Prince Harry’s rejection of fashion is a fashion statement of its own

Prince Harry’s rejection of fashion is a fashion statement of its own

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Clothes matter when it comes the British royal family. Not just fashion-minded observers, but also the retail bump known as “the Kate Middleton effect”This means that theyDoFashion-conscious observers know that clothes matter. In the famously tight-lipped world of the monarchy, where royals are frequently seen and rarely heard, the clothes say what the royals themselves don’t.

Clothes convey rank and standing; at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, the scandal-embroiled Prince Andrew, who has been stripped of his military titles, was prohibitedYou can no longer wear the traditional ceremonial military costume. Clothes communicate respect and formality: Meghan, Duchess, of Sussex. revealed in the Netflix documentary “Harry & Meghan,” during Elizabeth II’s reign, members of the royal family were not to wear the same color as the queen at public events. Clothes have been seen as rebellions at times: Princess Diana famously broke palace wardrobe and grooming rules — wearing plunging necklines, non-British clothiers and red nail polish — when she was on the outs with her in-laws.

So it matters, too, when an estranged prince proclaims that he’s simply never cared much about clothes.

Prince Harry’s new book “Spare”This week, Harry’s candid descriptions of his life as a misfit prince made headlines. Harry mentions in an anecdote that he used TK Maxx as a discount retailer to purchase his everyday outfits. (A subsidiary of American TJ Maxx, slightly altered in name to avoid confusion with the preexisting UK retailer T.J. Hughes). Harry also According to him, his Eton College experience was one of fluency and tardiness. His elaborate school uniform meant that he would often be late for class and end up feeling flustered. He also revealed that his parents had to remind him to take off his shoes whenever he wore them. “As a rule I didn’t think about clothing. I didn’t fundamentally believe in fashion, and I couldn’t understand why anybody would,”He said it in the book. “Writers would flag a photo of me and wonder why my trousers were so long, my shirts so crumpled. … Not very princely, they’d say. Right you are, I’d think.”

It could be argued that the British royal men feel less pressure to look sexy than their female counterparts. Prince Philip could be relied upon to always look his best. the mismatched spezzato suit. King Charles III wears his trusty double-breasteds. Prince William, who is more conservative in his personal style, has a signature of the summer linen shirt.

But, who among us can recall the specifics of? AnyPrince Harry has chosen one outfit to wear in public. the Nazi military Halloween costume That famously got him in trouble back in 2005? Compared to those of his royal relatives, Harry’s clothing choices seem almost conspicuously inconspicuous. Perhaps he perceives himself as being different from his family. Certainly. And of late, it seems to be one more signal that he won’t be participating in the tradition of letting the outfits do the talking.

During his press tour “Spare” — and in the last few years, for that matter — Prince Harry’s wardrobe has been notably muted, devoid of many eye-catching touches of the good or bad varieties. The blog “What Meghan Wore,” which tracked the wardrobe choices of Harry’s wife and informed consumers as to where they could buy identical or similar pieces, is now operating mostly on Instagram. You can still find the information on its website. a page called “What Harry Wore.” In stark and nearly comical contrast to Meghan’s Manolo Blahniks and custom Louis VuittonThe page lists the inexpensive and blandly tasteful Everlane shirts and Adidas Gazelle sneakers that Harry wore in late 2010s.

In the years since Harry & Meghan “stepped back” from their royal duties and relocated to the United States, Harry’s rebelliously normcore tendencies have only become more pronounced. His. “60 Minutes”Anderson Cooper interviewed Harry on Sunday. Harry wore a dark crewneck sweater and a white Oxford shirt. On “Good Morning America”And “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” later in the week, Harry wore neat gray suits and unbuttoned blue shirts — only slight variations on the ensemble he wore in his explosive 2021 interviewWith Oprah Winfrey, Harry sat alongside his wife. Harry chose to be tieless, unlike his brother and father who wear ties during TV appearances.

“Harry & Meghan,”The video, which was released last month, shows Harry sitting for interviews in a black cotton crew neck and long-sleeved polo. In smartphone footage shot in the Sussexes’ home in coastal Montecito, Harry wears downright nondescript outfits — loosefitting solid-colored tees paired with jeans or plain, light-colored athletic shorts — while he walks the dog, works on his laptop and kicks a soccer ball (sorry, football) around with his son riding on his shoulders.

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“If you’re looking for fashion statements, look elsewhere in my family,” Harry’s outfits have always seemed to say; lately, they come with an additional “Really. I’m just a regular California dad now.”Harry is a quiet startling example of the many men in Western countries who have office jobs and play with their children in the backyard on weekends. And for a guy who grew up in an environment almost entirely antithetical to that ideal, that’s a statement of its own.

Harry, obviously, isn’t your average dad in California. By dressing up as one, Harry can project almost the image of a California dad. No Harry allows messages to be sent on their own and creates the perfect conditions for a book such as “The Secret Life of Harry” “Spare” to achieve its goal — which, as he told Colbert on Tuesday night, is to at long last deliver “the other side of the story, after 38 years.”

Harry stated that the motto of his family is “Where the heart is” during the interview. “Never complain and never explain,”Indirect communication is the traditional way to get a message out. Instead of directly telling the press the truth, royal family members may plant stories with unnamed sources, or leak them through their media offices. Or, perhaps, convey it in their body language — or fashion choices. The book itself is Harry’s rejection of that tradition. “I am the source of that book,”He told Colbert. “Instead of hiding behind unnamed sources, these are my words, from my lips.”

Harry’s wardrobe choices, in other words, successfully ensure that his clothes aren’t the story. His story is instead the story.

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