Style evolution: Justin Bieber
By Sam Higgins, 1 March 2016
Justin Bieber has been on quite a ride in his six or so years since entering the limelight. Although his debut single Baby still holds the title for most disliked video on the internet, we’ve recently seen a new, more mature Biebs in both his sound and his clothes, converting even the most resolute Bieb-thiests in to Beliebers. The 21-year-old has evolved his style greatly over the years and to mark the release of his new album, Purpose, we’ve decided to catalogue that change.
Let’s start near the beginning. Here we see a fresh-faced Justin, donning a shockingly bright blue NYC hoodie and a tartan-interior snapback that seems three or four sizes too big. He’s only young here, so we’ll let him off this time. Credit where credit is due, though – his bottom half, consisting of light grey slim-fit jeans and black high-tops, is not a bad combination whatsoever.
Rocking an all-white suit is one of the more adventurous sartorial decisions a man can make. Bieber didn’t do himself any favours, choosing to wear his at the Grammys with a harshly contrasting black bow-tie and huge white sneaks. At least he stayed consistent with his love for high-tops, though.
By 2011, Bieber had realised his Grammys mistake and decided it was time to buck his ideas up – and his fashion sense with them. Here we start to see evidence of his soon-to-be-signature style breaking through, with a simple yet effective combo of a light denim jacket and comfy red hoodie. Black jeans are always a sure-fire winner and the camel-coloured beanie finishes off a nice cold-weather look for a maturing Bieber. Are those high-tops, again? Yes, yes they are.
No more monkeying around
Following a quarter-life crisis, which saw him hit the news for a range of absurd things such as abandoning a monkey at an airport, we saw another step up in Bieber’s style. A denim Levi’s jacket with black sleeves works nicely over his marble-coloured jersey and, demonstrating his increasing streetwear chops, he rocked some incredibly long black shorts. And high-tops, of course… well, no, actually. For once, he neglected the chunky sneaks and favoured some subtle grey plimsolls to complete a strong, street-ready look.
Dressing with purpose
It’s 2015 and Bieber is back with a bang, armed with a more grown-up edge all around. Serving up a lesson in casual cool, the now 21-year-old threw on a green beanie and layered up a matching, lightweight coach jacket over a Nirvana band tee and a longline white top. Below the belt, he chose some distressed skinny black jeans and a tidy pair of off-white plimsolls.
If you didn’t know a thing about Bieber and were to make a judgement on his musical taste based on previous outfits alone, you’d probably say he's a big rock guy. But his decision to shun the traditional formal dress code of the AMAs and wear a unique Nirvana tee actually caused quite a stir. It came only a week after he was criticised for wearing a Motörhead tee – because, if you’re a pop singer, you just cannot be a fan of metal. In our opinion though, the burgundy Fear of God tee was a bold move that paid off for Biebs. Rock on.
New year, new hues
While we were predicting khaki and camel tones would dominate your wardrobes in 2016, Bieber was walking proof he was already a step ahead. Throwing an oversized beige hoodie under an iridescent khaki bomber, Biebs gave his staple style a new hue update. He completed his late-night look with a pair of trusty Yeezys – the singer’s new footwear favourite.
Knowing full well he’s been serving up outfits brimming with the new year’s biggest trends, Justin got a little cocky in late January and decided to just wear his pyjamas when he went bowling. If booking out all of the lanes wasn’t cool enough, his PJ bottoms/joggers were from the Supreme x Playboy collaboration. And are those sold-out Yeezys on his feet? Of course they are. Bieber’s bedwear is cooler than yours.
Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how well disguised he thinks he is, Justin is always going to struggle to escape the paparazzi. Not even an oversized camo jacket, covering almost every inch of his body, could hide him. If anything, his jacket was so good that it made him stand out even more. Rookie error, J – we’ll forgive it, though.
At the Brits, JB almost had more outfit changes than tracks on his album. In between performing and hosting the most desirable after party of the night, Biebs stepped on stage to receive his award for International Male Solo Artist. From front on, it looked as if he was simply wearing a neat, black mac – but oh, boy, a switch of cameras reveals an impressive feast of colourful Asian-inspired graphics stitched into the back. Aside from his brilliant outerwear, he also took time to congratulate the NHS choir on their Christmas No.1. All round style and class.
Saint Laurent souvenir
Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Kanye West, Drake, Wiz Khalifa – the list of souvenir jacket advocates gets longer by the day. Bieber joined that collective of stylish fellas by rocking a sukajan while performing at the Brits. Typically, this wasn’t just any souvenir jacket – the sparkly-trimmed Saint Laurent number thankfully didn’t get too close to the flames on stage, but did provide the core of a fire ‘fit.