By Rachael Gerron
Web Content Contributor
From the nosebleeds to the pit, the audience at Harry Styles’ Love on Tour (HSLOT) is a sea of glittering sequins and colorful boas. If you’ve seen Styles live or have kept up with his tour on Tik-Tok, you have undoubtedly seen the fashion show that is a Harry Styles concert.
I went to the fourth night of the tour in Dallas, and fans showed up dressed to impress. I did not feel a bit out of place as I eagerly waited in line to get into the venue with a mint green boa draped around my neck and beaded watermelon slice earrings (of course, inspired by Styles’ Grammy award-winning song, Watermelon Sugar.)
However, once I got inside, a worker at the concession stand gave my outfit one long look and asked me why so many people were wearing feathers. I explained that Harry wore boas at the Grammy’s, and we are recreating that look. She gave me another judgmental glance and just handed me my water with no response. That’s when I realized, “Hmm, maybe wearing a dress, platform sandals and a huge feather boa to a concert isn’t normal.”
But that’s exactly in line with the message Styles has always preached when it comes to fashion. His Love on Tour set even begins with a prerecorded reading from Charles Bukowski’s book, “Love is a Dog From Hell,” that says, “Style is the answer to everything… to do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art….”
Fitting to his name, Styles has become a fashion icon for our generation, and he’s no doubt influenced fans’ fashion. Not only was he was the first man to grace to cover of Vogue U.S.- he did it wearing a dress- which soon became a topic of controversy (read Harry Styles Breaks Gender Norms in Fashion on the Cover of Vogue for more on that)
But fashion icons do not progress without breaking boundaries.
In his interview with Vogue, Styles said, “Now I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it. I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit.”
While Styles is the first to admit that he is not the only man to dress in feminine clothes (he gives credit to men such as Freddie Mercury and Prince), he has played a part in the normalization of gender neutrality for a new generation. His fashion has had a profound impact on women’s and men’s fashion.
Thanks to Styles, you can find fake pearl jewelry, crochet tops, and fruit-themed accessories in any trendy boutique or on a fast fashion website. Although wearing Shein bestsellers isn’t necessarily pushing the style envelope, clearly, the fast fashion industry is heavily influenced by Styles’ clothes.
Fashion has been an element of Styles’ shows since the birth of his solo career. In 2016, he was making a name for himself apart from his former boyband, One Direction. On the band’s last tour, Styles had a pretty basic millennial style- skinny jeans, T-shirt’s and Chelsea boots.
Once he branched off into his solo career, Styles not only rebranded his sound as an artist but also his look, which soon became another part of his legacy. His debut album was heavily influenced by classic rock music and stylist Harry Lambert helped Styles emulate that in his fashion as well.
Every night, fans eagerly waited to see what custom Gucci suit he would wear in their city. This is a theme that has continued throughout his career with every show and event he attends.
And now, three years and a second album later, fans have taken on the challenge of recreating some of his iconic looks and using his fashion philosophy to take risks in their own style at his shows.
Only four nights into the tour, videos of fan outfits under the hashtag “HSLOToutfit” already have over 25 million views collectively. There are even Instagram and Tik-Tok accounts dedicated to highlighting fan-created looks from each show on the tour.
Of course, Harry’s music is what ultimately brings us out to his shows, but fashion just adds another exciting element. It was so fun putting together my outfit before the show and matching different pieces I had collected over the years that reminded me of Harry in some way.
One of my favorite moments of the show was during “Cherry” when we all emphatically sang the lyrics “I noticed that there’s a piece of you in how I dress” back to Styles because looking around, it clearly resonated with everyone in the arena.
Featured Image by Rachael Gerron.