By Logan Gossett
Collage by Reddit user /u/RipplingPopemobile.
Relaxed. Chill. Organic. Palewave blurs the line between baby-shower and reality. If you follow Mick Jenkins or Tyler the Creator on Instagram, you’ve probably seen traces of palewave. The minutiae of sanctioned palewave fits can be oppressive, but its primary identifier will always be its unobjectionable light colors. In an effort to make the tenets of palewave more potable, here are the five essentials when fashioning a palewave aesthetic.
- White shoes
Totally not fake Stan Smiths that were apparently lived in by somebody who kicks ant hills for a living. Consequently, these Stans are considered “beaters” (modeled by Nicholas Purcell).
Palewave, heatwave, no-wave, close shave — doesn’t matter: cop some white shoes. After mandatorily acquiring a pair of white shoes, you and your new shoes must commit to one of the following two options.
The first, beaters (pictured above), are exactly what they sound like. Should you designate your new white shoes as beaters, don’t walk to class; mercilessly stomp through rain puddles and mounds of dirt to class. Why wear Crocs to a block party (or at all) when you can rectify your repugnantly clean white shoes by power-moshing at the Granada or lacing them around a power line? The latter will definitely give them that “lived in by Electro/Zeus” look some hipsters have been aiming for.
Your second option is to clean your shoes. Duh. For instance, Ultra Boosts demand perpetual maintenance. The hand-crafted leather shoes offered by Common Projects or Acne Studios are traditionally kept clean because of their price, which exceeds that of a credit hour at KU.
2. Light-wash denim
“Upon this rock I will build my church,” – Jesus, who might as well be referring to light-wash denim.
This is the most important article of clothing when scaffolding your palewave closet. Hot outside? Wear light-wash jeans. Cold rain? Wear light-wash jeans. Climbing Mount Everest? Wear light-wash jeans and take lots of fit pics — the snow presents a cool background. National light-wash jeans day? Screw that, don’t conform; wear tan joggers to show off your new white shoes.
Not all light-wash jeans were created equal, however. If your denim has those loops for hammers (basically handyman lanyards), you’ve made a mistake. Turn around and return them to the Dillard’s from which they came. While you’re at the mall, cop some light-wash Levi’s 511’s or something from Dillard’s or JCPenney.
3. Looking comfortable
This model may be sitting on uneven concrete slabs and fresh bird poop, but he couldn’t look more comfortable. Pajamas are comfortable. Palewave just presents the illusion of comfort (modeled by Nicholas Purcell).
It can be difficult to look relaxed when all of your shirts look tensed and stressed — like they just got out of a long day at work. You want them to look relaxed. Raiding your dad’s closet can yield lucrative hauls in this regard (see #5), but the line between relaxed and repulsive is uncompromising. Obviously, wearing obese Jared Fogle’s jeans isn’t a good aesthetic, but sizing up on a Gildan hoodie or two can’t hurt. Also, oversized Gildan hoodies have 100% less affiliation with a known pedophile, so that’s a plus (bonus point: Don’t be Jared Fogle. Seriously, can’t emphasize that enough.)
Shirts with minimal stretchiness are optimal for palewave fits. They typically fall onto your body rather than swathe it like jersey knits tend to. Oversized sweaters and hoodies are a reliable way to maintain warmth and comfort as Winter Is Coming. As far as bottoms are concerned, loosely pin rolling jeans will 1) expose those ankles to that sweet sweet breeze and 2) look good.
Kick that beanie off your head and hook that dadhat close. Dadhats can be just the icing that your earth-tone cake demands (modeled by Nicholas Purcell).
Sorry, beanies aren’t an effective way to conceal a bad hair day for those surfing the palewave. Dadhats are artificially manufactured online through Amazon or Ea$y, but pasture-raised, organic dadhats – fresh from a dad’s closet – are preferable. So find an effective dad-straction and conduct a quick closet raid for the best results. Dadhats have invaded seemingly every evasive cultural nook and cranny, and their next stop should be your head.
5. Pastel colors
Last and most important – which is definitely the most logical sequence – pastel is a prerequisite for palewave. No fit with colors outside of this limited and unfair spectrum fit a purist’s definition of palewave (unless it’s pink or otherwise palewave-y).
Authoritatively amicable, palewave’s pointed approach toward color essentially prohibits the use of black or charcoal color schemes. Yes, I sold palewave as a relaxed super cool aesthetic. Yet, when it comes to color, you will be bombarded by earth-toned rocks and appropriately colored eggshells for deviating from pastels. Plus, part of the fun of palewave is looking like Easter after it was doused in bleach.