Just because someone or a group of people has had a large, notable effect on human history doesn’t mean that they looked good while doing it. In fact, I’d recommend anyone looking to enter the history books and eventually Wikimedia Commons should make sure they’re wearing something they’d like to be embedded next to their achievements for the rest of time. I may not have achieved anything of great note in my time here on Earth, but I am judgmental and good at thinking up cutting remarks, so I’ve decided to absolutely skewer some of the worst fits from history.
Look at these fucking idiots!
This is a classic case of top-bottom discrepancy that just feels insane. I’m sure there’s a good reason for this, like heat or mobility, but regardless, you’d think someone would be like, “I feel like it’s weird that everyone can see our knees.” It’s like the defensive version of wearing a sweatshirt and shorts. Are you in battle or not? Make up your mind! What, do you have a gentleman’s agreement for no one to stab you below the thigh?
Edward VI as a Baby
A baby should be the very picture of innocence. A sign that we are all born equal. You should look at a baby and see a being free of sin and evil, a monument to the idea of human free will. Somehow, they managed to make this specific baby look like it’s already executed a hundred debtors. It’s like a sartorial science experiment to see how punchable you can make someone who can’t talk yet. Every moment I stare at the jaunty little velvet pancake they topped this little One Percenter with, I’m imagining him in a tiny guillotine.
Suleiman the Magnificent
I’m not going to lie, this is kind of cool — specifically in painting form. The problem is, as soon as you imagine actually seeing this occurring in the physical world, it becomes so unwieldy that the coolness is completely removed. In a vacuum, sure, a turban the size of a large tumbleweed is dope as hell. Watching him get it caught on like, 30 different corners and points around the palace every day? Not cool.
You can’t go heavy on every accessory and then be completely nude. It’s like he’s trying to win a bet where he has to put as much clothing on as possible without actually covering his nipples, dick or balls. Sure, they’re covered here, but that’s just luck of the draw and a stray breeze. Don’t be fooled by how cool the accessories themselves are, keep in mind that you’re looking at a butt-ass naked man who is wearing a hat and shoes. Absolutely brain-wrecking assemblage of pieces.
I’m not trying to punch down on a man, Tupac Amaru, who saw the Incan empire destroyed by the Spanish under his rule and was then executed. That’s a bad beat. At the same time, he sorta looks like he popped out of a time wormhole, and you threw your grandma’s nightgown on him before the government showed up. Even worse, everything else looks cool as hell. The headdress, the axe, the shield. All he had to do was not throw on the thing that looks like he’s bedridden in some ancient hospital.
King Henry V
Holy shit. You don’t have to make it six inches down this dude’s dome before you see disaster. What in the world is going on with this hairy, homegrown beret? This is a haircut you can only successfully grow when you have the power to behead people. My man walked into the royal barber and asked for “the circumcision.” He looks like he’d sell you opened condoms in the bathroom of Berghain.
God bless the female pilgrims who were able to further a population despite the ick that must result from spending all day watching men walk around in these hats. Unbelievable that you’re walking around wearing something a cereal box mascot would consider “a little much” and then think, “No, what it really needs is a cape.” Of course the Native Americans never saw their brutality coming; the pilgrims looked like they got kicked out of the Keebler tree because they wouldn’t stop eating bark.
I promise you, despite what it seems, this is not an outfit meant for some sort of strange, gun-based dance. This is an honest-to-god battle fit worn by the Zouaves, a French fighting regiment. They legitimately put this on and then fought people to the death. The primary color and MC Hammer-esque top-and-bottom combo is already making you a human target, but that isn’t the worst part. The most patently insane choice is the decision to wear a fez. Why not march into a battle of marksmanship with a shiny red apple on your head? It demands that everyone in sight attempt to shoot it off.
The Zouaves look like they’re in modern military camouflage, however, compared to the Landsknechts. The internet tells me that they were some of the world's best mercenaries, German pikemen extraordinaire. It takes every facet of my imagination to imagine a world, much less a real moment in time, where seeing this man on the other end of the battlefield was considered a bad omen. It looks like something a king would make a pauper wear while they hunted them for sport. The clothing equivalent of the sound of a duck quacking.
Look, history includes recent history, and I still think the twisted sartorial mind of Michael Jordan deserves a nod. A shirt that makes you look like a second stage Grass-type starter Pokemon? Coupled with pleated linen cargo pants? Who even makes those? It’s something a tailor with a high fever would sew in a stupor right before dying of dehydration. Thank god for NBA uniform rules.