For 18 years, the women and men on the show have hunted for love and attended late-night rose ceremonies in barely updated versions of the exact same made-for-TV outfit. Women mostly slip on sparkly sleeveless gowns that look plucked straight from Dorinda Medley's ample Jovani collection. The gentlemen? They gravitate toward pastel-toned three-piece suits with oversize ties and square-toed dress shoes.
You could argue that aside from subtle mentions about sliding into someone's DMs, ABC's top-rated reality series feels very much stuck in 2002. And that's fine because if it ain't broke, why fix it?
This, of course, did not change during Clare Crawley's season 16 run on The Bachelorette. Nor do we expect it to once Matt makes his January 2021 debut on The Bachelor. But ever since Tayshia Adams swooped in to replace Clare as the lead, one guy with a gentle yet confident demeanor has caught our eye: Brendan Morais.
In a sea of men dressed in cookie-cutter suits and pretty similar hairstyles, Brendan rocked the Bachelorette boat during the Nov. 10 episode by relying on the one item of clothing that could easily make any guy stand out from the pack: the turtleneck. As ridiculous as it may sound, Brendan deserves a subtle nod for elevating his style game and giving Bachelor Nation something a tad more sophisticated.
The 30-year-old commercial roofer from Milford, Massachusetts doubles as a model, so he certainly knows a thing or two about styling (just take one quick scroll through his Instagram). And as we learned, he certainly knows his turtlenecks draw attention.
"I'm the weirdo in the turtleneck. You're like, Who is this guy?" he joked as he approached Tayshia for the first time. "Just seeing you walk in and just being in awe is everything I could have asked for and even more." Later in the episode, Tayshia proved to be so smitten by Brendan (and his turtleneck?) that she invited him on a first date during which they rode horses and kissed.
"I am ready to go home with this man. I am telling you right now, Brendan is everything," she said on the show. Later, while opening up on the Click Bait With Bachelor Nation podcast, Tayshia shared they connected because they've both been married and divorced—and because he's "super hot" and a "really good kisser."
Call us crazy, but the swagger of a turtleneck absolutely could have contributed to her first impression of him. For a second, consider that some of pop culture's most stylish men—Marlon Brando, Yves Saint Laurent, Timothée Chalamet—have all been fans of the one-piece frock. And as someone who described herself as working in the "fashion and beauty space," Tayshia must have an appreciation for a man who can put himself together elegantly—without her help.
Now, it has to be noted Brendan wasn't alone in parting with the traditional suited up look. Similarly, 26-year-old Demar Jackson wore a blazer with a crew neck T-shirt that said, It's 2020, we're better than this. But still, it was ultimately Mr. Roofer that won her over and already has fans buzzing about his potential.
Will turtlenecks continue to contribute to his overall success on the show? If Tayshia's heart goes aflutter, our new theory just might prove to be true.