Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Blind Leading The Blind

So, Sports Illustrated recently ran a poll with a number of NBA players on who amongst their peers is the most stylish. I wasn't surprised by some of the choices, but c'mon...what did Jarrett Jack do to be considered stylish by his peers? I was incredulous. The last people you want to adjudicate on style matters are sports journalist. The very last people, though, who you want to poll on style matters are professional basketball players. The two just don't mix. Below is a list of the top 15, from lowest to highest:

Jarett Jack

Derek Fisher

Amar'e Stoudemire

Dwight Howard

Steve Nash

Zaza Pachulia

Keyon Dooling

Ray Allen

Juwan Howard

Kevin Garnett

Carmelo Anthony

Chris Paul

Lebron James

Kobe Bryant

Dwayne Wade

Wow. No Chrish Bosh. No James Harden. No Wesley Johnson. These guys are notable dressers in the NBA and I have seen some of them in pictures. This list is highly flawed, which is why I titled it as 'the blind leading the blind'. The league is full of so many bad dressers, they can never be relied upon to give any kind of view or opinion on others they deem to be well dressed.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Over the weekend a lesson in determination, confidence, hard work and effort was learnt by both a team from the lower divisions and first division of South African football. Baroka FC, a Limpopo based football team toiling in the Vodacom League (third division), convincingly beat and humiliated Moroka Swallows. Moroka Swallows is one of South Africa's oldest football clubs, with an interesting and storied history, with an even more vaunted and decorated Gordon Igesund at its helm. Right now Swallows are fighting to avoid relegation, and it doesn't look sweet. Their loss to a team three tiers below them is both an indictment of the team's performance this season, and most importantly, the attitude and culture prevalent in the team. They have lost all confidence and have surely not convinced me that they can avoid relegation. As a style blogger I, and I hope many other South Africans, took heed and learnt another lesson; personal style trumps the old tracksuit and sneakers look seen on touchlines and sidelines the world over.

Baroka FC head coach, 28 year old Sello Chokoe, beat Gordon Igesund on all fronts. Sitting at home, watching the game, I was rooting for Swallows but the commentator made a very interesting and self evident truth: if you're a premiership team and you're playing a bunch of minnows from the 2nd or 3rd division, you need to assert yourselves and show them who's boss within the first 10 minutes. If you don't, they are going to run circles around you and wipe the floor with you. And Baroka FC did exactly that. Sello Chokoe, however, will forever be etched in my mind because of his sartorial presentation and a hint of his personal style.

For the rest of this post I would like us to throw caution to the wind and forget about all the style rules that govern men's dressing, and appreciate the young man's presentation and style. Effort. He was definitely ready for anything, even a post match interview viewed by the whole country. I respect his style and the effort he put in to look good and presentable. I wonder if this is how he dresses and carries himself all the way down in the lower ranks. This can only bode well for his future prospects in football administration. He would most certainly get my vote and trust as a custodian of the country's national sport. In a country where lack of style is pervasive in the sporting fraternity, Sello Chokoe is a breath of fresh air.

That glove serves a purpose and its nothing to do with luck.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Autumn InVESTment

I can't think of a better piece to add to one's wardrobe than a puffer vest, also known as a down vest. This item of clothing, very popular for light and heavy layering, for me, was popularised in the mid 90s by Malik Yoba's character, J.C. Williams, in New York Undercover. The puffer vest (puffer derived from the fact that it appears as being puffed up, especially when worn) was hugely popular and ubiquitous in hp hop circles as well. Look up any hip hop video from the early to mid 90s depicting the streets and a puffer vest can be seen. This is a highly versatile and stylish garment. I've seen it being worn over a suit jacket, under a suit jacket and with a tie. Therefore dressing it up or down needn't be a challenge.

For light layering it can be worn over a sweater or a button down shirt. I think a button down shirt is important so that it does not encroach on the vest's collar because it is only worn popped up. I wouldn't recommend it over a t-shirt, that's too high school high-ish. The reason why I chose this particular image of a puffer vest is because it is by Polo. Easi-Wear stores carry the same kind by Polo, although with an elaborate Polo design logo/ badge on the left breast. And at only R350, or less, you can have the perfect answer for when Jon B asks 'How can I be down?'.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Windsor Knot Expertly Done

Nothing could’ve been the perfect cap to my weekend like ‘The Monique Show’ (I had an interminable smile because I was seeing it for the first time, and as a consumer of black entertainment, I couldn’t help missing the days when VIBE, presented by Sinbad, was on TV), a performance of ‘I Believe’ by Ann Nesby (nothing beats live music) and more music on Sunday morning featuring: T.P. ‘Through the falling rain’, Dennis Edwards and Siedah Garrett, ‘Don’t look any further’ and more Sounds of Blackness, ‘God cares’. I also want to dead this windsor knot issue for good.

The above image is the perfect illustration on how to wear this knot, with the right shirt. Everything is complementary. Look at how the knot curls from point length to point length. There is absolutely no encroachment from the shirt on the knot and vice versa. The collar is semi-spread and the windsor works itself around the collar leaf in such a way so as to contradict what I said the last time about a windsor only working with a full spread collar shirt. The difference here is that the tie is in proportion with the shirt. Sometimes I see a windsor on a slim tie with a point collar shirt, which doesn't work nor look right. This is how you do it, making sure that everything is in proportion.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Inspiration For Autumn

As autumn makes a defiant but gradual entrance, I can't help but admire the gentleman in this image. I can't help but aspire to his style. This outfit is anything but a melange. The dominant brown-orange. The white shirt. The orange knit tie. The double breasted suit. The ticket pocket. The peak lapels. A smidgen of shirt cuff. The pocket round. The suppressed waist. All these elements culminate in the exuberant marriage of style and proportion. His watch and suit are a dead giveaway as to the colour of his shoes and their fabric. A pair of tan-orange suede loafers.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Misuse Of The Windsor Knot

This post is a long time coming. It would appear that I have been doing my due dilligence so as to not report on conjecture. I don't know if it's the same with you, but the windsor knot, on neckties, is almost totally misused. By this I mean that it is worn incorrectly, with the incorrect shirt collars. Gentlemen continue to wear a windsor knot with a variation of point collar shirts. And this is wrong, both stylistically and aesthetically. There is no way a windsor knot looks right in any shirt collar but a full spread collar. The image above fully illustrates my point. Not even a collar pin can rescue the spoilt aesthetic.

My problem with this style of wearing a necktie knot and shirt collar is that much of the individual stylistic nuances are diminished. By this I mean, the collar and tie are robbed of being on display without interference from the other. This coupling exposes how the collar encroaches on the knot and vice versa.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.