Something weird happened the other day. Instagram told me I should start following someone named Ilaria Urbinati. Never heard of her. But I was curious, so I tapped, only to be lured into scrolling through dozens of paparazzi and red-carpet shots of...hot guys wearing clothes. Bradley Cooper, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones), -John Krasinski, Tom Holland, Chris Evans, and other go-to phone background options were all over her feed. Great find—thanks, scary-good algorithm! But this wasn’t a stan account. Ilaria is actually the -professional stylist behind these celebs’ unique looks.
Normally, I’m just scoping these guys out for pure eye-candy -consumption. But this time, I didn’t want to zoom in on Bradley’s baby blues—I wanted to purchase his bow tie.
As women, we’re all conditioned to develop style crushes on female actors, models, and fashion plates. I once stopped everything I was doing to buy Kylie Jenner’s latest lip kit, and spent hours refreshing my screen for activewear brand Ivy Park’s sale. But lately, my friends and I are more interested in what our Internet boyfriends are wearing, maybe because the -current crop of heartthrobs is starting to have just as much fun with clothes as any Kardashian, Hadid, or Olsen. The more creative they get, the more we want to copy their style. And we’re shelling out money for those #Twinning moments.
“After actor Armie Hammer had his whole tracksuit bonanza,” says 26-year-old Morgan Baila, a Brooklyn editor, “I bought a tracksuit.” In India, too, there are male actors like Ranveer Singh, who’ve made tracksuits legit outdoor-wear, for both men and women.
Morgan says her obsession with Armie’s outfits started when he was doing press for his 2017’s movie, Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN). Other than Armie, she counts Justin Bieber, and Chris Pine among her other real-life workday wardrobe influences. She even bought khaki Carhartt overalls after seeing a photo of Chris rocking them.
The idea that soaking up a male idol’s style can be emotionally fulfilling—rather than just fun OOTD inspo—resonates with women, too. If I try to copycat Kaia Gerber’s style, squeezing into low-rise jeans and embracing cropped tees, I might not feel great when I look in the mirror and don’t look like an off-duty model. But if I mimic Bieber’s tie-dye pants and dad sneakers, I’ll be less worried about how my body looks...and will definitely feel more original.
Mumbai’s Bini Sehgal has similar reasons for following her “fashion guru”. Not any Bollywood or Hollywood A-lister, it is, surprisingly, a South Korean rapper Kim Namjoon (also known as RM of the boy band, BTS). As a plus-size woman, Bini had been afraid to stand out, but Kim inspired her to embrace herself. “I used to stick with ballet flats because they make your feet look smaller, and I have large calves I’m extremely self-conscious of. But then I saw Kim in some cropped pants and realised I could wear cropped pants, too.”
She also adores his famous, giant bags, and decided to plunk down serious dough to get a similar one. “I found myself hunting for something more expensive looking, and ended up with a bag I never would have normally chosen. I was shopping with Kim in mind.”
Back in the day, we put on lipstick and kissed posters of Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Tom Cruise. We used to want to make out with them, not wear their jeans.
The difference now is that celeb guys are genuinely interested in fashion. And young women our age are genuinely interested in standing out from the Insta-brand crowd. A black tux on
the red carpet isn’t going to cut it anymore, and neither is a closet stocked with Kim Kardashian West’s jumpsuits or Gigi Hadid’s joggers. Thank God—and stylists like Ilaria for that!
THE A BEA Cs OF ICONIC MALE CELEB OUTFITS
A handy guide to worshipping his wardrobe.
Put one on, close your eyes, and imagine it’s a hug from RK.
Love Brooklyn, love his florals, love it all.
Real men wear (colourful) sneakers. Real girls want ’em, too.
The smoother the style, the closer to God Chris.