Stepping into the fans Met Gala
The era of black ripped skinny jeans and a plaid flannel tied around the waist is over. Perfectly coordinated and planned outfits now flood the venues of Love On Tour, Harry Styles’ most recent and ongoing tour. Love On Tour was originally supposed to occur in 2020, but because of the ongoing pandemic and safety restrictions, it was postponed until 2021. Harry Styles and his band are currently touring around the US, with each tour stop having an iconic outfit worn by Styles that has been both admired and criticized by fans.
Not only do the fans aggressively evaluate the outfits worn by Styles, but they themselves strategically plan their outfits. Starting during the pandemic, TikTok was flooded with users asking for suggestions on fits, posting mood boards based on song themes and showing hauls for outfits they have planned. Fans have gone as far as to post detailed photo collages showing every aspect of their outfit, head-to-toe, from hairstyles to the earrings, rings, and shoes they will also be wearing.
The growth of TikTok during the pandemic (and also the enormous extra amount of downtime) has played a huge role in the phenomenon of extravagant Love On Tour outfits. There have been many trends and hashtags for fans to showcase their outfits to the sound of mashed-up songs by Styles or transitions inspired by the artist. TikTok is also the place fans go for inspiration and advice when planning their attire for the concert. Accounts were made showing outfit ideas and specific brands so viewers had the opportunity to purchase those pieces. Users would also showcase their outfits options on the app and ask for advice and opinions.
Harry Lambert, Styles’ current stylist, has talked about wanting to defy gender norms and resist the guidelines of traditional fashion. Lambert and Styles have worked together to progress the conversation around the expectations of what clothing each gender should wear. This was exemplified in Styles’ November Vogue cover photoshoot. He was pictured wearing a ballgown dress, skirt and overall presenting his femininity. As expected, this caused a lot of critique from the public and especially Candace Owens, a known conservative commentator. In an article done by Coveteur, Lambert speaks on the Vogue photoshoot, “‘If that shoot offended or upset people, good, and if it made people feel better about themselves, good. It created a dialogue, and I think anytime fashion creates a dialogue, that’s positive.’” Styles’ fans are usually huge supporters of this movement. Defying gender norms, especially in clothing, has been a huge area of support by fans and it’s supported by many trends seen on TikTok. During Love On Tour, this has been strongly exemplified by the outfits fans have chosen to wear which often recreate his most reputable looks and follow in his footsteps of self-expression.
It’s safe to say that when the time finally rolled around for Love On Tour to start, everyone stepped out dressed to the nines. As expected, fans wore his famous floral or patterned pants suits and based their looks on Styles’ fashion sense. There were TikToks posted by people at concerts who were showing fans outfits who attended and people started referring to his shows as “the Met Gala of concerts”. In a fandom, where the message Styles’ is trying to spread about fashion is highly supported, it’s amazing to see so many fans go all out with their outfits and continue to spread his message of defying gender norms. Not only are the sophisticated and elevated looks fun to plan and shop for but there’s a crucial message being spread from the seemingly irrelevant TikTok trends of Love On Tour fashion.