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Onstage, Hayley Kiyoko Wears Collina Strada, Area & Diesel

Offstage, she's in Levi’s and Urban Outfitters.

Yik Keat Lee
Hayley Kiyoko Closet Tour on Tour

“I have this ongoing joke,” begins pop star Hayley Kiyoko, getting ready for a performance at The House of Blue Boston. “I'll finish a show, look at the photos, and be like, ‘Oh, I look five-seven”’. The pop singer stands at five feet four inches tall but that minor detail doesn’t seem to hinder her command of the stage. Onstage, “I love looking tall and feeling tall,” she explains. That effect can mostly be attributed to a dominating stage presence, but Kiyoko’s wardrobe choices are also strategic. For her Panorama tour, the musician has cultivated a pseudo uniform of stage looks. She loves baggy silhouettes with subtle hints of skin and sparkle.

Every item Kiyoko brings on tour lives in what she calls a “dungeon closet” at the back of her tour bus that she shares with fourteen people. In said dungeon, you’ll find a yellow and pink coordinating Collina Strada set, a glittering heart-shaped Area crop top, and a grey, almost reflective Diesel bomber jacket. “Color is my main driving force,” Kiyoko explains of a love reflected across all production elements of her tour, including set design. “I honed in on the color palette of my album, purple and blues, oranges, hints of chartreuse.” Vibrant explosions of color originate in the mood boards she creates with her stylist Katie Qian. “I kept telling my team,” she continues, “I really just wanted to bring everyone into a world and just be engulfed in that world for an hour and twenty minutes.”

Everything Kiyoko wears must survive an hour and twenty minutes of vigorous activity—she likes to dance. “Honestly, you can do somewhat of a test, but the real test is wearing it in rehearsal.” Sometimes an outfit is too hot. Sometimes it falls apart. And sometimes it’s just right. If you couldn’t tell, comfort is a priority for Kiyoko. Offstage, she can most commonly be found in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. “How do I translate that comfortable, effortless energy of just wearing sweats and a sweatshirt onstage, but elevating it, having it sparkle, being able to have it feel loose, but also form-fitting and flattering from every angle?” she muses of the sartorial conception process. Kiyoko particularly loves one oversized blue set from The Incorporated with a pattern psychedelic in nature. She paired this one with the aforementioned sparkly heart top and a rhinestone belt. Though, “I wouldn't really wear crystals and shiny things in everyday life,” she notes.

Though most of her tour is planned meticulously, she lives more in the moment when it comes to her wardrobe, often picking outfits day of according to mood. (You can go down to the wire, as long as there’s time for a couple rounds at the steamer.) All that said, a few constants remain in the accessory department. For one, jewelry. She wears her initials “HK” on a Vidakush chain every night alongside diamond bracelets she bought with her first real paycheck. “I love chains and diamonds—jewelry galore.” The other signature comes by way of footwear. She and her dancers only wear Hokas onstage. I have very flat feet and I need very supportive shoes,” she says, noting every radical feature Hokas provide. “When it comes to dancing for a couple of hours six days a week, it can be really impactful on your body.”

Kiyoko has been very vocal about health issues and insecurities she dealt with during her prior Expectations tour in 2018. In that era she wore a great deal of athletic wear, covering herself from head to toe. For this album, she sang about reclaiming her power, a concept reiterated by her wardrobe choices. “That's why fashion is so powerful, because when we feel like we are presenting our true, authentic selves, we shine the brightest and we're able to feel confident in our bodies. We're able to speak louder with more of a foundation,” she says. “I think it's vital to be wearing something that you feel sexy and attractive and comfortable to share a big part of yourself because that's what touring and being on stage is all about.”

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