When it comes to the boys of One Direction, Harry tends to get most of the attention/love fashion wise (exhibit A), and yes, with good reason:
But it’s high time we took a closer look at Louis Tomlinson, whose management-crafted public image would have you believe that he’s a super straight, laddy bro pal Adidas enthusiast who doesn’t care much about fit or fashion.
But they’re not the whole story. His style is so much more varied and interesting on closer look. Harry’s sense of fashion lives out loud, but Louis’ developed a look that’s lowkey and more accessible, yet still stands on its own. I think Louis has great taste and has always paid closer attention to fashion than he lets on. When he told Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the AMAs last year that he didn’t know who designed his subtly sparkly suit, this was all I could think:
I’m onto you, Louis. And after you see my favorite 16 Louis looks of 2016 so far, you will be too.
1) The Starbucks Run Bomber Jacket (June 15)
Look at this coy baby in his $1,100 designer jacket. He looks so good and he knows it and I love it.
This look is so streamlined and effective. Classic jacket paired with a simple white tee and (cuffed) blue jeans, which alone are striking because he tends toward black skinnies. And the green of the tennies somehow doesn’t fight with the brown of the jacket. I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not big on brown but he pulls it off (he can pull off light brown too, my god). He’s like a modern-day, non-emo James Dean strutting down the Starbucks pap walk catwalk. He should use this collage on his go-sees.
Kim: I just have to butt in and say this is my FAVORITE Louis look of the year so far and probably in my top Louis looks of ALL TIME so thank you for leading with it. It’s been my home screen since June 15 and I can’t see myself changing it any time soon. Who the hell does he think he is just working the sidewalk like this? Let me live, Louis.
2) It’s a Gucci Sweatshirt (June 3)
Louis is buzzin’ in this bee-appliqued Gucci sweatshirt and I AM SCREAMING. Don’t tell me he doesn’t care about designers because he’s incorporated this major one into his aesthetic perfectly. And if it just so happens to be from the line that is clearly inspired by Harry’s tattoos, well that’s none of our business.
I think the fan photo above is so cute, but this one is too:
3) The Blue Button Down in Monaco (May 28)
As opposed to Harry in all his half-unbuttoned glory, Louis demurely buttons his shirts all the way up. Like every time. I don’t know why, but I find this so endearing in the midst of sheer shirts and slouchy tanks that show off his collarbones. This particular dark blue looks amazing with his eyes and skin tone, I have such heart eyes for it.
4) This Fucking Jacket (March 30)
This bitch loves jackets, and he tends to splurge on them (this one was a mere $1,200) which I love. He does wear a lot of tees and hoodies that many fans could afford or afford to imitate, but jackets are important and Louis treats himself. (Stars, they’re just like us.) I can’t really discuss this jacket coherently, it is so much. When I first saw pics, I felt like it was so unexpected for him and yet not really? It’s pushing the envelope, but in a really chill way.
5) Gray Jumper, Sun Kissed Fringe (January 29)
And guys, this is not a fluke, his jumper game is so strong. When he came out on stage for my OTRA show with sweater paws, I almost didn’t make it. Look how good he looks in mod black and white. I just.
Kim: There is an AMAZING Larry Fic called “In This Light” where Louis is a breakout pop star and Harry is brought in to be his stylist. Lou’s team wants to laddy-lad him up while Louis just wants to wear his favorite Burberry Purple Jumper and it is a LOT. The whole story is a love letter to Louis and his sense of style and it makes me HELLA emo. Lou had an especially amazing run of jumpers in January (Maggie totally picked the best one though) and all I could think of was that fic. Every time he was pictured in a new one, I shouted “JUST LET HIM WEAR HIS PURPLE JUMPER” to Maggie and Sage. And then there’s this excerpt…
“What would you wear today, if you could choose anything you wanted?” Harry asks. “We won’t find out, will we?” Louis replies.
He smiles while he says it, and Harry doesn’t say anything, but the non-answer hangs thick in the air. Harry thinks about Simon and about manipulation and control. He thinks about Louis’ bright and bouncy energy and about vibrant colour. He wonders who the first person was to tell Louis he was too much, to ask Louis to tone himself down. And he wonders whether, by knowingly dressing Louis down, he is any different than that person.
*SOBS* THAT’S SO FUCKING REAL.
6) Skeleton Tee and Boyfriend Jeans (April 21)
I almost don’t think this look should work, or maybe that I shouldn’t like it? I’m not typically one for such a washed-out denim, or denim paired with black denim, but I think he looks great here. And I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out the skeleton graphic. For the uninitiated, this might sound tin hat-y, but there’s a lot of support for the theory that Louis uses his clothes to communicate with his fans. And the skeleton/skull motif is a big part of that; fans can link probably a dozen shirts this year to his appearances in news cycles. (I’m not doing the work for you, you can use tumblr.) The most notable example is this shirt he wore for America’s Got Talent promo, the words on which coincidentally seem like commentary on Simon Cowell, but don’t mind me over here being bitter much. (Update: As we go to press, he’s at it again.)
Okay, I know we’re already in this midst of a side note but SIDE NOTE, the blue suit from the AGT appearance didn’t make the cut for this post. You have to get up pretty early to beat the blue suit from Louis’ mum’s wedding, sorry not sorry, although the shopping trip for AGT is the gift that keeps on giving.
7) The Winter Jacket and Guitar Case (January 10)
I am living for this winter jacket and the guitar case makes me the just the tiniest bit swoon-y. Singer-songwriters, man. Fuck. For the record, I’ve never looked this good at an airport in my life and he makes it look so easy. God.
8) Black V-Neck Realness (February 20)
Look at him slaying in basic black, you guys. He looks amazing. Always the slightly rolled sleeve to show off the guns, always a slight cuff to the skinnies because you tell a man by his ankles. And what’s that you say, this is faux black v-neck realness?
