How Harry Styles Wears Tailoring

There are common threads in the ways Harry Styles wears tailoring. These common threads run through different stylists, and seem to indicate a deeply personal style. I'm going to break down that style, that language, and provide you with practical insights.

How Harry Styles Wears Tailoring
From Gucci's HA HA HA campaign.

Okay, let's start out by getting the various elephants in the room out of the way. Yes, Harry Styles is very popular. Yes, he has worn a dress, and often wears pearls. Yes, he has a team of stylists working on most of his outfits. Yes, Gucci gives him money.

But at the end of the day, Harry is a well-dressed man who speaks a complex language with his personal style. I want to show you that language.

I'm not here to, specifically, focus on the way he plays with gender—aside from pointing out that he's not beholden to traditional concepts of masculinity—or with sexuality, although this NY Times piece wrongly assumes his yellow suit is a women's suit, and I'll mention that.

I'm here to describe the common threads in the ways Harry wears tailoring. Although they are consistent with, and heavily influenced by, the approaches of Alessandro Michele, friend of Styles and Creative Director of Gucci from 2015-2022, and Harry Lambert, Styles' main stylist since 2015, these common threads are consistent across brands and stylists, and seem to indicate a deeply personal style proper to Harry himself. I'll also share some photos I like of him in more casual attire, which I think are contextually relevant to his language.

A simple, essentially masculine look that still reads like Harry. Custom Gucci.

You'll notice obvious features like bright colors and bold, feminine accessories. Some of his suits are embroidered. But I'll invite you to consider the silhouettes. His trousers are often flared or wide. His jackets often have bellied peak lapels. Like most men with taste, he loves a double breasted jacket. He often wears sleek white boots. His suits come from not only Alessandro Michele's Gucci, but Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and Edward Sexton. Focus on the commonalities in all of these cuts, and you'll see that there's more to his style than initially meets the eye.

Through reading this, I hope that you'll learn to read tailoring, and what different pieces and elements might represent. I hope that this process will help you refine your own personal style, even if it's nothing like his. I hope you gain practical insight from seeing the spirit of his style.

Bellied Lapels

In case you don't read a lot about tailoring, it's now important to explain what a bellied lapel is.

The edge of a lapel is usually either cut straight, or curved slightly so that, when folded over a chest in three dimensions, it appears straight. Some lapels are curved upwards (concave up), like a smile, so that it has a fat little "belly" underneath. The relatively rare "reverse belly" is a strong downward (concave down) curve—it sort of sprouts outward like a flower.

For context, shawl lapels are always cut concave up, so a "bellied" shawl is a shawl that is more bellied than usual, creating a different, bottom-heavy shape. But you won't see many shawls here, that's really a different ball game.

Harry in a Gucci peak DB with a crazy huge point collar (worn as a runaway collar), a fairly straight leg, and sleek white boots. Note the highly structured shoulder.
Harry in a custom pink DB from Alexander McQueen with floral embroidery.

The New York Times wrongly assumed the suit below is a women's suit. Putting aside the femininity or queerness embodied in the outfit, the suit is objectively a men's suit, as it was made custom for Harry by Marc Jacobs, albeit based on a women's runway style from Spring 2020. This is clear enough not only from the fact that it fits him well, but from the fact that the buttons are on the right—come on, NYT, you should know that women's suits button on the left, that's basic.

Harry in a bellied SB Peak from Edward Sexton. Again, with a runaway collar.

Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton

Many of these design details are rooted in the tradition of Nutters of Saville Row. Founded in 1969 by Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton, two trained bespoke cutters in the British tradition, Nutters is known for developing a truly unique cut that excited rock stars. Their suits have been worn by the Beatles, Mick Jagger, and Elton John. It is carried through to modern times, after Nutter's retirement, by, and under the name, Edward Sexton.

