Let’s just be very honest: no one is born with an inherent sense of style (well unless you're Brooklyn Beckham). And since my father didn't marry a Spice Girl and there was no Black Men’s Guide to show me the way, I had to figure out how to maneuver blindly through this thing called Fashion alone. I'm not going to lie to you, I've made a ton of mistakes but I'm glad I made them because otherwise I wouldn't be able to help others with their style misfires (just ask my best friend Mario about the time he thought it was acceptable to wear overalls with the strap hanging down. It was a bad time for all parties involved). I want to take you through a few phases my personal journey to becoming more conscious about my style. In hopes that you don't repeat my mistakes. I think it was a great philosopher by the name of Shawn Carter who once said, “Hov did that so hopefully you won’t have to go through that”.
This was roughly about 10 years ago. There are a few thoughts that come to mind when i look at this picture. First, WTF was I thinking. Second, Why did my friends let me do this (I probably should re-evaluate my group of friends)? Last, but certainly not least, I look like a fuck boy.
How to avoid this:
1. If you're going to wear sunglasses make sure the glasses fit your facial structure.
2. If you're going to front for social media make sure that the alarm sensor isn't attached to the glasses (I'm so ashamed).
The real mistake here was that I was trying to follow trends. It was the time of the stunna shades. I saw a lot of rappers and celebrities who I thought were stylish wearing them and I wanted a pair. Let me be the first to tell you, not everything is for everyone. If you need a reminder, just reference the picture above. This tends to happen when we are finding who we are and what we like. Unfortunately it's inevitable to avoid at first, but as time goes on one discovers what works.
This photo was taken six years ago.
The obvious mistake I made here was not getting a properly sized jacket. While transitioning from wearing tall tee's to a more tailored fit of clothing, it def took me a while to get it right while trying to find the perfect fit for me.
How to avoid this:
I cannot stress this enough, make sure you do your research on fit! Go to a few stores, try things on, feel fabrics, feel weight to see how the clothes fit. Do not be an Impulsive buyer, or else you might end up a hashtag. Just search #gregsjacket on Twitter. Definitely not a topic I wanted to be trending, but twitter had other plans.
This one was 9 years ago... There are sooooo many things wrong with this picture, I honestly don't know where to begin. The V-neck, the fake Gucci shoes, the jeans were too big. and the lack of facial hair. It's a cluster fuck of bad style and grooming choices.
How to avoid this
Whatever you see in this pic do the complete opposite.
Here's the thing, I have made a lot of fashion faux pas of the years before I found my sense of style. I hope along this brief journey of terrible fashion choices you laughed, you were informed and you have grown a little. I don't have all the answers, but on this road I stumbled upon a few things that have helped me become successful along the way. Let me leave you with some key take away points:
1. Take inspiration from someone's style who you admire or a style icon.
2. Build your wardrobe around the basics. Purge that closet.
3. Stay current on what's in and what's not. Read style publications (such as the black mens guide).
4. Take a few risks
5. Give no fucks. Be Fearless.