This isn’t sponsored. This is literally me trying on my friend’s clothes.
Nothing says “fashion” like Rick Owens. Seriously. With an avant guarde design and luxury status among this facet, I never thought that I’d ever get (or want) to wear anything Rick. However, when a friend comes to visit with a suitcase full of Rick, you just gotta go all in.
Even though I try to stay updated with the contemporary fashion world, I’ll admit that most of my views come from “modern classics” like The Armoury or the mall brands like J. Crew. It’s only within the past year that I’ve gotten to expand a little bit with some Saint Laurent Paris and Lemaire type of style which fall into “men’s fashion” rather than #menswear (which encompasses sartorial stuff). Brands like ACNE, A.P.C, and Apolis clash with enthusiasts of Supreme, Addidas, and Helmut Lang. Hell, I’m not even sure if I’m writing about these correctly.
Even though I’ve been pretty ignorant on that side of men’s fashion, it’s all still very interesting to me. I even look at places like r/Streetwear and r/Malefashion to get some new ideas from time to time! Supreme outfits make me feel like I’m (happily) in the 1990’s while seeing Techwear outfits harken back when I fell in love with Blade Runner and a cyberpunk dystopia. However, all of that pales in comparison to Rick Owens.
I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about Rick Owens, so please don’t expect a dissertation on the man. From what I know already and have seen from his products, Rick Owens is a fantastic designer with an incredible aesthetic. I don’t want to spout wikipedia or his countless interviews and features at you, but he’s one of the top designers in the world and was largely responsible for bringing grunge/goth to the luxury fashion scene.
His garments are interesting. I can’t speak for Mr. Owen’s himself, but to me it’s almost like you’re starting fashion from scratch, twisting and changing proportions to fit an almost random (yet intentional) aesthetic. It’s fashion for fashion’s sake. There aren’t any references to classic menswear here. Extremely long line tees, clunky Geobaskets , and pants that mix athleisure (ish?) with goth are just a small example of what he brings to the table.
The entire style is something extremely edgy that still brings the concept of sprezzatura to mind. On Mr. Owens, it looks extremely natural and easy going, much like when we let our necktie run free. This is what drew me to the “full Rick” outfits on reddit.
Going Full Rick
Now I knew that there was no way in hell that I’d ever purchase anything by Rick Owens. It’s not a sentiment based in hate; I just couldn’t see myself wearing the piece with multiple items. Yes, I may have purchased wide legged trousers from Uniqlo but they work well with tee shirts and sneakers just as well as they do with a button up and loafers. Even though it’s something weird, I can figure out how to make it work with the styles I like to wear. Rick doesn’t let me do that. I feel like with high fashion stuff, you have to wear it with other high fashion stuff in order for it go well. Geobaskets don’t go with light wash jeans or pleated chinos, while loafers can.
Since I could only appreciate Rick Owens from afar, my friend (who wears Rick Owens, among other techwear stuff) decided that he would let me wear some when he came to Southern California. I immediately agreed, since I couldn’t think of any other time when I’d be able to put on a full Rick Owens outfit. I mean I could go to the Rick store in LA, but without any guidance, I’d be lost and look even weirdo than I do normally. Luckily my friend put an outfit together for me.
Note: By the way, I’m going to be linking product pages for the pieces because I need references for what I’m talking about. This isn’t a sponsored post and I gain no money whether you decide to buy them or not. They’re just weird and I maybe you could learn something by checking out the composition and description for these pieces apart from this blog post!
Here’s what my friend dressed me in. I don’t know if this leans on the more “casual” side of Rick, but to me it does, especially when you compare it to the fuller, more elaborate outfits that Mr. Owens wears himself. Maybe if I’d feel more “complete” if I had pants and a cloak of sorts, but then it would be purely for aesthetics with no room for function. Perhaps Rick cloaks have interior pockets? Either way, I appreciated this outfit because it’s a pretty practical/functional outfit that could be worn “regularly” without looking too much like you’ve stepped directly off a fashion show runway. It’s literally a tee shirt with shorts, shoes, and a hoodie. Of course the details have been changed a bit, but the simple ideas are there.
For those of you wondering, yes, these items are quality made. Hell, this may even feel nicer than what I normally wear since this is quite literally a luxury garment. Most of my clothes are vintage or thrifted, so the texture is quite rough or aged; these Rick Owens pieces are extremely soft and elegant, in a fashion-y way. It doesn’t seem to be fashion for fashion’s sake; there’s certainly a difference between this garment and the thousands of lookalikes that I’ve felt at H&M or TOPMAN.
