One Direction’s style has been described as edgy meets preppy. E! Online has given us a breakdown of the individual strengths of Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, the latter of whom departed the group earlier this year but was included in the half-decade spanning pictorial. There can be no broad overview of the One Direction guys’ fashion evolution without some shots of Zayn with that single strand of hair that spawned its own Buzzfeed reactions breakdown, or a picture from the night Lou Teasdale brushed all his hair forward so it looked like Zayn was walking around with a wind-fan directly behind his head at all times.
E! took the time to note Louis’ “retro vibe” and ability to “rock a double-breasted jacket like no other,” as well as throwbacks like Niall’s brief love affair with flannel and Liam’s momentary waistcoat (or “vest”) fixation. They also noted that Harry “knows what he likes” now and can rock pretty much anything!
In the interests of thoroughness, here is a timeline focused on One Direction’s five years of awards night appearances (awards are where stylist Lou and the British hotties really bring their A-game).
The “preppy” era featured Harry rocking bowties and Louis wearing stripes and suspenders. The guys’ looks are monochromatic here, with only Harry’s tie adding the barest hint of bluish-grey color. Niall keeps it more casual but stays faithful to the posh-boarding-school theme by wearing a white T-shirt with a house crest on it.
Harry’s hair is a bit longer and spikier; curls somehow alternate with sharp sections where the hair zips across like an arrow. Louis is practically choked by the collar of a starched, crisp shirt that hugs his fit upper body and brings out his bluer-than-blue eyes. Zayn has debuted his blonde fringe steak, which Lou Teasdale styled into an artsy counter-clockwise swirl for the MTV Awards occasion.
The boys never looked grungier. Between Louis Tomlinson’s excellent Joy Division T-shirt, Liam’s flannel shirt tied around his waist in a manner not seen since the 90s (some One Direction fans had probably never seen this at all), and Zayn’s short leather-y jacket, it was a rocky look to usher in the rockier sound of the Midnight Memories era.
The guys go preppy and monochromatic again, with a dozen shades of grey between the blacks and whites. Louis gives us a peek at his ankles, and Harry’s penchant for daring floral experiments (those recent Gucci suits) was foreshadowed when he pinned a teensy grey bloom to his lapel. Zayn’s facial hair was thick, well-trimmed, and carpet-like, his head hair was whipped straight up to a sharp point as if it was reaching for heaven, and the blonde streak in his fringe was long gone.
Zayn’s cheekbones had never looked sharper. The guys stuck to monochrome yet again and pulled their look together by matching Zayn’s neck-scarf to Harry’s shirt, then getting Zayn and Harry to bookend the group no matter where they stood throughout the whole night. Niall’s shiny jacket added a glimmer of light to the matte line-up, like a well-placed highlight shining on a contoured face.
The guys go a bit grungy again, and Harry keeps at it with the head-wrap habit that divided fans. His curls are getting longer and his habit of leaving his hair fashionably raggedy and unbrushed is beginning to manifest. Zayn departs from the grungy look by just wearing a pleasant jumper and letting his tattoos peek through.
Zayn departs the group and the remaining four throw in the colour-coordination towel for good. Liam pinches Harry’s 2013 look and starts wearing wide-brimmed hats, and Harry starts showing a little more chest (to be continued).
The floral suits are here! The guys return yet again to their black and white roots but, with Zayn no longer available to bookend, Harry takes on the task by himself and rounds out the line of hunks with a great Gucci “bang” — a suit that many people thought looked like their grandparent’s couch upholstery. Niall debuts his hipster glasses, Louis returns to the side-fringe curl that has served him well for years (the curl always swoops to the right — Tomlinson revealed in an interview that he has tried to sweep it the other way, but that it looks “terrible”), and Liam debuts a gravity-defying quiff that earned the esteem of Michael McIntyre when the boys appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show.
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[Photo by Chris Pizzello, Andrew Estey, Jon Furniss Photography, Matt Sayles, Evan Agostini, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]