One Direction: The Latest Iteration Of Boy Band Style

One Direction

One Direction performs on the Today Show March 12, 2012.
Photo: Getty Images

If you don't already know the names of these smiley eyed boys by heart, break out the flashcards and get cramming. The dapper little gents before you (Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and *SIGH* Harry Styles) make up the latest batch of heartbreakers flying up on teen girls' bedroom walls across the country. They're British-Irish boy band One Direction (for a free download GO TO HERE)! They've been making waves across the pond for the past few months, but their album "Up All Night" just dropped stateside last week and is already making history as they're the first UK group to EVER debut their debut album at No. 1 on the American charts. Watch out Bieber. *wink*

Along with their silky smooth pipes and baby soft faces, these boys have some seeeerious style game. Their color-coordination is airtight with nary a single shade off or clashing. The smart tailoring, tippy-top buttoned shirts, nautical stripes, and skinny lapel blazers (with pocket squares!!) galore are just soooo English gentleman that we (along with much of the ladybaby population) can hardly contain ourselves. EGAD, these boys are KA-YOOT!!!! And notably, repping a squeaky clean yet also fashion-forward look we haven't seen in boy band steez for quite a long time. In honor of One Direction, the major milestones the group is hitting (soon to perform at the Kids' Choice Awards and SNL!), and their on-point collective style, we're taking a look back at how the boy band look has evolved over time. Walk with us.

THE JACKSON 5

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Michael Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson

Hottest Singles: "I Want You Back," "ABC," "I'll Be There"

The Style: The Jackson 5 had the advantage of reaching their height in the '70s when colorful vestments were king (and so were they). BRIGHT palettes, soaring wide collars, flares, and an unabashed wielding of prints were key for their look. Also, matching haircuts.

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5.
Photo: Getty Images

NEW EDITION

New Edition

New Edition.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant

Hottest Singles: "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now," "Mr. Telephone Man"

The Style: New Edition kind of dressed like what Theophilus London wears today: round lens glasses, short chains over buttoned-up collared shirts, hats on hats on hats. In casual appearances, the New Edition guys coordinated outfits with similar moods and color schemes, but for red carpet events, it was all matching everything.

New Edition

New Edition.
Photo: Getty Images

MENUDO

Menudo

Menudo.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Ricky Martin, Nefty Sallaberry, Carlos Meléndez, Fernando Sallaberry, Óscar Meléndez, René Farrait, Xavier Serbiá, Miguel Cancel, Johnny Lozada, Ricky Meléndez, Ray Reyes, Roy Rosselló, Charlie Massó, Robi Rosa, Raymond Acevedo, Sergio Blass, Ralphy Rodríguez, Angelo García, César Abreu, Rubén Gómez, Robert Avellanet, Rawy Torres, Edward Aguilera, Jonathan Montenegro, Adrián Olivares, Ashley Ruiz, Andy Blázquez, Alexis Grullón, Abel Talamántez, Ricky López, Anthony Galindo, Didier Hernández, Daniel René Weider

Hottest Singles: "Súbete A Mi Moto," "Hold Me," "Explosion"

The Style: Despite cycling through, like, a bajillion members, Menudo was still able to maintain a group style at all times. The Menudo boys favored an edgier, rocker style with leather jackets and pants, moto details, and risk-taking tonsorial decisions (yes, that's a mullet you see).

Menudo

Menudo.
Photo: Getty Images

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg

Hottest Singles: "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," "Step by Step"

The Style: New Kids on the Block are a time capsule of all the most fascinating aspects of late '80s style. Jeans that sit way too high, white socks and sneakers with everything, baggy t-shirts, and SHREDDED denim. Not to be left unnoticed, HAI white basketball shorts!

New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block.
Photo: Getty Images

TAKE THAT

Take That

Take That.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams

Hottest Singles: "It Only Takes A Minute," "I Found Heaven," Pray"

The Style: UK boy band Take That reached their peak right around when the boys of One Direction were born/growing up, so it's very likely they had a large influence on Harry et. al. Thankfully, though, Take That's backwards Kangol ivy caps and denim leisure suits were left in the '90s.

BOYZ II MEN

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Michael McCary

Hottest Singles: "Motownphilly," "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," "End Of The Road"

The Style: The incomparable legendary vocals of Boyz II Men need not be distracted from with flashy, gimmicky performance wear. The Philly boys often kept things simple, replicating one outfit (down to the accessories!) four times over for each of the members.

*NSYNC

*NSYNC

*NSYNC.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Chris Kirkpatrick, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass

Hottest Singles: "I Want You Back," "I Drive Myself Crazy," "Bye Bye Bye"

The Style: The late '90s ushered in a kind of hey day for boy bands and boy band style. Chief among the heavy-weights during this era was *NSYNC. Their tight harmonies and explosive dance moves were often accompanied by eye-bugging fashions such as these bizarrely ill-fitting ripstop nylon suits or the below hodge podge of "trends." Related: remember when Justin had cornrows??!

*NSYNC

*NSYNC.
Photo: Getty Images

BACKSTREET BOYS

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson

Hottest Singles: "All I Have To Give," "I Want It That Way," "More Than That"

The Style: On the flip side of *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys kept their sartorial adventures a little more streamlined. All matching white was usually a safe bet, and the red carpet was a place for suits - though not necessarily matching ones.

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys.
Photo: Getty Images

HANSON

Hanson

Hanson.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, Zac Hanson

Hottest Singles: "MMMbop," "Weird," "I Will Come To You"

The Style: Truly a BOY band, the brothers of Hanson stayed true to their roots, opting for a kind of playground chic with athletic ringer tees, layering, loose fit casual pants and sneakers.

98 DEGREES

98 Degrees

98 Degrees.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre

Hottest Singles: "Invisible Man," "True To Your Heart," "Because of You"

The Style: When the boys of 98 Degrees weren't illustrating the HOTNESS of their group by appearing in chili pepper red jumpsuits, they were wearing form-fitting, muscle-displaying sweaters. When all else failed, they just took off their shirts.

WESTLIFE

Westlife

Westlife.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan, Brian McFadden

Hottest Singles: "Swear It Again," "Flying Without Wings," "Fool Again"

The Style: The style highpoint for Simon Cowell's other boy band experiment, Westlife, isn't so much the late '90s American Eagle steez as it is their EXEMPLARY efforts in matching hair. Piecey, frosted tresses FTW.

THE JONAS BROTHERS

The Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas

Hottest Singles: "Burnin' Up," "Hold On," "Paranoid"

The Style: Awwwww, JoBros! We like to think this style is a little bit Bon Jovi, a little Panic! At The Disco, and a LOT of flat ironing.

BIG BANG

Big Bang

Big Bang.
Photo: Getty Images

Members: G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., Daesung, Seungri

Hottest Singles: "Day By Day," "Heaven," "Oh My Friend"

The Style: Big Bang is not only One Direction's stiffest competition on the current boy band landscape, they're also arguably JUST as expertly styled. Where One Direction errs on the side of ivy leauge chic, Big Bang is a bit grittier and more FASHUN, coordinating custom Hermes jackets and Minx nails.

+ What group's boy band style do you love the most?

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