The Urban Gent x H&M
We never got a chance to announce it, but earlier this summer H&M asked us to contribute to their style guide, here's the feature (it was up on their website August/September):
H&M x The Urban Gentleman 2010 Style Guide featuring Kanayo King
Thanks for reading the blog! Okay, so you have an issue with coordinating and matching colors– there are many things you can do to overcome that minor glitch:
1. Match/coordinate 2 colors at a time- one neutral (navy, black, khaki, brown, gray, white) and one color- yellow, blue, red, orange etc.
2. Fashion and art coincide and there are certain colors in art that “match” or “belong together”- purple and yellow, green and red, blue and orange- those are complementary colors. You can wear different shades and tints of those colors together.
3. Then remember that there are color families like brights, emeralds/jewel-tones, pastels. For example, all pastel easter egg type colors will coordinate because they have the same light tone. Colors like burgundy, hunter green, navy, plum purple, burnt orange, and deep gold (aka old gold) will coordinate well, as will basic crayon-box colors- red, green, blue, yellow.
4. There are also colors that coordinate or go together because they represent a certain season or country and we see them over and over again: red, white, and blue -or- yellow, black, and green -or- red, green, and black -0r- purple, silver, and black -0r- burgundy, white, and heather grey… there are a plethora of these combinations.
With keeping all of that in mind, you will more easily be able to match patterns and designs. For example, if you have a hunter green striped button up- you can pair that with dark khaki pants (neutral) and a navy or burgundy cardigan (same deep color family) -or- you could pair it with navy trousers and a plum or old gold cardigan… and with this color family brown accessories opposed to black usually look best… so brown loafers, brown belt. These are often the colors traditional, old-english, ivy type designers use.
Another technique to keeping your colors cohesive and stylish is by adding a splash of color (sometimes opposing color) to a neutral or one shade palette. For example, if you’re wearing black and white you’ll add a splash of red, sherbet orange, hunter green, or whatever color you like -or- if you’re wearing all red you can wear one yellow piece.
You can also do this with patterns- if you’re wearing a navy plaid shirt and navy pants you can add an electric purple sweater, or shoes, or bag… This can also be used for shades/tints/tones- if you’re wearing all jewel-tone colors- turquoise, emerald purple, etc then you could wear one pastel piece.
All in all go with the colors that feel right. Color evokes a particular mood and its always good to pair the same moods together. If you’re wearing a happy yellow, pair it with a happy blue and happy green. If you’re a bit shy of colors then follow the sapuer rules of 3 principle– never match more than 3 colors at a time… I think that’s a good rule for everyone because few people are able to successfully match more than 3 or 4 colors.
So baby blue dunks or fire red pique polo?
– Baby blue dunks with rugged stonewash jeans, and a light yellow polo or a graphic tee that has yellow and baby blue.
-Fire red pique polo with purple baggy skinny jeans, and shoes that have some red or purple in them -or- if you’re more fashionable then wear a pair of blue high-tops that match in tone.
You just have to try out different color combinations- look at them in the mirror and see what you like. Also watch the men’s runway shows and see how designers pair colors.
And don’t worry about looking too monochromatic this season because its in
Here are a few photos:
The shirt consists of two main colors- red and blue. when you mix red and blue what color do you get? purple. This is an easy technique to use to coordinate colors- white, black, and gray -or- yellow, blue, and green -or- blue, white, and light blue, etc etc.
If you need help matching patterns, textures, and colors- just go through Etro’s past collections. No one coordinates patterns like Etro.… so many colors, and styles you’ll learn alot by just spending a few hours browsing their collections: 2005-2010. Their color and pattern palette is very bold, so you may not agree with the looks they create- it may be too overwhelming for some you, but look past that and focus on the coloring- it’s quite beautiful.
For a more traditional color palette, look through Ralph Lauren’s past collections.
Also check out the Local Urban Gentlemen- they do a superb job at coordinating.
And here’s a few more photos I pulled from the Urban Gentleman archives:
his color palette is basically gold, white, black (= gray)
then he adds splashes of colors with the blue shoe string
and purple croc murse.
there’s nothing like having a pretty lady to match your fly 😉
david and his wife victoria coordinate flawlessy (without being too
matchy matchy). their color palette is sort of autumn-like.
burnt-orange, basil/olive green, warm gray
this is where texture and color come into play.
coordinating colors are easiest when you also match the texture.
here lupe sports patent leather jacket and shoes
both are crayon box colors- red and purple.
black is usually a great neutral for crayon box colors.
