How Donald Glover Became The Best-Dressed Man Of 2018
Donald Glover is having a good year. He scored his first number one on the Billboard 100 with "This Is America," a song that simultaneously reinvigorated the music video as an art form. Then he scored rave reviews as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, a character so well-received that a spin-off is rumoured to be in the works. Oh, and there's the small matter of writing series two of Atlanta, the groundbreaking TV show that is now getting picking up around the world, including in the UK.
Finally, there's the small but important matter of his wardrobe. An eclectic mix of colors, prints, and fits has seen Glover quickly become the best-dressed man of this year so far—and the inspiring part is that it has been a complete 180.
Not that Glover ever dressed poorly. It just didn't pop. Where we once saw him playing it safe—white T-shirts, red carpet black tie, the odd checked shirt—we now see a sense of adventure that embraces current trends while setting some new ones.
He goes left-field. He dabbles with color. He enlists pieces that trigger a wince on the hanger, but wonder when worn within a cohesive outfit. This is a man at the top of his game, and dressing like it.
It's not rocket science, either. In fact, it's easy to imitate once you unpack the tricks. And that's exactly what we've done here.
1| Mastering prints
Glover has found something that suits him, and mastered it—in this case, the anchored print. That means a bold statement piece up-top—stripes, patterns, or even animal motifs—with quieter, well-fitting items below for balance and structure.
2| Tonal tailoring
There's a pattern to his tailoring, too. Over time, Glover has eschewed play-it-safe penguin suits and adopting tonal suits for his (many) red carpet appearances. Suits in one color add depth to your look.
3| Finding brands—and sticking to them
Hold on tight and don't let go: an adage well invoked when a) you're getting your phone stolen, and b) you've found labels you love—those that'll carry you through your 20s and beyond.
Glover's are on rotation: cult-revived label Band Of Outsiders, luxury juggernaut Bottega Veneta, and tailoring god Salvatore Ferragamo—three wise men that are as comfortable in tandem as they are with other wardrobe staples. Find what works for you, and in turn, you won't mind spending an extra couple of quid.
4| Embracing color
Like most men, Glover used to stick to the tried and tested color wheel for boys: navy, black, and white. This year, he's discovered a sense of vibrancy embracing reds, greens, and yellows.
When doing the same, your own skin color is a good starting point. Pastels and softer tones complement paler skin without washing you out, while darker skin tones can carry deeper, richer shades thanks to the contrast.
5| Taking risks
A bright red shirt covered in dancing bears? Not for me, said every man ever. But Glover embraced it with both arms on Saturday Night Live and, against all odds, made it stylish.
Such is the prize of risk-taking. That's not to say you should grab an equally loud item for the sake of it—only wear what makes you feel comfortable, and all that—but it should prompt you to think outside of that wardrobe-shaped box. You might just like it.
6| Dressing for your shape
Maybe Glover has access to a nutritionist and a personal trainer, like most Hollywood denizens. Maybe that's how he's gleaned that covetable, upside triangle shape. Either way, he dressed his shape properly with boxy layers up-top (building bulk by way of Ermenegildo Zegna) and slimmer fits below (bringing the eye downwards, for added height).
Now, we're not saying you recruit a similar entourage. But these rules are pretty universal. Say you are of a taller build than Glover—the last thing you need is elongation, so avoid drapey, oversized fits and ensure clean lines run throughout your outfit. Smaller guys, on the other hand, should stick to well-fitting separates that complement one another in shade and fit—stark contrasts will only stunt your growth.
Identify what complements the stuff your genes gave you, and hides the bits your workout won't. And if you can, wear all of it with the confidence of a man killing it in three different art forms at once.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.