As you can see, the shirt hugs me a little too tight, which isn’t intentional. My friend is a size below me (he bought a small while I’d wear medium), and this is supposed to drape like the other pieces you’ve seen. Or maybe I just need to lose weight 😦
The tee shirt (drkshdw level tee) is the signature long length, cut from a stretchy premium cotton that has been through a “craft-made” treatment, which results in each shirt having small imperfections that make it unique. I didn’t see any imperfections myself, but I did like the detailing on the inside seam. You can’t see it, but that’s the beauty of it, akin to a quote or monogram on the inside of your bespoke suit.
Apparently one of the biggest differences between Rick Owens and other street wear styles (to me at least) is the lack of overt branding. Yes there are some cool stitches or silk screens, but it’s not like he’s plastering his name everywhere like Supreme. It definitely puts an emphasis on the design and aesthetics instead of the brand itself.
The hoodie (drkshdw jason) is made from an extremely soft cotton with ribbing on the cuffs and the bottom hem. It also features a zipper on the left side rather than the right as well as some silk screen prints of people(?) I don’t know. I’ve always been fascinated with these types of prints/artwork on sweaters and I appreciate them here. They certainly add a minimalistic pop to the hoodie! It reminds me of an old Pac Sun sweater I got with a palm tree photograph in the center. Perhaps this print is their equivalent of wearing a bold vintage tie with an otherwise inoffensive outfit.
The sweater is weird because it not only has a slightly longer length and a body that curves in a concave way, but it has extremely snug arms. It could be a sizing issue, but I’m pretty sure that this design is intentional since this whole outfit is about subverting expectations, proportions, and silhouettes.
We last finish off with the shorts. These are called the drkshdw pods and they’re a more technical material, made from cotton and polyamide. Basically it they’re a nylon (I think) blend short with asymmetrical draw strings. Like the other pieces in the outfit, it’s got a weird cut. It has a dropped crotch and an extremely cropped length that extends a little past my knees. With long socks to provide a seamless transition from the Pods to the clunky Island Dunks , we finally put an end to this outfit.
Drkshdw Jason Hoodie, drkshdw level tee, drkshdw pods, island dunks all by Rick Owens
As a proponent of full cut, high rise trousers and short jackets , this outfit is very weird for me. I don’t think it compliments my body well and it doesn’t take advantage of what it can. However, therein lies the beauty of it. It’s intentionally subverting our expectations of clothing. It’s something different for guys that are tired of each iteration of suit, OCBD, and chino/jean that has been made for the past 150 years. Overall, it’s a very unique aesthetic that takes a lot of cojones to pull off. Props to all of you who wear Rick Owens.
The colors are kinda cool, but the pop of yellow seems a bit odd to me. For something like Rick Owens (or any similar designer) I feel like blacks and greys are the way to go. The yellow isn’t bad, but it’s certainly too much of a stark contrast for me. Perhaps it’s just my misconceptions on what this aesthetic is and the fact that I shoehorn it into a dark, goth place. Can you blame me though?
Like I said earlier, I do wish that I was able to try something more “villain-esque”. The outfit I have on is pretty simple and is similar to what most guys would wear on the street, but I feel like if you’re going to wear Rick Owens, you gotta go full Rick and wear something super crazy. This isn’t too out of bounds if you look at it generally, but the pieces are certainly a lot more odd than what I’m used to.
Now that I’ve been able to actually wear Rick Owens, I can say with confidence that I still can’t bring myself to personally own it. Yes, I know I can get pieces for cheap on Grailed or Yoox, but it’s just not worth it for me if I know I’m not going to wear it. These pieces are so unique that they can only be worn with items of a similar aesthetic. Jeans from the 1870’s or pleated shorts from the 1930’s will not pair well with a long-line tee or some island dunks. At least I can say that I’ve been able to actually try on some Rick and see what the aesthetic is like for myself. It’s not too ridiculous once you see why guys are drawn to Rick and you see the intention behind the aesthetic.
I will close this article by saying that guys should smile more when in wearing streetwear. Just like with classic menswear, I feel that fashion takes itself too seriously, and results in very stoic portraits. I like to smile a lot and I want to bring that to Rick Owens. It could be that smiling makes the already interesting outfit look a bit more ridiculous, but it’s probably just my dorky nature popping through.
EDIT: I forgot that my friend let me keep this Rick Owens tote as a gift. It’s made of a heavy cotton, which makes it a durable bag to hold my shit. Say what you will about the clothing, but a quality made tote in a cool minimal grey is dope. Almost all the totes I’ve had have been cheap!
I hope you all learned something a bit new from this article! I’m not advocating that you should go full Rick, but why not try it when you can? You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been including some more casual stuff here and there in the blog (and especially my instagram) and it’s slightly due to the fact that I do get bored of suits and ties sometimes! I’m pretty pleased that I was able to try out this aesthetic and I thank my friend for letting me wear his clothes.
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by W.