Name: Jereme Rogers
Years in the game: Four (pro)
Signature trick: Backside flip
Name: Terry Kennedy
Hometown:Long Beach, California
Years in the game: Seven (pro)
Signature trick: Fakey stuff down handrails
graphic tee + baggy jeans + fitted hat + fresh kicks (Supra) + blinged out necklace = The Pro Skater Look
Both guys along with buddy Paul Rodriguez have a website called SK8SITE (go figure). And on it it has everything a skater fan could possibly want… videos, photos, event info, etc etc.
So what’s your take on skater style?
Designers for this look: Paul Smith, Junya Watanabe, Z Zegna
Wayfarers, band jackets, and ripped jeans- its time to party, let’s Rock n Roll! Retro Bandstand is a mixture of the 50s/60s and 80s… think James Dean “Rebel without a Cause” meets Michael Jackson “Thriller” plus a bit more… let’s add The Beatles in the mix too.
Get the Look: Alot of denim- ripped and worn, retro glasses, basic shirts and basic color combinations mixed with overly glamed or basic band jackets. Everything you wear should be well fitted.
Designers for this look: Gucci, True Religion, BBC
Earlier this year I wrote about the monochromatic trend that has been showing up in many designer collections over the past 3 seasons -and- upon trendsetting stars. Well, Spring’s Monochromatic seems to revolve around 3 main colors: khaki, grey, and white. Keeping it clean and simple for spring is the high-fashion thing to do.
Get the Look: Flat front pants, light blazers, windbreakers that look like baseball jackets, basic tees, man capris (lol, sounds sort of funny to say that), and skinny ties. To take this look to another level pair your khaki/grey/white with a pastel sorbet color (ex. pink, green, yellow.)
Designers: Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Lacoste
“You look like you don’t care, yet your work is impeccable.” That’s what people will say when you rock this look. This is the new-baggy… no it’s not gangsterish instead it’s care-free and beggarly. It’s all about seemingly oversized clothes that may leave some mistaking you for being destitute (but don’t worry it’s only a mistake).
Get the Look: Harem pants, exaggerated cardigans, loose fitting button-ups, and wide leg trousers. This trend can be best accomplished with visiting your local thrift store- just one visit to a Salvation Army and you’ll atleast have 2 articles of clothing to rock.
Designers: Junya Watanabe, Bottega Veneta, Burberry Prorsum
Barack Obama has inspired us all. He has even inspired people who have, well, completely hated America for atleast 8 odd years to have hope in the US of A once again. Many designers have candidly said that Mr.President has had alot to do with their design choices these days, some even creating logos based upon their renewed since of patriotism (i.e Justin Timberlake/William Rast). The point is– we’re proud. So rockin‘ red, white, and blue has Neeever felt sooo good.
Get the Look: loafers with no-socks, ray-ban clubmasters, polos, leather goods (belts, shoes, watches, murses/manbags ), canvas shoes, khakis, baseball jackets, you should always look like you’re about to go sailing or to a barbecue.
Designers: Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors
Some people are tired of the bold bright colors and seemingly random pairing of styles from opposing decades. Their answer: Technically Polished. This look is Exactly how it sounds… hair should be perfect, facial hair well-groomed, suits perfectly fitted, obvious matching, and very clean straight-line silhouettes.
Get the Look: Keep it simple. Nicely fitted blazers and suits, satin ties, loafers and lace-ups, light colored button-ups, and white pocket squares. Combine black with a light neutral color.
Designers: Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton
* original Urban Gentleman trends
They cleverly combined many of this seasons freshest looks: Mr. America, Clodhopper, Retro Bandstand all covered, and they even used Charles Hamilton in their ads to boot!
(DSqaured came in a close second, followed by Gucci.)
Well, no I can’t say him because it’s way to cliche’ so I’ll say,
(And to be honest they’re both neck and neck…
with a slight edge to Zac because he just seems so amazingly cool.)
