This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.
Over the weekend I was perusing my vinyl collection, I got immersed in my thoughts and I realized that in my teenage years I listened to everything from Michael Jackson, Guns N Roses, and Simply Red to Run DMC, KRS One, and A Tribe Called Quest. I know during that time no one could have told me about wearing a suit. My wardrobe staples were baggy jeans, hoodies, and Timberland boots. I was heavily influenced by the Hip Hop DJ and b-boy culture. As I thought on it some more, I began considering if the music I listened to influenced my attire or if they both matured together.
Thinking back to my early 20s, part of the working class, and my wardrobe that of a young adult, my hoodies and baggy jeans got traded for sweaters, polos, and chinos. My playlist had less Rock-and-Roll and more Hip Hop and R&B. I was still far from the polished gent but the change in what I listened to did show in how I dressed as I wanted to appear more mature.
Fast forward to my 30s, as I began to define and refine my character, how I presented myself mattered a lot more. My wardrobe now contained suit staples of navy and grey, with several white and blue shirts. My Timberland boots grew up to become wingtip brogue boots and cap-toe oxfords. Looking at my playlist, you would find that it was of a more sophisticated palate for a melophile. From my speakers, you would hear the sound of Neo-Soul, R&B, and Jazz. Anything that made you feel to pour a glass of brown liquor and dim the lights.
Now in my 40s, I listen to music across the spectrum of genres mentioned and I understand how there is a place and time for everything, even music, it does help design the mood. Likewise, my wardrobe is now one where I focused on functionality, fit, and fabric. Having items for events as they arise be it strictly formal, business, or social engagements.
Looking back, I can say the music I listened to did influence my attire through the different stages in my life. I believe you can tell a lot about a gentleman by his music collection and how it influences his daily life. How does the music you listen to influence yours?
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