The Southern Englishman
Peak in my Closet
I got into fashion while dating my ex-boyfriend. With any significant other, I have found that I aim to impress them, keep them happy, and take care of them. I had dated ladies in the past but this was my first partner that I truly had feelings for. Like, I was in love. And I knew I did not want to screw that up. He always had great taste and I’ve always had good taste, but together, we definitely developed an expensive taste. I mean, I liked to look good, but this was a new level. I suddenly had an interest in name brands and felt the need to have a new outfit for each and every event.
The first brand I fell in love with was Club Monaco. I, to this day, think that this brand is suited for any guy looking to step up their wardrobe through their classic cuts and basic pieces with unique twists using upscale fabrics and patterns. I bought my first shirt with them my sophomore year for our College Prom, yes we have a prom even in college! The pattern was bold and unlike anything I had ever seen so I knew it would be the look for me. After a few purchases for various events, I felt as though I was a regular and had given them too much of my hard earned money. I finally decided to apply to work there in order to save money the summer before my senior year. It was the best decision I could have made. Not only did I get an amazing discount, but I fell in love with the selling culture and the supportive team environment of retail.
Needless to say, Club Monaco garments dominate my closet. But I don’t want to be a poster Club Monaco baby, so I’ve found some other brands I love. Here’s what you can normally catch me in:
Scotch & Soda
Citizen of Humanity
Eight Field of Freedom
Rag & Bone
Ministry of Men
Kings Will Dream
Whew...that’s a lot. It has taken me years to find some of these brands so unless you’ve got that money honey, your wardrobe will not just expand overnight. Clothing is an investment.
Now, what I love more than anything is getting dressed up for a night out or an event. This usually means that I will be wearing a button down and some sort of slacks. It has been my mentality for a while now that the right pants can be used for every event so my shopping efforts go towards finding unique and different shirts. Each season brings a multitude of different colors and I say why not have them all? I’ve always found that my outfit influences my mood. Wearing orange makes me feel lively, maroon makes me feel mischievous, green makes me feel energetic, and navy makes me feel fierce so I have a lot of it.
On a regular day in warmer months, you might catch me in a pair of cuffed, thigh-tight shorts and a basic t-shirt, usually crew neck. I don’t wear a lot of graphic tees because there aren’t
many things that I want to communicate through my clothing. On my feet are usually sneakers or loafers with a fun sock. I truly believe that accessories are one of the most underrated elements of men’s clothing. Socks, earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, belts, watches, and hats are all ways to add individuality into an outfit.
We can own the same outfit, but the way it is accessorized is what makes it unique to me. As an actor, my clothing is representative of my being and that sets me apart. My aim is to help Michael as a human stand out rather than have the clothes consume my identity.
On a regular day in the winter months, pants are the way to go. Typically a tight chino or slim denim work best for everyday outfits with a layer or two on top. Growing up in Louisiana, I had to figure out how to survive in the cold - it is through layers. I’ll usually have on a long sleeve tee paired with a jacket or vest or a short sleeve tee paired with a pullover and coat. Layering sweaters is something that I have not mastered partly because I am exploring ways to make this look younger. The sweaters I currently own are ones that are meant to wear with nothing underneath which are wonderful. What is currently in fashion is a form fitting button down with a think V-neck sweater worn with chinos. But how can we bring some youth into this? We’ll have to work on this ongoing endeavor together.
Something you will NEVER see me in is a cardigan. Something about them remind me of old men. If I am going to throw on a layer, I’d much rather a bomber jacket because this look is modern and can be styled. Cardigans usually have buttons and are knitted - something that does not pair well with the new age fabrics of 2018. Cottons, nylons and polyesters often have much more of a sheen and if I am going to play with materials, I would much prefer a cashmere sweater, leather zip-up, or denim jacket.
One of my newest obsessions is athleisure: comfortable athletic wear for everyday activities. It has definitely been a trend for ladies for the last few years with their everyday use of yoga pants for daily errands. Men, of course, can sport a basketball short, but only recently have joggers come onto the scene. Joggers are the best pants to feature a shoe because it features elastic around the ankle to cinch the pant into the ankle. Some can be form fitting like tights and some can look like parachute pants having a loose leg and a tight ankle. I prefer the form fitting joggers simply because most have the flexibility I am looking for as a dancer, yet still have the comfortability without restricting any of my parts. Any style that pulls attention through my calves to my shoes is one that I am about! They’re great for someone who goes to the gym and has lunch plans after because they are dressy enough to wear with a polo and breathable enough to allow sweat to easily escape after a workout.
The best thing you can do once you have found your style is figure out how your wardrobe works together! Pairing different brands is one of my favorite things. Have a great pair of skinny jeans? Pair it with a slim button down for a night out, or a long sleeve tee and denim jacket for a look you wouldn't have tried before! The possibilities are endless.
As I continue to explore my blog, I'll be posting some of my favorite looks that I come up with and where I've purchased them! I'll be doing the same on my instagram @michaelbhicksjr so check it out! Any styling tips or recommendation you think I've missed? Be sure to contact me!