Off The Beaten Path: Men’s Fashion

As a rule here at the Uppity Negro Network, I generally stick to the tried and true topics of controversy: race, religion and politics.  Those are always sure to bring in readers and are good topics to try and parse for the sake of bettering humanity.  But, as has been the case over the years, every once in a while, I randomly will do a post about something very personal to the very mundane.  Honestly, I did a whole post about why I liked Washington, D.C. and why it was my moste favoritest American city to live blogging American Idol once.  I’ve told of my travels to D.C. for Howard’s homecoming, my internship in Maryland one summer and in Jacksonville, Florida the next.

For the most part, I stayed away from men’s fashion.  I did one post on the more or less failed clothing line of Benjamin Bixby started by Andre 3000 and I was shamed into even liking it by Average Bro back when it debuted.  Also, earlier this year the icon of Dr. Cornel West was filmed about the sartorial splendor of his trademark black suit, vest, white shirt, black tie and ubiquitous scarf.  I had been meaning to do a post where I could utilize the YouTube clips, so here goes.





So here I am again.

I just really wanted to share a couple of websites and short ideas on the progression of men’s fashion.  I just remember walking to a lounge coming from John Hancock’s 96th Floor Signature Lounge on my birthday and passing this local shop here in Chicago called Haberdash in the Old Town neighborhood.  Certainly, men’s fashion is beginning to cycle back again to much more formal and gentlemen looks.  Nowadays men are beginning to redefine the style for themselves in a much different way than before.

Another site that I’ve heard of often is The Urban Gentleman.  Many of modern men’s fashion guides actually push past just fashion into style guides.  Much in the spirit of famous GQ magazine, this website goes for an inclusive lifestyle guide that encompasses entertainment, fashion, grooming tips, health and fitness to literature.

Recently a fellow undergrad alumnus of mine started his own line of bowties under the name of The Art of EMJ.  Seeing as how bowties certainly have made their re-entry into men’s fashion, this natty neckwear should be a necessity in each man’s closet.  What The Art of EMJ designs does, however, is provide custom made bowties.  Without the traditional adjuster in the back, the bowties are able to be made out of non-traditional material and certainly provides a unique if not eclectic look for the wearer.

That’s it, more or less from me aside from my traditional lists of rules when it comes to black men’s fashion:

  1. Don’t buy a suit and shoes of the same color. It’s tacky and it’s doing too much.  I do NOT want to see your mustard colored suit with matching gators.  All of the same color hurts my eyes and then makes me wonder what other weird colors you may own.
  2. Don’t buy a suit just because it’s a different color of what you already own.  Feel free to buy a different suit with a different cut and different styling from what you already own.
  3. Your closet shouldn’t look like a combination of Skittles flavors. Let me put this as plain as possible: gentlemen need a black, brown, gray and navy blue suit, any derivation from those colors, I seriously begin to question why you are buying suits in the first place.
  4. Don’t try and buy a suit that your fashion-challenged pastor decided to buy.  Look, black folk like to look good when we go to church and it’s a veritable fashion show at certain churches.  Don’t try and buy a suit that “outdoes” another suit, you both come off as looking tacky and classless.
  5. Don’t but a suit five sizes too big for “Lil’ Man” hoping he’s going to grow into it.  I’m sick and tired of seeing mothers buy these suits for their sons that are CLEARLY too big for them, expecting that they’ll grow into it, and the son is already 16 years old.  Even if he does grown, he’s not going to want that suit anymore.
  6. Take the tag off the sleeve.  If I see one more grown man running around with the little name brand tag still on the suit I’m going to scream.  The tell tale sign of a good designer can be told from the cut of the suit from a distance, not because you can still read the tag of the name brand of the suit.

That’s it.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL



6 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Path: Men’s Fashion

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