I can pinpoint exactly when I fell in love with each remaining member of One Direction – when Liam Payne walked on stage to sing Up All Night at the beginning of This Is Us, the first time I saw photos of a Harry Styles L.A. coffee run, a particular sheer shirt on Louis Tomlinson – except for Niall Horan. I fell in love with Niall the same way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. And the thing about Niall is he keeps getting better. He already had me by the time he started wearing fake eyeglasses and interesting prints during MITAM promo.
But we really started to see his classic, minimal aesthetic emerge when the band hiatus started in 2016 and, by god, was I here for it.
Look at this asshole owning Wimbledon.
The mud at Glastonbury? Pulling. It. Off.
The debut of solo “Horan. Niall Horan.” at the AMAs.
Buckle up, fam, 2017 gets even better. It has everything: Brunette Niall. Hats. Sunnies. Another pair of purple boots. Formal Niall. Casual Niall.
Look at this man and tell me you don’t want to go jeans shopping with him.
You’ve seen our favorite 15 Harry looks from 2015 and our favorite 16 Louis looks from 2016, and now, in honor of his solo album Flicker finally being released tomorrow, it’s Niall’s turn. He did not make it easy, and these are unranked because I don’t hate myself.
1) JUGHEAD JACKET
As Julie Andrews once sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Niall debuted his brunette hair at the Larry King salon launch in January to the delight of, I’m assuming, many and, in particular, me. Let’s get a closer look.
It feels like home now, but this change was so striking at the time. The way that he changed his iconic blonde hair to the natural brown got me overwhelmed. Also striking? That jacket, which I’m obsessed with for sentimental Louis reasons and also because of my latest TV obsession Riverdale, in which homeless teen with a heart of gold Jughead owns no fewer than three of this kind of jacket.
Yes, I made a picstitch and sent it to my friend as evidence. Betty would be proud.
2) ROSE TEE
I can’t get enough of this relaxed look. Why do I love the rose design on this t-shirt so much?? I don’t want to overuse the word ‘classic’ in this post but it’s unavoidable – classic with a twist, that’s Niall.
Also, why is Niall’s love of patterned socks so endearing? (Sidenote, these rainbow socks he wore for a different promo day are my second fave – cherry being first, obvs.)
3) TMRW CARDIGAN
2017 has brought us many good photo shoot looks – from stripes and double stripes to this peekaboo pose, even an altogether-too-brief look at a black leather jacket – but this cardigan takes the fucking cake. I am wildly into this and will fundamentally not understand if this look doesn’t fuck you up.
Wait, I forgot to mention THE GLASSES. Your college boyfriend could never.
4) HAWAIIAN SHIRT
This is easily one of my favorite casual prints on him. Seriously, look how casually he’s destroying us, what with the buttons undone, the rolled sleeve. It’s an interesting look, but classic at the same time, reflecting Niall’s Americana influences.
If you look closely, those are ducks in the print, right? I know, I’m mad too.
5) THE MOTHERFUCKING TODAY SHOW
I think this is the first time we saw him lean in this hard to this aesthetic, and it is deeply upsetting how well it works. The hat. The jean jacket – with brown elbow patches. Classic white tee and jeans. Boots.
And the worst part is that he knows it.
6) PURPLE BOOTS
We, as a people, do not discuss these boots enough. This outfit is pretty simple: jeans, button-down, blazer, of course the hat. But throw on these purple boots and you have a Look.™ I think you can always really tell a well-dressed man by the shoe, and Niall is a great example of that.
See, in the above photo from his Instagram story, my eye doesn’t go to the printed jacket or the pooch where he keeps his extra cookies (we all have one); it goes to the discarded, almost identical pair of shoes behind him. Yes, Niall’s style seems effortless but I love this little hint that he does think about these things.
7) STRIPES YOU GUYS IT’S STRIPES
In fact, the only disadvantage to this outfit:
8) UMG SHOWCASE SUIT
Um, wow, okay.
Fuck this James Bond motherfucker.
I MEAN, COME ON.
9) CASUAL DISNEYLAND LOOK
I love that Niall can do a casual day look just as flawlessly as a formal evening look. And those skinny chicken legs aren’t quite so skinny anymore, no? Petition for Niall to wear more shorts (and jorts) so we can continue to monitor the situation.
10) JIMMY FALLON
Let’s take this in. It’s an unusual choice for Niall – a bit more dressed up than he tends to go for, unless we’re talking an event with a red carpet, although the shoes keep it playful.
Let’s move in a little closer (honestly, this stance is just rude) and you start to make out the print on the blouse.
Okay, a little closer. I know the smolder is distracting (trust me), but you can see the print more clearly now.
And you really have to watch the interview or performance to get a great look, but that’s a definite Cam-from-Modern Family accent on the inside cuffs. We’ll revisit this later, but Niall loves a white shirt and this is such an interesting choice for him. I don’t even know if I like it per se but I kept revisiting it when researching for this post. Everything comes back to you, white blouse.
11) HEART SHIRT
THIS HEART SHIRT IS MY FAVE THING EVAR. That is all.
Welp, this was a gift. See, this is one of the things I love most about Niall: He has great style and taste, but he’s not too good to commit to a fucking theme. (Exhibit B: St. Patrick’s Day.) He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he can laugh at himself – all while still somehow pulling it off.
13) LIVE LOUNGE
This look is very on brand for him – boots, jeans, stripes, hat – and for good reason, this just works on him. I think this appearance was when I realized I had come to expect a hat from Niall.
Speaking of which, I’m obsessed with this recent photo of Niall traveling with a hatbox. Like, of course proper care for this brown hat means that much to him. Goals.
14) TEAL JACKET
OKAY, THIS WAS A LOOK. Seriously, I’m so into this. I love the all-black palette with this splash of bright teal. This is another look that’s a little out of the box for Niall, but still feels like him? And the actual teal jacket I’m crazy about. I think it fits him perfectly; I love the length (although a repeat of a cropped jacket like this one from The Voice Australia I wouldn’t say no to).
15) ALBAM BLOUSE
Niall is so good at short-sleeved button downs, you guys. (AND SUNNIES.) “Know your colors, know your fabrics, that’s what I tell all my girls,” and Niall does.
16) THIS FUCKING JACKET
Casual daytime Niall, casually killing it in a blue and green jacket. As much as I love him in denim, I really like when he mixes it up just a little like this.
17) WHITE HENLEY WITH HAT
We have to end on a classic note, Niall being Niall, and pay due respect to the white henley and, of course, the hat. His commitment to this iconic accessory is admirable and just so Niall that it hurts.
Yes, Liam, you can join us and pay your respects as well, but a Payne chain doesn’t really go with Niall’s outfit.
And speaking of this hat, guys, have you noticed how much he loves to pair it with a white top? The variations include:
And he just really loves a white shirt in general
You know how I said that Niall keeps getting better? Well, this post does too:
Edited to add: Content for this post was locked before Niall decided to wear the perfect shade of green, paired with stripes for god’s sake, in a fan photo and an actual velvet suit on The Graham Norton Show, which is just rude. Is it too much to ask for some consideration, Niall?
And there you have it, our 17 favorite Niall looks of 2017. Which looks do you love? Which should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!