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From fashion fuck boy to being all glo'd up

Mario Moore

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.



Pardon my rant!

Mario Moore

When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look , in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.
— RZA of Wu-Tang
Image by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Image by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Well I'm glad someone finally figured it out. All we have to do is stop dressing casually then the police brutality and racial profiling will come to an end. Ladies and gentleman please drop one of DJ Clue’s bombs for the RZA. Also, let's see if we can get him nominated for a Nobel Piece Prize while we are at it. But before we do that, let's talk about how he missed a "minor" detail -- and that is -- yes, while we can change our clothes to present a “more positive image” of ourselves, we cannot change the color of our skin. The thing that RZA fails to understand is that no matter how we dress, the racial injustices will continue to happen. (Just ask James Blake)

Black writers in Harlem, 1920's

Black writers in Harlem, 1920's

I also think it's unrealistic for black men to dress up everyday. This isn't Harlem during the Roaring 20’s. We, like our Caucasian counterparts, should be able to wear what we like and feel safe to do so without being racially profiled, subjected to unwarranted police brutality, or having women clutch their purses when we enter an establishment. Sometimes I like to clutch my wallet when I'm in a PWE (predominantly white establishment) just to make “them” feel uncomfortable. You should try it some time; funniest thing you will do all year.

Image by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Image by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Without getting off track, the point is it doesn't matter if you're wearing a suit from Brooks Brothers or a hoodie and jeans, these things will still happen. It's very disheartening to know that no matter how we dress, we are still treated unfairly. Unfortunately there is no style tip to end racial injustices.



What stylish women really think

Mario Moore

I am a firm believer in the phrase “dress to impress” (It's not just a thing they throw on club flyers to enforce a dress code). There are plenty of reasons guys dress to impress. Maybe you want to make a great impression on a job interview, or you just bought a fire fit and you want to stunt on the gram (I would hope not but I'm not here to judge). But since the beginning of time there is one definite reason that men put more effort into what they're wearing, and it's to impress a girl they think is a fly little jawn. The thing about trying to impress women is there isn't a one-size-fits-all guide. They all have different tastes. Some girls like a man in a well tailored suit, while others like men in athelisure. It really just depends on the women. As a man you're probably asking yourself: How can I tell if the ladies are feeling my steez?  Well, I definitely don't have the answer, and since this isn't a Mel Gibson movie, instead of trying to read women’s minds, I decided to ask 5 stylish women what they like and dislike about all the current trends in menswear.. So listen up, and maybe their advice will help you get your swerve on with that chick you met at whole foods earlier this week while picking up your cold pressed juice.

Brittney Winbush

Occupation:   CEO of Innerscoop

Occupation: CEO of Innerscoop

Likes:  “One thing I’m loving in men’s fashion right now is the blazer trend, a well tailored blazer to be exact. I think a stylish and easily transitional blazer should be a key component in any man’s closet. Women must have a little black dress and men need a well tailored blazer. When it comes to this trend, men are taking blazers to new heights and I’m loving every moment of it. From pairing them with a typical suit, to layering with a sweater and a button up, to even adding a blazer to a more casual jean and loafers look. I’m here for it all!” 

Dislikes: “One thing I hate, isn’t a trend, an item, or anything of that sort. It’s a mindset. As men’s fashion is evolving and men are becoming, in my opinion more stylish and more personal in the way they dress, other men are becoming more judgmental. Someone’s look may not fit your personal style but if it works for them then so be it. So “hating” is a trend I hate and would love to see leave the world of men’s fashion.”

Maria Manzanares-Bobadilla

Occupation:   Fashion/Lifestyle photographer

Occupation: Fashion/Lifestyle photographer

Likes: “The one thing I LOVE is when dudes have a legit leather jacket, one that fits their personal style. My personal favorites are biker "double rider" leather jackets. I love the zippers and buckles but they can be too edgy for some people, so it's essential to pick the right style for you.”

Dislikes:  The one thing I HATE is when guys wear "fashion" bucket hats. Everyone's go-to hated hat is the fedora, but mine is the bucket hat. Unless you're at the beach or hiking somewhere in the woods... why?

Malacia Anderson

Occupation:   Owner and Designer for Li Li’s Creations

Occupation: Owner and Designer for Li Li’s Creations

Likes: “The style for men that appeals to me the most is when he is dressed in business or business casual attire.  I appreciate a man that takes care in how he is presenting himself to the world.”

Dislikes: “The only style that I dislike the most no matter who is wearing it is the saggy pants style. It screams immaturity as well as lack of love and concern for self.” 

Sasha Peyton

Occupation:   In-Store Marketing Coordinator at Rebecca Minkoff and Owner of Open Space Studios.

Occupation: In-Store Marketing Coordinator at Rebecca Minkoff and Owner of Open Space Studios.

Likes: “I love for a guy to break a few rules in fashion by adding a little personality in their wardrobe. An unusual color, or references from other cultures in wardrobe is always a joy to see. I think men can have almost as much creativity when making outfit choice."

Dislkies: “One thing I absolutely dislike in men's fashion is when a man doesn't quite follow the necessary rules of suiting. If I see a well dressed man but they fail to pull the vent stitch, I have to admit, I get bothered. Something else that is really important to me is that if a man wears a jacket, they should follow the jacket button rule. I am all about self expression in fashion but these mistakes are deadly!”

 Rosco Spears

Occupation:   a stylist, creative director and painter

Occupation: a stylist, creative director and painter

Likes: “One thing that I love about men's grooming is...beards. duh. When a man grows a beard, he somehow grows into a beautiful, strong creature that you imagine in your greatest love novel.  In this bearded novel, he carries you away in the sand as the sun sets and you rest your head tenderly on his beard as though it's your favorite pillow covered in your favorite satin pillow case. Honestly, I believe that beards make the world a better place. I am extremely grateful for men that take out the time to grow them. It's really nice of them.  One thing that I hate about men's grooming is when men do not take care of their beards. Get a line up, son. Oh, I also love when men grow out their natural crowns with no specific direction (think Basquiat). Those men are pretty cold as well.”

Dislikes:” There aren't any fashion trends that I'm necessarily obsessed with, but it's absolutely time out for men wearing clothing that is too large for them.  Denim, shirts, SUITS. Those things should not be 3 sizes too big. On the contrary, I guess I am actually obsessed with a man in a tailored suit. Especially if it's navy blue, we go together. And speaking of dressy attire, maybe I hate square toed dress shoes? I'll get back to you on that one.”