Is Wario a fashion icon? We asked an expert
Here’s the thing with Wario’s style: Regardless of whether you like it or not, you have to respect it. The dude knows how to pick a signature look, and he’s devoted his life to that look. His existence has always been in contrast to Mario, which is, frankly, unfair. Yes, his signature look is simply a color variant of Mario’s plumber’s uniform, but the guy has pushed past being an inverse Mario and has become a style icon in his own right.
Over the years, Wario has emerged as a fashion forerunner of Nintendo’s franchises. People started recognizing Wario for his look recently when he debuted his golf outfit in Mario Golf, but he’s actually been bringing it for a while. To prove it, I asked a fashion expert to help analyze Wario’s looks. Peter Nguyen is a private personal stylist in New York who specializes in helping men in tech “look really fucking good,” as he puts it on his website. He runs a blog and newsletter alongside his private styling service as a business called The Essential Man. Because Wario is, after all, an essential man, I thought there was no better expert to help break down Wario’s fashion.
The Original Wario
You know Wario’s original outfit. It’s the most iconic: Purple overalls, a yellow T-shirt and hat, green shoes, and white gloves. Of course, there’s also Wario’s purple W, which is a different shade from his overalls. Under his large red nose, Wario also sports a devious mustache. In this outfit, we get the clearest representation of Wario’s personal style.
“Wario is nothing but consistent, and that consistency is a good thing for his fashion,” said Nguyen. “Picking a signature color is a great way to bring consistency to looks. My signature color is maroon, which I love to wear in the form of sweaters, socks, and small things like bracelets.”
Nguyen did, however, immediately notice that Wario has some variation in his classic look: The short sleeves, for instance — a sign that, perhaps, Wario wants to look more intimidating by showing off those massive guns. One point for Wario. But where he loses that point is in his footwear.
“Mario and Luigi chose smarter footwear choices with brown,” Nguyen said. “Wario’s green shoes are really competing with his intense signature colors.”
Wario’s outfit in Mario Golf is one you simply cannot ignore. And no one did. It’s one of the first major instances where people began recognizing Wario as a fashion icon. Building off his classic outfit, Wario’s wearing a yellow polo shirt with purple accents, paired with a stunning pair of yellow and purple patterned golf pants. For accessories, he’s still got the green shoes, plus a cowboy hat.
It’s a lot, and it works. “I love that Wario is dressing appropriately for the occasion,” Nguyen said. “Waluigi, on the other hand, is completely overdressed with a suit vest and trousers.”
“Polos are commonplace on the golf course, and Wario nails it by wearing one in his signature colors,” Nguyen said. “While the diamond checkered pants look hilarious, there is actually a golf brand that makes diamond patterned golf pants. A hat is a great idea on the course for sun protection, and I enjoy the fact that Wario went hard with the western details with the hat and buckle. And if you look carefully, you’ll notice that Wario’s shoes have spikes! Which means they’re designed for the golf course!”
It feels almost unfair for me to have put Wario Man on this list, because it is Wario’s worst outfit. You can’t deny that. But, again, it’s iconic. And I needed to know what a professional fashion expert thought of it.
“When I think of Wario, I think yellow more than I do purple, the same way we identify Mario and Luigi by the colors of their hats,” Nguyen said. “Wario has the right idea when it comes to dressing monochromatically by varying the shades of purple. But I think this costume feels a bit flat and would be stronger with more yellow.”
In Wario’s failure here, you can learn something about dressing yourself in a more stylish way. Nguyen said that you can make your outfits look less flat if you use pops of color, like the yellow. As a non-expert currently wearing a stained NASA T-shirt, I do have to say I would like a (non-stained) T-shirt with a yellow garlic pattern.
I will start by saying that I’ve absolutely worn this outfit before, probably minus the helmet, gloves, and goggles. This is absolutely my style, and so I’m biased towards it. Here, Wario’s got a cut-off denim vest, a darker purple t-shirt, and pink pants. It is, simply, very good. Nguyen thinks so, too, which means I can also be proud of myself for being a fashion icon.
“The cut-off denim vest, hot pink jeans, and orange belt are bold choices,” Nguyen said. “These are items that not many people would wear, let alone pair together. Wario isn’t someone trying to stay low key, he wants to be seen.”
Nguyen pointed out that Wario has kept his signature colors to the gloves and helmet, which is a big stray from his typical choices. “His gloves and helmet are the only pieces in his signature color, but it really helps drive home that this is a Wario look without overdoing it,” Nguyen said. “When it comes to your signature colors, less is more. You don’t need an entire jumpsuit when a pair of socks (or gloves) will do.”
Wario’s Mario Golf outfit has a nod to cowboy culture, but in Mario Kart Tour, Wario goes all out with the Western aesthetic. In my opinion, it would be easy for Wario to look like he’s wearing a costume with this look, but, because he’s a fashion icon, he pulls it off. This is a look he’s thought about. As Nguyen put it, it’s *chef’s kiss*.
“The yellow plaid and purple neckerchief,” Nguyen said. “The cowboy hat, suede vest, denim jeans, boots with the spurs! Wario could have overdone it by opting for a yellow hat and purple jeans, but he made a smart move by keeping the hat, vest, jeans, and boots in classic colors.”
Do you want to dress like Wario? Here’s a tip.
“I always tell my clients to think of their outfit like a pizza,” Nguyen said. “A classic outfit is your base, like a cheese pizza. Then you can add a few ‘toppings,’ aka some trendy or signature pieces, to make it more personal.”
Again, Wario’s been thinking about his outfits in Mario Kart Tour. Like the biker outfit, I’ve absolutely worn this before. The good news for me is that Nguyen, our style expert, thinks it’s a good one. Two points for me!
“I think this is the most wearable and strongest look from Wario,” Nguyen said. “It’s extremely functional with the beanie, vest, and lined hiking boots. I love the patterned sweater under the vest for added warmth and a hint of his signature color. I literally have no notes on this one!”
Do you want to be cool like me and Wario? “Don’t think you need to opt for something boring like black or gray when you’re looking for more functional clothes,” Nguyen suggested. “You can find functional pieces that fit your personality.”
Wario at the Olympics
Image: Sega Sports R&D/Sega
Wario has no nipples. We discovered this when he went shirtless in Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo Olympics. It was a shocking discovery, but it wasn’t the only tidbit of information we could glean about Wario in this game. Wario’s got a number of different outfits during the Olympic Games, but the ones I’ve pulled for Nguyen’s input are the equestrian suit and Wario’s tennis fit. They’re quite basic compared to the others on this list, which is surprising. But Nguyen said that these looks do, indeed, say something about Wario.
“I would say these are the most straightforward and expected outfits for Wario,” Nguyen said. “He’s wearing proper golf and equestrian attire. The equestrian outfit is not even in his signature colors (aside from the addition of his hat), which might be a bit of a shock but illustrates a great point.”
He continued: “Sometimes the best style choice is to not try to stand out or get creative, but to keep it classic. For example, black tie events where a black tuxedo is expected. I’m not a huge fan of creative tuxedos that you sometimes see at the Oscars. Wario donning these uniforms tells me despite his eccentric style, Wario knows when to respect the style rules and keep it classic.”
Unfortunately, I forgot to ask Nguyen if he had any thoughts on Wario’s lack of nipples.
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