We Need To Talk About… The Scumbro
Left: Mr Pete Davidson in New York, 20 June 2018. Photograph by Mr Robert Kamau/Getty Images. Middle: Mr Jonah Hill in New York, 9 May 2018. Photograph by Mr Christopher Peterson/Splash News. Right: Mr Justin Bieber in New York, 4 August 2018. Photograph by Mr James Devaney/Getty Images
Male celebrity style in 2018 exists on a wide and intangible spectrum of formality. It is Mr Chadwick Boseman wearing a regal Versace cape at the Met Gala at one end, but it is technically also Mr Jonah Hill in a tie-dye T-shirt on the way to the gym at the other. It contains multitudes. But while certain men have pushed red-carpet style to new levels of polish, sophisticated and peacockery, the clothes that celebrities wear when they’re off duty have also gone through somewhat of an… amplification. Think about it: have you ever seen so many hoodies? So many socks and slides? So much… untamed facial hair? Dear reader, we have entered the age of the scumbro.
The scumbro. An epithet coined by Vanity Fair in an article in June, “scumbro” refers to the particular brand of male celebrity that courts streetwear brands such as Palace and Supreme, but mixes them with outerwear from the likes of Patagonia, and might chuck some Maison Margiela in there for good measure. The scumbro is an appliqued intarsia Gucci sweater on top and board shorts and slides on the bottom. It cops the latest adidas or Yeezy sneakers but will happily also be seen wearing Crocs. The scumbro is complete sartorial chaos, and it doesn’t give a damn.
OK, I see – it’s that “ironic-dressing” thing that people are doing with their clothes these days, like spending loads of money on so-called “ugly” sneakers and wearing a “world’s best dad” T-shirt from Vetements.
Well, you’re halfway there. But the scumbro wants to look like he isn’t trying hard enough to be intentionally ironic. (Does that mean it’s doubly ironic? We’re not sure we want to go any further with this analysis in case it swallows the whole fashion industry into the black hole of paradox.) It’s sloppy, comfortable dressing, but usually in clothes that cost a lot of money. In this sense, it’s probably the most anti-fashion trend to happen maybe ever.
This just sounds like celebrities feigning laziness with their clothes but actually wearing quite good stuff, all so they can look “streetwise”…
You might be onto something, but it’s too difficult to tell for sure. Is there a stylist somewhere behind all this, pulling the strings and rubbing their hands with glee at how ridiculous it is? Hey, it’s possible.
Mr Pete Davidson has been touted as the poster boy of scumbro style, but we’re not sure he’s scummy enough. The 24-year-old SNL comedian might not be the most polished button on a shirt, but his brand of goofy youth in oversized hoodie means that he comes off as endearing rather than overly scummy. Also see Mr Justin Bieber in preposterously huge adidas sweatpants and a Tommy Hilfiger hoodie, grinning uninhibitedly beneath a half-bleached mop of unkempt hair.
So, like Mr Shia LaBoeuf, basically?
Exactly like Mr Shia LaBoeuf.
Right… Hate to say it, but I’m not convinced I’m going to be emulating this “trend” anytime soon.
We suppose that’s the point. This isn’t about trendsetting; it’s about looking like a mess, but still being a rich and successful celebrity that’s dating Ms Ariana Grande or Ms Hailey Baldwin. You might find it sartorially reprehensible, but that’s very much your problem.
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