Audio Visual is a series exploring the fashion choices of local musicians. The Bay Area music scene is nothing if not diverse and this noncomformity is as evident in clothing as it is in music. With this in mind, Audio Visual strives to analyze the connection between the sartorial choices of musicians and their work.

The Ian Fays play sweetly charming indie pop with a tinge of nostalgic melancholy. The female trio’s approach to dressing is anything but melancholic. Sara, Lizz and Lena wear coordinated, themed clothing to every show they play. Themes run the gamut from holiday to Mondrian.

What do you think about when you get dressed for a show?
Lizz: Well, we pick a theme. We pick three themes, right? We all wanna do one?
Lena: We have a set twelve themes. Usually, we all kind of concur that we have those dresses.
Lizz: For example tonight was either Valentines sparkle red-pink or black and white. So we did black and white but we spiced it up with pink tights.

What made you decide not to go with Valentines sparkle red-pink?
Lizz: I asked one of my friends and she said not to rush the V-day and I respected. We have a show in LA on feb 12th so we’re going Valentines Day; we’re deckin out. Don’t rush the V-Day.

How do seasonal changes effect your clothing choices?
Sara: I would say that we’re more holiday driven than season driven. For example with the Hemlock show, totally an opportunity to wear red, green and gold.
Lizz: Valentines!
Sara: St. Patricks! We always try and get a show near a major holiday.
Lena: But when it’s hot out in summer, we all wear Saltwater Sandals and summer dresses.

Where do you shop?
All: Thrift stores!
Lizz: We’re thrift store mamas.
Sara: Our parents live in Idaho and in Idaho the goods go left forgotten.
Lena: The best outfit I’ve ever gotten was $4 and it’s a petite dress and I’m tall so it fits about there

[points to mid-thigh] but it’s an awesome 1960’s dress. From a thrift store in Idaho! In Idaho, that’s where you shop.

So you mentioned that you do a lot of thrift shopping. Do you prefer vintage to new?
Sara: I would say, yes.
Lena: By far.
Lizz: I wouldn’t say we’re super snooty or anything; we just happen to like that stuff!
Sara: And we’re cheap, dude!

What are the first three places you go to when you have a look in mind?
Lizz: The Crossroads in the Inner Sunset.
Sara: Forever 21.
Lizz: Sarah, don’t admit that!

I can exclude it if you want me to but you shouldn’t be ashamed!
Lena: Idaho thrift stores and Mission thrift stores.

So how big are your closets?
Lizz: They’re not very big. We disperse the clothes throughout the house. Sometimes hanging on the curtains in the living room.
Sara: Yeah clothes are everywhere in our house. We all live together. We’re a clothes house.
Lizz: On our shower curtains, on the curtains in our room, on the curtains in my room.

Do you shop separately for Ian Fays use and for your own personal use?
Lizz: I would say for most of the stuff we most often wear, there’s really no other situation in life when we can wear them.
Sara: You go out normal shopping and then you go “that’s an ian fays dress”. And then you buy it.

What do you do in our day jobs?
Sara: Liz and I are special ed teachers. We work with kids with autism and cerebral palsy.
Lena: And I work with kids with autism and also the elderly.

So I imagine that Ian Fays clothing is pretty different from daytime clothing?
Lena: Completely different.

And that’s totally intentional?
Lizz: I suppose we wouldn’t want to change diapers in our dresses.

What do you wear to work?
Lena: I wear stretch pants and black hoodies to work.
Lizz: Comfortable casual.
Sara: With maybe a broach just to keep it real.
Lena: Maybe some sparkle!

What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?
Lena: My favorite dress in the world is light yellow with two bows. It’s vintage 1985, the real deal.
Sara: I have a knit sweater tee that I owned when I was 14 and about 30 pounds heavier. I really thought I could rock it then. Poor little Sara. And I found it in the bottom of a drawer; it still fits! So that is 11 years old.
Lizz: I have a pair of Doc Martens. They are platinum black mary janes. I’ve owned them since I was 15 or so. So that’s 12 years and they’re still rockin’. I have replaced a few buckles and painted them but they’re still good shoes!

What’s the cheapest piece of clothing you own?
Lena: My $4 a-line dress and my navy blue pea coat. $4 and $5.
Lizz: I have a $3 hot red dress; I’ve worn it everywhere.
Sara: That was three dollars?
Lizz: It was three dollars! Little collar, short sleeves. I’ve worn it in music videos!
Sara: I can’t even compete with that! Three, four, five dollars.
Lina: [to Sarah] You’ve got some ugly sweaters that are kind of cool.
Liz: [to Sarah] What about your gold dress? The tight one!
Sarah: Oh! I’m in the club! That was at an Idaho thrift store. It was seven bucks, so in the single digits.

Do you guys go on band shopping trips?
Sara: Yes.
Lizz: Sometimes if we get an idea, we’ll go out together on a hunt for fun.
Sara: Like the time we did Vegas. And we went out looking for Vegas dresses.
Lena: And it happened at the Vacaville outlets on Route 121!

So you travel pretty far for fashion.
Lina: We were on our way to Sacramento for a show.

That was the last of my questions. Do you guys have anything to add?
Sarah: I would say that the Ian Fays are pro-pea coat. And pro-broach.