A pinch of sleaze and a sprinkle of streetwear nous all stirred together with the sort of laissez-fairness you could only muster if you were an adored, multi-millionaire celebrity or a zoot toking teenager who refuses to clean their bedroom. It’s basically dressing like a 13-year-old who has stolen his rich step-dad’s Amex Gold or a trustafarian university student slumped in front of Netflix drooling over his seventh pizza of the day. This is the ‘Scumbro’ – the hottest and oddest trend to come out of fashion since people started wearing measuring tapes as belts.
Vanity Fair described the scumbro as a male celebrity able to flit between outerwear brands your geography teaching father would ship and a sporadic smorgasbord of drops from the latest hyped-up, priced-up streetwear brand all at the same time. The scumbro is aware of the latest trends – the Hawaiian shirt, dad caps, pleated trousers – but choose to wear them self-ironically in a winking, knowing mis-match as a middle finger up to the paparazzi waiting for them outside the hotel. The whole outfit choice is less matchy-matchy and more spewing a mess onto the blank canvas until it resembles a bubbling, dribbling Jackson Pollock.
Yeah, take that art/fashion. Other elements that come into the scumbro look include the cultivation of bum fluff on the upper lip a la Justin Bieber, lank hair dyed within an inch of its life and tattoos spread along the arms. Just to clarify though, the scumbro isn’t an actual scumbag – its unofficial leader, the comedian and Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, comes across as endearingly goofy and fun-loving in his skits and interviews – they just don’t give two hoots about any fashion laws that may have been ascribed. To qualify, you have to own at least one item from Supreme and any of these six key essentials. We’d suggest picking only one of them to bring into your wardrobe – it takes a true scumbro to pull them all off in one go.
Socks And Sliders
Usually kept hidden by traditional menswear aficionados under tailored trousers or denim jeans, the scumbro embraces the sock to newfound levels and embellishes it as such whether that’s football socks pulled all the way up and worn with a pair of retro sneakers like Adidas Gazelle or gym socks stuffed into their tracksuit bottoms – a regular style move from scumbro pioneer Shia LaBeouf. Socks and sliders are the most prevalent footwear choice among the scumbro crew, and while we wouldn’t wear them into work, the Scumbro doesn’t care that their socks smell as long as the Givenchy logo on their sliders is on-show. Socks and sliders shouldn’t make sense – you wear pool sliders precisely so you don’t have to wear socks, but in informal styles a white sock can provide a welcome neutral pop against the slider. Just don’t throw colour to the wind like Justin Bieber and commit the heinous fashion crime of matching black with blue. Monochrome always works best for this style.
The scumbro lives in sweatpants. “They’re comfortable,” they’ll groan, before letting one rip, chuckling and then running away to Starbucks to pick up an iced chai latte. That’s about as much exercise as you’ll see them do in their athleisure wear. The brighter the better for the scumbro but remember the ancient rules of menswear still apply to some extent – if you’re going to go jazzy down below, you’d better hold off on the jazz hands up top – even if a true scumbro might not. Athletic shorts are also ubiquitous within the scumbro’s style palette, a relaxed and loose fit cut just above the knees is a much better fit for the could-I-care-less vibe than any tightly tapered and constricting chino shorts.
Tie-dye has exploded back into high fashion this year, and as an ever-watchful hypebeast, the scumbro will want to do more than just dabble in the resurgence. Luxury fashion houses Saint Laurent, Vetements and Burberry have all flirted with the garish pattern in recent collections, but the scumbro will eschew these luxury stylings for something altogether more vintage store. Actor Jonah Hill is a big fan and proponent of the style, as seen here in a ghoulish tee designed for the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team by pioneers of the hippy movement in the 1970s The Grateful Dead. Does it get more dad-core than a bit of sweet, sweet sporting history and a jam band singing songs about the waccy-baccy back in their day?
The Old Man’s Cap
As opposed to a more structured baseball cap, the dad cap has a soft front panel and a slightly curved brim to shield the sun appropriately – dads are nothing if not wary of their sun protection. The scumbro will most likely wear his actual dad’s – the colour faded from all the sun and years in the attic – but might throw in a slick back-to-front job because that’s just what the darn kids do. The dad cap also looks best with athleisure so it easily slots into the scumbro look while look for one with a distinguishing logo on the front – actual baseball team emblems work best for this.
The hoodie is a key part of any streetwear closet, with slim fitting and neutral coloured options working best in wearable outfits. Now, of course, the scumbro isn’t constrained by what works best, but for the most part, this rule is one of the few he follows. Logos clad over said hoodies though is a bit of a grey area in menswear. They prove distracting in a layered look but on their own, a simple and bold logo like the Adidas symbol sported by Justin Bieber can add some punch to the bland neutral underneath it.
Walking on the beach in just your swim trunks is fine, walking around the streets of LA in basketball shorts with your boxers hanging out is tantamount to public indecency. Of course, that popstar scallywag Justin Bieber tried to get away with the latter, but one way to show off your tats in the city without getting the nips out is going the way of Davidson and picking out a sleeveless tee. If you are going to pluck for this gap-year backpacking in Peru staple though don’t go loose and baggy, keep it tight like Davidson so as to prevent a lascivious display of skin and the inevitable nipple slip, and in a dark neutral – anything too colourful will make you look like your early for the EDM rave while only Brando could pull off the white tank.