thirstory

Undressing Shia LaBeouf with the Founder of @ShiasOutfits

By
Photography Craig McDean

Published November 16, 2020

Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. This week, we unzip Shia LaBeouf’s style with the founder of the Instagram @ShiasOutfits and revisit the actor’s November 2014 cover story. 

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Shia LaBeouf is an avid runner. We know this because the paparazzi does a painstakingly consistent job trailing the actor on his weekly jaunts through the metropolis of Los Angeles. We also know that the actor enjoys the sport because he told us so nearly six years ago. “I’ve been a runner my whole life, running from myself. Whether to movies or drinking and drugging or fucking calamity or whatever it is, I’ve always been running,” LaBeouf told Elvis Mitchell in the interview that accompanied his November 2014 cover story. 

For whichever reason the actor runs today, the Honey Boy star certainly does it with style. From sherbert-colored lycra to an array of sweaty band tees, LaBeouf is often spotted coloring the streets with every hue in the Crayola box. It is this unabashedness and frank sense of self that sparked the interest of Bobby Whigham, the founder of @ShiasOutfits, an Instagram profile that serves a voracious following of nearly 190,000. As Whigham is quick to point out, @ShiasOutfits is not a LaBeouf stan account, but more an archive or catalogue documenting the actor’s very specific sartorial taste. While some may perceive that taste as particular, wacky even, his fashion sense is indisputable. After all, the actor, who is somewhat reclusive and rarely grants interviews to the press, is letting his clothes speak for him. When LaBeouf dons a Joe Biden-emblazoned mask, we can suppose who the actor voted for on November 3rd. When the actor goes for a jog in nothing but boxer shorts and lace-ups on, one can only surmise that he’s saying “You’re welcome” to his rabid gay fan base. While it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the day when the actor grants a closet tour to Architectural Digest, in the meantime, we asked Whigham to share some insight on the accidental fashion icon. 

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MITCHELL NUGENT: You created @ShiasOutfits in 2017, and it’s spun into this colossal fashion plate of Shia’s style. Why do you think people respond to Shia so intently? 

BOBBY WHIGHAM: First off, it’s crazy. I never thought the account would actually take off like this, and it really shocked me. I think people resonate with [Shia’s style] because it’s effortless. I think he wears essentials. I love that he repeats key pieces in his outfits and just repurposes them. And I think that’s very relatable for people, especially those without a large wardrobe, to just make the most out of your favorite pieces in your closet.

NUGENT: When did you first become aware of the actor? 

WHIGHAM: Even Stevens, for sure.

NUGENT: Do you have a particularly favorite onscreen fashion moment of his?

WHIGHAM: I don’t have a favorite, but I do have a least favorite [Laughs]. My least favorite is the American Honey ponytail and eyebrow ring look. 

NUGENT: How would you describe Shia’s style?

WHIGHAM: I really give Shia LaBeouf credit for kicking off the whole Yeezy aesthetic. It’s all brown tonal and he’s got some thermal leggings on. He’s definitely made leggings a very mainstream staple for guys’ wardrobe, which I feel many wouldn’t necessarily dare to go there before. And because of his masculinity and the way that he dresses, it’s definitely taken off. 

NUGENT: Can you name an iconic Shia outfit?  

WHIGHAM: I’d say my favorite look is Shia in the all-brown tonal look with a tee that’s a little shrunken—slightly cropped, but not a crop top. He does a lot of crop tops without them being overtly [cropped] or like, “Hey, I’m out in the club,” type of crop top that I think really just compliments his waistline. It’s nice.

NUGENT: Can you name your three favorite staples from Shia’s closet? 

WHIGHAM: The Brooks runners. He’s always in the Brooks runners, which I think are great. Recently, he’s been wearing a Green Bay Packers pullover jacket that he layers a hoodie under that I really, really like. And then I would say the thing I get the most comments on are these cropped blue chinos that he has literally worn since they were navy blue, and now they’re a completely washed blue, almost gray, but they’re still cycling around his wardrobe.

NUGENT: If Shia’s singular pair of cropped chinos went up for auction on eBay, place your highest bid: 

WHIGHAM: To be honest with you, I’m not a huge Shia LaBeouf fan. [Laughs]  I think he’s hot, but this started because I felt like we had similar style, and I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a reference library of his looks anywhere. So one day I was like, “Okay, I’ll slowly collect these photos and start to build this out.” At this point, I feel like I’ve gotten everything but the new looks. Now it feels a little stressful—I don’t want to be in a position where I’m up to the minute posting his current looks because then the account turns into something else. I don’t want to be the pulse of Shia LaBeouf news.

NUGENT: If you could snag any item from Shia’s closet, which would you take? 

WHIGHAM: He has this t-shirt. It’s this teddy bear graphic tee and it says “Teddy Bear Beach.” It’s a little bear in swim trunks waving at the beach and I think that’s definitely one of my faves.

NUGENT: Shia’s Interview November 2014 cover portfolio by Craig McDean is perhaps the actor’s most infamous photo shoot to date. I would go out on a limb to say that Shia in a towel is his best outfit to date. Do you agree? 

WHIGHAM: It’s in my top five, yes. I think Shia running in his boxer briefs is my favorite. Definitely a worthy contender of the towel look, which I feel like is the best shot of the Interview shoot for sure. It’s going to be one of those photos where we think of Marlon Brando or James Dean. That is a legacy Hollywood iconic photo.

NUGENT: What do you think Shia is thinking about in this picture? [Above]

WHIGHAM: “How much longer do I have to do this shoot?”

NUGENT: Your Uber driver arrives and it’s Shia LaBeouf behind the wheel in this vintage Lincoln Continental. What’s the first thing you say? 

WHIGHAM: “Do you have an AUX cord or Bluetooth?”