If we ask you what is the most unexpected fashion trend in the 2010s, what would yours be? Dad shoes or the scumbro fashion trend perhaps?
There has been plenty of surprises in streetwear & fashion in the past decade, from the revival of Dad shoes to the new relationship between designer brands and streetwear. Yet there is one trend that we still can’t get over – sporting a poorly put together/sloppy outfit is considered fashionable now.
Dubbed as “Scumbro”, it is a menswear trend that involves wearing expensive designer brands but they are matched so poorly that the outfit is an absolute eyesore. So think Dad hat, Hawaiian tie-dye shirt, bright-coloured beach shorts and football socks with some expensive trainers. The more chaotic the better. The idea is to look aloof to fashion but low-key flexing on wearing high-end clothing. Scumbro fashion also refers to guys who wear the trend (scum-bro) with clear inspirations from the 90s skate & surf scenes as well as the more recent trap scene, with colourful streetwear and died hair still a prominent look on the global trap scene from Milan to Michigan.
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But being part of the scumbro society is more than just throwing random pieces of garments together in the same outfit. Even though scumbros’ aesthetic goes against every law in fashion, they know what they are doing when they approach designer brands. They recognise what makes them look the worst and don it with pride. So as contradicting as it sounds, you will need to be fairly fashion-savvy to be able to purposely put together an outfit that is so baffling and uncoordinated.
It was back in 2018 when Vanity Fair’s Kenzie Bryant first coined the term “scumbro”, crowning actor Jonah Hill as the King of the trend. Since then a lot of fashionistas and celebrities have jumped on the trend and some of them embrace it more than the others, eventually building their names in the new fashion realm. Justin Bieber and comedian Pete Davidson are two prominent figures representing their fellow scumbros. None of them are strangers to fashion headline which makes it even more baffling – what draws them into the sloppy scumbro look?
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Scumbro fashion hints a sense of irony. It is about telling the world that they can afford the Balenciagas, “the one that looks like socks”, but rather than properly utilising their fashion sense to match a killer outfit with it, they choose to pair it with some £10 Primark hoodies. Scumbros shagged their money on fashion that makes them look unsophisticated, or put it bluntly, bad. This subtle flex is admittedly a bit ironic, but that is also kind of the point of being part of the Scumbro society.
Another key factor in scumbro fashion is the defiance to the general fashion norm. Alike how some of the biggest alternative fashion styles started, it is the “I don’t give a sh*t” attitude that lures followers in. They genuinely do not care about what critics have to say. Scumbros dress to represent new values.
Male celebrities who have opted in to the scumbro society use their fashion to express how they no longer want to please the press, especially for figures that are known to have outstanding fashion sense. Styling like a scumbro allows them to be just who they want to be and do whatever they want. It is not about earning that endorsement or sponsorship, neither is it about toadying fashion critics.
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Overall scumbros opened up a new but controversial fashion realm. However it does once again prove that modern fashion has no limit and players need not follow any rules. It is a place where creativity is embraced and uniqueness is adored.
Coming to a new decade it is no doubt that there will be more avant-garde fashion styles emerging. Is there anything that you are anticipating to become big this decade or is there anything that you wish you could bring back?