A lot happened this year that made us not want to go outside anymore. Luckily, 2016 also came stacked with lots of music video-based outfit inspiration, so we were able to use our time huddling in front of YouTube productively. Here are seven of the best from the past 12 months.
2016’S MOST STYLISH VIDEOS
By Matt Glazebrook, 21 December 2016
Blood Orange – Augustine
A gorgeous five minutes of wistful retro soul gets the video it deserves – a tour around a timeless, imagined New York City where indie musicians can afford vast empty lofts, cool kids have impromptu dance parties on rooftops at sunset, and Dev Hynes and Julian Casablancas are always hanging out, eating roti and wearing ace 80s sportswear.
Big Baby D.R.A.M. – Broccoli feat. Lil Yachty
Summer '16's happiest hip-hop anthem also delivered its best video and some of its greatest garms. Breton shirts, powder-blue sweatshirts and, best of all, D.R.A.M and Yachty hanging out in a muddy pond in their freshest icy-white outfits. In a word, lit.
Francis and the Lights – Friends feat. Bon Iver and Kanye West
Sometimes a stylish video is about an overall aesthetic, a beautifully curated world of cool or a cavalcade of coppable outfits. Sometimes it's just about having Kanye West standing still for a few seconds at the start in a really, really good souvenir jacket.
Jamie xx – Gosh
Director Romain Gavras brought his widescreen pop-vid aesthetic (see also: MIA, Bad Girls) to Jamie xx's low-key banger Gosh, with added menswear goals. A young French guy with albinism plus several hundred Chinese school kids don their finest minimalist sportswear and march eerily around a desolate, ersatz version of Paris (actually the Chinese town of Tianducheng), evoking the stylishly muted colour palette and general air of pre-apocalyptic terror that have really summed up 2016.
Lil Yachty – Minnesota feat. Quavo, Skippa da Flippa
We could have probably filled this whole list with Yachty – the nautical-fashion meme explosion of 1 Night, his strong, streetwear-clad cameos in Charli XCX's After The Afterparty and Leaf's Nada. But for the purest distillation of what made the Atlanta rapper our go-to audio-visual style icon of 2016, check out the Minnesota clip. His own Sailing Team-branded hockey merch, a nice varsity bomber and our be-braided hero riding around an empty ice rink on a Zamboni. Everybody loves a Zamboni.
Young Thug – For My People feat. Duke
It was a big year, sartorially speaking, for Young Thug – from his modelling turn at the Yeezy Season 3 show and to when he did whatever the album cover equivalent of 'breaking the internet' is with his appearance in a floor-length ruffled dress on the cover of his excellent Jeffery mixtape. But our favourite Thugger fashion moment remains his revolutionary-chic video for For My People – camo balaclavas and teddy-fur skirts never looked so woke.
Beach Slang – Punks In A Disco Bar
All you need to know about Philly rockers Beach Slang's hazy long-summer-night of a video for Punks In A Disco Bar happens in its first five seconds. Specifically, its five young protagonists stroll towards the camera in an array of thrift-store finery, including such 2016 retro-staples as a camo coat, ripped stonewash jeans, a rockabilly-era bowling shirt, an oversized customised denim jacket, and a high-school-band bomber.