In 2011, Odd Future had a major style moment inspired by a very minor accessory: socks. The hip-hop collective’s leader, Tyler, the Creator, really digs them. (You can see him really digging them while crowdsurfing here, while counting money here, and while dressing up like a watermelon here.) Tyler’s enthusiasm has turned him into a sock kingpin. Odd Future socks, part of the group’s larger fashion line, are sold at PacSun and other mall-friendly retailers. On co-member Earl Sweatshirt’s “Whoa,” Tyler raps that he made a quarter million off of socks, and that song came out in 2013. Presumably he’s made more since then.
Socks may seem like a weird entrée into the world of fashion, but OF’s members don’t live by fashion conventions. Each member’s personal style seems genuinely personal, whether it’s Frank Ocean looking dapper in buttoned-up shirts and cardigans, Earl Sweatshirt embodying casualness, or lone female member Syd tha Kyd rocking her signature androgynous look.
Below, we’ve compiled some photos of OF artists, and the conventional fashion wisdom they’re throwing out the window in each one. Because the members of OF do their own thing, even when that means hanging out with a masked dog.
Conventional wisdom: Wear a stellar outfit to stand out from the crowd.
Reason to throw it out the window: Sometimes, fashion is a team sport, and the most stellar outfit is the one that lets your friends’ outfits shine. Earl’s ho-hum hoodie shows he plays well with others, fashion-wise, even when the others are weird gremlins who refuse to fully turn the lights on.
Conventional wisdom: Don’t frown. You never know who’s falling in love with your smile.
Reason to throw it out the window: As Frank shows, instead you can just drape a scarf over your entire head, including your face. You never know who’s falling in love with your scarf.
Conventional wisdom: Wearing head-to-toe brights and mixing patterns is too much.
Reason to throw it out the window: A unifying base bright (in this case, yellow) and a stretch of solid color (in this case, Tyler’s T-shirt) make this look fine, and not just like a random pile of clothes. With confidence, you can wear a random pile of clothes, too!
Conventional wisdom: No pain, no gain.
Reason to throw it out the window: Syd's outfit looks super comfortable—her jeans are looser than some of Tyler’s—and it totally suits her. She didn’t even go through the (very minor) pain of removing her key carabiner.
Conventional wisdom: Don’t be too matchy-matchy.
Reason to throw it out the window: It turns out that if you’re wearing a turtleneck with a matching v-neck, all you need to do is throw on a gold chain and add some maniacal laughter. There's no chance of seeming prissy now!
Conventional wisdom: Adults can’t rock kids’ clothes.
Reason to throw it out the window: Earl’s cloud-print shirt says he has nothing to prove—and if he tucked it in, it would arguably be business casual. What could be more adult than that? Even Frank’s Thor mask feels grown up, paired with a tasteful button-up and a gold watch. Kids can’t tell time.
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Photo credit from top to bottom: Photo by Terry Richardson; still from Pharrell’s 1pm “Happy” video; still from Earl Sweatshirt’s "Hive" video; photo from Frank Ocean’s Tumblr; still from Tyler, the Creator’s "Tamale" video; still from The Internet’s "Dontcha" video; still from Hodgy, Domo Genesis, and Tyler, the Creator’s "Rella" video; photo from Syd tha Kyd's Facebook page.