While most celebrities look and dress like more beautiful versions of the schlubs we see at the supermarket, some have such a iconic style it’s almost like trendy aliens dressed them. Take Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, the kissers of KISS, or David Bowie’s, well, everything. It must have taken them ages to perfect their looks, right? But some are luckier than others, accidentally stumbling ass-first into what will make them recognizable for generations to come.
Jennifer Aniston’s “Rachel” Haircut Was Conceived While Stoned
If you were a ladyperson in the mid-’90s and you didn’t have the time or resources to wrestle your locks into a Kid ‘n Play hi-top fade, the next most fashionable choice was the hairdo Jennifer Aniston wore in the sitcom Friends. Which is why in most ’90s pictures, it looked like everyone had square-shaped heads.
Warner Bros. Television
Could her highlights be any chunkier?
But “The Rachel” was not the result of years of trial and error by scientists from the Ministry of Fresh Fads. It was the creation of one stylist, who came up with it while he was stoned out of his gourd. Back when she was a young whippersnapper, wavy-haired Aniston couldn’t operate a blow dryer to save or end her life. She relied completely on her friend and follicle manipulator, salon owner Chris McMillan. In fact, Aniston trusted him so much that she let him cut her hair while tripping balls. McMillan gladly admits to being high as a kite when he concocted her sloppy-looking ‘do, confirming for the record: “I’m 14 years sober, so I feel safe enough to say that.” Some people have to wake up in a puddle of their own filth next to a naked clown to stop doing drugs. For McMillan, that line in the sand was realizing he had ruined an entire generation of white girls’ hair.
Johnny Depp Wears Various Blue-Tinted Glasses Because He’s Blind As Shit
Like any good actor, Johnny Depp has tried evolving over time. Unfortunately, he’s evolved into a thrift store, thanks to his increasingly vast collection of scarves, bracelets, hats, doodads, gewgaws, and gimcracks. One thing about his look that hasn’t changed, though, are his blue-tinted glasses. But those weren’t an impulse purchase made in a drunken stupor off a late-night TV commercial. Depp needs those things, because he’s got worse eye problems than a real one-eyed pirate.
Like Bono, Depp actually has to wear his dumb sunglasses for medical reasons. Some poor team of opticians has been crafting dozens of blue sunglasses to correct his combination of near- and farsightedness. But only for his right eye. His left one has been pretty much a lost cause since birth. It’s not completely blind, but it makes everything look basically like a Monet painting after someone put it in a dishwasher. So unless he’s playing a role that requires sunglasses, like in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, he’s acting while being aware only of what’s going on a few inches directly in front of his face.
But that doesn’t explain wanting to see the world like an underwater wonderland? (Actually, we answered our own question there). There’s no solid confirmation, but there is a perceptual processing disorder called “Meares-Irlen syndrome,” for which ophthalmologists prescribe such hipster-friendly shades, which can reduce stress to the eye from overstimulation. And if busy patterns and shocking color palettes are the cause of his woes, it makes us wonder why he keeps dressing like was dragged through a Goodwill at high speed. Then again, the poor guy probably hasn’t been able to look at himself in the mirror for decades.
Steve Jobs’ Turtleneck Was Part Of A Failed Apple Uniform
While Apple founder Steve Jobs may have made a number of questionable decisions when it came to his diet, or hygiene, or interpersonal relationships, you can’t say that he wasn’t a snappy dresser. Snappy and singular, as he seemed to wear that black turtleneck / jeans combo every day of the year.
Try not to imagine the smell.
But the reason Jobs wore them all time wasn’t a desire for simplicity or that he spent all his free time writing bad poetry in the back of a Starbucks. Black turtlenecks were part of his plan to get everyone at Apple to wear the same company uniform.
