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Respect the Drip: A Definitive Ranking of Joe Exotic’s Outfits

With the global pandemic putting us all in quarantine this month and quashing any possible social activities, Netflix’s The Tiger King documentary could not have come at a better time.
The exploits of Joe Exotic, the gun-toting, mullet-wearing, free-balling, polyamorous Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate are documented in such a way that you both love and hate everything you’re seeing.

While Joe Exotic is a man of many words, moods, and actions, today I’m going to break down The 10 most Iconic Joe Exotic outfits. As an Ex-Oklahoman who enjoy expressing myself through style and fashion, I feel I was able to really utilize my past and present to help me create this definitive ranking. Enjoy!


Number 10: The Plaid Pearl-Snap Cutoff Button-Down

Two sleeves were tragically harmed during the making of this production

Let’s be real, the plaid pearl snap button-down is an Oklahoma staple. (Shoutout to Drysdales North South East and Western Wear, now a part of Boot Barn®!) Button-downs are pretty prominent in Joe’s wardrobe, probably because it allows him to unbutton the top buttons and show off whatever leather choker he’s rocking. This sleeveless version allows him to show off his tattoos, but overall it’s not his strongest look. This is a fine outfit for daily park work, but it’s not exactly “exotic“.


Number 9: The Pink Cowboy Wedding Shirt & Black Wranglers

A “Hats Encouraged” wedding

At the wedding where Joe and John married Travis, the trio wore this delightful number. (99% sure Joe picked out these outfits.)
Honestly, knowing Joe, this outfit is pretty tasteful. (I’ve seen some BAD country weddings.) That being said, knowing Joe, it’s almost a little too tame to be one of his best looks. I support Joe’s right to a same-sex, polygamist marriage, but I can’t say the same for this modest outfit on such a colorful man as Joe.


Number 8: The “I’m Pretty Sure I Can Win the US Presidency Despite My Everything” Button-Down

Don’t forget to Smize, and then use MS Paint to add eyeliner

Here’s the bright shirt Joe chose for his campaign posters. Like the Wedding button-down, it’s surprisingly tasteful. But with the amount of color correction here, I’m not entirely sure this ISN’T his wedding shirt recycled. Joe said in his campaign video that he would not wear a suit if elected, which makes me wonder, has Joe ever worn a suit or tie? Or has it always been priest costumes and beaded chokers?


Number 7: The Romantic Forest Photoshoot Fringe Jacket

Joe and Dillon are cute together, but their age difference is questionable. Can you say “Cub Petting?”

In this photoshoot with Dillon, his 4th husband, Joe chose to wear this fringed jacket that definitely shows more of his wild-side. Paired with the hat and gun holster, this look emanates that rugged cowboy vibe Joe loves.
(Side note, Joe’s gangly cowboy legs really work with the Wranglers. Look at the stance. The guy really knows how to dress himself to create the silhouette he wants.)


Number 6: The “I Just Spent a Lot of Money and Time Filming a Music Video to Drag the Woman I Despise” Priest costume

“Bless me father, for I have probably murdered my husband”

You’ll recognize this outfit from the “Here Kitty Kitty” music video. (And I think also from Travis’s funeral.) “Here Kitty Kitty” was Joe taking his public shots at Carole Baskin to a whole new level.
It really takes a bold person to produce and star in a music video in which you’ve hired a lookalike of the person you’re accusing of having murdered their husband. Joe is that bold person.
(I’ve watched that video twice, I still don’t know where a priest figures into the narrative. I think he just loves how he looks in a collar.)


Number 5: The Gold Squiggly Sequin Shirt

“Gold-Swinger. Hes the man, the man with a tigers touch”

It’s truly a thing of beauty. Shiny and billowing, with stripes akin to a tiger’s. This shirt is loud, you can hear it over the sound of Joe calling Carole a b*tch for the 1000th time. It’s great. However, this shirt hasn’t quite reached its full potential. It’s missing something. If only there were a version with a little splash of color, now that would be truly wild.


Number 4: Gold Squiggly Sequin Shirt WITH SWEET SPLASHES OF AZURE BLUE 

In case you were too focused on the majestic tiger

HOLY HELL. This is a good one folks. It’s like if the gold shirt drank an entire bottle of Hypnotic, smoked a pack of Misty Blue 120 slims and tried that beautiful blue meth from Breaking Bad. It’s akin to something Neil Diamond would have worn in the 70’s, and probably something not likely to be found in a countryside wildlife park. But it’s actually kind of gorgeous, THIS is the Joe Exotic we’ve come to know in love over this past week. 10/10 would wear on a night out to somewhere weeeird, like an alligator wedding.


Number 3: The EMS Bomber Jacket

Officers, there was an emergency. A FASHION emergency!

Unfortunately one of Joe’s best looks appears during one of the worst incidents at the park. When a Tiger mauled employee Saff’s arm, Joe came running to help secure the wound until the ambulance arrives. THEN Joe must have run back to his room for this little number, because in the rest of the footage from that morning, he’s wearing it. Joe really knows what styles flatter him. The jacket has wide shoulders and tapered waist that hits him right above the hip. It honestly looks really cool, especially when he pops the collar and tearfully bemoans the financial loss he’ll take from the incident. (Not the tragedy of Saff’s arm being mauled to pieces. Come on Joe.)


Number 2: The “I Saw a Tiger” Music Video Getup

More like “BOLD Town Road”

There are multiple reasons why this outfit is PRIME Joe. The set of handcuffs attached to the front belt loops is suggestive and kinky. Then there are the slouchy boots, which I LOVE, because these look like either knee-high or over-the-knee boots. Can you imagine this look if he’d pulled them up over the knee? FAB.
Lastly, the outfit is all black. Kylo Ren, The Phantom of the Opera, and Dread Pirate Roberts have all proven just how powerful and sexy an all-black ensemble can be. This is Joe’s way of telling the world that like a tiger, he too, is strong and dangerous enough to stand on the hood of a truck and lip-sync.
(Note: In case you hadn’t heard, Joes doesn’t sing any of these songs. They were written and sung by musicians Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton.)


Number 1: The Buckskin Fringe Jacket

Possibly more fringey that the mullet!

 This jacket is the one. It’s Joe’s signature. It might be the item most seen on him in The Tiger King documentary. It’s pretty killer, with miles of fringe and silver conchos. I’m 100% sure this jacket makes Joe feel like a 21st Century Jeremiah Johnson. (If Jeremiah Johnson had “had his meth days”) When paired with a leather choker and a baseball cap, this look is straight ICONIC. It’s not as flashy as some of his other pieces, but it kind of defines him. It looks strong, yet weathered and softened through the years, much like Joe himself.This jacket is so rad, I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if in the next year we see Joe Exotic fashions really get trendy.

So there you have it folks, Joe’s 10 most Iconic looks.
Do we think Joe is justly imprisoned? Do we think he was set up by his business partners? Who’s to say? (Due process and a court of his peers maybe)
I simply wonder how he’s coping in jail without being able to expressive himself through his unique style.
I bet he feels like a tiger without it’s stripes.

At least we still have a wealth of gems like these…