I think it was on a Glenn O’Brien advice column that I read about the idea of amassing polo shirts in what I remember being described as “varying shades of black,” due to different degrees of wear, wash, and so on.
That’s the thing about having well-worn black pieces in your wardrobe. In time, some will eventually reveal the underlying pigment used to dye them. Soon you’ll have a rainbow of indigo, navy, crimson-tinged gray, etc.
All that is a roundabout way of explaining why I’m calling this summer fit of Enchong Dee all-black, even if it’s probably not. The philosophy is there, if you stick with me.
Wearing dark colors is counterintuitive on a warm day, but there are also those warm days when the thought of wearing your favorite yellow T-shirt just hits you with a pang of identity crisis. “This is not you,” your brain seems to say. Suddenly, all those black things buried deep in your winter trunk get an untimely excavation. And it doesn’t matter that you’re already late for work. (Yes, you work a non-corporate, casual-type job.)
This is where Enchong comes in. Some context: Here Enchong is seen chilling in packed Bryant Park. It’s August, so it’s technically summer in New York. He will be our trusty visual aid on how to do this properly.
Turn them into a meditative chant, make a bookmark, do what you have to do—here are the pointers:
Remember what I just said about shades of black? Pair black pieces across a range of fades. The worst thing is looking like you snatched a whole look off a mannequin on the day H&M decided that black is a trend. The result is instantly more laid back and less like a fashion-y guy showing off fresh cops.
Fabric is just as important as color. I’m guessing Enchong’s open-collar, short-sleeve shirt is in the vicinity of a 50% cotton, 50% rayon blend, which has that look of breezy lightness with a soft sheen. Notice, too how you can instantly liven up a dark summer look with lightweight trousers, as opposed to jeans.
Be intentional. Committing to a look is all about choosing the correct accessories. Top it all off with a nondescript headgear that says, no, this is not a mistake and, no, I’m not sweating. —JG