We Need To Talk About Ben Higgins' Style

by Lia Beck

The second episode of The Bachelor left me with one question and one question only: Does Bachelor Ben Higgins have a stylist? I know, I know. I'm supposed to be wondering things like, how many women will Ben kiss, who will get the next one-on-one date, and how does Olivia open her mouth that wide? But I just couldn't get past Ben's fashion choices. During the episode I hoped that he was just secretly into fashion himself — Hey! It would make him more interesting! — but I couldn't shake the feeling that ABC had spent part of their travel budget on hiring some sartorial help this year. I could wait to see if this year's trips were only to different neighborhoods in Los Angeles, but I'm not that patient. I needed to know if Ben really picked that plaid jacket out himself!

First, a recap of what Ben's worn so far, in case you somehow didn't notice. On the first night, Ben kept it classic: black suit, white shirt, black tie, black shoes. They always wear this for limo arrivals, so it was nothing new. But then, on the second episode, his outfits really caught my eye for three main reasons: lack of tackiness, practicality, and level of experimentation. For the most part the past Bachelor's outfits have been pretty boring, but Ben seems to try new things and I appreciate that. I first noticed this when he showed up to the second half of the first group date wearing this jacket that is very Episode Of Mad Men That Takes Place In Palm Springs:

I'm hoping he, like Don Draper, has ~a secret~ that will make him just a liiiittle more interesting. I'm not saying he needs to have overtaken someone else's identity while he was away at war, but maybe he plays an instrument or has surprisingly good taste in movies. (I'm not asking for much!)

After that, on the second half of the second group date, he wore this monochrome outfit:

Yes, a hoodie under the suit jacket might seem like a questionable choice, but he often took off his blazer to lend to the women. He stays warm, they stay warm; it's just good planning. Plus, he pulled off this look A MILLION times better than Chris Soules who later appeared on the after-show wearing a similar outfit but with far less success (sorry, Chris!):

But the outfit that really set things over-the-top was this blue three-piece suit Ben wore to the rose ceremony:

To quote Tim Gunn, this is a lot of look (by Bachelor standards), but again, I appreciate him mixing it up. Looking at past rose ceremony looks from Bachelors there wasn't much excitement. In recent times, some navy suits from Chris Soules, some funky (not in a great way) ties from Juan Pablo.

Also, honorable mention to these jeans for being wonderfully plain and all weirdly distressed:

So, now that you've seen all of the evidence, what's the verdict? Well, Ben does use a stylist and it's someone who's been with the show for years, meaning you don't need to worry about that travel budget going anywhere. In a recent interview with HNGN, Ben said,

There's a really great man named Cary [Fetman] who's the stylist that helps me out. What he does I really appreciate, because I wear a lot of henleys and T-shirts and jeans, so I'll meet with him and he'll make sure whatever clothes I'm wearing matches my lifestyle but will just enhance it. Like adding a pocket square with a suit jacket, I've never worn one until the show. Now I do.

He didn't even wear a pocket square until now?! I became invested in this whole thing within two hours and yet I still find that shocking.

Fetman has a long history with The Bachelor and has worked with the show since 2006. He's previously spoken out about the Bachelors he's styled and told Entertainment Weekly in 2014 of Juan Pablo's style: "He was not afraid to try anything. He never worried about what people would think if he was wearing bright yellow pants with an orange shirt and purple socks. He loved it all." Yes, yes, I remember his yellow shirt from the "Ees OK" moment well.

Since it sounds like the guys have some say in their clothes, I'm deciding that Ben only realized he was interested in fashion once he started working with Fetman on the show and is now going on journeys of both love and style simultaneously. Can't wait to see what he wears at the final rose ceremony.

For everything Bachelor Nation, check out Bustle's podcast, Will You Accept This Podcast? and follow our Bachelor fan page on Facebook.

Image: ABC/Rick Rowell; ABC (4); ABC/Greg Zabilski