Even Beyoncé is in on the Bushwick look. But what exactly is it?

When images of Beyoncé sporting a mullet and wearing head-to-toe denim appeared in a magazine earlier this month, some fans had strong feelings about her style, which they blamed on Bushwick.

“Beyoncé went to Bushwick once and now she looks like this,” said one user on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“She was outside of Happy Fun taking notes,” said another user, referencing Happyfun Hideaway, a popular bar in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

In Bushwick, it’s common to see people layering pieces like skirts and pants, mixing expensive brands with cheap or thrifted items, and blurring the lines of gender expression.

“It’s not being afraid to look kind of weird,” said Jake Henry Smith, a shopping editor at Glamour magazine. “People will understand the outfit or they don’t. It’s like the girls that get it. Bushwick is if you know, you know.”

Tara Bonner, 23, is a buyer at the thrift store Other People’s Clothes and describes her style as “My Chemical Romance meets Kesha.”

Photo by Bess Adler for Gothamist

Local stylist Rachel Waxenberg said the look isn’t about how you look at all, but is “people really doing what feels authentic to them.”

The aesthetic has become so distinct that people make TikTok videos in which they debut the look in their hometown, parody it, and provide tips on how to attain it. The look has even sparked debate over Bushwick, its history and who gets to represent its style.

Bryce Smith (left), 31, and boyfriend, Dmitry Potapov, 39. Potapov has lived in Bushwick for 11 years. He thrifted his jacket and Metallica t-shirt.

Photo by Bess Kalb for Gothamist

But has the style reached its peak now that it’s received what is perhaps the ultimate stamp of mainstream approval — being celebrated by Queen Bey? Is the Bushwick aesthetic over where it began?

Several locals interviewed for this story disagreed. Many predict the style will get more androgynous, experimental and “weird” as people continue to dress in a way that best expresses who they really are.

Take a daytime stroll past the Jefferson Street subway station, the L Train Vintage thrift store and Maria Hernandez Park and you’ll spot lots of leather jackets, mesh, chunky jewelry and combat boots. Mesh and lace items are also popular.

“People here dress the way in which they feel aligns closely to them,” said Sammi Inniss, who’s lived in Bushwick for seven years and was walking around the area on a sunny Tuesday afternoon earlier this month.

Sammi Inniss, 34, has lived in Bushwick for seven years, and never leaves her apartment without jewelry. She says that the Bushwick look is a mix of feminine, masculine, and gender bending.

Photo by Bess Adler for Gothamist

She was wearing an all-black outfit accentuated with chunky silver rings and two silver necklaces. She explained that her look is “a lot of mixing feminine, masculine, maybe gender-bending. And I’m into it.”

Experimentality is another hallmark of the Bushwick style. Want to wear all black in the middle of summer? Go for it. Want to layer a leather corset over a mesh shirt with a fishnet skirt? Do it. Or how about a knee-length plaid skirt over a pair of denim jeans complete with a pair of Adidas Sambas? Perfect.

“It’s this willingness to take what people would describe as ugly things and try to reclaim them,” said Smith, the Glamour editor.

Those “ugly” things could include chunky platform boots, dark denim bottoms, jorts, black leather jackets, wide-length rave pants, oversized skirts, heavy jewelry and lots of clothing that looks “worn” already.

Brand favorites include Tripp NYC, a Telfar bag, Heaven by Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga and Mowalola, which are often mixed with more affordable labels or thrift store items.

Joe Vano, 28, loves to dress in big statement pieces that serve a big function. “Bushwick is the interaction between loudness and hyper functionality,” he said. His bag is vintage Chloe.

Photo by Bess Adler for Gothamist

“You could wear Miu Miu sneakers with a Telco shirt that was 99 cents, and if the vision is there you’ll get into the club in Bushwick,” said Maxwell Vice, an influencer, DJ and model who was born and raised in Bushwick. “I personally mix and match a $1,000 pair of shoes and, like, a $20 pair of pants.”

Charlie Gonzalez, a store manager at Other People’s Clothes, a thrift store near the L train, said the style is all about being ”weird.”

“When I say ‘weird,’ I mean in a good way,” Gonzalez said. “Everything is very different and against the grain of the outfits that you see in Williamsburg, the East Village or in SoHo.”

Still, some fashion insiders warned the look has lost some of its “underground” appeal now that it’s received Beyoncé’s approval.

“The style is built on a sense of being an outsider,” said Smith. “This visibility might encourage actual Bushwick residents to start dressing in a new way.”

Smith said that people will start “quieting” down their style as the area becomes more gentrified, and added that he’s observed a shift.

“I’ve already noticed a little bit more playful minimalism rather than, like, this maximalist explosion on people,” he said.

Bushwick barista Lily Riley disagreed and said the aesthetic was “just getting started.”

Riley said that, as they’ve embraced their queerness, their style has evolved to a “Western but also gay vibe.”

“Not a lot of people are dressing for the male gaze or for promoting patriarchy or heteronormativity in Bushwick,” Riley said. “It’s more just expressing yourself in a way that’s authentic to you.”

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