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Like much of the internet, I was obsessed with Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s PDA-filled relationship, right down to the thumb-sucking video posted on Instagram. A sign of how hot and heavy this relationship is, they naturally started to synchronize their styles. Kourtney wore a lot more black, dressing in more punk and sexier outfits like matching leather shorts waders, a little black silk dress with a cutout at the belly, or a t-shirt with “SUCK” and “BITE”. Barker’s style is simpler – he often wears a cropped graphic tee and a pair of low-rise black jeans – but has the same crass vibe.
Obviously, there is something about Barker that rocks Kardashian, and it changes her style. He’s in this weird world between outraged dressers like artist Carlos Santana and regular guys with a normcore taste a la Ben Affleck. Barker reminds me of a small town punk high school student who goes to town to save on clothes. (Provided the punk has cash – some of Barker’s pieces, even his flannels, seem expensive). Swoon.
Even in his early days as a drummer in Blink 182, wearing nothing more than rolled up socks, Vans, and a cut T-shirt, Barker was charming. The whole group was dressed in deliberately old-fashioned clothes, ripped off at the mall or skate shop. Barker was still silent, drowned in huge shorts that reached his ankles and an increasing array of tattoos. He grew up with his style: now there are flannels on T-shirts and graphic pants with clever patterns, like skull symbols. The Vans remain however.
Barker and Kardashian aren’t the only new Hollywood punk couple. Machine Gun Kelly, a friend of Barker’s, caught actress Megan Fox. Both have a rowdy style: Kelly, unlike Barker, is a ’90s babe and is discovering her style, dressing in hot pink suits and dying her tongue in black. Thinking back to fashion history, there’s also Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, who charmed Carmen Electra and later the catwalk world when he walked the runway for Anna Sui in the spring of 1997, wearing a camisole top. in lavender lace, lace panties and low leather pants.
Perhaps the allure of a soft-spoken tattooed man is that the style is eternally young. He’s everyone’s high school boyfriend in a group, or a group’s dream, but more grown-up. Barker knows what works for him, namely group t-shirts, which he’s most likely had since his early days with Blink 182. His aesthetic obviously rubs off on Kourtney too, and it looks pretty good. Spooky. As history has shown us, whether it’s with Victoria and David or Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, complementary styles are just another way to show your love for each other. In this case, there’s nothing better than a guy who’s rooted in, well, Vans.
Originally appeared on Vogue