The reason why we humans first started to wear clothes was to protect our bodies from nature. However, as times moved forward, there was not necessarily the need for clothes to protect us from nature anymore instead they were worn to help define our social roles and to express our personalities.
When our ancestors were back in Africa, their clothing was very minimal and when they were put into the slave trade, much of this was taken from them. What they were and were not allowed to wear was determined for them by their owner. In fact, many slaves were dressed in particular items of clothing that made them easily identifiable as slaves.
Their best items of clothing were kept for Sundays as this was their one and only day off from working.
Fast forward some hundreds of years to the abolishment of slavery and black men are now free to determine exactly what items and styles of clothing they wear. However, all of this choice can be difficult, with many men unable to determine what their own personal style is and so simply conforming to what other black and white men are wearing. For any black man that needs advice on what exactly they should be wearing, check out the Dapperly Club.
It is a little-known fact, but the demographic of where a person lives actually has an impact on how a black man ought to dress. We should see clothing as being like our second skin that projects an image out to the world on how you would like to be seen. Black men particularly should care about the image that they are putting out to the rest of the world.
The importance of colors
It is a general rule of thumb that for men with dark-colored skin, light colors work best – think of bright yellows, oranges, whites, and pastels. Be proud to wear bright colors, after all, they are part of our African American culture. African culture has always been festive and celebrates the use of vivid colors.
These bright African-inspired colors were actually adopted by young black men during the civil rights movement in America. They also wore male head caps too – also known as do rags or skull caps. Whilst incorporating some tradition is important, remember to keep it simple. Remember that it is not the clothes that make the man, it is the man that makes the clothes.
It is not just about the color of your clothing but also the color of your own skin tone. Understanding what exact colors compliment and work with your skin color is a powerful step in building a style of a black man.
The prominence of black men in modern culture, whether that be sports or music, should act as a source of inspiration for any black man looking to establish their own personal style or image. The likes of Kanye West, Odell Beckham Jr, and Kevin Hart are all seen as style icons in their own right.