In Defense of the BDE Aesthetic

In Defense of the BDE Aesthetic

In Defense of the BDE Aesthetic

Anyone can achieve BDE with these Pete Davidsonian essentials.

Anyone can achieve BDE with these Pete Davidsonian essentials.


By definition, BDE—short for big dick energy—might seem incompatible with having a sense of fashion. As Allison P. Davis at The Cut outlined in her recent treatise on the subject, the quality seems contingent on a certain level of slouchiness—an easygoing, nothing-to-prove nature that comes with the gift of endowment. After all, the man at the epicenter of the BDE craze—the Ur-dick, Pete "10-inches" Davidson—who, according to a rogue tweet by girlfriend Ariana Grande, really lives up to his first name, is depicted in the article as having a wacky shirt-wearing, stoner-chic vibe. Davidson himself has admitted to crimes of fashion, once seeking help from Queer Eye fashion expert Tan France, who attempted to lead Davidson away from his BDE aesthetic with structured “overshirts” and fitted trenches.

But even before his Queer Eye intervention, Davidson demonstrated a scruffy but tasteful approach to fashion—proving that having that BDE doesn’t have to come at the expense of looking cute. Take the oversized pink Acne sweatshirt he wore during Alec Baldwin’s SNL monologue, which perfectly exemplified BDE with its soft, inviting plenitude. And therein lies the key to pulling off the aesthetic: it’s about being bold without going overboard. Charlie Puth’s look at the Radio Disney Music Awards? Not BDE. Frank Ocean’s glitter shorts? BDE!

Here, we’ve rounded up a few low-key freaky staples to help you achieve that BDE swagger. The rest is up to mother nature.

Acne crew neck sweatshirt, $240

Nothing says BDE like the mysteriously neutral-faced Acne logo.

Courtesy of Totokaelo

Supreme waist bag

A classic flex for people who can pull it off, the fanny pack is the perfect accessory for those packing BDE heat.

Courtesy of Supreme

Balenciaga Triple S Trainers, $895

This ugly-pretty shoe, with its boyish color scheme and sturdy frame, is the perfect fit for the ugly-pretty soul in your life.

Courtesy of Balenciaga

Opening Ceremony “Thank You” pull-over, $180

A tenet of big dick energy is lowering expectations—which is just what this winking graphic hoodie will do.  

Courtesy of Opening Ceremony

Men's Hooded T-Shirt, Nike Air, $50

This hoodie-jersey hybrid will allow you to be a comfort-loving slacker while leading an active lifestyle.    

Courtesy of Nike

Calvin Klein cotton briefs, $30

Davidson told Tan France he wears Calvin Klein briefs to avoid, quote, “the bridge” that comes with boxers. Which makes us wonder—is big ball energy the next big thing?

Courtesy of Barneys


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