Article by Sofia Goldstein
Harry Styles, a former member of the memorable boy band One Direction, is now a successful solo artist and fashion revolutionary. He consistently pushes the limits of fashion by daring to wear pieces that break gender stereotypes and generate buzz. For this reason, Styles represents the idea that people are free to wear whatever they please, regardless of the social constructs of fashion.
The pearl necklace has become a Styles staple. He pairs the necklace with cardigans, pullovers, and blazers. Styles' choice to wear pearls, a historically feminine accessory, conveys the idea of people moving past fashion limitations based on gender.
Harry Styles is known for his music, but he’s also known for the statement rings he adorns his hands with. Pairing rings with the bold colors he paints his nails communicates Styles’ individuality and fearlessness.
Part of the excitement of seeing Harry Styles during his Live on Tour concerts was wondering which suit he was going to wear at your show. Suits became his trademark pieces during this tour, and fans began to recognize the concerts based on which suit he wore. On this tour, Styles wore patterned suits, suits of solid bold colors, and rhinestone and sequin-embellished suits. His daring ensembles proved that restrictions should not exist in fashion.
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Never once, in all of the years since its first issue, has a solo man taken the front cover of Vogue Magazine — until December 2020, when Styles was the first man to be featured solo on the front cover, and in a lace gown. The dress reminds us that people are free to wear whatever they please, regardless of gender limitations in fashion. Styles received backlash for this outfit, most notably from the conservative influencer Candace Owens with her tweet that stated, “Bring back manly men.” He responded by posting a photo on Instagram of him wearing a frilly suit with the same caption.
Styles continually demonstrates how people push the limits of fashion, using it as a tool to redefine gender norms and social restrictions. Pushing gender norms and restrictions with male clothing creates a broader and more inclusive world of fashion for people to enjoy. At the end of the day, freedom of clothing emphasizes the idea that fashion is first and foremost a method of self-expression.