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A Passionate Breakdown of Justin Bieber’s Style Phases
06.10.19

Earlier this year, Justin Bieber, noted scumbro savant, released a clothing line called “Drew,” most recognizable for its likeness to a tub of I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter. But beyond his devoted allegiance to the many shades of beige, JB is also responsible for some of the year’s most notable style movements: the skate-rat haircut, the double flannel, overall jorts. Alongside ruling from the upper echelons of the pop-music world, he’s cemented his legacy as a trendsetter, too.

Don’t put Bieber in a box, though—he’s a man of variety, of highs and lows. His sartorial allegiances extend between the likes of Rick Owens, Supreme, Louis Vuitton, and, whomever is responsible for designing the disposable pool slides at the Hilton, it would seem. In the “No Brainer” music video, he wears a belt fashioned from a shoelace to hold up his $1,540 Vetements pants. He has been known to style khaki shorts over ankle-length jeans. And luckily, there’s a version of his aesthetic out there for each of us.

With that in mind, I’ve culled Justin Drew Bieber’s most iconic style moments for your consideration and inspiration. To quote Bieber himself, “never say never [to wearing shorts over your pants].”

For the Art School Kid: Whistler’s Mother

Jerod Harris via Getty Images.

You may be familiar with the 1871 painting by James McNeill Whistler, colloquially referred to as “Whistler’s Mother.” In this particular work, a woman —  whom we can only assume is James Whistler’s mother — stares somberly ahead in a white headdress. Not totally sure whether Bieber follows Whistler’s work, but the thoroughly ennui-inducing image seems to have inspired a wardrobe moment for Usher’s favorite pop star.

Here, JB trades in Mama Whistler’s long black dress for a pin-striped frock. Sporting his sweatshirt as a veil of sorts, secured to his body only by its hood, he appears to be bringing back the 19th-century headdress. As he gazes toward the camera, his brow furrowed, no doubt wondering “what do you mean?,” his posture mimics that of the famed painting — an overall vibe sure to inspire art-history buffs across the country.

For the Foodie: A Stick of Butter

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images.

Sure, Bieber’s 50 Shades of Beige phase coincided with his weeping-in-public phase, but I assure you, this is merely coincidence. If anything, this look — composed of full-body, eggshell-meets-mustard Pantones — can actually be something of a pick-me-up. It’s the sartorial version of Vitamin D.

Not only is our boy Bieber finally giving beige a long overdue opportunity to shine in its many, many shades, but he is also paying homage to what is perhaps the greatest culinary innovation since mead: butter. Move over fruit prints, S/S 19 is all about unsalted sticks of Breakstones.

For the Leo: Vacation Dad After 1.5 Pina Coladas

SMXRF/Star Max via Getty Images. 

If you were alive and generally conscious in the year 2017, you are familiar with the undisputed song of the summer: “I’m the One.” If you are a card-carrying Leo, you probably danced on a table somewhere to this song. But beyond the track — which, I’m happy to report is still a bop — there is nothing that cries “summer” quite like JB in a Hawaiian shirt. (Except maybe Leonardo DiCaprio with a water gun.)

Here, to pair with the aforementioned button-down, we have an ill-fitting jean short (a true staple of dad fashion), open-toed footwear, and a mere shadow of wispy upper lip hair. Must we remind you that this is vacation? Shaving is for working stiffs!

Harnessing the energy of a father who’s just achieved a buzz off the flavored rum at a Sandals, this is a look that seems to declare ‘I have arrived.’”

For the Camp Counselor: Totally Kyle of The Amanda Show

James Devaney via Getty Images.

You are contractually obligated to maintain at least one friendship with a person who soliloquizes about sleepaway camp with all the reverence of a military hero. Across the board, this friend is good at cutting shapes out of felt, probably uses “wicked” as an adverb, and wore tie-dye before Justin Bieber made it fashion.

Fortunately, if you are affiliated with a cult of adult camp counselors, JB has done you a major favor in the style department. Next time you’re considering throwing on your “Color War 09” tie-dye tee, take a page from Bieber’s book and go the whole nine yards. (When it comes to tie-dye, the new rules are simple: head-to-toe or bust.)

For the #Vanlife Devotee: Shepherd-Core

Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images. 

In further proof that JB’s style is the gift that keeps on giving, here is the scumbro answer to the prairie girl trend: shepherd-core. While his Tupac T-shirt is likely not popular among those who herd sheep, the frayed denim, the flannel underlayer, and the pseudo sweatband would all be appropriate attire for a day spent guiding animals on a hillside. As for the overcoat with aggressively cropped arms? A comforting reminder that anything can shrink in the wash, regardless of your celebrity stature.

For the Introvert: A Crunchwrap Supreme

Gotham via Getty Images. 

I do not know exactly what is inside of a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. I do, however, know that in this photo, Mr. Justin Drew Bieber, outfitted entirely in apparel from his own clothing line:, Drew, is one. His bottom layer is the tortilla, his puffy jacket is the wrapper,  and his hat is the sticker used to fasten the wrap closed. You see it!

Forget that wearing your own line head-to-toe is akin to wearing a Justin Bieber shirt to a Justin Bieber concert — far more important is that he is a burrito. And he made it work.

For the “DJ”: A Cucumber-Flavored Juul Pod

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images.

Following in the tradition of Heely sneakers and cans of Four Loko, Juuling now reigns supreme as the trend-of-choice amongst our great nation’s youth. And as they say, you are what you E-smoke.

Whether or not JB is a Juul-boi himself, he appears to have been influenced aesthetically by the movement favored among preteen hypebeasts and self-proclaimed “DJs.” In a suit of black with cucumber-green accents, this get-up certainly takes its cues from a spa-water-flavored E-cig. So for all the self-identifying party MCs out there, perhaps the best way to complete your “I kind of smoke inside” aesthetic is to cosplay as your most reliable accessory: the Juul itself.

For the Athleisure Enthusiast: The Physical Embodiment of “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Gotham via Getty Images.

On the athleisure spectrum, Bieber tends to skew less ath more leisure. This particular take on bedhead, likely styled after a 1994 Jennifer Aniston, seems to imply that Biebs has PLACES TO BE and no time for self-pampering. In fact, in his uncanny rush, rather than don shoes of his own, he has opted for socks and hotel slippers — arguably his most iconic sartorial move of all time.

In case you haven’t heard, JB allegedly proposed to Haley Baldwin in these complementary terry cloth slip-ons. On the occasion of your next major life milestone, take a look at your go-to athleisure look and ask yourself if it is leisure enough.

Now tell me, which iteration of Bieber style speaks to you?

Feature Photos by Gotham and SMXRF/Star Max via Getty Images. 

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