Their signature cut includes bellied lapels, flared legs, and a structured shoulders. They are known for loud colors and bold patterns. Is any of this sounding familiar? While other tailors employ some of these elements, it's clear that Harry's tailoring is specifically referencing the Nutter style. You'll see, as we continue, bias cut pockets, unique edge taping, and other features taken directly from the Nutter style.

For more on the brand, I'd recommend reading House of Nutter. Thank you to John Reuter, friend of the blog, for teaching me about the brand and constantly raving about the book.

All Gucci. Probably an orchestrated ad for Gucci luggage. Still a great fit. A pink DB with bellied peak lapels, flared leg light wash jeans, and a cardigan instead of a shirt. I love the way these colors play together.
Harry in a blue corduroy DB suit from Gucci. A wide leg, white boots, ribbed tank.
Harry in a pink notch lapel DB with patch pockets. The purple trousers have a subtle flare. Definitely gives off a game show host vibe.
It took me a while to get here, but Harry's HA HA HA campaign with Gucci is obviously extremely relevant. A DB peak blazer with three patch pockets and gold-tone buttons. A wide flared leg. Sleek white shoes. A brooch. God, I have to get a good brooch to play with...

Gucci HA HA HA

So, let's dig into the HA HA HA campaign (alt link). The video reflects a few themes that reflect Harry's friendship with Alessandro Michele. Boyhood; play; vintage inspiration; sleep; whimsy. This is his dream wardrobe, so it fits that the video feels somewhat like a dream.

The collection includes certain old-school elements like tweed and flat caps; graphic tees; DBs; bow ties; flared trousers. It makes specific references to famous pieces, like a Tommy Nutter blazer made for Ringo Starr. The outfits combine pieces in an eclectic way, and piles of clothing are strewn all over the place. Though this be madness, there is method in't.

This ad for the HA HA HA campaign recreates Harry's fit from above with a few different elements. The flare in the leg is much bolder, the shoes are now black... and unfortunately, the sleeve tag is still attached. Anyway, the point is that the charm in these looks is not limited to Harry himself, the outfits are genuinely great.
I just like this Alexander McQueen shawl collar. A quilted shawl definitely makes me think of sleepwear, even if the suit is sparkly with a mixture of purple and black
Harry in custom Gucci. A simple brown suit with a high button stance and wide, blunted notch lapels. It appears to be a true three button layout. Worn in Fort Lauderdale.
Harry in an Edward Sexton DB. He has a collection of these.
Harry in a Brown Gucci DB with black Mary Janes, a purple sweater, pearls, and a shirt with an interesting collar at the BRIT awards in 2020. I love a brown DB.
Harry in a custom Calvin Klein suit in Sydney. A single breasted jacket with narrow peak lapels. The jacket seems to flare out a bit at the hem.
Harry in a Gucci 8x4 velvet DB with brass buttons and long, wide pinstripe trousers at the Don't Worry Darling premiere. And another runaway collar.
Harry in a Lanvin cardigan, ribbed tank, and pearls.
Harry in wide-legged Gucci trousers.
A simple, slouchy, casual look.
Harry in a blue velvet SB notch from Gucci Resort 2019.

Bringing Harry's Language Together

So we've established that Harry is more than a pop star with nail polish and good hair. There's substance to his style. There's a consistent, coherent language. It's not just flare, but playfulness. It's not just reappropriating queer and feminine elements, but reimagining masculinity through those lenses as something more bold, more fun, more relaxed, happier. But he's not reinventing masculinity from scratch: he's repurposing the rock stars' cuts and exciting fabrics with real heritage, and using a new lens to make them fun, cool, and appealing in a modern way.

Is he advertising products? Sure. Is there a performative element? Sure, but you could say the same of anybody. Is it overtly sexual? He's a pop star, let him have some fun.

You can levy a dozen criticisms against them man based on your own personal taste or how you interpret his language. But style is personal, and he clearly has a consistent, pointed perspective of his own. He speaks his own language, consistently, and it comes through. Can you read it, now?

Harry in Hershey, PA