– wayfarers or the modified wayfarer (aka “the lady gaga glasses)
– jean jacket or light weight baseball jacket
– canvas shoes
– worn or ripped jeans
– a pack of quality white tees
– gold jewelry is still hot on the scene
– consider putting a “ring on it” with a silver knuckle ring
The thing I love most about these trends- they’re RECESSION PROOF. Over half of these trends can easily be created by simply taking a trip to your own closet… perhaps depending on your closet. Everything else can be found at a variety of stores– from Target to Bloomingdales, Salvation Army to TJ Maxx or Filene’s Basement.
Side Note: The basic Urban Gentleman look is partially classic/preppy and partially fashionable/trendy. To be an urban gentleman is to be a modern gentleman- a man of style, class, culture, and of course one must have “swag”.
The core wardrobe pieces consist of clothing that you absolutely require. These items are timeless and really capture the essence of any well dressed gentleman’s look. You literally can’t live without your core items and they should be a combo of (your) personality and practicality.
The next section or layer of your wardrobe should be 90% of you and your style and 10% trend. Sometimes trends end up being a part of your style and that’s okay. This section of the wardrobe should also include signature items. Basically these are the clothes that really make your look and captures the essence of your personal style.
The third section is all about finishing touches and extras- items that you don’t need, but really want.
+ 2 pair quality dark denim jeans.
Straight, relaxed, or skinny fit and one boot cut ( needed for dress shoes and boots). [$250]
Example: Sevens for All Mankind and Express/Levis (one top quality brand and one good less expensive good quality brand).
+ 1 pair of khakis/chinos/trousers
Flat front or pleated depending on your size. Navy or khaki. [$65]
+ 1 cardigan in a neutral color
Navy, black, or heather gray. [$50]
Example: Ralph Lauren, Lacoste.
+ 3 quality white or black t-shirts
V or Crew neck (whichever you prefer). [$35]
Example: Slight v-neck Calvin Klein or American Apparel.
+ 2 polos – 1 neutral 1 bright
Choose your favorite brand. [$125]
Example: Ralph Lauren and/or Penguin, one black one red.
+ 1 button-up
Any style, color, or brand. It should be one that you really like and it should coordinate with the colors of your other core items. [$55]
Example: 1 Sean John long-sleeve plaid button-up.
(*The shoes you pick for you core are totally up to you, they should reflect your style and they are potentially shoes that you could wear everyday with everything.)
+ 1 pair of casual shoes
Example: navy Vans, black Chucks, white Pumas, brown Sperry boat shoes, neutral colored moccasins, driver, casual oxford-type shoe. [$75]
+ 1 pair of dressier/less-casual shoes
Example: oxfords, wing-tips, mid or ankle boots, dressy pair of drivers, tassel- loafer, slip-on. [$135]
That is your core and it is timeless… meaning all of the above will never go out of style and can easily coordinate with any trend.
very casual: slight v-neck tee, dark denim jeans, and moccasins.
everyday living: polo, cardigan, dark denim jeans, chucks.
weekend relaxing: v-neck, cardigan, khakis, boat shoes.
dressier: button-up, cardigan, khakis, boots.
+ 1 pair of colored skinny/baggy skinny jeans
Red, green, blue, or purple.
Example: LRG, Uniqlo, Levis.
+ 2-4 graphic tees
Choose your favorite type and brand. It should basically fit your overall look. If you have a dressier style then choose tees that would be the “dressed down” version of your look (if that doesn’t work then get a t-shirt from your favorite brand ex: Lacoste tee).
Example: Vintage (go to local vintage and thrift stores), funny, retro, etc.
+ 2 jackets (light coat)
A signature jacket and a neutral yet stylish jacket or light coat. Jackets can really set-off the look, it’s the frosting on a cake- the cake taste good without, but it taste even better with it.
Example: bright colored aviator jacket, vintage jacket, designer jacket like MCM, or sport coat.
+ 4-6 shirts/tops
In the style of you choice.
Examples: plaid button-ups, bright colored graphic tees, etc.- whatever gives you your look.
+ 3 pants/bottoms
In the style of your choice.
Examples: chocolate colored corduroys, light-washed jeans slashed at the knees, black jeans, black flat-front trousers, etc. (again, whatever gives you your look)
Choose a pair of shoes that are really hot to you, they can be sneakers or dress shoes or a hybrid of the two. These should be your “stuntin” shoes, the ones that really stand out and make your look.
Example: Limited edition Creative Reactions, Marc Jacob sneakers, Kanye West Louis Vuitton shoes, or a pair of Supras.
