One Direction Or Robin Thicke + 2 Chainz + Kendrick Lamar: Who Did Black, White, And Red Best?

One Direction in black, white, and red at the 2013 VMAs.
Photo: Getty Images

Accentuating black and white with a red pop is a tried-and-true, low-maintenance way to make a real style statement—particularly if you’re coordinating with other people, but don’t want to look too matchy-matchy. No grown dude wants to look like the Olsen Twins circa It Takes Two (unless you do, in which case, go forth!). At the VMAs tonight, two separate man-crews (One Direction and the trio of Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar) put together impeccable complimentary ensembles, and as far as who might have done it better, they’re neck and neck.

On one hand, we’ve got the rosy-cheeked boy babes of 1D, each of whom emphasized their personal style with the B&W&R palette: they dressed in almost all black but for Zayn’s white tee, the graphics on Louis’ super-excellent Joy Division t-shirt, the red accenting on Niall’s letter jacket, and Liam’s perfect red hunter’s check flannel, tossed afterthought-like around his waist. It’s all SOOO sophisticated while being peak casual, the kind of styling that looks extremely natural for a group of young lads spending an evening in Brooklyn.

2 Chainz, Robin Thicke, and Kendrick Lamar perform at the 2013 VMAs.
Photo: MTV

BUT! An entirely different take on the shades came from Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar during their performance of “Give It 2 U,” and it was perfect in its own way, too. The Beetlejuiciness of Thicke’s black-and-white suit aside, the coordination was extremely on point, with Chainz in club cazh (short for “casual”) sweat-knit and Kendrick for the red accent in a hockey jersey and matching Nike Cortezes, SOOOO LA OF HIM! They, too, each had their own take on the look but stayed within the theme, distinguishing themselves while complimenting each other.

So who do you think did this theme better? The Thicke contingent was flossier, but the slouchy ease of the Direction dudes was terribly satisfying. Is it a tie? Should we duke it out?

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