FASHION & TRENDS

Why Justin Bieber Was My Style Icon This Year

I’ll admit it: I have Bieber fever, and have for the past 10 years, since that first became a term. Justin Bieber‘s music is always on in my household, but it’s his personal style that I keep coming back to. This year in particular, the singer really created his own fashion rules, and cultivated a strong look that’s completely his own. One day, he’d wear ultra-baggy jeans and an equally baggy hoodie (often by his own label, Drew House), the next, he’d switch it up and do a sleek, slim suiting. I’m officially declaring it now: He was my style icon this year.

In my books, someone is only worthy of a style icon title when they don’t follow trends and stick wholeheartedly to what they like wearing. Bieber certainly fit that bill this year: Working with stylist Karla Welch, Bieber’s 2021 was all about embracing streetwear with a strong emphasis on playing with interesting proportions and fits. On more than one occasion, he’s worn extra-loose jeans—a silhouette that’s certainly polarizing. This year is the year Gen Z deemed skinny jeans “cheugy,” after all, so I love that he really went in the opposite direction. Watching him make baggy clothes look cool and stylish, it’s even inspired me to loosen up my own wardrobe, too. I’ve been buying blazers in a size bigger than usual, and it adds an effortlessly cool, slouchy vibe to any look.

Bieber also knew how to clean up real nice this year. While making appearances with his wife, Hailey Bieber, by his side, the singer played the part of a Hollywood heartthrob—but never succumbed to boring, traditional suiting. At the 2021 Met Gala he wore a custom design by Drew House that gave the black tux a cool, modern spin, thanks to his wider-leg pants. For date night with Hailey in July, he also nailed black tie with an elegant black tuxedo. He didn’t skimp on the details there, adding black lace-up dress shoes and a little bowtie, as a treat. That’s another good sign of a style icon right there—sticking to their unique style, but also recognizing the power in playing it classic and timeless sometimes.

Of course, Bieber has always had a flair of style. He’s experimented with western wear, skater-chic, and traditional suiting. But this year, he seems to have really hit his stride, finding a look that melds all these elements into one cool, cohesive look. Take the oversized blazer, black hoodie, and light-wash jeans he wore while accepting the Best Pop award at the MTV VMAs—it’s the perfect amalgamation of all three!

What I love most about Bieber’s year of fashion, however, is how he never takes what he’s wearing too seriously. This is a man who attended the premiere of his documentary, Justin Bieber: Our World, in a turtleneck, jeans, and a bucket hat! He also accessorized his suits with kitschy, gummy bear-charm necklaces. There’s always a dash of humor and playfulness to his outfits that I think dressing should be all about—having fun, and not really caring about what anyone thinks of your end result. I’m definitely copying that style energy going into the new year.

Below, more of Bieber’s best outfits from 2021. 

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