That just slays me harder.
9) The Brits (February 24)
Okay, how good did he look in this Paul Smith ensemble at the Brits this year? I love how he lets the textured blazer do all the work against the all black (buttoned up!) palette. Is is gold? Kind of tweed-y? I’m not sure but I’m into it and I don’t want to look away.
Side note, he did such a good job of taking care of drunk Liam that night:
10) The Nirvana Tank (April 7)
I think it was Sage who tagged this as my punk boyfriend on tumblr, which yes. (It WAS. – S) I love that Louis can go from a soft jumper to an expensive jacket to this punk tank and look like himself every time. I’m not actually the biggest fan of this classic Nirvana design (90s kid scandal!) but the blues and greens on this tight vest just really work.
11) The Red Flannel (March 18)
Guys. GUYS. This red plaid dressed up with brogues. I can’t. I CAN’T. This is the only photo from this night (probably a good thing because I can’t handle it) which makes me think THIS is how he dresses in private when he doesn’t expect to be photographed. So put together. Have I mentioned I can’t? (Petition for Louis to wear more red plaid.)
12) Cozy Beanie and Sweats (January 18)
This list would be incomplete without one completely cozy beanie and sweats look. Don’t you just want to cuddle him and yet also maybe you’re just a little intimidated by how hot he looks at the same time? And would you look at his SOCKS. Jesus. You can get a closer look at all the elements here, if there are two things Louis Tomlinson loves, it’s Adidas and Starbucks apparently.
13) The Blue Jacket in Monaco (May 28)
I don’t have a lot to say about this look at whatever Formula 1 appearance he was doing except that he looks hot and rich and I am into it.
Sage: Maggie is our fashion guru because she knows what the hell she’s doing. And what she’s doing is following up Lou’s coziest, softest, most cuddly look of the year with this Miami Vice 2016 realness. He looks so god damn good here. And you know what else, he looks like he would buy you a private island just so you and him could “christen” every corner of it.
14) RETURN OF THE STRIPE (CAPSLOCK MERITED) (April 19)
15) Best Buy Run (June 26)
There is so much to discuss. First, I’ve always loved beanie!Louis, I have such a soft spot for the beanie/tank top look he sported in This Is Us. Remember the tin hat-ing about the skeleton tee above? Well, look who wore a shirt with a design of someone being papped to a pap outing. (If you want to see the totally spontaneous playfulness with the pap from that day, the video is here.) And the jeans. Okay, the jeans. These are by far the most tattered ones we’ve seen with thigh rips for god’s sake, like I’m supposed to know what to do with that. Look how they’re not cuffed, they’re rolled up. Listen, I’m not saying they’re Harry’s jeans but also that is exactly what I’m saying. (Sharing is caring.)
16) The Soccer Aid Suit (June 5)
Look at this dapper motherfucker. Okay, so he didn’t pick this out himself, the Soccer Aid sponsor did, but you can tell he feels comfortable and like himself and he knows that he looks good. (I just really love when you can tell he knows and he knows we know.)
Sage: This man’s penchant for a tastefully patterned suit will be the death of me. Also, if you’re about that AU life, come cry over this with me.
Considering just how much we’ve seen of Louis this year, cutting it down to 16 looks was rough, you guys. And we’re only two thirds of the way through 2016! (There’s one graphic tee I couldn’t work in and it’s not killing me inside or anything.) So we decided that, like with our Harry post, Kim and Sage should each get a look to advocate for. Read on for their picks!
Kim: This Army Green Airport Look
Kim: As Maggie often says, this is a LOOK. GOD. First of all, I am a sucker for whenever Louis wears a scoopneck because his chest and collarbones are living works of art. (I found out yesterday that Maggie’s husband Colin didn’t like the “It Is What It Is” tattoo and let me tell you, I almost got on a plane to Michigan to fight him.) The skinnies hug the thighs perfectly and the olive green button down perfectly sets off the golden tan. Then you add in the signature SBB aviators and the soft and the messy fringe to complete the “HOW THE HELL DOES SOMEONE LOOK THIS GOOD AT THE AIRPORT” look. How dare he.
And the blue sneakers to go with the green top? What a fucking Larrie.
Sage: The Black Moto Jacket Three-peat (Feb 15, Mar 2, Mar 20)
As you can plainly see, this has been a year of looks for Louis Tomlinson. But when Maggie pitched us this post, I knew exactly what garment I wanted, nay needed, to discuss: this Burberry black suede motorcycle jacket. Retails for $3,995. My. Rich. Son.
It’s a piece that Louis is clearly quite fond of himself. It had three photographed outings this winter alone, and god, do I hope it’ll be back for 2017.
We first saw The Jacket with a black, buttoned-up polo in February at the Primary Wave Pre-Grammy party. That’s the stunning black and white music industry mogul pic above.
Louis brought it back a few weeks later for a night on the town with sister Lottie and her boyfriend. Loving the blue slouchy tee underneath and the significant stubble. And we all know Kim dies for a scoop neck. Soft fringe on point, as usual.
Finally, Louis decided to cut the shit and kill me finally by sporting his Burberry coat with a see-through white long-sleeved tee to do a little fan service whilst on a ski trip. May god have mercy on your soul, Utah.
Just how sheer was that shirt? Well, my buddy, my pal, I’m glad you asked.
I know some people find it hard to not panic about the One Direction hiatus but it’s a good thing for lots of reasons — the boys need a break from the constant touring/writing cycle, time to be creative in other ways and the opportunity to explore different management — and one of them is that I think we’ll get to see more and more of Louis’ personal style shine through. It’s not a “oh, why you wearing that to walk out of my life?” moment, and I’m excited to see what comes next.