The day might soon come, but that day is not today: Harry Styles has yet to meet a moment he can’t muscle his way through with startling charm. Only the most recent in a long string of examples is the performer’s latest concert appearance, during which he got a little too ambitious with his pelvis-stretching á la Elvis, splitting his pants down the middle amidst a rendition of “Music From A Sushi Restaurant.”
Thanks to the extraordinary network of Styles fancams flooding TikTok on a near-constant basis, we have a wealth of perspectives from which to witness this moment. There’s the necessary back and side angles, of course, but it’s the slow-motion edits, close-ups, and front-camera reaction shots where you’ll discover the most insight.
After a thorough investigation, I find the incident seems almost premeditated, so effortless is the sudden rip in chestnut pleather, so seamless is the transition on Harold’s face from bashful to cheeky. He never stops dancing! He snags a towel from a bandmate to cover up, only to tie a Pride flag around his waist a few minutes later. (Nor is this the first time!) Wardrobe malfunctions are common amongst energetic set lists, but rarely have they been used to such aplomb. Never does Styles betray a lack of confidence; his temporary embarrassment is as much part of the show as his not-not-flirtatious interactions with fans in the front row. Speaking as someone who once walked around in crotch-ripped jeans for an entire day, truly…it boggles the mind.
This landmark event was made all the more news-worthy by the inclusion of Styles’ childhood crush in the audience. Yes, we’re of course talking about Jennifer Aniston, who has yet to respond to any requests for comment on this issue but I’m sure was happy just to be included.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers film, TV, books and fashion.