This Old Thing?
In today’s world, what’s old is new again. Between fashion nostalgia and the mainstreaming of vintage hauls, more and more, we’re looking to years past for inspiration. And why shouldn’t we? Sometimes the answer isn’t buying new clothes, it’s working with what you’ve got. With This Old Thing?, we’re bringing you all the fashionable details, red carpet memories, and styling tips you’ll ever need—straight from the celebs you love.
Comfortable, casual, and chic.
That’s how Never Have I Ever star Darren Barnet describes his personal style. For the 31-year old, his taste has continued to evolve with time, shifting from exclusively basketball gear to preppy to his current comfort-chic. This means a lot of high-top sneakers, T-shirts, and relaxed bottoms.
It makes perfect sense that he partnered with PINK for the brand’s new Gender Free collection, an assortment of cozy joggers, sweatshirts, and graphic tees. Barnet is also PINK’s first-ever male celebrity brand ambassador, which includes curating a list of his favorites from the Gender Free collection and being involved with PINK’s mental health initiatives.
“I'm always wearing sweat outfits or oversized sweatshirts with jeans,” he said. “The Gender Free line with PINK has some of my favorite sweatshirts I’ve ever worn. The material is really soft.”
Barnet is a pretty laid back guy when it comes to his clothes (though he definitely amps up the heat as Paxton in Never Have I Ever). One thing he enjoys about this is being able to connect with fans who can are wearing almost the same thing.
“I think it's cool when I'm wearing things that are affordable and not crazy out there that not everyone can wear.”
Below, Darren Barnet talks timeless style advice, his love of 1930s gangster fashion, and his newfound appreciation for pearls.
The One Outfit to Feel Most Like Himself
“Cuffed jeans, high-top shoes, and a T-shirt—a simple understated thing is my look. So, that’s usually it for me.” He’ll “zazz” it up with some jewelry when the time is right.
A Wardrobe Staple
“A wardrobe staple is high-top shoes: like Chuck Taylors, boots, high-top Nikes. I love high-top shoes. You’ll rarely catch me in anything but high-top shoes,” he said. “'77 Blazers, Chuck Taylors, and Doc Martens.”
“It’s nothing I would ever wear on my own, but I’ve had stylists put me in pearls recently… and I actually kind of enjoyed them. They’re growing on me.”
Favorite Fashion Items From Old Sets
“I never really asked to keep anything. I should though,“ he said. “When I did Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, I was playing a 1930s New York gangster, and I love that style. The suspenders with the high, high, high-waisted pants and the top hat. I kind of wish I could dress like that all the time.”
If the stylists from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are reading this, please send Barnet his wardrobe.
Thoughts on Vintage
“I enjoy vintage clothes. But I gotta be honest, when I go to these vintage stores and I see a beat up T-shirt with stains on it that’s like $100, it kind of gets under my skin.” I mean, relatable.
His Fashion Icon
“I really enjoy looking at old photos of James Dean. He was very classy, but also rugged.”
How He Brings His Style to the Red Carpet
How does Barnet bring his comfort-forward, laidback style to formal, red carpet events? Finding compromise with a stylist, he says. That’s a mix of experimentation, a bit of a “pop,” but still red carpet ready. “I think I've only really worn black or gray suits on carpets. So I might find a yellow one or red one. It's baby steps. So we'll see.”
What He’ll Never Wear
“Crocs!” (Which I vehemently disagree on because I love Crocs and had to challenge him). “I want to be nice... I don't like them. I really, really don’t like flip fops. I don’t like having something between my toe when I walk.
Where His Style Might Be Going
“I'm getting more comfortable with taking some risks, whatever that may be. I'm having more of an open mind with fashion.”
Best Fashion Advice He Has Ever Received
“If you are comfortable, it’s going to show on your face. And I think it will look better to other people if you have that comfortability and confidence when you wear it. So, don't try to please other people. Try and please yourself.”