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I watched the “Watermelon Sugar” music video on Monday morning from my kitchen while eating a banana. The mouth-full-of-banana mutterings of “Oh my god” soon evolved into full volume “Oh my god”s as I watched Harry Styles slide his bubblegum-pink-polished fingernail along slices of watermelon and roll around with women in day-glo bikinis. Not a phone in sight, just vibes.
This dumbstruck response wasn’t solely for the reasons you’d think. Did I need to stand in a window with a cool breeze for a few minutes after? Sure. But who didn’t? The video did disclaim in its opening titles, after all, that it was “dedicated to touching.”
Anyway, the primary reason my mouth hit the floor is because this music video looks like it could have been ripped from the digital pages of a Man Repeller fashion editorial.
Did Harling style this? Did Edith shoot it? If they quietly did and are holding out on me, is our friendship now over? I know the answer to these questions is that surely they did not, but the look, feel, and spirit of this video (though maybe a *smidge* sexy, lol) feels so closely aligned with Man Repeller’s brand that I had to take a beat.
Harry Styles always looks like he stepped out of a Man Repeller article and it’s one of my favorite things about him
— Gianni (@giannisegarra) May 18, 2020
Now that I’ve taken that beat, I’m here to do the important, meaningful work. I’m here to tell you how to embody the sizzling, fruity, crochet-knit, hot, wet, splashy quintessence of “Watermelon Sugar” this summer. Why? Uh, because the moment I realized Harry was the owner of a crochet-knit tank top and novelty sunglasses, I said to myself, I must own a crochet-knit tank top and novelty sunglasses. Also, maybe it will imbue some of the spirit of carefree summers into a summer that feels less carefree than usual.
Step 1: The Crucial Crochet-knit Tank Top
The moment Harry walked out in his orange and lime crochet-knit mini-tank, I gasped. It is, of course, vintage, according to one of my favorite Instagram accounts: Harry Styles Fashion Archive. My pursuit of a similar tank has been swift and ruthless. A handy trick for looking for these is searching for “vintage Missoni tank tops.” I will not rest until I am clad in one of these, drinking spiked agua fresca and tossing my head back with fake laughter. IMAGINE.
Step 2: Novelty Accessories, Ahoy
Oh you thought I was joking above? Novelty accessories are in order. Though perhaps not the perfect vintage sky blue and heart-shaped sunglasses on Harry’s inhumanly perfect face, these are some good options to get your quirk off the ground. And the earrings? Resin hoops and beaded cherries for days are in order.
Step 3: The Floral Shirt to End All Floral Shirts
Of course Harry’s shirt is a Bode shirt, and of course it’s custom-made. I could weep tears of solid gold. It is indeed the perfect summer shirt for everyone: A lightweight button-down in a groovy floral is summer’s pièce de résistance. I’ll be wearing mine over a bikini top even if I’m going to dinner with my non-existent in-laws.
Step 4: Rainbow-Brite Swimwear
Even I–not one to shy from color–wince at the thought of my ghostly pale body in a bright bikini. However, this summer is not the season for that!!! No time for trifling. So what if I’m translucent and almost-neon color on my body makes me look like I crept out from the crypt? I’m here to let it all hang out and look like walking fiestaware.
Step 5: A Skinny Scarf, Duh
Oh, Harry, my sweet little Gucci ambassador angel! According to, once again, my favorite Instagram account, Harry’s tiny sweater, skinny scarf, and ripped jeans are all from the Gucci runway. I did not realize that I wanted to wear a skinny scarf in summer until I witnessed this exact outfit. I’m not expecting you to follow me to this place, but Harry has led the way… and I have my marching orders.
Step 6: A Rogue Summer Sweater Vest
Listen: This one’s for the real hardos. If you’re committed to the aesthetic, then you’ll try your hand at a sweater vest, summer-ified for when you’re on the beach and it gets a smidge chilly—but just on your torso trunk and nowhere else. Make it look chic-est by wearing it over your floral button-down, if you’re so inclined.
The final touches are candy-colored nail polish, an ungodly number of rings and necklaces, and over 60 tattoos. I leave that to your discretion. If you acquire and follow all the steps above and sing “Watermelon Sugar” in a bathroom mirror while your roommate looks at you worryingly, Harry Styles will appear next to you when you wake up the following morning.
Just kidding, wishful thinking! But, if anything, these steps are a surefire formula for helping you remember how to exult in sun, sweat, heat, sweetness… the feeling of friends’ and lovers’ hands. We can’t, for now. But I’ll be in my “Watermelon Sugar” couture the whole time, watching this video on repeat.