Sometime in the ’80s, after a visit to Sony headquarters in Japan, Jobs was mightily impressed with how all the employees were wearing the same corporate garb. So when he returned home, he set a plan in motion to have all Apple employees dress alike, like some sort of hi-tech Catholic school. First he hired the designer behind the Sony uniforms, Issey Miyake, to create a snazzy vest. But when he then showcased his idea of dressing the smartest people in Silicon Valley like they were working in an off-brand TGI Fridays, it was not a hit. Jobs later recalled: “Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.” It was the sartorial equivalent of the Apple Lisa.
Only mildly deterred, Jobs took matters into his own hands and had Miyake base another uniform on the black turtlenecks he liked wearing. And like with the vests, everyone fucking hated them. So now he was stuck with boxes and boxes of the things. But every one to turn lemons into marginally nutritious smoothies, Jobs saw a silver lining in the debacle: “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.” And he did.
Flavor Flav Started Wearing A Giant Clock Around His Neck On A Dare
It’s hard to believe now, what with his post-music career of being the dumbest person on reality shows, that at one point in time Flavor Flav (born William Jonathan Drayton Jr.) was a musical prodigy and arguably one of the most influential rappers in history. He was also a fashion trendsetter, most notably in the field of accessorizing. And his greatest achievement in this area was, of course, cosplaying as Big Ben.
You might suppose it was carefully calculated, in the way that backwards jeans and genie pants were conscious though ill-advised attempts by hip-hop artists to stand out from the pack. Or maybe the clock was a modern, symbolic homage to the albatross from “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.” Yeah, probably not that one. According to Flav, the real reason he wound up running around with an oversized timepiece like he was late for a meeting with the Queen of Hearts was much simpler: He did it on a dare.
Describing the clock’s origin in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Flav said, “Someone in my crew put a shower clock around my neck and dared me to keep it on during our show. I thought the look of the clock around my neck was dope, so I kept it on.” We should all feel lucky no one dared Flav to also wear the shower hose as a feather boa. Of course, that meant that his early clocks didn’t have any nifty logos or designs or anything like that, but were the sort you might find in the toiletries aisle at Sears circa 1982.
Mankind’s Mask Was A Leftover Undertaker Prop
You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to know who Mick Foley is. While he may never have achieved the global recognition of Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he certainly found a way for his persona to stick out in a crowd of skimpy trunks and oiled pecs.
Foley’s “Mankind” was a decidedly less-than-sensitive portrayal of an unstable schizophrenic, sporting a tattered dress shirt and a sock he used as a puppet. But the thing that really made the getup pop, obviously, was the mask, which looks like a cross between homemade bondage headgear and something you’d find on a Texas Chainsaw Massacre Etsy store.
It definitely did a convincing job of making Mankind look like the kind of guy deranged enough to need a muzzle, but its origins are even less flattering than that. Compared to the chiseled features and muscular physique of the average professional wrestler, the kindest way to describe Foley would be “unconventional” (not to mention the fact that he only has one ear). So, according to sources, when WWE CEO and creepy guy extraordinaire Vince McMahon finally agreed to put Foley in the ring, his exact words were: “All right, dammit … I’ll bring him in, but I’m covering up his face.”
Foley did not then turn to an S&M-certified leather worker to craft him a strap-on harness for his face, but simply rummaged around in the (what has to be spectacularly odd) repository where the WWE keeps its unused props. Ironically, the leather straps were originally designed for Mankind’s greatest adversary, the Undertaker, but McMahon, again displaying his flair for micromanagement, decided it didn’t quite fit with his patented “Western mortician” motif. Thus the mask was repurposed, and the delicate sensibilities of professional wrestling fans were spared the nightmarish sight of Mick Foley’s gaping eldritch horror of a face.
John Lennon’s Glasses Were A Movie Prop He Kept
After a bumpy start as “the Fat Beatle,” John Lennon must have been relieved when he was able to reinvent himself as a smug hippie. And what really set the whole thing off were those weird round glasses — which, in the ’60s, were something you’d only see in movies pinched on the nose of some general storekeeper or a WWII surgeon. Which is exactly where Lennon got the idea.
