Ep. 9 – “Tough and Tender” with Johanna Thompson

This week on Let’s Talk Clothes I sit down with artist, dog enthusiast, and concert goer Johanna Thompson. In this episode Johanna and I discuss changing your clothing consumption habits, small town upbringings, and clothing as armour.

Like many people in their 20s Johanna is still exploring and figuring out her personal aesthetic. Through this process, though, you can end up with clothing you no longer wear. This has lead Johanna to making an effort to stop buying new clothes. Instead she chooses to make use, and wear, the clothing that she already owns. That being said, she’s still holding on to some garments that hold sentimental value.

formal dress

Johanna lists her family as one of her fashion influences. Being close with her family, it is no surprise that she makes some of her clothing choices based on the opinions of her siblings and parents. Johanna specifically mentions her mother, talking about how her mother is supportive of her aesthetic choices, and always has something positive to say whenever she gets a new tattoo. Growing up in a small town, and even when she goes back to visit, Johanna feels as though she stands out; compared to when she is in the city, where she feels that she blends in a bit more.



When asked to describe her personal style, Johanna throws out words like “playful” and “fun”, landing on the phrase “tough and tender”. This description feels accurate; her wardrobe is full of bright colours, shapes and patterns, with a mixture of tough accents. By adding tough, or hard, elements to her outfits, Johanna uses clothing as a sort of armour when she’s out. Without words she can send a clear message – usually to creeps – to back off, and leave her alone.

punk rock

Other things we discussed in this episode: Johanna’s style inspirations, which include  the Instagram accounts @dump_him, @noorannmatties, and @sleepybbybutt (who made the bleach-stained t-shirt in the above image). If you’d like to see what work Johanna is making, you can follow her on Instagram @_johannathompson_ or check out her website.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, you can email talkclothes@gmail.com, or you can follow on Instagram @talkclothespodcast. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in two weeks!

– Gabby


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