Two years ago, when you first watched A Very Potter Musical on youtube, did you expect Darren Criss (otherwise known as Harry Freakin’ Potter) to be the latest breakout sensation on the pages of Teen Vogue?
Yeah, me neither.
But there he is, fresh from the horribly-written plots of Glee to the magazine tear that I’ll stick on my wall next week and plaster with AVPM quotes. There’s something about the I-Knew-Him-When-He-Was-Just-Another-Youtube-Meme of this whole thing that warms the cockles of my heart.
He certainly wears “quirky” well. I’m diggin’ the suspenders, and I’ve always been a sucker for a good plaid shirt with a suit.
Watch out, mainstream entertainment. The internet is here.
Let’s talk about Usher, shall we? I have had a giant crush on this man’s fashion sense ever since I came across this photo of him (from who knows when). Recently I realized that it is entirely his fault that I dig the plaid-shirt-and-suit combination. And don’t overlook the so-subtle-you-might-miss-it pocket square.
Somehow I skipped the “I’m in love with Usher and his abs and his voice, omg” stage that a lot of girls my age went through (I’m not big into R&B, okay?), so I never much paid attention to him. But then he showed up at the Grammy awards wearing this:
Dude, this guy can dress. Two patterns, contrast buttons, piping and a light-colored suit, and he still looks more put together than 95% of the red carpet (Jay Manuel, I’m looking at you). I think it has a lot to do with the cut of his suit–it’s slim and fits him impeccably–but the colors really tie this look together. The white of the shirt is repeated in the piping on the suit. The blue of the tie relates to the blue in the plaid of the shirt, but also with the buttons, which themselves relate to the polka-dots on the tie and pocket square. It’s a neverending merry-go-round of sartorial awesome.
Usher proves that mixing patterns doesn’t have to look childlike or crazy (it’s all about the color palette). By adding bits of whimsy to his dress, Usher makes more formal articles of clothing (the bow tie, the three-piece suit, the pocket square) look more relaxed. Really, he gets the best of both worlds: the freedom to dress up as much as he wants without the drawback of looking too stuffy. Brilliant.
I find I get more outfit inspiration from guys than I do from girls. I’m not really sure what it is–maybe there’s less competition, maybe it’s easier to see the different components of the outfit. I do contend that if I were a guy, I’d be pretty dang well dressed. (But have no desire to dress in a masculine way. Weird, huh?)
So, in order to bring some more masculine style that’s not from The Sartorialist, I thought I’d do a profile on a different stylish guy each Friday (the day chosen because, yes, I love assonance just that much). And by “profile,” I mean I’ll blather on a little bit about what catches my attention, nothing scientific or incredibly deep.
We’ll start things off with Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Harry is the quintessential tough guy in a suit. He’s tough, he’s blunt, but he still manages to squeak by in civilized society (despite wearing work boots instead of dress shoes). He doesn’t forget such details as the patterned ties or that burgundy sweater. I love the contrast between his starched white shirt and the dirt that has accumulated on his lapels.
Mostly, it’s his attitude that makes the difference between Harry-the-normal-detective and Harry-the-badass. If he didn’t have such a hardness, or such swagger, he’d end up more like Alec Baldwin’s Jack Ryan, somebody a little more suit-y. It’s refreshing to see in action that it is one’s attitude that makes clothes what they are, and not the clothes themselves.