When we think about what our all-time most memorable memes are, it’s unlikely that the focus is on what their protagonists were wearing (if they even wear clothes at all). Yet, there is a storied history behind the fashion in certain memes that goes above and beyond what is expected of them.
Some of the most legendary images ever distributed online were propelled to fame due to their fashion sense. If you can break it down into a starter pack just by looking at it, you know it’s made more of an impact than you might expect — as the era-defining examples here show us.
Scumbag Steve (2011)
Summary: Patron saint of small-town losers.
For a dedicated slacker, Scumbag Steve was a lot of things to a lot of people. This infamous photo of Blake Boston came to represent everyone from the mooch in your friend group to your douchebag former classmate who you may or may not cross the street to avoid.
He could never have carried such a heavy burden without a look to remember, one which was as offensive as it was bland. His all brown, fur-lined ensemble was versatile enough to front a MySpace album cover and a complaint about people who put their feet on your seat at the movies. This was what flamboyant meant when you were a complete dick in every single situation.
His no-good attitude was epitomized in the jauntily angled hat, which took on a life of its own as a spinoff meme that shamed everyone from politicians to your pet cat. It even inspired a quest to find the exact brand of Red Sox cap that had taken over image macros everywhere. Ironically, it turned out to be pretty rare.
The Fedora (2012)
Summary: M’lady. Tips Fedora
Whether it was because it made easy photoshopping or the symbolism was too irresistible to ignore, headgear ruled as the accessory to pick on when it came to memes in the early 2010s. This style of the hat had been mocked since it had begun to experience a style renaissance in the late ’90s when people began to suggest that wearing…
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