I Went Thrift Store Shopping With DaniLeigh & Learned What It Really Means To Have Style

by Tina Kolokathis
YouTube/Elite Daily

DaniLeigh walks into Vintage Thrift in New York City holding what remains of her Sweetgreen salad. Not a turkey sandwich, not a by CHLOE. smoothie, not a plate of fruit. I know this because her order changed *that* many times before DaniLeigh met me at our thrift store shopping shoot for Elite Daily's Take Me With You. But this isn't some big star trying to be a diva. Dani's team tells to me that she's so particular about her food because she's gone vegan for her Be Yourself tour to keep her next-level energy up. It's the first tour she’s ever headlined, and the reason she’s in the city. If the salad story isn't enough to illustrate it, let me make it flat-out obvious: DaniLeigh knows what she wants — and isn't afraid to go out and get it. And believe me, she's getting it. The tour? It sold out. Every. Single. Show.

After I meet Dani, we walk over to a long rack of musty clothes pulled specifically for us to shop from. Her neon-painted nails immediately flip through the plastic hangers like a pro. To the untrained eye (well, OK, to mine), some pieces look like something my great-grandmother would wear to Sunday church service. Others look like hand-me-downs my uncle would probably sport to a disco in the ‘70s. They definitely don’t scream “Def Jam artist discovered by Prince with 100 million global streams on Spotify” to me.

For Dani, though, it takes all of five minutes to choose three head-to-toe looks that have me convinced she scouted out these one-of-a-kind pieces beforehand. She immediately snatches up men's dress pants and decides they're exactly what she needs to go with her white turtleneck and printed sweater. Of course, the snow pants with attached stirrups (!!!) will complement her black booties with clear heels perfectly. “This is my look,” she says confidently, and everything about it is somehow right.

"I love being comfortable but still looking fly. And I always like looking different in a room. Just knowing that no one's gonna have my outfit."

Dani’s not stopping at just mixing up her style. On her debut album The Plan, she teams up hip hop hits like “Lil Bebe” ft. Lil Baby and “Can’t Relate” with R&B-style falsetto on tracks like “Blue Chips” and “Do It To Me.” Pair that with the fact that she can dance with the best of them (Meghan Trainor, Pharrell, and Pitbull, to be exact) and she’s a force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old credits Aaliyah as one of her icons, both in style and in music. "She's one of my biggest inspirations," Dani tells me.

After spending four hours together, I learn this one very important lesson: There are the kind of style rules that most people have, like not wearing white after Labor Day or avoiding wearing black and blue together, but then there are Dani’s rules, and they are simple: there are no rules. Mix the OFF-WHITE Air Force 1s with the bomber jacket that looks like it’s straight out of Top Gun. Wear a velour corduroy sweatsuit with some Jordans. If you’re DaniLeigh, you make the rules — and everyone else happily falls in line.

Victoria Warnken/Elite Daily