It’s really easy to nag boys and teens about pulling up their pants. Some cities have made it illegal to wear sagging trousers while others are trying to make it illegal. True enough, no one wants to look at a boy, teen or young man’s underwear in public, but one inescapable truth is that some of them wear what helps them blend with their peers. For some, wearing sagging trousers is a survivable mechanism and for others it is statement among their friends and in their communities. We know for sure, you cannot judge a boy’s or young man’s character by what they wear though people often try. Nagging and berating often alienates the very people we’re trying to win. However, there are some wise and creative individuals who’ve published blogs and sites dedicated to style that celebrate unique ways within our culture to improve a young man’s appearance without preaching. Here is my list.
- The Dandy Lion Project: The Dandy Lion Project is an exhibition of photography and films that explores how African Diasporan men are articulating a re(de)fined Black Masculine Identity via Black Dandyism. Founded in November 2010. They feature photos on their site and on Facebook [HERE] of boys, young men and men from around the world dressed up and in ways that reflect pride. They even post historical information and videos that show the relevance of dressing well as a custom.
- Street Etiquette: Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs are the faces and voices being the popular mens lifestyle website Street Etiquette. Founded in 2008, Street Etiquette showcases style using a cultural, historical and urban perspective. You can find short documentaries and other information from their travels depicting street style in its various forms.
- The Black Man Can: Their motto is “Actively promoting a positive black male image.” Go HERE to find an extraordinary archive of grooming and style articles and photos.
- The Gentleman’s Standard: The Gentlemen’s Standard is ambitiously redefining how gentlemen of color approach life, culture, and style. Founded in 2008, this site arose from a dissatisfaction with how men of color are sometimes portrayed in various media outlets. Moreover, this site was created due to a dissatisfaction with how some gentlemen of color portrayed themselves.
- The Black Gentleman: With the too often view of the black man as one who is uneducated, improper, or any other way “ignorant” this blog serves as a stage to highlight what we black men truly are. We are men refined in class, etiquette, and style. We hold ourselves true to the ideals of great character, kindness, integrity, and chivalry. We are gentleman.
The common thread of these sites is that the writers want boys, teens, and young men of color to (1) have a historical perspective, (2) sound tips and (3) permission to define style for themselves as informed by some great advice.
Young boys sit on a car in Chicago, Illinois.]