“There's a piece of you in how I dress.”
While this line, crooned by Harry Styles in acoustic ballad "Cherry," is about the former boybander's ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe, to fans of Styles, the sentiment behind it also applies to the star's influence over their own wardrobes. Recently, "harries" have taken this lyric to heart, expressing their fondness for the singer through their personal style.
Since One Direction's 2015 breakup, Styles has had far more freedom to experiment with his clothing. He has since become somewhat of a fashion icon, the androgynous nature of his style allowing it to appeal across genders.
From pearl necklaces to nail polish colors, Styles' fans are always quick to try to replicate his most recent look. After he was spotted wearing a graphic T-shirt that reads “Save The Drama For Your Mama” on October 19, harries flocked to shops and websites like Etsy to find the shirt. Fashion and lifestyle TikToker Soleil Golden (@toxicthotsyndrome) said that she “immediately ran to eBay and typed it in and they had a bunch of things already that you could buy.”
And when Styles wears something custom-made or out of fans' price ranges? They replicate them. Perhaps the most well-known example is the colorful JW Anderson cardigan Styles’ wore on The Today Show earlier in the year. Due to its hefty price tag, many fans opted to crochet the sweater themselves. In fact, so many copies of the iconic cardigan were made that JW Anderson eventually released its crochet pattern to the public.
Golden was amazed at the dedication so many friends and fellow TikTokers showed by taking on the project. “It's not cheap to do that. But that just shows how much love and adoration people have for him because one, they're willing to make it, and two, they're willing to pay for the materials,” she said.
After Styles' “Golden” music video dropped on October 26, fans once again rushed to TikTok to discuss where to buy and how to replicate the beaded necklaces Styles wore in the video.
Similarly, when Criminal Minds actor Matthew Gray Gubler was spotted wearing necklaces from Elita Harkov’s store, his fans rushed to social media to find out where to get a hold of his drip. TikToker Katie Wilke (@wheelsupsluht), who makes content about Gubler, says that the TikTok hype around these necklaces has made them nearly impossible to grab.
“For three months, I tried every time [Elita Harkov] restocked the gold switchblade necklace, which is one of the ones that Matthew wears the most often, and every time it would be sold out within minutes, which is insane,” said Wilke.
Like fans of Styles, Gubler’s fans not only buy items the actor has worn but also take general style inspiration from both him and his Criminal Minds character Dr. Spencer Reid. Unlike Style's rockstar-meets-grandma aesthetic, Gubler’s style can best be described as that of an overgrown child; he loves Converse sneakers, Disney brand clothing and mismatching socks. Reid also loves Converse, but the FBI agent pairs them with a more mature, toned-down wardrobe characterized by sweater vests and preppy cardigans.
Since joining Criminal Minds TikTok, Wilke said she has seen a style evolution occur. “In the beginning, people weren't as dedicated to dressing like Spencer Reid or Matthew or honestly anyone else in Criminal Minds. But over the past six months, people have really evolved with their style,” she said.
Golden has noticed a huge difference in her style since quarantine started, a change she said has been influenced by her becoming a fan of Gubler and an even bigger fan of Styles.
“I developed an obsession with the sort of dark academia aesthetic — that whole Spencer Reid, sweater vest, glasses, kind of business vibe," she said. "I also noticed that I was picking up on other influences, for example, from Harry. He wears a lot of trousers and sweater vests and button ups underneath.”
And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, to Golden, the fashion inspiration she takes from her favorite celebrities means so much more. Seeing Styles and Gubler be so unapologetically themselves empowers her and other fans to do the same: “It gives people that look up to them a new confidence.”
Thumbnail graphic by Bailey Richards.