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NPR: Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chogall, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. mr monty

    mr monty Well-Known Member

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    With a little help we can usually trace back to slavery and for some that could lead to your fore, fore, fore, fore, fore father?
     
  2. chocsosa

    chocsosa Well-Known Member

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    Well as black man of abnormal size (6"8 250lbs), I feel I do have to dress impeccably. Its helps that I have a passion for fashion but its a leg-up. I can trace my lineage back to the Village where my family is from in Africa so I guess I do not fall into the category that Oink Boink claims that most of us fall into. I cannot state how many times I have been told by white friends in particular that "I speak very well for an African-American." I even had others in a conversation state one time that she was into American looking guys. When I asked her what that meant.. she stated "You know guys with blonde hair blue/brown eyes"..just stared and moved the topic on to something else eventually. So I see what the article is getting at. Everything I have achieved in my life is through hard work but also great impressions. To add to that I feel great impressions crosses any racial borders because its broadly applicable to all people. You get a white person, an asian or a person of hispanic heritage dress in appropriately they would not be taken as seriously. However where I feel it differs from my experience is people's preconception's of who I am. I have been in elevators in a beautiful suit where older women clutch at their purses or bags or tell me the success that I have is because the government gave it to me which has happened a couple times.. (actually had a drunk guy walk up to me in a bar look me up and down and ask how much did I have to save on my food stamps to afford the suit, to which my wife had to drag me out of there before something bad happened)..I feel that I have to look impeccably because I could not afford to have any weaknesses whether on interview's or now in my career client meetings. Just my two cents.
     
  3. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    Must have been to start talking smack to a 6'8 250lb dude. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  4. bubba04

    bubba04 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting (and honestly, shocking) perspective, chocsosa. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

    ETA: Noticed it's my first post in 2013, so Happy New Year, SF!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  5. chocsosa

    chocsosa Well-Known Member

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    It will surprise you how many guys try to do that when they are drunk.. they inherently are searching out the most intimidating guy in the bar.. well I'm taller than most guys (including bouncers) and well built (which comes from playing basketball in college and being involved in MMA the way I am now to keep in shape)..so I get that a lot..also did not help that I had a penchant to not smile..just who I was.. so I had to work on making myself as non threatening as possible.. never scared of a fight.. but its better to avoid those situations and I do not want to be stereo-typed..I get a lot of friends that are like "when I first saw you I was very intimidated, being big and black.." I know they don't mean it derogatorily.. but it gets to you..its sometimes what you have to live with as a person with color sometimes and I think that is what the article is getting at. By the way Happy New Year Spoo..I look forward to more awesome pictures that I can add to my collection to use as inspiration my friend..
     
  6. chocsosa

    chocsosa Well-Known Member

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    Same to you Bubba!
     
  7. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    Learning something new every day!

    While NPR is directed at Americans, I think blacks across the board have more brave use of color.

    Must be either crazy or really drunk to talk smack on a guy that's 6'8", 250lbs (dont think you are only 6"8, but don't want to know your other measurements).

    Personally, I do have to dress seriously in my profession; my suit is my armor.
     
  8. Poshak Man

    Poshak Man Well-Known Member

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    I am Asian American so neither a representative of white or black culture.

    I have noticed that black men, no matter what their budget, have a strong desire to dress well. That is where the white Americans have lost it. For them it is a race to the bottom of the sartorial degradation.Compliments to a well dressed person are also more often than not from a black person, men and women. Which clearly shows an understanding of what dressing well means and recognizing it and being comfortable complementing it. One other factor that distinguished black men is the confidence with which they wear their clothes, no matter how much they paid for it, cannot be imitated.

    There is only one suit that i decided to buy on the street when I saw an elderly black gentleman get off his taxi in downtown Chicago last summer wearing a tan and white seer sucker suit. The way he carried the suit was a class act. Within a week i had found a similar suit but i know i never will have the confidence of that black gentleman who inspired the purchase.
     
  9. apropos

    apropos Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a different country, and now live in Australia where I am a distinct minority - a different situation, but I think some parallels can probably be made with your experience.

    I think I understand where you come from - the casual thoughtlessness of strangers or friends can sometimes be quite painful to stomach.

    In my experience it is the offhand remarks, the ones that acquaintances make in unguarded moments that often give me pause to think - it is difficult at times to not be defined by what you are apparently meant or not meant to be.

    Outright racist idiots are easy to brush off, not so people who you thought saw you as you, shorn of the colour of your skin. People who you identified with, people who you thought you a part of.

    I'm in a mixed race relationship, and in the beginning like perhaps a lot of folk that need a bit more maturing I thought it was a big deal - I was unjustifiably pleased with myself for whatever reason.

    Now 7 years on, we just... are - I realised about a year or two ago that the colour of her skin just didn't matter at all anymore, that I saw past it and saw her as just a person, not a (insert prefix) person. That I saw past the wrapper, I guess.

    At that moment I felt a mixture of elation, relief, and quiet shame that it had taken so long and I should have known better. Difficult to put into words.

