Screengrab via YouTube.

‘Sean, Ricky, Pete, Malcolm’: A Definitive Style Guide to Ariana Grande’s Exes

“Thank U, Next” handily outlines the pop star’s entire dating history.

by Emma Specter
Nov 5 2018, 9:46pm

Screengrab via YouTube.

Ariana Grande released her new single “Thank U, Next” on Saturday—just hours before her ex-boyfriend Pete Davidson’s SNL appearance, in a stunningly elegant moment of shade—listing her exes and thanking them for everything they’d given her with true Cancerian sensitivity. (As a fellow Cancer, I personally can’t relate to the concept of “moving on” from an ex, but I digress.)

While the internet’s collective freakout over Ariana and Pete’s breakup continues apace, “Thank U, Next” takes listeners on a lyrical tour through three of Ariana’s other significant relationships. Sure, much ink has been spilled over Pete’s signature sleazecore look, but don’t Ariana's other exes deserve the same sartorial consideration? For a woman with an impeccable and somewhat immutable sense of style (anthologies could be written about her devotion to ponytails alone), Ariana’s boyfriends have encompassed a wide breadth of menswear; below, find a comprehensive style guide to the men in Ariana’s life.

“Sean,” a.k.a. Big Sean

Big Sean at the Greek Theatre on October 20, 2018 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

A star in his own right, Big Sean has featured as one of GQ’s “Best-Dressed Men of the Week” numerous times, stepping out in Vegas last spring in “a Fendi jacket and shirt with white jeans.” The retro box print on his shirt is a perfect articulation of the ’70s fashion revival, and come on, perfectly pristine white denim? A classic. The rapper has collaborated on a sneaker line with PUMA and, as Complex notes, has seen a fairly significant glow-up in terms of his personal style over the years, moving seamlessly from Louis Vuitton coin purses to pocket squares with aplomb.

Senior Superlative: Most Accessory-Friendly


“Ricky,” a.k.a. Ricky Alvarez

:Ariana Grande in Milan with boyfriend Ricky Alvarez, 2015 May 25, in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Robino Salvatore/GC Images)

Ricky might be “the ex that no one remembers,” but his signature style still deserves some consideration. The pop star’s ex-boyfriend and former backup dancer was there when Ariana licked the donut seen ’round the world, after all. Most of the photos available of Alvarez (not to be confused with the equally hot Argentine soccer player of the same name) show him dancing behind Ariana in an outfit that tonally and thematically echoes hers—ladies, get you a man who can, etc., etc.—but he’s also been snapped in suits on several occasions, making him perhaps the most put-together of Ariana’s exes. A paparazzi shot of a hoodie-clad Alvarez, duffel slung over one shoulder, makes it clear that even his dressed-down style is fairly straightforward and no-nonsense; is he the stable, mature king who got away?

Senior Superlative: Most Dapper


“Pete,” a.k.a. Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson is seen in Chelsea on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

What can I say about Pete’s style that hasn't already been said by me, or my colleague Rachel Tashjian, or every other fashion writer in the known universe? The 24-year-old comedian favors loose layers of sweats, Balenciaga sneakers, whimsical childhood prints, and bold colors (remember this purple hoodie?). Pete’s sleazecore look really solidified during his relationship with Ariana, during which he devoted himself to the sneakerhead life, stepped out in a fashion surgical mask, and bleached his hair (a coiffure move that, as noted, “means he’s really going through it”).

Senior Superlative: Most Hypebeast-y.


“Malcolm,” a.k.a. Mac Miller

Rapper Mac Miller performs at The Queen Mary on April 29, 2018 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Mac Miller passed away in September, not long after his and Ariana’s breakup. Ariana mourned the rapper’s passing on Instagram, writing, "i adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will." During his too short life, though, Miller was in possession of a comfy, eclectic sense of style, favoring streetwear brands like Rocksmith and Tree House for his signature skater-esque hoodies and jerseys. John Mayer recently designed a T-shirt tribute to Miller with graphic designer Jeremy Dean, featuring a reference to the rapper's lyrics, “Swim Forever,” for an elevated, somber hat-tip to Soundcloud rap.

Senior Superlative: Most Comfy.


Ariana Grande
pete davidson
thank u next