More, Please

Your long blond hair catches the light

on the street in Milan–German,

maybe Dutch, here for the sights.

You’re hot and cool, I’m a fan.

 

White tank sliding off one shoulder,

short floral street trunks showing off legs.

Bet you could make some dude beg

for access to a little more.

 

Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Owning His Style

College kid heading to class:

Bush of hair on top,

shaved below the crown;

plaid gingham shirt, loose sleeves;

skinny jeans, rolled cuffs;

French-blue Converse high-tops;

jaunty walk that says,

“I know how to dress.”

 

Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

London Trends

1

Looking tough in short-cropped midnight pea coat,

collar up, over camo tee,

skinny jeans he doesn’t quite fit into

rolled to show off shiny lace-up boots.

2

Net-patterned high-collared fisherman’s sweater in grey,

thick and bulky ’round chest and shoulders and neck;

over that a rubberized pewter mac,

dark blond hair sodden with fake rain.

3

Plastic-looking bright red leopard scrubs

with–would you call it cape or kilt–turquoise

toothy grinning animal on front,

read trainers, hair done up like devil’s horns.

4

Tall, lean, long-haired blond is looking good

in crimson tailored suit with brown shoes,

French blue shirt and navy silk knit tie,

puffed pocket square, jacket nipped in at waist.

5

Suited in grey, black fedora on head,

scarlet topcoat stealing sartorial show,

tan leather carryall in hand, as if

he’s off to catch the week’s last train to Paris.

6

Checked trousers too and shirts for lumberjacks;

goth boys in black with fucked-up hair–not news;

some printed shirts that make “Hawaiian” seem subtle.

The looks from this year’s London runway shows.

 

Note: Inspired by a piece at Fashion Beans.

 

Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

The Look

He’s not dressed up, but he has style:

blue and white plaid shirt he’s wearing’s

cut right, red shades pushed up on blond hair.

Shirt matches his eyes; he has a great smile.

 

His jeans are plain, but perfectly faded,

worn with burgundy belt and grey

canvas lace-ups without socks.

The look gives proof that subtle can rock.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

In a Photo by Tommy Ton

On the street, which happens

to be in Milan, of course,

the youngish man, though

he doesn’t look at all Italian,

knows how to cut la bella figura.

He’s been to the barber, his short

white-blond hair perfectly cut and groomed,

blue eyes and smile too dazzling

for an addict of espresso.

He wears a crisp white shirt

and simple navy tie,

but it’s the jacket that pops:

short, utility cuts with pockets

and snaps, in bright olive,

open, casually thrown on

(or so it appears, even if it

took twenty minutes).

From one breast pocket dangle

sunglasses with tortoise frames;

the other’s adorned with a silk

handkerchief, bright blue to

match his eyes, patterned

with white flowers. He’s talking,

walking with a friend,

who’s also well-dressed,

but whom no one particularly notices.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

The Perfect Outfit for Spring

Start with faded tropical camouflage trunks;

they will double as swimwear if you fancy a dip later.

Then pull on a pair of rolled cotton spray-on

floral print nylon motocross jeans, which will

go great with the trippy see-through yellow

suede loafers—or mash things up with the

perforated white leather winklepicker boots

(without socks, of course; if you own socks,

burn them now or risk permanent exclusion

from membership in the haute-couture community).

On top, as a base layer, start with a

crumpled silk crepe tunic embossed with

psychedelic butterflies, the more the better.

Over that goes a western bandana shirt.

Leave the collar open—it’s spring, after all—

or try a skinny naval-themed mini-dot tie,

in burgundy, if you want to dress things up a bit.

Either way, go with a rust-speckled white

neoprene belt to make it all pop.

A short jacket is de rigueur, but you have

a variety of options as long as you keep it short:

a khaki-and-red military-inspired utility jacket,

a slim-lapelled color-blocked blazer in

grass green and heightened electric blue,

or a pink waxed denim and lambskin

motorcycle jacket (if you want to go

for something even edgier, you could even

choose a wide-striped hooded cardigan, as long

as it’s made from the last sheep of the species).

For the finishing touch, a pocket square

patterned with black gothic flowers.

If you’re going out, protect yourself from the

elements with a tropical-orange rain parka

and shimmering circular welder shades.

Hats are out this season as designers

aim for wearable practical simplicity.

 

Note: My information (used with a little bit of poetic license) comes from GQ, The Guardian, The Sartorialist, and Style.com, reporting on the runway shows from London, Paris, and Milan.

 

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

Style

Milk-chocolate skin, cool Afro hair,

young man’s styling, has fashion flair.

In camouflage tee over tan chinos,

suede desert boots; he knows clothes.

 

So many people seem confused,

have no idea what look to choose.

Refreshing to see someone who

knows how to dress, what to wear.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper