Susie Essman Takes Us Inside Her Closet

susie essman

If every outfit tells a story, then Susie Essman’s wardrobe is full of absolute gems. To cap off her epic 12-season run on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the fabulously foul-mouthed comedian takes us behind the seams of some of her most memorable and meaningful pieces.

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“This is one of my grandmother’s shawls. She used to have it draped on her piano. She was a bohemian, a ballet dancer, and she toured with the opera company. She had an affair with her husband’s brother, my uncle Yasha. That was the big family scandal.”

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“It was January 2020, and Barneys was going out of business, so I said to my husband, ‘Let’s walk across the park and see what’s on sale.’ I get there and a woman on the sixth floor recognizes me and says, ‘We have a special today that’s 80 percent off and then another 80 percent off on top of that.’ This jacket was originally 2,400 dollars and I got it for 46 dollars. I spent, like, 300 bucks and got 30,000 dollars’ worth of stuff. I went back the next day and they told me it was all a mistake, but I didn’t have to give it back.”

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susie essman

“I went to Florence in April and I was like, ‘I’m really going to do some damage at these outlets.’ But everything I found had a label on it—and I am not a walking advertisement. Then, I met this guy on the street who used to work for Gucci and he hand-paints these things. It says, ‘I AM NOT GUCCI’ on the bottom.”

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“This picture is on the Curb Monopoly board. Classic Fiorucci angels. Who doesn’t love Fiorucci angels? I remember when they first came out. Fiorucci was such a cool store. What are we talking about, the ’70s? The ’80s? I don’t even remember. That’s how fucking old I am.”

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susie essman

“This shirt was my mother’s. This is a photo of her wearing this shirt 67 years ago. She was quite beautiful when she was younger. She wore her hair back in a chignon and wore red lipstick, and would always have knockoff Chanel suits custom-made. And then one day, she cut all her hair off and started wearing polyester elastic-waist pants and it was all over. I swore that was never going to happen to me.”

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“This was also a Susie Greene piece that I never wore for some reason. When I first created Susie’s look, I tried to describe it to Wendy Range Rao, our wardrobe designer at the time. She was like, ‘Where am I going to get clothes like that?’ And I said, ‘The back room of Loehmann’s.’ She had never heard of it, so I had to take her on a field trip.”

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susie essman

“There was a scene in Curb where I was wearing this jacket and hot pink crushed-velvet high boots and a tight black-and-silver dress. I was fapitzed. In Yiddish that means I was all dressed up, and it was my and Jeff [Garlin]’s anniversary. We’re in the hotel and I go down to meet him at the restaurant, and the security guard won’t let me in because he thinks I’m a streetwalker. But the scene was cut, so nobody has seen this jacket.”

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“This is the first piece of real clothing I ever bought, probably in 1977. There was this little store on Hudson Street that made these dresses. I wanted this dress so badly. It was one hundred dollars, which at the time to me was a fortune. So, I saved and saved and then I bought the dress and wore it to every friend’s wedding for the next 15 years. I also wore this dress on Women of the Night II, my first stand-up special.”

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“My manager gave me this one Christmas. It’s from the Beverly Hills Hotel, and this is pre-Barbie.”

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Hair: Sergio Estrada using Bumble and Bumble at Born Artists.

Makeup: Linda Gradin using Dior Forever Foundation.

Nails: Martha Fekete using Essie at Bryan Bantry Agency.

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