2 scarves, 2 hats (1 fitted, 1 fedora), 2 skinny ties, 1 pair of glasses.
Just like a jacket can be seen as the frosting on a cake, accessories are the sprinkles and toppings- they complete the cake. Choose accessories that enhance your look.
1 of these items should be signature, like signature pair of Oliver Peoples glasses or your signature damier LV bookbag, or a signature skull scarf.
Examples: scarves, glasses, buttons, suspenders/braces, ties, hats, pins, “manbag”. You should own all different types of accessories, but you will have more of one type of accessory depending on your look.
** This is also where you would include your dressy attire. Every man should own atleast one tailored suit in black or navy blue. A suit can cost you anywhere from $200-$2000 depending on where you purchase it.
(these are just the extras, most will probably be trend items).
+ trendy coat/jacket
Military or Marching band inspired jacket.
Wayfarers or aviators.
Example: Ray-ban, Tom Ford.
Plaid, animal print, or designer logo.
It’s all about gold jewelry these days, but choose a material and color that fits your wardrobe and style. Examples: one watch and one gold chain.
Accessories that are different or uncommon to the vast majority.
Example: buttons, broaches, pins… like the lego Dee & Ricky brooches.
+official trend items
Remember the must-haves of 2009.
Velvet, bow ties, and plaid.
+ more basics
Add more basics/core items into wardrobe.
Examples: more solid colored cardigans, polos, and shoes.
*Other items not accounted for, but are important:
-underwear, black and brown leather belts, socks.
1. Macys/Bloomingdales (if you’re in America)
2. Harvey Nichols/Harrods/ Debenhams (if you’re in the UK)
3. GAP/Heritage 1981/Urban Outfitters
Those are great stores to use if you want to purchase everything in one place. But if you want to save money and want more options then shop from a variety of stores online and in store.
+ Best celebrities to use as inspiration when building a wardrobe:
1. David Beckham
2. Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, or Pharrell Williams
3. (your best dressed star)
4. Friends of yours whose style you admire.
+Best designers to use for inspiration when building a wardrobe:
1. Ralph Lauren
3. Dolce & Gabanna
4. Basically whichever designer you feels captures the essence of your style the best.
Now more than ever (with this worldwide recession) you really need to tap into your personal style and utilize vintage and thrift stores. If you shop there you can find the same trendy garments, but they’re authentically from the 70s or 80s or 90s and they cost less than half the price. You should mix up your vintage finds with the new clothes you purchase.
You should invest in your one main signature item, if you can afford to.
1. signature watch
2. signature frames
3. signature jacket
4. signature bag
Be confident in your wardrobe, put thought into it, but don’t over analyze it to confusion. Remember one important Urban Gentleman rule: keep it simple or go hard. (either or only- to keep it stylish). When in doubt on how to coordinate always resort back to the Congolese Sape rules of 3, never match more than 3 colors.
Here’s a few looks random looks, that can help you mix and match your wardrobe items.
1.vintage tee, colored skinny jeans, thick frames, converse, aviator jacket
2. button up, sweater, tie, dark denim, oxfords
3. v neck, cardigan, khaki or cords, vans or lace-ups
4. button up, jacket, skinny tie, tie clip, dark denim, solid trainers or oxfords
Oh and don’t forget, a gentleman is always well-groomed.
1. haircut every 2 weeks, shape-up in between cuts
2. nails should be cut, long nails are for women only.
(this is technically more important than the clothes you wear).
(you need to broaden your face)
wrong collar: narrow spread pointed collar b/c it makes your face look even thinner
right collar: widespread collar b/c it it evens out your face
(you need to lengthen your face)
wrong collar: wide-spread collar b/c it’ll make your head look larger
right collar: pointed or narrow spread collar b/c it makes your face look thinner
(you need to make your head appear smaller)
wrong collar: pointed or narrow spread collar b/c it’ll make your head look even bigger
right collar: wide-spread or cut-away collar b/c make your head look normal, lol.
(you need to make your head appear bigger)
wrong collar: wide-spread collar b/c it’ll make your head look even smaller.
right collar: medium spread
(you need to shorten your neck)
wrong collar: pointed collar b/c it accentuates the length of your neck.
right collar: medium spread or wide spread collar b/c it’ll give your face balance.
(you need to lengthen your neck)
wrong collar: short or cutaway collar
right collar: narrow pointed collar b/c it’ll lengthen your neck