman costume. I first saw Janeane Garofalo wear it in the '90s, so I can't take credit. I love that it looks like I'm showing skin when I'm covered head-to-toe, plus I can wear flats with shorts. I'm most comfortable when I can run if I need to. [laughs]

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JL: I think something's medically wrong with my ankles, because I can't wear heels over a certain height. I want to get it fixed. [laughs]

SS: I can wear them for the length of a red carpet. Then I need a Plan B or I develop uncontrollable rage from the pain and can't be my best self. I'm a real Princess and the Pea when it comes to discomfort.

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JL: I love fashion, but I don't always think it loves me.

SS: I get that. A lot of designers' stuff looks great on small-breasted women but looks crazy if you have big boobs. I wore a baseball T on Jimmy Kimmel Live! once, and he asked, "Why do you always wear that?" I said, "You don't ask [Jerry] Seinfeld why he always wears a button-down. It's just what I wear!" I like to keep people's expectations as low as possible.

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JL: I think I relate to your style so much because we both wear a lot of black and simple colors.

SS: I like classic. I know I wear shorts with tights a lot, but I'm really not that wacky. Every so often I'll Google "What to wear at 50," and I'm like, "Do I have to wear that?" I'm making it up as I go along. I've always liked menswear a lot, though.

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JL: Me too. It's important to feel good in what you wear. My favorite look so far was a white Paolo Sebastian dress [below].

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SS: I had to learn that designers are f—ing artists. For my first Met Gala [in 2008], Dolce & Gabbana dressed me in black-and-white polka dots. I said, "I have striped fingerless gloves I can add!" They said, "Don't do that." But I did. I realize now that was so disrespectful; the look was theirs. The next time I went, Zac Posen put me in a beautiful maroon gown [below], and I did everything I was told.

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JL: I'm trying to be more adventurous so I don't wear the same thing all the time. I was being creepy and Googling you before this and saw something like, "Sarah Silverman wears Amazon dress multiple times; the shock and horror!" I hope this isn't a sore subject… [laughs]

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SS: Not at all! It's crazy that celebrities don't re-wear things. I got that dress for $45 and liked it. It's different when you're representing a designer at an event. I had a mishap when Badgley Mischka offered to make me a gown for the [2009] Emmys. It was royal blue and looked like something from a Renaissance fair. I kept asking for tweaks until they hated it; then I had it made looser because I'd be in a bad mood if it was too tight. It was so ugly, they took their name off of it, and I ended up on every worst-dressed list. That doesn't cut too deep when you are a comedian, but it turns out a corset can't be a boyfriend fit.

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JL: That's the privilege of being an actor, though — getting to try things for glamorous red carpets. I miss seeing people and going places.

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SS: I miss having a reason to shower. [laughs] Elastic waistbands get defeating. I normally like secretary-style blouses; a middle-aged woman in the 1970s is my sweet spot, clothing-wise. The first wardrobe fitting that didn't make me cry was for the [2017] movie Battle of the Sexes, set in the '70s.

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JL: I've had horrendous experiences in wardrobe fittings too.

SS: I once replaced an actress in a movie, and the wardrobe woman looked at me and started crying. I asked what was wrong, and she said, "All my clothes for this character are size 0 and you're an 8!" I comforted a stranger who was crying because I'm an 8.

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JL: Oh my god. I think people are getting better about catering to different body types. My mantra these days is, "If it fits, it goes on!"

SS: My mantra comes from advice my therapist gave me: Look in the mirror less. We're way too critical of ourselves. Sometimes I'll feel beautiful, then see my reflection and go, "That's what I look like?" Now I make myself say, "I'm strong, and my body works." You have to find a way to love what you see. Otherwise, you are f—ed. [laughs]

Style Crush

Langford stars in Moxie on Netflix. Silverman hosts The Sarah Silverman Podcast.

For more stories like this, pick up the April 2021 issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Mar. 19th.

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