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Andre 3000, esquire's best dressed for '04

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Finally got around to looking through the "Best Dressed Men" issue, and they have some pretty safe choices, IMO, and also some more...interesting choices.  Your Jude Laws, your Kofi Annans, your Tom Fords, pretty hard to quibble with.   Andre 3000 topping the list seems a bit of a stretch, but I do admire the way his personality seems to come through his threads.  He's hip-hop without the oversize athletic jerseys and the overt bling.  His clothes just seem kind of "happy" to me, if that makes sense, and he comes across in most interviews and Outkast videos that I have seen as a really happy guy.  Jeez that sounds corny, but I don't know how else to put it.  So many other artists try to scowl, or come across as so "hard", and I get the vibe from him that he just likes making music, he really enjoys himself.   What I don't really get is the extreme over-the-topness of his style.  If he could tone it down by just 10% even, I think he could get an even better result.  I know it's got to be big to be seen on stage, and certainly he has this persona that he has created (as said, a likeable one for me), and that is his way of standing out.  You gotta take a guy with a number as part of his name with a grain of salt, I guess.  But man, some of the red carpet and other ensembles I've seen him in...well...they seem too much even for Andre.   So has anybody else seen this issue?  Comments on Andre (I believe he's been discussed here before) or any of the other selections?
post #2 of 17
Personally, I love Dre's get ups. It's like he is a kid in a toy store, just having fun, both with his music and his clothing, and trying things out just for the sake of doing so. The man is playing dressup, except that he is a terrific musician, and his playchest includes a big pile of expensive designer clothing (real furs. Real silk&#33 in addition to odds and ends from grandpa (and grandma's) attic. The thing I love about his getups is that they don't seem measured, so toning an outfit down 10% doesn't really make sense in the same way that "having too much fun" makes no sense, except to disapproving adults who don't understand any longer the fun that kids seem to have. I personally wish we (myself included) could enjoy ourselves that much. BTW, this is one of the reasons I really dislike books like those by Bruce Boyer and Alan Flusser. They seem to take the sheer joy out of dressup.
post #3 of 17
I like Andre 3000 because he comes across as a fun, spirited guy, and because his music is generally enjoyable and doesn't take itself too seriously. I feel the same way about his clothing preferences: he likes to dress with color and flair, which is a refreshing contrast to boring runway drones who only dress in black, white, and the occasional muted earthtone. He's also done a really nice job of working preppy staples like vests with dressy shirt and tie combinations. However, while Andre looks great in his own right, I wouldn't put him on a best-dressed list. The main reason is he able to pull off his outfits and look good is his matching personality and creative ability. I dislike all the hype in fashion magazines over his wardrobe because I fear it will lead to a wave of lame attempts from both designers and the average person to rip off his clothes in the deluded notion that they can look great in Andre's outfits without being Andre himself. Andre is very, very stylish, but not someone who should be on a best-dressed list. The latter to me describes someone who just looks sharp and put together; someone whom anyone would do well to emulate sartorially. Since so much of Andre's fashion success is personality driven, that would not describe him.
post #4 of 17
The main reason is he able to pull off his outfits and look good is his matching personality and creative ability.
I think that this goes for *all* stylish men, whether they are Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, or Dre. The old cliche is true that the man makes the clothes, and that the clothes most certainly do not make the man. Take away Cary Grant's gravitas and sense of personal style (he had very exacting standards about the cut of his suits) and replace it with an rulebound Alan Flusser disciple, and you get a nebbish guy in a gray suit who looks like he works in accounts. (Payable or receivable? Who cares?) Take away Steve McQueen's confidence and just natural coolness, replace it with a vain, insecure guy who overcompensates by training 15 hours a week at the gym, and you get your typical gay clubber with a too tight white tee and rolled up jeans. Same goes for Dre. Except that you'll look like you got dressed in the dark off the triple markdown sales rack. To pull anything together, you've gotta have personality. A guy without personality be pathetic no matter what he wears.
post #5 of 17
you are both correct. books like flusser's (i say 'like' because i don't have the book and i haven't read it) - 'rule' books - start from the presumption that the reader is a man in his own right, that he has a personality and confidence. those books exist so that men don't have to reinvent the wheel when educating themselves about style. there is a distinction between style and ideosyncracy; aybojs' point was about that. andre3000's ideosyncratic, personal style is something that works for him and him only. cary grant and steve mcqueen's styles are much less ideosyncratic, and work for a much broader range of man. in fact i would say that they allow the man's personality to shine through, as opposed to being potentially overshadowed by flamboyant clothing. call it conformity if you like, but every picture has a frame. it'd better be a damn good picture if you're going to put an attention-grabbing frame around it. /andrew - thinks he should add a number to his name too...'andrew-pi'??
post #6 of 17
i look at it the other way - the better the picture, the more subtle the frame. you dont want a tacky loud frame around the mona lisa, but you might around a velvet elvis.
post #7 of 17
My dandy hero is Salvador Dali.
post #8 of 17
wow, a flower AND a pocket square. van gogh should've done that with his ear. and berlusconi could've used that eyepatch a few days ago, for sure. ARRR.
post #9 of 17
wow, a flower AND a pocket square. van gogh should've done that with his ear. and berlusconi could've used that eyepatch a few days ago, for sure. ARRR.
He was a complete dandy. With a walking stick always. When he was about 6 he used to carry a sterling silver walking stick as well. That item on the eyepatch is actually a diamond eyeshaped watch designed by Dali himself. Dali at Studio 54 with friend.
post #10 of 17
I think he's got more style in his little finger than just about everyone I've ever seen on TV.
post #11 of 17
I once took a flight from London to Atlanta on Delta and sat next to Dre in first class. He was dressed (no lie) just like Jimi Hendrix and looked perfectly like him. He said he was out late and we spent a good while talking about jazz music. He is a very nice man.
post #12 of 17
Wow, a thread revised after two years! I think his style is great, too.
post #13 of 17
I suppose he's stylish in the sense that he looks like he didn't put on what he's wearing by accident or out of habit (i.e., he looks like he thinks about clothes). But then again, in the photo above, he just looks eccentric -- any idiot could cobble together a few mis-matching and loud patterns such that people would say "ooh look at you," but that's not necessarily an indicator of style. Perhaps the above picture is not really representative -- I've seen Andre3000 looking much sharper and less chaotic in other pictures. Love the David Brent quotation, FLMM!
post #14 of 17
His style is, indeed, idiosyncratic; and there are times when he knocks the cover off the ball. On the other hand, however, because his style is uniquely his own -- i.e., is not universal, nor transferable -- he should not be included on a list of "best dressed." His style is not one everyone can aspire (or relate) to, and therefore should not be held up as an example of "how to do it right," which is more directed at the mainstream.

Just my two cents.
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by LARon
because his style is uniquely his own -- i.e., is not universal, nor transferable -- he should not be included on a list of "best dressed."

This speaks to what you think good dress is. I think the whole point of clothing, after protecting you from the elements, is to express who you are without saying a word. If you do that well (as in, your outfits look good), then you are well-dressed.

In that respect, I wholeheartedly agree with Andre's choices, much moreso than his contemporaries:

Outkast:Andre3000's outfits::Puff Daddy:Sean 'diddy' Combs's outfits.
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