    Anyhow, Happy New Year chocsosa. :slayer:
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  10. chocsosa

    chocsosa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Apro's... you learn to stomach it unfortunately when you are the minority which I am in most situations..you learn to live with it and not let it get to you honestly. Vividly I remember a couple of friends of mine and I were hanging out in downtown DC in Adams Morgan. I, another African American and two of our white friends.. we were looking to bar hop and end up at a club. We first stopped by a club where the were a proportionate amount of African Americans (mostly professional) and our two white friends just looked visibly uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. Again, the African Americans in that club were professional looking (business suits and ties and professional dresses) but they just looked like they could not stay there. Thus we left and ended up at a club that was 99% white. They had the time of their lives and we just made do with the situation. My African American friend and I talked about the experience the next day and both had very similar views when it comes to those kind of situations. As a minority in most situation's we try to not appear the stereotype of what people consider us or rock the boat. If we rock the boat then we are seen as the pariah in the group and thus isolated. Thus to a certain degree you have to give up some things to blend in if that's your choice. So as I got older I had to narrow the amount of people I really hung out with which of course included exes. I realized I had to do blend in career wise but I got tired of doing that in my personal life...I did not base that choice on race but on those that accept me for me without any false perceptions or prejudices. So in relation to this thread I feel that generally dressing well gives everyone despite race a leg up.. however when you are a person of color you really have to dress well.. I have had clients in meetings that have said stuff like "you dress well..I don't see too many of your kind that do." (had a client that really said that) you just learn to brush it off and do what you need to do... Happy new year to you Apro's! And congratulations on your enlightenment..I feel that once you came to that acknowledgement, everything else was just so much clearer and better
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. baronbvp

    baronbvp Member

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    Those are great points.

    I think many of us, regardless of color or ethnicity, tend to hang out with those most like us in our personal as well as our professional lives. As a retired military officer, I have much more in common with other current and former military people no matter their cultural background, gender, even nationality. I find I have less in common with whites like me who don't understand that experience and can't share in the shared sacrifice that bonds military people. Military people understand and accept each other in an unspoken way.

    I believe the same is true of athletes and many other groups. I know football players who prefer hanging out with other football players, regardless of black, white, whatever. Same with musicians, car guys, etc. People like to be accepted for themselves.
     
  12. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  13. texas_jack

    texas_jack Well-Known Member

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    If anyone needs proof of this go to a black church and then go to a white church and look at how people dress. You may not like "black style" but you will see guys in suits with hats and polished shoes. At the white church you will see a lot of polo shirts and khakis.
     
  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    ^definitely. There is a predominantly black church near my apartment. If I go out Sunday afternoons, there will definitely be people dressed up for church.

    Also echoing something someone said earlier, most of the comments I get on the street are from black people.
     
  15. mr monty

    mr monty Well-Known Member

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    Being dressed up can only be defined by the man in the clothes. It doesn't matter if it's SF approved or some pimp daddy stuff. If you feel good about what you are wearing, then you will feel good yourself. That's all that really counts.

    Note: There's approx. 3.4 billion men on earth and most like to look good from time. How many will ever see, let alone wear SF approved clothes and footwear? You guys are blessed!
     
  16. newyorknoir

    newyorknoir Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]


    I live in Manhattan, and there are some black guys that dress well and a lot that don't.. I say only some because I tend to think that most people in general (regardless of race) don't know how to look good in a suit—They either overdo it or just don't know (or care) how to properly put themselves together.. A sloppy tie or ill-fitting jacket can kill it. I mean, I myself am not at the level of most SF regulars, but I've learned a lot and am working on it. One common thing I see with black guys though is that they will wear black suits with a black shirt, black pocket square and light brown flat-toe shoes—or even worse—pinstripe black suits with a jarring red shirt and a red pocket square (for some reason I've seen this a handful of times). Overall though, black guys don't seem to be any more or less well dressed than anyone else. I can't really comment on casual wear because I usually don't pay much attention to what someone is wearing when they are in-line at the grocery store.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  17. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

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    I guess geographical distribution is equally important, or in fact most. It will be more likely to see classic clothing being done well in places like St James Street and Knihgtsbridge, and causal clothing in Brick Lane or Soho. This applies equally to all man and women of all race. No race will have the tendency to be good at dressing or fashion sense.

    And most importantly, even SF have constant debate of good taste in dressing, I guess it is best to dress for yourself, and not based on unjustified doctrine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Godot

    Godot Well-Known Member

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    Ditto last two posts
     
  19. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    From an objective standpoint (completely separate of cultural or racial implications), skin tone plays a very large role here. I often think black men look excellent in vivid colors and more daring combinations because their skin tone offers a stark contrast to what they're wearing. Whites look crisper, colors look bolder, patterns appear more deliberate. A pasty dude like me in the middle of winter won't be able to wear certain things with equal panache. Just simple color rules.
     
  20. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

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    My first thought when I read the OP was of Albert "Chalky" White in "Boardwalk Empire". Grew up dirt poor but as he became more and more successful (albeit as part of organized crime) realized the importance of his appearance and is one of the best dressed characters on the show.
     

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