How I Won The War was a dark antiwar comedy that came out in 1967, and you can be excused for not seeing it, because it sucked. In it, Lennon, who was surely hired for his acting ability and not because he was more famous than Jesus, played “Musketeer Gripweed,” a “schoolboyish and reticent wimp.” Lennon’s main job was to deliver painfully unfunny one-liners, like replying “No, I play harmonica” to the question of whether he was married.
The glasses were a deliberate part of the wardrobe, designed to “emphasize the character’s comicality, vulnerability, innocence and hints of sexual ambivalence” — which is a lot of range to demand from a pair of glasses. But Lennon liked them so much that he decided to keep wearing them, and even incorporated them into his public persona. The army regulation haircut? Not so much. Of course, due to the simple fact that a Beatle wore them on a movie poster, they never went out of style again. Even today, one can readily acquire a similar pair from “vintage” retailers, which don’t mind charging you a fortune for something that was originally intended to make the wearer look like a cowardly idiot.
Steven Van Zandt Wears Bandanas Because Of A Head Wound
“Little” Steven Van Zandt has done a lot of things in his life, from playing guitar in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, to fighting Apartheid through the power of disturbing music videos, to setting the struggle against Italian-American stereotyping back by decades in his role as strip club owner / murderer Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. But fans of his music recognize him best for his love of always wearing a bandana, like he’s trying out for the Crips. Is he just committed to gangster fashion in all facets of his life, or simply suffering from the heartbreak of male pattern baldness? Nope, it’s because his scalp looks like it became too intimate with a lawnmower.
As a kid, Van Zandt got into an accident that saw him flying through the windshield of a car. His injuries weren’t life-threatening, but his hair never grew back in what he considered a socially acceptable manner. “I decided that I didn’t want to deal with wigs and things, so I just stumbled onto my thing.” After experimenting with various unfortunate hats, he settled on a style that’s usually only kosher in biker bars (for people with Dutch surnames who pretend to be Italian).
Or very lazy Zorro cosplayers.
But how about his luscious greaser mane in The Sopranos? That was a wig, which he is forced to wear for acting gigs, as Hollywood is still too bigoted to give roles to people who identify as Zorro. He often jokes that “half of the acting I do is actually done by the hair.” But don’t expect Van Zandt to ever go the John Travolta route and glue a hairpiece to his noggin. He’ll be rolling those bandanas all the way to the nursing home.
ABBA Wore Crazy Outfits to Get a Tax Deduction
’70s Swedish deities ABBA were one of the greatest pop bands to have ever boogied into existence. But they were definitely one of those bands that are best enjoyed while listening to an album at home. Not because they couldn’t bring it live, but because they brought too much of it. ABBA was notorious for wearing hundreds of ridiculously over-the-top outfits. And the reason for a wardrobe deeper and more colorful than the one leading to Narnia? It saved them money.
From the sequined capes to the velvet overalls and platform shoes with highwater pantsuits, just about every matching ensemble they unveiled set new standards for atrociousness. Seriously, they looked less like a band and more like what a colorblind madman would design for a superhero team made up entirely of pedophiles.
So were they saving money by letting one of their dementia-stricken grandmothers sew together these monstrosities? Were they forming a cult to worship the god of velour? In truth, they knew full well that they looked like idiots. And the flamboyantly repugnant outfits served a very practical purpose: It saved them a bundle on taxes.
Early in their career, ABBA was made aware of a weird Swedish law, whereby they could completely write off all wardrobe costs as a tax deduction as long as said outfits were “so outrageous that they couldn’t be worn on the street.” In an official ABBA biography, Bjorn Ulvaeus (the first “B”) revealed how self-aware they were: “In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those years. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were.”
It seems that ABBA missed their calling in tax law, because in 2007, Ulvaeus was again able to fend off the Swedish government, which this time was suing him for millions over tax evasion. Not only did Ulvaeus manage to beat the charges, but he also got to keep every krona of his royalties. We wonder what outfit he wore to court to make that happen.