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Black Armor - classic menswear and protection from harassment and violence


Distinguished Member
Sep 5, 2011
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I just came across a really excellent article on black style in the USA, which makes the case that tailored clothing is a kind of armor for a new generation of young black dandies - it offers some protection for the wearer from the police and from racist scrutiny. I recommend it... and BTW, I deliberately put this here because it's about Classic Menswear, but it also a reminder that clothes have politics and that sometimes they can be a matter of life and death.


Of course, there is far, far more to the important history of black CM in the USA and I'm really pleased we have some excellent clothing companies that have come out of SF that specifically draw on ideas of blackness and black histories and cultures, in particular, @Tirailleur1 with Post-Imperial and @w.o.e.is.me. with Ikiré Jones. It's very sad that tailored clothing is returning for such negative reasons that the article rightly highlights, so I think it's important to highlight the positive as well (but not instead).
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Distinguished Member
Aug 29, 2009
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Yup. Saw this one.
It's a fascinating discussion, and often comes up with proponents of "respectability politics" (the notion that if blecks dressed or presented themselves "better", they would not face as much harassment or mistreatment).

However, one should keep in mind that MLK and many men during the civil rights movement were wearing suiting/tailoring when beaten by the police and set-upon by dogs.

Ultimately, one's presentation, no matter how safe or elegant, will not deter the depraved heart of a racist.

Thanks for the kind words about our work btw.

To keep this in the context of classic menswear though, it's nice to see tailored clothing becoming a bit more mainstream among the youth. For whatever reason.
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